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Saturday, July 31, 2010

On second thought, preps pick KU

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Friday turned out to be quite the day for the Kansas University football program.

Just days after learning that offensive lineman Dylan Admire, out of Blue Valley West High, had decommitted from Nebraska, head coach Turner Gill and the Jayhawks found out that Admire was coming to Kansas.

After a visit to KU with his parents Friday, Admire, 6-foot-3, 264 pounds, told the coaches he would make a decision on KU within 24 hours. On the drive home, he placed the call to Gill and orally committed to Kansas.

“When we got there, the whole staff was sitting there waiting for me,” Admire told Rivals.com. “You can’t ask for more of a welcoming committee than that. I talked with the coaches for a while. Then I talked to the weight coaches and the academic people. I had a chance to sit down and talk with coach Turner Gill for an hour.”

Admire, a three-star guard in the Class of 2011, is the second-rated offensive lineman in Kansas and the 26th-rated guard in the nation. He became the seventh O-line prospect in his class to commit to Kansas and joins Damon Martin, 6-5, 265; Nick Johnson, 6-3, 290; Bryan Peters, 6-5, 305; Travis Bodenstein, 6-5, 295; Phil Ford, 6-6, 325; and Luke Luhrsen, 6-5, 275, in a deep and talented class of offensive lineman.

That wasn’t the only big news the Jayhawks received Friday, as another member of the Class of 2011 also announced that KU was his second first choice.

Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd, a 5-11, 170-pound wideout from Horn High in Mesquite, Texas, announced Friday that he had orally committed to Kansas. Shepherd, a three-star prospect with 4.5-second 40-yard dash speed, had previously committed to Iowa.

Despite the change of heart, Shepherd made sure to emphasize that his decision was more about what Kansas could offer and not what Iowa could not.

“It didn’t have anything to do with Iowa at all,” he told Rivals.com. “I think I will fit in better with the offense at Kansas. I talked with (wide receivers) coach (Darrell) Wyatt and (offensive coordinator) Chuck Long about it. They like my versatility and what I can do when I get the ball in my hands.”

According to Rivals, Shepherd is the 10th-rated receiver in Texas and one of the state’s top 100 players in his class.

Earlier this week, KU received another oral commitment, when Alma (Ark.) High linebacker Jason Hensley decided to join the Jayhawks.

Hensley is the second linebacker in the Class of 2011 to pledge his services to the Jayhawks. Three-star linebacker Jake Love, of Tonkawa, Okla., did so in early May.

Like Love and the dozen other players who committed before him, Hensley told Rivals.com that one of the biggest reasons he committed to KU was the coaching staff.

“I just like everything about Kansas; it’s a perfect fit for me,” Hensley said. “When I showed up for my visit, all of the coaches were waiting for me. That was really a big thing. Also, talking to coach (Carl) Torbush (defensive coordinator) was a great experience for me. He was one of the big reasons why I committed to Kansas, along with coach Gill.”

Hensley informed Gill of his decision while sitting in his office. Moments after he processed what he had heard, Gill got up from his desk and gave Hensley a hug.

Kansas has been in the lead for Hensley for quite some time, making this week’s announcement not much of a surprise. The only other scholarship offer Hensley had was from Tulsa, though Arkansas and Oklahoma State both were showing strong interest. Hensley also had been on LSU’s radar throughout the summer.

In Hensley, the Jayhawks land a linebacker with athleticism and a college football body. At 6-2, 215 pounds with good speed, many have said that Hensley physically is ready to play college ball now. As a junior at Alma High, he racked up 118 tackles and six sacks while being named all-conference.

In all, KU’s 2011 class now includes 15 players.

Comments

KU_Alumn_2000 11 years, 6 months ago

This is good news for our offensive line. Wow...in about 2 or 3 years from now...our O-Line will be stacked.

Wonder if we have any leads on some defensive linemen. Our D-Line needs some big time help.

Also - Does anyone know if we have any hope for some 4 star recruits? All of our recruits so far have been 3 star or below. Seems like we usually land at least one or two 4 stars.

truefan 11 years, 6 months ago

Darrian Miller is a 4 star running back out of Blue Springs, MO. He has been high on KU this whole time. He committed early and then decommitted because he wants to see what our offense looks like before he makes his final decision.

We picked up his friend Phil Ford who is a monster O-linemen and we are going hard after his friend Bernard Thomas who is an awesome CB with good size and speed. It looks pretty promising that we'll get him, but we will have to be patient.

rockchalknation 11 years, 6 months ago

Great News!! Tremendous progress and quality with this recruiting class. Time for practice to begin. I believe we will pick up some more great players to round out this recruitng class as recruits get a chance to see our team perform on the field at a sold out Memorial Staduim this fall.

