Kansas' assistant football coaches hit the recruiting trail on Monday, the first day of the all-important postseason contact period, making visits to players who have already given oral commitments to the Jayhawks.
Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Bill Miller was in Hutchinson to meet with top defensive end prospect Geneo Grissom, wide receivers coach David Beatty was in Irving, Texas, to check on running back James Sims and defensive coordinator Clint Bowen made the short drive over to Blue Springs, Mo., to visit wide receiver Keeston Terry. Offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and cornerbacks coach Je'Ney Jackson were on the road, too.
The only problem for the KU staff was that there wasn't much to say. Terry, a 6-foot-2, 179-pound talent who was awarded a four-star rating by Rivals.com, spoke with Bowen on Monday afternoon at Blue Springs High for about 20 minutes, and Terry didn't learn much about the future of KU football under Mark Mangino.
"He was basically telling me he just doesn't know much about what's going to happen yet," Terry said. "He said if things get real bad he'll let me know as much information as he knows."
Monday was not a day for information as another 24 hours passed without news about Mangino's job status. It's now been two weeks since KU athletic director Lew Perkins announced the school was going to be investigating Mangino's treatment of players. With no conclusion having been reached, the investigation has continued into a crucial recruiting period for keeping together KU's 2010 class.
Rivals.com has reported that Grissom, a dominant defensive force on Hutchinson's 5A state championship team, intended to meet with an assistant coach from LSU on Monday along with Miller. Grissom's coach, Randy Dreiling, told the site that he would not have allowed LSU to speak with Grissom if he knew for a fact Miller would be retained at KU.
Similar questions could pop up with many of the Jayhawks' commitments.
"A lot of them are looking for answers to what's going on," said Jon Kirby, who covers KU football recruiting for Rivals.com, "especially with this being the first week coaches can be on the road."
Kirby pointed out that, while signing day for high-school prospects is not until early February, signing day for junior-college players is Dec. 14.
"You might lose all your juco kids," Kirby said.
Despite the uncertainty of the situation at Kansas right now, Bowen did receive some good news from Terry.
"I told him 'I'm still with you guys,' " Terry said. "Even if (Mangino) were to get fired, I'm pretty sure that's where I want to be at, depending on who the (new) coach is. If I'm OK with him, I'll probably stay."
Terry is one of the jewels of this class. He was told by Beatty that, with senior Kerry Meier graduating and junior Dezmon Briscoe possibly turning pro a year early, he would have a chance to earn playing time immediately.
Terry said that the job status of his lead recruiters, Bowen and Beatty, would likely not be a deciding factor for him.
"It plays a part in it, but then again, it doesn't," Terry said. "That can happen anywhere. You build a relationship with someone, and they're gone. That's just college football."
Terry said he appreciated Bowen's honesty, even if the coach couldn't offer much in the way of information. "It was definitely good that he's up front with me and stuff like that," Terry said. "I'm glad he came and talked to me about things."