LAWRENCE (KSNT) – Dan Fitzgerald’s No. 1 recruiting class at LSU might won’t be his last.
Since arriving at KU in June, Fitzgerald and his staff secured 18 recruits. Some transfers are from other Big 12 schools, a couple are from his last stop at LSU, plus a few junior college transfers.
“As a Division I baseball coach, I think [looking at the transfer portal] is what you do on a daily basis,” Fitzgerald said. “When I got to KU, it was a quick switch to look at it through a different lense to see ‘What do we need at KU?'”
Fitzgerland and each member of his coaching staff all have backgrounds as Division I recruiting coordinators.
“I think you have to be great at development, and you have to be great at recruiting,” Fitzgerald said. “The better the player you have, the easier development is. I knew [the assistant coaches] as baseball guys and knew them as developers, then also knew them as just relentless recruiters.”
The transfer portal doesn’t put a bigger emphasis on recruiting, Fitzgerald said. It just adds a new avenue to what was already a lifeline for programs.
“We spent that first night as a staff and really mapped out the entire roster, and really spent a bunch of time talking about who was returning, and then mapping out ‘OK, here’s who we’ve targeted in the portal,” he said. “Here’s who we know is still available in junior college. Here’s who’s still available in high school,’ and then, what are our specific needs?”
From that first meeting, the staff had multiple lists of player targets.
“I feel like we’re in a good spot today,” Fitzgerald said. “Until the first day of class, I don’t think we’ll officially say we’re done. We’ll keep searching. Always searching. Always recruiting, but right now, I think we’re in a good spot.”