KU Junior Day: Clay Rhodes

Prior to this weekend, Clay Rhodes knew of Charlie Weis, of course. But Saturday represented his first chance to learn a little bit more about the man outside the press clippings and Super Bowl rings - and he came away impressed by what he discovered.

"I know a lot about him since he's such a well-respected coach, and such a famous coach," Rhodes said. "I never realized how honest he is and how down to Earth and humble he can really be. He called himself the academic liaison, so he's really big on academics, which I thought was really cool."

"I just really liked the way he came off," he added. "He just seemed like a really good coach."

A 6-foot-6, 260-pound offensive tackle from Stilwell (KS) Blue Valley, Rhodes is already receiving looks from some major programs - including virtually every regional school. He figures to be one of the most highly-recruited prospects from the region in the Class of 2013, as athletic left tackles with his frame are at an eternal premium.

So it should come as no surprise that the Jayhawks are already well familiar with Rhodes, and shortly after he checked in Saturday morning, he was greeted by offensive line coach Tim Grunhard who pulled him aside.

"He said that he really liked me and that he's watched my film, and obviously he's watched me play," Rhodes said of the former Kansas City Chief center and Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege head coach.

Rhodes has dedicated himself to packing solid weight onto his lanky frame, something that didn't escape Grunhard's notice.

"He already noticed that I've been putting on weight, and he said I've got a really good frame for putting on muscle," he said. "He said it wouldn't be a problem if I came to KU. They could put a lot of weight and muscle on me without a problem."

Rhodes believes there's a lot to like about Kansas - the school and the football program - and believes the Jayhawks will be one of the programs at the forefront with him as the recruiting process marches forward.

"Partially because I've always been a KU fan and it's so close to my hometown," he said. "But also the way that Charlie Weis was talking about how 'Why would you want to go somewhere else, when you could say you built up a program here?' It would just be really cool to be a part of a program who went from a 2-10 team and taking them to a 10-2 team."

"I just felt really comfortable there," Rhodes added. "Almost like I was at home in Lawrence."

Next weekend, the big tackle will visit Tulsa, followed by a trip to either Iowa State or Kansas State for their Junior Day event. Additionally, the University of Missouri has invited him for a personal visit whenever he can make the trip, which is something he intends to do.

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