Baty officially a Jayhawk

There are any number of ways to gauge a program's interest level in a player. Letters, phone calls, texts, a scholarship offer, in-home visits - these are all excellent barometers. So what does it say when a program sends four coaches - during recruiting crunch time - out to California for an in-home? To Turner Baty, it said a lot.

Last week, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis made the trip out to the West Coast and City College of San Francisco, to meet with Turner Baty, and he had quite the entourage in tow.

Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus, wide receivers coach - and recruiting coordinator - Rob Ianello and offensive line coach Tim Grunhard all made the visit with him, and it certainly made an impression on the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback.

"It made me feel like they truly wanted me and they believed in me," Baty said. "After having such a great season at City with my teammates and being fortunate enough to win a national championship, for them to come in with their precious recruiting time - it was getting down to crunch time - to bring that many guys to see me and make me feel welcome and like I'm an important piece...it meant the world to me."

And so it was that Baty found himself on a plane last weekend, headed for the Lawrence, Kan. campus with his mother, Kathleen, unsure of what he'd find.

Being out in California, all he had to go on was the usual cache of preconceived notions - plains, amber waves of grain. All that jazz.

But what he found, of course, was something quite different.

"Once we got to Lawrence and got to campus, I was just blown away," Baty said. "It's such a special place. It's just beautiful, and right away I was just like 'Wow.'"

His host for the weekend was running back Brandon Bourbon, with whom he connected easily, but he spent a significant amount of time in the company of several team members - Pat Lewandowski, Justin McCay, Trent Smiley, and even fellow commitment Tre Parmalee.

It was a fun reunion for Baty with Parmalee. The two were friends as toddlers, during a time when their respective fathers - Greg and Bernie - played professionally for the Miami Dolphins.

"My mom and his mom, Angel, were like best friends," he said. "So for Tre and I, as babies we were hanging out together. We went to Disney World together and everything."

The camaraderie he enjoyed with the current Jayhawks ended up being a huge selling point for Baty, who believes meshing with teammates to be a top priority.

"The biggest thing for me is to like the guys you're playing next to," he said. "To really sell out for the guys you're playing next to. And those are the guys I'm going to be bleeding and sweating with for the next four years."

Baty grayshirted during his first season at City College of San Francisco in 2010, biding his time behind current Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz. As a result, he will have four years to play three, with a redshirt year still remaining on his clock.

As a freshman in 2011, he led the Rams to a perfect 12-0 record, a California state championship and, according to Scout.com, a national championship.

His play was a big reason for their success. Baty finished the season 200-of-317, a 63.1-percent completion rate, for 2,796 yards, 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

He knows his name doesn't have the stars next to it, or the hype of some of the other quarterbacks with whom he'll be competing, but Baty likes the challenge. He welcomes the chip it has always put on his shoulder.

Hard work hasn't failed him yet, and the coaching staff wants him to come in and compete immediately.

"I really want to be the quarterback that helps Coach Weis and Coach Powlus and the coaching staff turn this thing around," Baty said. "And get this thing back around to where it should be. Which is winning the Big 12 and winning BCS bowls."

With National Signing Day less than 48 hours away, the newest Jayhawk bursting at the seams to ink his name to those pages, get to campus and get to work.

"I wouldn't say I'm relieved, I'm just excited," Baty said, of putting an end to the recruiting process. "I'm so excited to get on campus, to get to work and work with (strength and conditioning coach) Coach (Scott) Holsopple, and everyone - to give my all for KU. I want to be the quarterback to help bring this team back where it deserves to be."


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