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October 19, 2011Running backs coach and KU's recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell talked with the media after practice on Wednesday. Mitchell, who was also at Kansas on Glenn Mason's staff in the 1990's, talked about the recruiting differences between Kansas and Kansas State.
If Mitchell was surprised when he was recruiting Victor Simmons that he didn't have more offers
Yeah I was surprised. I remember Darrell Wyatt went to watch his son, who was playing at Free State, and Victor was already committed to us and Wyatt told us that we had a good football player. He has length, he can run and he is athletic. We were lucky to get him.
A lot of times people won't think that Kansas high school football is good so you watch a guy like Victor you have to ask who is he going against and what is his level of competition. He was dominating his competition and whether it was small or big time football, that's the type of kid you want in your program.
The difference between Glenn Mason and Turner Gill in recruiting the state of Kansas
Mason broke it up among the assistants but he didn't have as many guys in the state as coach Gill does. We had more guys back then in Ohio and Michigan and if you look at our roster back then we were more Midwest and now we are more Texas.
The philosophy is still the same, you want to recruit the state of Kansas as well or better than anybody else. That's why coach Gill and coach Mason put an emphasis on getting the top kids of the state.
Mitchell on the fact that Kansas State has more Kansas high school players than Kansas
At this point it is just life and you move on. You want to have more kids but you want to get the kids that can play and help us win. As time goes on you will see more kids from the state of Kansas here.
Mitchell on if Kansas State having different academic standards has helped them recruit junior college players
I don't know their academic standards to answer that with knowledge. We are going to recruit the guys that are the best fits for Kansas. At Kansas State they are successful doing what they are doing.
It's just a difference in the head coach philosophies. Coach Snyder has had success doing it his way.
Mitchell of if Kansas will become more invested recruiting junior colleges
Coach Gill wants to go off on high schools but if we have the opportunity to go after junior colleges then we will do that too. Are we ever going to recruit junior colleges wholesale? Probably not.
That is just coach Gill's philosophy. It doesn't make it right or wrong, that's just the way he wants to build his program.
Mitchell on if Kansas planned on taking any junior college defensive tackles in last year's class
You want to get a more mature guy at this point in time. The problem with defensive tackles is that they are like gold and everybody wants them. They are hard to come by.
We have a couple of guys we are looking at and hopefully it will work out for us.
Mitchell on how the head to head recruiting battles between Kansas and Kansas State have changed in the last 20 years
Before it was a little bit different. If there was a kid in Kansas it would come down to Kansas and Kansas State. In the two years that I have been back, we haven't really gone head to head a whole lot with Kansas State.
It hasn't really surfaced as much but we think we have a great place here and a great education so that's what we sell.
Mitchell on trying to recruit for Kansas when he first joined Mason's staff in 1988
It was hard. My first year was 1988 and coach Snyder's first year was 1989. We both started at the same time so we got to see both programs grow. We went to Minnesota and he continued to build a great program, that's why the stadium is named after him.
The recruiting back then there was probably five or six guys in the state and if Nebraska didn't get them, we got our fair share of them.
Mitchell on trying to sell KU to a Kansas high school player
What is unique here is they are either from a KU or KSU household. A lot of times you will walk into a school and know if it's more towards KU or Kansas State. When I was at Michigan it was the same way. Detroit was more University of Michigan and eastern Michigan was more Michigan State.
Every now and then you will get guys you can go head to head with but a lot of times it comes down to the family background with the kid.