As if it hadn't been spewed enough this offseason, another gross comparison of Charlie Weis' 2013 recruiting class to Bill Snyder's recruiting style surfaced again today. Something has got to stop this. The record must be set straight.
From Brandon Chatmon on the Big 12 blog on ESPN.com: "Weis, mimicking Kansas State, hit the junior colleges hard in the hopes of turning the Jayhawks' fortunes around with an infusion of college-ready talent. Time will tell if it pays off."
OK, yes it's true, Weis and Snyder both recruit JUCO players. But, that's where the comparisons end.
Snyder has been recruiting the junior college ranks since arriving at Kansas State more than two decades ago. He blazed the trail here, and why not? Kansas junior college football programs are the best in the nation, and Snyder needed something — anything — to help the program compete.
However, he has never recruited junior college players at the expense of high school players, and that is the biggest difference here. Snyder has always recruited high school players first, and then injected junior college players at positions of greatest need.
Have some of K-State's biggest stars been from the JUCO ranks? Yes indeed. But for every Michael Bishop, Darnell McDonald, Daniel Thomas, Quincy Morgan, Mario Fatafehi or Tank Reese that has shined at K-State after transferring from a junior college, there have been many, MANY more high school players that formed the true foundation of the program. Guys like Mark Simoneau, Darren Sproles, Terence Newman, Ell Roberson, Nick Leckey, Josh Buhl, Terry Pierce, all three of the Lockett trio (Kevin, Aaron, Tyler).
Even last season, which saw the Wildcats claim their second Big 12 title, sure, there were junior college guys like Adam Davis, Meshak Williams, Allen Chapman and Tavon Rooks who played significant roles. But it was high school guys like Collin Klein, John Hubert, Braden Wilson, Tramaine Thompson, B.J. Finney, Travis Tannahill, Jarrell Childs, Tre Walker and Ty Zimmerman that provided the core. And no one in college football has been better at melding high school and junior college talent together than Snyder.
An entire book could be written about just the walk-on high school players that have contributed immensely under Snyder's watch, let alone the scholarship guys.
And this is where the comparisons to Charlie Weis' 20-player JUCO recruiting class at Kansas go horribly awry.
Weis' 2013 JUCO recruiting screams of the same desperation of Ron Prince, when he signed 19 junior college players in 2008 and 37 over his three-year stint as K-State's head coach — the effects of which wreaked havoc on K-State's roster for the next several years once Prince was fired and Snyder returned. Weis is looking for a quick fix in the same way that Prince was looking to save his job.
Even before a single snap had taken place in fall practice, Weis had more than half of the 19 junior college players he signed already on the Kansas two-deep. These players had simply been given — most likely promised — starting roles, and while some of them participated in spring drills, the effect could be devastating.
No doubt, Kansas' roster needed an overhaul, and Weis delivered. But saying that he "took a page" from Snyder's recruiting philosophy is flat-out wrong and a poor representation of Snyder's genius when it comes to managing a roster.