LAWRENCE — Kansas recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell didn't want Blue Springs (Mo.) wide receiver Keeston Terry to have any doubts about how important a piece he was to new KU coach Turner Gill's first recruiting class.
"He said I was a cowbell wearer," Terry said.
Until Kansas received a late commitment from Potosi (Mo.) running back Brandon Bourbon on Sunday, Terry was the only four-star prospect in Gill's first class, according to Rivals.com. The Jayhawks had lost out on two previously committed four-stars — defensive end Geneo Grissom and junior college cornerback Dave Clark — after Mark Mangino's resignation. Keeping Terry was a priority.
Still, Terry didn't just immediately slip the cowbell around his neck. With the Kansas program in flux, numerous schools tried to get back into the picture, including Iowa, Stanford and Missouri. The Tigers came at Terry hard, and he took a visit to Columbia.
"I checked it out just because I felt like it was the right thing to do," Terry said. "I didn't know what the future held at Kansas. It was definitely kind of hard going down there."
Kansas essentially had to re-recruit Terry. After Gill was hired, he visited Terry in his Blue Springs home and described how the Kansas program would be under his watch.
"He put out the acronym B-E-L-I-E-V-E," Terry said. "I don't really understand the whole thing yet, but I'm sure I will."
Mitchell visited next. Then, wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt came to see Terry. Wyatt, who will be Terry's position coach, didn't make any promises about playing time.
"He feels like I could probably play pretty early," Terry said. "He hasn't evaluated the guys that are still there. It's kind of hard to tell."
In senior Johnathan Wilson, sophomore Bradley McDougald and junior Daymond Patterson, KU does have some experience returning. But certainly the door would appear open for a potential noise-maker like Terry, who will sign his letter of intent today.
Terry will officially become a Jayhawk this afternoon, and it didn't appear that Mangino or Gill was a major factor in his decision.
"I just love the university," Terry said. "I love the people that are there. There's been promise shown in the program the last couple years, and there's a possibility of us moving up in the Big 12."