Hebron (Lewisville, Texas) High School quarterback Clayton Tune was in the middle of a banner junior season — having thrown for nearly 2,500 yards and 22 scores.
Then he went down with a torn ACL in week 11, missing the rest of the season.
Through surgery and rehab, the Jayhawk coaching staff staying with Tune — not only honoring their offer, but making it apparent he was ‘the’ quarterback they wanted in the 2018 class. Tune appreciated the loyalty and gave KU coach David Beaty his commitment at Junior Day Saturday.
“They’ve been with me and kind of sold out on me, which is really important,” Tune said. “I appreciate that, and it was a big factor.”
Tune enjoyed his visit to Lawrence.
“It was good. I really enjoyed it. It was great getting to see the coaches again,” he said. “I hadn’t seen them since I went last season for one of the football games, so it was great to reconnect with them. It was good to be around the campus, and I got to hang out with some of the current football players.
“I had planned on committing going up there, but they sold me on being part of the rebuilding era. They think I can be a big part of that, and that convinced me.”
Along with the other Junior Day visitors, Tune got to take in the Kansas game against Iowa State at Allen Fieldhouse.
“It was awesome. It was great to see a game in there. Tough loss,” he said. “That was their first home loss in a long time, but it was still cool. It was important to hand around the other guys and build relationships with them.”
It turned out to be quite an exciting day for the Kansas football program, with six high-level commitments on the day.
“At the time I committed, I didn’t know any of the other players had,” Tune said. “It was at the very end of the Junior Day, when I asked to meet with (quarterbacks) coach (Garrett) Riley, I went into coach Beaty’s office and he told me some of the other guys had committed too. It was kind of simultaneous.
“He was really excited. He was jumping around, kind of excited. He seemed like he was happy about it.”
Tune has had surgery to repair the ACL tear and is working his way through rehab. He’s on track to take part of non-contact drills in the spring and expects to be fully ready to go for his senior season.
“It hasn’t been too bad. It was obviously unfortunate and I wish it hadn’t happened. Rehab is going well. I’m ahead of schedule right now,” he said. “It feels fine. They want me to build the muscles around the knee, and make everything in the area as strong as possible, to prevent re-tearing.”
He’s looking at enrolling early.
“I spoke with my hs counselor, and I plan on graduating in December,” Tune said. “It’ll take some summer classes.”
Tune ran for more than 500 yards last season at Hebron, and has a great pocket presence.
“I’m an accurate passer and have a feel for the pocket, knowing when to escape to extend plays,” he said. “I don’t think I got sacked much at all last season. I know when to escape or get rid of it.”
He sees the Jayhawks headed in the right direction, and believes the recruiting class just signed along with the 2018 class can really make an impact.
“I’m really excited in seeing how it works out this season and when I get there. Hopefully the 2017 class and my class can help turn this thing around,” Tune said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the rebuild and getting this program turned around.”