February was a whirlwind month for Conner Crane. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound wide receiver with soft hands and 4.5-second speed received his first four scholarship offers and made unofficial visits to two schools in Kansas.
His first offer came early in the month from the new Colorado coaching staff, and he is eager to meet them face to face later this month when he will visit Boulder.
Crane said he coach Jon Embree and wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy made a strong impression with him during their phone conversations and correspondence.
"I like him a lot," Crane said of Kennedy, who is in his first year at Colorado after seven years on the Texas staff. "He seems like a really good guy. We talk Every week. He writes me a lot. We've had a good relationship, but I'm excited to get up there and see him in person and see how he works with the receivers down there and get to meet coach Embree and everything. That should be fun."
The Buffs will be well into spring practices by then allowing Crane to see how the new coaching staff operates in practices and interacts with players. Crane will probably be in Boulder for two days before heading to Breckenridge with his family to hit the ski slopes.<.p>
Crane visited Kansas recently on junior day and was very impressed. He hadn't spoken to coaches prior to his visit, but says he is developing a strong relationship with wide receivers coach David Beaty and head coach Turner Gill, similar to his relationship with Kennedy and Embree.
"Colorado and Kansas are probably the two schools where I have the best relationship with the coaches right now," Crane said.
There is one factor that Kansas has working in its favor right now prior to Crane's visit to Boulder. Kansas will be playing in the Big 12 Conference and making regular trips to Texas for games in the future during Crane's career. Colorado will be in the Pac-12 and isn't scheduled to play in Texas anytime soon, though there are several open dates on the schedule in the coming years.
"That's definitely an advantage for Kansas, but at the same time, I haven't been down to Colorado yet and there might be something in Boulder that I really like and is an advantage for them that Kansas doesn't have," Crane said. "It's definitely something nice to be able to play in Texas in front of my family, but if the best fit is somewhere else, then that's where the best fit is."
Many prospects like the idea of staying close to home, especially those in a big state like Texas with so many options from which to choose. Crane said staying in-state or leaving doesn't make much difference to him.
"It's not a big deal to me," Crane said. "I want to go somewhere that is reachable for my parents and family to come to my games. Not somewhere that it all the way across the country or anything. Really, it would be nice if I stayed close, but if the best school, the best fit is somewhere else, then I'm fine with going far. That's not a big factor for me."
Crane's mother is a Kansas alum, but she isn't playing favorites when it comes to her son's decision. Crane said his mother has encouraged him to find the right school for him.
"She tells me how great it was and how much she loves it up there, but she says it's really my decision for wherever I feel best. She always tells me good things, but she's not really pushing me any way."
Crane already competed in his first track meet of the spring season last week and has a second meet this weekend. He runs the 400 and the 4x400. The relay team finished second last week and he ran a 51 second 400. He is confident he can trim several seconds off that time over the course of the season.
He is taking his time with recruiting and is in no hurry to make a decision. He says he will know when the time and the school are right.
"I'm totally wide open right now," Crane said. "I went and saw Kansas and I liked it a lot. They are probably my favorite school that I've seen so far, but I'll be in Boulder in a week during spring break."