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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Mangino: Doeren’s departure didn’t decimate class

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With little time left to be proven wrong, Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino appeared honest when asked how assistant Dave Doeren's departure affected recruiting.

"We recruit a lot by position crossover," Mangino said last week, "and these kids are all acquainted and visit with position coaches - not just any one particular coach."

Doeren served as recruiting coordinator at KU and had a big hand in getting close to a dozen players to commit to Kansas. He left in early January to take a similar position at Wisconsin, where he's already landed a couple of late lunkers for the Badgers.

Though there are no guarantees until signing day wraps up today when letters of intent are inked, it appears all of the commitments originally chased by Doeren are staying with Kansas.

"It wasn't too much of a problem," Rockhurst High cornerback Phillip Strozier said. "(Doeren) called me and told me about it himself. I respect him a lot for that."

Strozier and teammate Sal Capra will sign their letters of intent in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. today at Rockhurst. Similar ceremonies will take place all around the country today, the festive day in which high school football players can first enter into a signed, binding pledge.

According to rivals.com, Kansas tentatively plans on about 20 high school seniors signing today to go with four junior-college transfers who signed in December.

Perhaps the most recognizable name is Salina Central running back Jake Sharp, who shattered Kansas high school records while leading the Mustangs to a Class 5A title. Sharp plans to be part of a ceremony with a few of his college-bound teammates at 8:45 this morning, though he plans to sign and fax his letter of intent right at 8 a.m. to get it out of the way.

Another local talent, southpaw quarterback Tyler Lawrence, will quietly sign and fax his letter this morning, too. Shawnee Mission West then will have a ceremony for him Thursday.

So far, KU's recruiting season has gone surprisingly clean.

No known defections have popped up as of Tuesday night, despite the Jayhawks' recruiting coordinator's departure during the height of the season.

"Things have been going strong," Mangino said. "It hasn't had any effect on our recruiting."

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