Published 2/7/2013 in Sports
Miller's list reaches 34
By ADAM HOLT
It's never easy to assemble a recruiting class — less so when there's a coaching change less than a month before signing day.
Garden City Community College head football coach Matt Miller was hired Jan. 21, getting less than three weeks to solidify his recruiting class prior to National Signing Day on Wednesday.
The key to making that process easier? All the GCCC coaches just kept on recruiting during the 10-day gap between former head coach Jeff Tatum's resignation and Miller's hiring.
"I think it just shows the quality of assistant coaches that I have, and our camaraderie throughout the whole process when Coach Tatum had left, and they hadn't hired a head coach yet," Miller said. "We all just went about our business, we all had our recruiting areas — we knew we were all going to stay together, we knew that, because we have so much respect for each other.
"We just went after, kind of as a group effort. Everyone was their own head coach, went after their guys. When we release our list, it's gonna be fruitful, and I think it's gonna surprise people in the state of Kansas, what we were able to do in such a short period of time."
And while there are often players who de-commit after a coaching turnover, Miller said he and his coaches did a good job of not only retaining prior commits, but adding a few others.
"We've been pleasantly surprised," he said. "There's been a couple that we didn't think we were gonna get that ended up coming with us today. Very excited. Had a couple guys who were gonna try to walk on at Kansas State come here, couple de-commits from Butler, Hutch, Fort Scott, other programs in the conference that we were able to get at the last moment."
Miller said he isn't ready to release his full list of signees yet, as a number of them are waiting to send their national letters-of-intent in until the next few days, so they can have signing ceremonies at their respective high schools. He said a few more are waiting to make decisions, and that he doesn't want to pressure them. Miller said he'd like to release a complete list all at once.
Miller said he'll have about 40 players in the incoming class. The NJCAA website listed 34 signees as of Wednesday evening. That group included five Garden City High School players — Brady Bean, Ben Blood, Taylor Foley, Mitchell Moore and Andres Rivas. Four other Buffs also signed late Wednesday afternoon with the Busters and that group included Logan Dechant, Dylan Nevola, Kieran Henderson and Desmond Smith. Seven other area athletes also signed at GCCC, including two — Trevin Wiens and Rodney Hardaway — of Class 2A state champion Meade. The others are: Rigo Bustillos (Moscow), Jose Licon (Hugoton), Joshua Meis (Cimarron), Austin Wilson (Syracuse) and Colten Yager (Class 3A champion Scott City).
The list so far featured just five out-of-state players, and Miller said he's excited about the in-state players his staff was able to recruit. Since the Jayhawk Conference imposes limits on the number of out-of-state players that may suit up for games, homegrown Kansas talent is vital to a team's ability to compete in the league.
"It's key," Miller said. "Just from my days at Kansas State. We would not have been near as successful a program without the Kansas football players. So I've always held a special place in my heart for the Kansas football player."
Marshall, Coleman to D-I
Earlier Wednesday morning, former Broncbusters Rod Coleman and Nick Marshall signed their letters of intent. Coleman signed with the University of Kansas, while Marshall signed with Auburn University. Coleman had verbally committed to the Jayhawks in mid-December, while Marshall committed to the Tigers on Jan. 14. Both earned all-conference honors for the Broncbusters as they helped the team to a 7-4 record and a last-second victory in late November in the Mississippi Bowl in Biloxi, Miss. Marshall was named the KJCCC Offensive Player of the Year.
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