Harrisonville, Mo., three-star defensive tackle Zach Kendall was one of the first commitments to Kansas State and he also ended up being one of the first visitors on new coach Ron Prince's schedule. The new Wildcat coach visited with Kendall on Tuesday night after a basketball game in Clinton, Mo.
"It was actually an away game, but coach Prince and coach Mo Latimore were at the game," Kendall said. "They flew in and watched me. I then went into a class room at Clinton and talked to coach Prince for an hour and a half."
Going into the visit with Prince, he didn't know what to expect.
"I was kind of stressed out for a long time wondering what the deal was and what he was going to be like," Kendall, the nation's No. 50 defensive tackle, said. "I didn't know what to expect from him. The only thing I knew about him was from the articles in the newspaper and the clips they showed of him on the TV."
Kendall didn't use the word blown away or anything like that, but it was clear coach Prince make a very positive and lasting impression on him.
"I think he's the right man for the job," Kendall said. "I don't think it matters he's young because he's been around some great head coaches. He's been able to train some great players that are in the NFL. He knows what he's doing.
"He was very charismatic."
Kendall said right after Bill Snyder announced he was retiring other schools swooped in and tried to get him interested in them. The main two teams were Kansas and Missouri, but only the Tigers piqued his interest enough for him to say he's still interested in them.
"I'm still committed to Kansas State, but I'd like to see what goes on with K-State here on my visit coming up and I want to see what Missouri has to offer," Kendall said. "They offered me last week, and that was exciting. This is my career. I have to make the right decision that's best for me."
Kendall said he is re-working his weekend plans and hopes to be in Manhattan this weekend. He has lined up an official visit to Missouri for December 16. He said Tiger assistant Andy Hill is recruiting him.
"He's a real nice guy," Kendall said. "He's got a lot of great knowledge about the Missouri program since he's been there for a long time. He knows the answer to every question you'll ask him. He's also straight forward with a lot of facts, but he's also a funny guy."
Kendall said he still will have to be convinced Manhattan is not the place for him over the next few weeks and said there were a number of reasons why he committed to K-State in the first place. One of those things appears not to be there any more, though.
"I had a really special bond with Joe Bob Clements," Kendall said. "I've not heard from him in a long, long time. I assume that means he's not going to be on the new staff. That's the one question I forgot to ask coach Prince about."
Kendall had a memorable senior season. It ended with a state championship game blowout.