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June 20, 2013

NFL ties pay off for Kansas

You've heard Charlie Weis say it before. More than once actually. How many schools out there can sell the NFL coaching experience like Kansas?



On Wednesday the Jayhawks landed two recruiting targets at the top of their board in Andre Maloney and Jacob Bragg. The NFL experience paid off in both cases.


Maloney might be the best all-around football player in Kansas. He's definitely the best cover corner, the position the Jayhawks recruited him. And he's probably the best wide receiver prospect in the state. He helped Shawnee Mission West win the state title and never left the field. He was the quarterback in running formations along with returning punts and kicks.



Maloney had multiple BCS offers and could have waited. But after a second trip to Kansas in recent weeks he decided the time was right to commit. In his visit to Lawrence a couple weeks ago he had a chance to sit down with Dave Campo. The former Dallas Cowboys head coach told Maloney his game reminded him of Deion Sanders, a player he once coached.



Now think about this….how many coaches in the college game can tell a recruit that? We are talking about one of the best cornerbacks to ever step on an NFL field. And Campo coached him. There are no other coaches in the college game that can tell Maloney the same thing.



When Bragg made his way from Texas to Lawrence he didn't plan on committing. He was with his family and they wanted a closer look at Kansas.



Bragg leaves for The Opening soon and has been selected to be in the Under Armour All-American game. He's rated among the best centers in the nation. Bragg could have certainly waited and held out for more offers.



When I asked Bragg about the main reasons he picked Kansas the first thing he said was the chance to get coached by a former NFL center in Tim Grunhard.



"I couldn't pass up the chance to be coached by someone like (coach) Grunhard," Bragg said.



Two weeks ago the Jayhawks hosted two of the top junior college prospects in the country in Jean Sifrin and Pearce Slater. Sifrin said among his top schools are Kansas, Oklahoma, and Southern Cal. All three schools have offered.



Slater is one of the top offensive tackles in the nation. Both said they liked the fact they could be coached by coaches that know what it takes to get to the NFL.



"I think Charlie Weis can help get me to the league," Sifrin said.



Last year the Jayhawks landed the top junior college class in the country. They signed more players in the National Juco Top 100 than any other school. Every single one of those players at some point said the NFL experience on the KU staff was a factor in their decision.


The NFL resumes isn't the only thing the Kansas staff sells in recruiting. They are big on academics. Bragg said Weis reminded him of a father. They sell family atmosphere.



But those Super Bowl rings and decades of NFL experience doesn't hurt. Last month Kansas landed a commitment from Kyron Watson, a linebacker that chose them over Michigan and several others.



"I will get to go there and be coached from the great coaches like Charlie Weis and Dave Campo," Watson said.






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