First Joe Bob Clements. Now Michael Smith.
In the span of five days, the Kansas State football team surprisingly lost two longtime assistants that once played for the Wildcats and started their coaching careers under Bill Snyder.
Clements, K-State’s former defensive ends coach and defensive run game coordinator, is off to Oklahoma State as the Cowboys’ new defensive line coach. Smith, K-State’s former receivers coach, will be in charge of the same position at Arkansas.
Their absences will be noticeable. On the field, Clements and Smith did a fine job of developing talent. Meshak Williams and Adam Davis were two of the top pass-rushers in the Big 12 last season. Chris Harper came to Manhattan hoping to play quarterback and left as a productive receiver with a future in the NFL. They helped K-State win 21 games the past two seasons.
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But their biggest contributions came in recruiting.
Smith and Clements were without a doubt K-State’s top two recruiters. Smith, a New Orleans native, regularly signed prospects from Florida and Louisiana, where he faced competition from SEC schools. He spoke passionately about “not taking a backseat” to other programs and Rivals labeled him as one of the top 10 recruiters in the Big 12 last year. Clements, an Emporia native, was well-liked in the Sunflower State and helped seal the deal with many local recruits.
They were the two youngest assistants on the Wildcats’ staff (Clements is 37 and Smith is 42) and had outgoing personalities that high school seniors could easily relate to. (more…)