Friday, July 9, 2010

Miege lineman picks Kansas


After receiving commitments from four offensive linemen in a six-day stretch last month, the Kansas University football program had to wait nine whole days for its next.

That came Thursday, when Roeland Park Bishop Miege High’s Phil Ford became the sixth lineman in the Class of 2011 to orally commit to KU.

Ford, 6-foot-6, 342 pounds, told last week that he would make his decision on July 26, his birthday. But a couple of recent visits to campus fast-tracked the decision.

Ford has made no secret about his desire to head to Kansas all along. Now that he’s committed, his plan is to get as many of his football-playing friends to come with him.

“I’m going to try and get all the other players I know to come to KU,” Ford told Rivals on Thursday.

According to Ford, that idea was just fine with KU coach Turner Gill.

“He was pretty excited, and he told me they want to get all of the good local players and contend for a Big 12 title,” Ford told Rivals.

The two-star lineman becomes the 12th member of KU’s Class of 2011. He chose KU over Minnesota, a school that, at one point, was the leader for his services. He joins Damon Martin (6-5, 265), Nick Johnson (6-3, 290), Bryan Peters (6-5, 305), Travis Bodenstein (6-5, 295) and Luke Luhrsen (6-5, 275) as the latest member of KU’s 2011 crop of offensive lineman, the biggest such class at that position since 2003, when former KU coach Mark Mangino signed six offensive linemen.

“It feels good,” Ford said. “It was getting kind of crazy going to sleep and thinking about the two schools. I always dreamed about making a big play for KU on the video game to win at the end. I know a lot of people from my school that are going to KU. A lot of them will be happy that’s where I’m going.”


jhwkswn 7 years, 11 months ago

Rock chalk Big Phil! Looking forward to seeing you play. Make us proud!

jaybate 7 years, 11 months ago

Good lord! Lew is going to have put deep pilings under the football field to support the weight of all these enormous linemen that Gill is hauling in.

TopCityHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Rock Chalk!

Good luck, Phil, on your future athletic and academic endeavors...

Signing the best local talent will serve as solid ground to lay the foundation Coach Gill and company are currently constructing...

I am no Nostradamus, however, I am starting to get some pretty good vibes about the potential of Mr. Ford luring a couple of his mates to Kansas... Keep 'em coming!!!

Dirk Medema 7 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kyle Helmer 7 years, 11 months ago

Well good morning, Mr. Happy! FYI...35% of Rivals top 100 college football players make the NFL. Football is way more difficult to rank than basketbal, so just let it play out. I doubt you were very excited when we signed Reesing, Talib, Collins, Briscoe, etc. None higher than 3 stars.

youowethehawks 7 years, 11 months ago

The kid is 18 for cryin' out loud! He's got the frame and probably a good base of knowledge already, he might still be growing in to that massive frame. His skills, knowledge and body have the potential to develop tremedously over the next 4-5 years. Ford's signing is just TG stocking the fridge...

Calm down, have some breakfast, and bemoan some local kid's shot at D1 football some other time, or better yet, just keep it to yourself.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gchawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Welcome aboard Phil, proud of you for picking KU. As for Azalum, his post just reminds me of that old adage that "opinions are like a certain orifice, everyone has one", some just seem to be more prominent than others!!

Dan Harris 7 years, 11 months ago

Az- why don't you go buy a lottery ticket oh that's right you would bitch if you won because of the taxes you would have to pay! Go to some other sight for negative bs.

bayareajhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Welcome to the program, Phil! Great to see a local kid who loves the Jayhawks get a chance to suit up for the hometown heroes.

az, why are you always so negative about these new players and the new staff? Can't you at least let them screw up before you start blasting them? I don't know if you're a Mangino loyalist or not, but Gill and Co. had nothing to do with it. Take that up with Perkins.

Seriously, unless you are Mangino's Godson or a Mizzou troll why would you spend so much time on here being negative about people who haven't played or coached a game yet?

jakzhumans 7 years, 11 months ago

az - Aqib Talib was a 2-star recruit and turned into a first round draft pick. James Holt was a 2-star recruit and he's on an NFL roster too. Same for Anthony Collins. And Derek Fine. And Charles Gordon. We've had a string of other 2-star recruits who made various All-Big 12 teams, like Joe Mortensen and Charlton Keith and Jermail Ashley and Ryan Cantrell and Joe Vaughn and Chris Harris and Jake Laptad and Jon Cornish and Travis Dambach and Kevin Kane.

