MANHATTAN (TNS) — Kansas State signed five new football players on Wednesday, bringing its recruiting class up to 24 members.
Bill Snyder isn’t sure what to expect from this batch of recruits. Like always, he would prefer to wait a few years to evaluate. But he is hopeful this group is filled with hard-working prospects from good backgrounds that will come in and help the Wildcats. He wants to look back on 2018, the first recruiting cycle with an early signing period on top of traditional signing day, as the start of something good.
“It’s a group of good, young guys with a strong value system individually,” Snyder said. “For the most part, they fit our needs.”
For now, though, he’s not sure what to make of college football’s new recruiting schedule.
“It ended up being a positive thing for us,” Snyder said, “because the vast majority of our signees were in that initial early signing. I think we had just (five) more today. There is a positive aspect to that. It allowed us to have a little more attention to (2019) recruiting.”
“I probably am not in favor of it,” Snyder said. “Right now, I liked it better the way it was.”
Snyder is torn on the topic for several reasons. For starters, he doesn’t like evaluating high school players until they are seniors. Offering scholarships to sophomores and rising juniors still seems too early. Signing players in December also makes things difficult for K-State assistants, who are now required to spend time recruiting and preparing for games each fall.
He prefers to keep recruiting separate from the season.
“It puts an awful lot of pressure on our coaches in regards to trying to manage the program during the course of the season,” Snyder said, “and still doing due diligence to the recruiting aspect of it.”
Traditionally, the Wildcats have done the bulk of their recruiting in the spring and summer, piling up as many commitments as possible by the end of August. When the season begins each September, they shift their focus to winning games.
Recruiting feels secondary until December.
Things worked out this time around. The Wildcats secured many of their top targets early and added a handful more Wednesday. K-State’s recruiting class ranks 56th nationally and ninth in the Big 12 according to Rivals, and 66th nationally and ninth in the Big 12 per 247 Sports.
The top recruits are considered to be: Houston quarterback John Holcombe, New Orleans defensive back Lance Robinson, and Owasso, Okla. defensive back Wayne Jones.
Michigan State transfer Hunter Rison, the son of former Kansas City Chiefs receiver Andre Rison, was also an important addition. Snyder said he should bolster K-State’s receiving corps in 2019 after he sits out a season per NCAA transfer rules.
Still, Snyder says there are “pluses and minuses” to continuing on with the current recruiting schedule.
“When you have people on your campus that are in your program, they deserve all of your attention,” Snyder said. “That period of time is made more and more difficult to make sure that takes place (with an early signing period) ... We have to figure out exactly how we have to be able to manage the two major, major priorities during that period of time.”