I come bearing bad news. I am but a humble messenger, but I understand the urge to punish me none-the-less. I humbly beseech you to fight your baser urges and give me safe passage once my solemn message is delivered.
The Kansas heavy recruiting class we all yearned for isn’t coming to fruition.
The guy I have pegged as the best player in the state heading into the 2021 season, will, for now, be heading north east to Iowa.
Not going to lie, this one hurts. I don’t know what Crawford is looking for, and I certainly don’t begrudge him going to the school of his choosing....but Iowa...Yuck.
I’m going to be blunt.
Kansas State should be able to beat out Iowa for crucial in-state recruits, especially after the entire Iowa program looked to be on the verge of collapse after a player abuse scandal involving their long time strength and conditioning coach and Kirk Ferentz’s son / offense coordinator within the last year.
I spend a good bit of time pumping up the current coaching staff and their recruiting potential, but I’m also going to give it to you straight when there is a problem, and this is a problem. The Wildcats had a legit shot to land Crawford and got beat out by a mid tier Big 10 team that appears to be heading in reverse.
Crawford could have been a foundational defensive piece, but instead, he’ll be winning 6-8 games a year in Iowa City. Like I said, it’s his choice, and I won’t ever bash a kid for going to where he feels most wanted/needed. I will bash the coaching staff for not being able to convince him that Manhattan wasn’t that place.
Miller is a high 3* wide receiver from Blue Valley North, and is considered a Top 5 player in the state. He’ll be heading due east to Missouri.
This one doesn’t bother me. Miller is a good player, but as far as I can tell, K-State didn’t offer. The Wildcats have Tyson Struber and Sterling Lockett already in the fold. I’m not sure how many receivers they will take in this class, but two seems like a reasonable number. Miller and Struber profile as similar receivers. If the Wildcats take three in this class, I would expect the third receiver to be a bigger “boundary” type guy.
After Crawford, Dean is other solid in-state defensive end. The Wildcats are going to need a couple defensive ends in this class, but they’re going to have to look outside Kansas for them, because Dean is heading south to Oklahoma State.
This one hurts almost as bad as losing out to Iowa, because Oklahoma State is another program that was pretty much a raging inferno in terms of player relations within the last year. To make matters worse, they’re a Big 12 team.
If Coach Klieman has designs on moving up the Big 12 pecking order, he can’t lose in-state recruiting battles to Oklahoma State because he doesn’t have the recruiting cachet to go on the road and lure a better player from out of state.
The Wildcats made Dean’s Top 4, but couldn’t use the “do you really want to play for Mike Gundy (points in the general direction of Mike Gundy)” card to their advantage.
Another big “L” on the recruiting trail.
This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not ideal. The coaching staff has been in place long enough now that any failures in recruiting fall directly on their shoulders.
The formula for Kansas State recruiting has to be:
- Win big in Kansas
- Nail your evaluations in pipeline states.
If they can’t win big in Kansas, it’s going to be hard for them to be right enough, often enough, in places like Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana to make up the difference. This is one of the best recruiting classes in the state of Kansas in a long while, and right now, the Wildcats are getting shut out of the top end of it by teams they should be able to compete with in recruiting.
That needs to change in a hurry. Gavin Myers would be a nice start.