So why are you so down on Ford before he's even signed an LOI? Can't he even get through his first 24 hours as a Jayhawk without some schmuck complaining about his rating?

Dirk Medema 7 years, 11 months ago

schmucks will be schmucks. It really has nothing to do with Phil. It is their nature.

I'm pretty sure not all those guys were 2 *'s, but your point is extremely valid. 40's & 45's are nice players to find IMO. It means that Scout hasn't reviewed much of any tape on them, but has nothing to do with their ability. My guess is that several in this last class will be added to your list above. They were players that missed most of their jr yr, so there was no tape to review before their sr season when most of the ratings come out.

Phil sort of falls into that category, not that he was injured, but rather that he was out of shape. It's why he didn't get an offer in the first place. He accepted the challenge from Gill & Co. to get in shape, and within a few months had an offer. That's a GREAT attitude that will go a long ways - hopefully as a road grader for Darrian Miller and the other elite talent that will be jumping on board the band wagon when they realize that Turner will be as successful as he is personable.

Kman_blue 7 years, 11 months ago

Just for kicks I looked it up and all of those guys were 2 recruits. A couple even had the lowest rating possible, since they don't give out 1.

Stephen Johnson 7 years, 11 months ago

Signing the best local talent is key to KU's future football success. It was obvious that Minnesota also saw something good in Ford. I am excited about the players that Coach Gill and staff have brought in and there is more to come.

FSUJHAWK 7 years, 11 months ago

I know there has been much skepticism about HCTG's recruiting approach and the recent prospects verbally committing to KU.

The skeptics need to remember that when it comes to football our beloved KU is no OU or Texas. In order to have top recruits, including the ones from Kansas, commit to a place like KU they need to be confident that: (1) they have a decent chance of success (winning at the college level and/or getting drafted); (2) they will be on TV and; (3) there is much love in the joint, ie, KU Football = FAMILY. Having said that, what better way to win than by getting good character guys who are not flashy or highly rated but tough and smart? What better way to show love than by recruiting in-state and getting players who actually want to be at KU, not just for the free ride but for the crimson and blue? What better way to demonstrate that it’s all about family than by taking guys who no one believes in and giving them a fair shot in life and backing them up? HCTG will by taking a bunch of rough around the edges guys and take every team to task, and actually win some – even on TV, whenever they get a chance. Top recruits will start noticing that there is something special brewing at KU. Then it will only be a matter of time before the tide changes.

I think HCTG is taking the right approach, a place like KU can only take baby steps when it comes to success in football. However, this incremental approach will eventually build a program and not provide a flash in the pan a la Mark Mangino. Some days it will be good and some days it will be bad and even terrible. Let's all celebrate our freedom of speech but at the same time let's give our new HC and his staff the opportunity he deserves to prove he is the right guy for Ole KU.


rockchalknation 7 years, 11 months ago

Now We're Rock Chalkin'!

Another great addition to this recruitnig class!! Coach Grimes has some great material to work with and develop; chisel these lineman in the weight room and teach them technique and toughness! Let's continue to round out this class with more skill guys and the defensive side of the ball; we should feel very good about this class and the direction the program is headed.

Rock Chalk

Carter Patterson 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow....6'6" and 345? That's phenomenal.

Phil, you were given the size to be an NFL football player someday. If you put your heart and soul into the S&C program there may be a very large payday for you in about 4 years.

Rivethead 7 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. I think we need to accept the fact that Phil is a project. If he puts in the work (and loses some weight) he can have a stellar college career leading to an NFL paycheck.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 11 months ago

Check out or the and get the inside scoop that Phil has already lost 20lbs. That's why he got the offer, and a condition for getting it. The kid is motivated and that is a great character trait.

KUFan90 7 years, 11 months ago

Can you imagine being 6' 6" and 345 in freaking high school? Unbelievable...

305jhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

real talk, my brother got a text yesterday morning that read

"hey coach gil,I know you can't text me back but I love it at ku coach and being with dex all day was great! Ilove you and all the coaches at ku and I'm proud to be a jayhawk! And you will get the BEST of me in 2011 and on :) have a good day coach!"

obviously he's not coach gil so he did text back curious to see who it might be...but never got a response. it all makes sense now.

p.s. no worries, we'll be sure to keep ya updated on any new recruiting news we come across.

rgale29 7 years, 11 months ago

This kid is the real deal. Watch his team play Louisburg last year, and he was amazingly active and quick for his size, constantly downfield. Impressed me much more than their 4 star back/receiver that signed with the Okies. Barring injury and if he's got the work ethic he'll play on Sundays.

