The Kansas Jayhawks were one of the first schools to show interest in Clay Rhodes, the third to extend him an offer, and Saturday he traveled to the Lawrence, Kan. campus to take in one of the program's first full practices of the spring.
Arriving early, he and a select group of recruits to whom offers have already been made were addressed by Head Coach Charlie Weis before making the short jaunt from the Anderson Family Football Complex to the practice fields.
"We all got to meet with Coach Weis as a group, and he kind of explained everything he wanted to tell us about," Rhodes said. "It was pretty good. He was talking about playing for your home team and building it up."
Offensive line coach Tim Grunhard has been the lead recruiter for the 6-foot-6, 265-pound left tackle from Stilwell (KS) Blue Valley, and afterward he met with him to explain where the Jayhawks see Rhodes fitting into their scheme.
"Grunhard was explaining to me that they like my length a lot and that I'm very athletic on the outside," Rhodes said. "He was comparing me to the left tackle now that they have (Tanner Hawkinson). If i put on some weight I can be just like him."
The athletic linemen left the practice itself impressed by what he'd seen as well.
"I love watching Grunhard and Coach Weis coach," Rhodes said. "After that, we at lunch and I was talking to Charlie Weis, Jr. the whole time. He's my favorite coach I've talked to. He's just so smart it's crazy."
Of all the teams recruiting him, the Missouri Tigers have emerged as the team to beat thanks to the comfort level he enjoys with their coaching staff. The Jayhawks currently sit third behind the Tigers and Kansas State, and while at one point it looked as if a decision might be coming within the next week or so, the interest coming in from football powers such as Oklahoma and USC has given him pause.
Now, he wants to take a few additional visits, to Arizona State, Oklahoma, USC and potentially Northwestern before pulling the trigger.
"I definitely want to commit fairly soon," Rhodes said.