Monday was a home game of sorts for Kansas coach David Beaty, who grew up in nearby Garland, Texas.
Back home at Big 12 media days, Beaty took every opportunity to praise the high school football — and the high school football coaches — in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It was, no doubt, a subtle bit of recruiting. But for Beaty, a former high school football coach himself, it is a topic that strikes a chord.
“We are located right now in one of the finest, most fertile grounds for high school athletes in the country,” Beaty said, “and those athletes are coached by some of the finest high school coaches in the country.
“I’m an old Texas high school football coach, and I consider those guys to be my brothers. So it’s a good deal for me to be back here today around those guys.”
Kansas currently has eight players verbally committed in its 2016 recruiting class, and four of those players hail from the state of Texas. The latest commitment — which came from defensive end Manaia Perese of Snow College in Ephraim, Utah — came on Sunday afternoon.
Beaty has made the state of Texas a focal point in his recruiting efforts, tapping into his connections in the high school ranks. After taking the helm at KU, Beaty hired former Texas high school football coach Kenny Perry — who spent the last two years at TCU — to serve as co-defensive coordinator.
“It’s crucial,” Beaty said of Texas recruiting. “That’s what we will draw on, is those relationships. I left a coaching convention last night around 9:00 p.m. I got here around 11:30. I saw Jack Arute when I was checking in. And I left an event called the Texas High School Football Coaches Association Coaching School. There was 13,000 to 15,000 coaches there.
“There’s 21,000 people in that membership, and that is a brotherhood. And I am proud to be part of that brotherhood. I’ll never relinquish that title. It’s a big deal for me to know that I was and still am at heart a Texas high school football coach.”