Mike Nicco 7 years, 11 months ago

Just curious....Does anybody know if we recruited the 3 star linemen from Abilene and Stillwater that agreed to Indiana and K-State?

Mike Kendall 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow! 6-6 and 345 lbs.? I feel sorry for the parents that have to feed him. If I worked at a "all you eat buffet, I would be worried if Phil came into the restaurant--all the food would be gone!!!!!!

stravinsky 7 years, 11 months ago

Azalum, I'm actually not going to argue with you at this point, you've already heard everything I have to say about this sort of topic. When somebody with that kind of body is rated that low, yeah, I'll admit you have a point.

I'm stoked to get the kid though. He'll be a project for sure, but he has the type of body that could develop to be really something. Let's hope that's how it goes.

100 7 years, 11 months ago


342 pounds????

Wow Coach Gill and staff are working!!!!

The protection is outrageous, let's start bringing in those 4 and 5 star speedy specialties who need protection, open lanes and a dynasty before the NFL!!!

Keep 'em comin' coach Gill!!!!

truefan 7 years, 11 months ago

Ford was ranked low because he used to weigh 380 lbs which was entirely too big to be in good enough shape to give 100% on every play in D1 football. Gill told him that if he could lose 40 lbs by the end of the summer that he would get an offer from KU based on his talent and dedication. Ford is now down to 340 and Gill kept his promise. Ford's video is very promissing. He doesn't hold much, good footwork, and when they need to run, they run behind him very successfully.

I'm excited about the kid because he doesn't have to play right away. He already has the size and will probably lose more weight before he ever sees the field which will only improve his footwork.

Even if you hate him, he might bring the highest rated player KU has ever gotten in Darrian Miller the #77 rated player in the country. And just to place a cherry on top he could bring one of the best corners in the KC metro area in Bernard Thomas.

Omari Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

Sure, it's important to get highly ranked talent. But keep in mind that Kansas kids don't play outside of the state due to a rather antiquated KSHAA rule. So if they're short of stellar, most in-state athletes have a harder time getting good looks from scouts than counterparts whose teams may travel to play impressive competition.

Coach Gill and other recruiters get good looks at kids like these at the elite camps. So, when we pick up kids that are overlooked and under-recruited, but really shine at camps, I tend to think that we've really made a dollar out of 15 cents.

Although it's a popular factor for us as armchair recruiters, it's generally not as easy just to look at how many stars the wizard behind the curtain has assigned to a kid to determine if he's certain D-1 talent or not.

High four and five-star athletes have turned heads and have certainly earned the right to be coveted by suitors far and wide. But when you're looking to build a program currently ranked somewhere in the mid 50's, you get those kids that you can build into pro-type talent because of their size, speed, natural ability and general upside. A kid this big and agile is one of those good bets.

And I applaud Coach Gill for placing as one of his priorities a movement to make KU a high choice for Kansas and the KC area players. There have been a lot of good local talent that produced for other schools as a result of us sleep on our back yard.

DevilHawk 7 years, 11 months ago

Now that all of these o-linemen have committed, I wonder if we might yet see one more OL coming to KU.

Ryker Mathews is a 4-star OL from Utah with offers from BYU, Utah, Utah State, and KU:

Kman_blue 7 years, 11 months ago

The word I've heard on him is that he's most likely trying to decide between Utah and BYU.

stravinsky 7 years, 11 months ago

If I were a 4 star OL from Utah, I'd prob stay home too. BYU and Utah have been two of the more consistently good programs in the last decade, and it doesn't look like much will change about that.

And Utah could contend for the Pac-10 title starting next season...

Love to have him, but I won't bet on it.

KGphoto 7 years, 11 months ago

The sheer volume of recruits (numbers and pounds) will produce at least a few great linemen, and a rock-solid bench.

I can't believe the activity TG has brought to his position. Coaching recruits. Lineman recruits. RB recruits. He's got recruits recruiting recruits.

Pretty exciting.

jaybate 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't see how anyone can do better than Gill is doing on such short notice.

Think of what he's going to drag in when he lays the pipeline, and starts really valving them into Larryland!

stravinsky 7 years, 11 months ago

Just hope he makes sure the blowout preventer is in working order!

(Current events jokes! Buh-dum-cha!)

(Although extending the metaphor further... if we were to get the football equivalent of the gulf coast disaster, would that just mean that everything would be covered in football? That endless amounts of football would just be POURING IN OVER EVERYTHING?)

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