Blog Entry

Student Princes at Kansas State

Posted on: February 28, 2008 4:53 pm

Leftovers from the Ron Prince story. The Kansas State coach signed what is believed to be a BCS-conference record-tying 19 junior college players.

"Very few programs have said, 'We on an ongoing basis, are going to evaluate the players that come out of the community colleges who fill our needs.' It's very telling that the highest ranking that a Kansas State team had was that following year (when K-State signed 12 juco transfers in 1997)."

(Kansas State was ranked No. 1 for three weeks in 1998 and fell a game short of playing in the first BCS title game.)


"At Virginia, we had a different way of putting the team together, no mid-year transfers, no community college players.


"We had 20 million players within six-hour driving radius at Virginia. Here the population is much more decentralized. Texas.

--Look at the recruiting list in the story. Eleven of the 19 juco players are from California. Offensive coordinator Dave Brock has experience in that region. He was on the Temple staff in 2003 when then-coach Bobby Wallace signed at least 19 jucos.

--It's clear from the depth of Ron Prince's research that he was ready for the job.

"I looked at all 12 (Big 12) teams, for the last six years, their signing classes and their rosters. The reality for our situation was, after the '03 season we were consistently one of the younger teams. We had too many young players.

"I told coaches, we're going to start facing teams in the Big 12 South that were much more veteran than us. Colorado, ourselves and Iowa State were likely going to be very young. In preparing for this year … (the question was) how are we going to have enough high school kids in their third, fourth and fifth year playing for us?

"That's why Virginia Tech is so good. You don't see them put a freshman or sophomore out there unless their name is (star linebacker) Xavier Adibi."

--Kansas State is not the only school to oversign. Alabama did it too this year. But Prince signed seven more than the limit (25). Some of those will grayshirt (enroll, but not on scholarship). Others will not qualify academically. I asked Prince if that is an accepted practice.

"For us grayshirting is a huge part of it, taking a high school kid who might not get recruited by anybody else. I can see down the road how this kid is going to have tremendous value.

"There are players who know they're going to grayshirt. There are players who know they're going to go to a community college. If you sign a player, at least everybody knows where he's going to go.

"What we've done is establish our relationship with them and know they'll be here some day. We do enough business in that world that the player feels good about us.

"Our conference signed the most (junior college players) in the nation. That may send up red flags to some people but this is who we are. There were 20 mid-year signees in this conference."

"Coach (Bob) Knight didn't take a lot of pro prospects out of high school. He took guys who were going to be there four years. That's what we're doing with our high school players. Our expectation is they're going to be here 3, 4, 5 years."


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Kansas State
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