RCJ!!

truefan 11 years, 6 months ago

Brandon Bourbon is sick. He put up the best SPARQ rating in the nation. Check out his combine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvSL_bYHgek

KGphoto 11 years, 6 months ago

He just runs so effortlessly. He almost looks slow, then he's out in front by a mile. I love that he thinks he can house it every time he gets the ball. Can't wait to see him receiving too.

truefan 11 years, 6 months ago

If we land Darrian Miller he would be our first Rivals Top 100 player ever. Mangino never got close to landing a top 100 prospect.

OCJHAWK 11 years, 6 months ago

Was a early skeptic of this years class. Now if we close well this will be an impressive class for many reasons.

Coming off a terrible year and a new unproven coaching staff.

Other than a few real blue chips we are really getting a load of KS/KC recruits. If we have a good year on the field we should be able to become the program of first choice for local stars.

Can't wait for September.

Matt Tait 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure which guys that might apply to, but I've heard that that could definitely be a possibility. And it makes sense, too. Taking seven O-Linemen in one class is a lot for any school.

It could, however, just be a precautionary move against de-commitments and things of that nature.

Either way, it's a good crop of big boys up front.

Lone_salina_kufan 11 years, 6 months ago

Matt,

Wasn't there some highlights of Phil Ford playin D-Line on his tapes? I know its odd to suggest a guy who received Oline coaching the level of Tim Grunhardt(sp?) should switch, but I thought he had the mentality and looked more comfortable on defensive side. Any chance of that?

David Lara 11 years, 6 months ago

Ford's size on the D-line would certainly give some push, assuming a lot of that 350 lbs is muscle, but you don't usually see the 6'5" variety on that side of the ball. For D-line I'm thinking staying low and fill the gaps, but maybe with all that weight he won't have to worry about his height making it easier to get stood up and moved out. Seems to me, if he has the footwork, he is the prototype for OT, but he's not even a frosh yet. Guess we'll see.

KGphoto 11 years, 6 months ago

I'd love to have 6'5" in the middle of the D-line, disrupting passing lanes and knocking down passes. Suh is so great at that.

Joe Ross 11 years, 6 months ago

I have no problem with recruiting 7 O-Linemen. Sure, it may be cautionary against decommits, but if they all stay it will ensure depth at the positions in case of injury or sub-par play. Competition for spots hones skills and makes them get better. The lines have been a little suspect for Kansas and I think it's wise to focus on them and beef them up. There are still schollies left for skill positions, so why not go out and get a slate of wide-bodies to anchor the offense?

ShockHawk10 11 years, 6 months ago

Some are getting too hung up on Rivals rankings, they are mearly an overview of a recruit. Trust the ability of the coaching staff to evaluate talent. I'm excited about this class and the team that will step on the field in a month. Our program is in a positive place and it looks like things are only getting better. RCJH!

NebraskaJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Very good point, ShockHawk. Callahan got all kinds of 5 star recruits when he was at Nebraska......and stunk! I was at the 74 or 76 point drubbing we gave them in Lawrence. Was one of the greatest days of my life.

I can't wait to see what this offense looks like. Man, with Kale Pick at the helm this year and an already experienced line (less Spikes), I think we are set to go right into an option offense. Let me tell you something else...the disfunctional big XII is going to see a lot of Michael Cummings in the years to come. Can't wait for this guy to get here next year.

http://theshiver.com/2010/07/michael-cummings/

Jonathan Briles 11 years, 6 months ago

Add 3 or 4 inches on to this kids height and he would have offers from every school in texas and have a much better rating. He looks like an absolute steal and great talent that I'm really excited to have.

NebraskaJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Now my rebuttle. We need 5-star recruits to compete year in and year out for a national title. Just saying...

Mark Lindrud 11 years, 6 months ago

I do agree that 4/5 star recruits will get us to the next level, but right now those players want Kansas to show them something. We start winning and they will come. This is going to be a good class that will be productive. Win some games and go to a bowl game and I bet the 4/5 star recruits will start knocking on Coach Gill's door soon.

We just need to be a consistent winning program and things will improve even more and more. From what I have seen so far Coach Gill is a winner who is positive and creates a winning environment. Attitude is contagious and Gill's attitude is slowly, but surely rubbing off on everyone especially the young athletes in our program and the ones he wants to join our program.

Omari Miller 11 years, 6 months ago

Excellent point... especially regarding a program in transition. Even among the services like Rivals, ESPN, Scout, etc., you'll see a wide range in reviews on any given recruit. The art of evaluating the current ability and potential of a junior in high school to produce at a college program at some point in the future involves far more than seeing how many stars he has at Rivals.com. No doubt, if we're getting 4 and 5 stars, it's probably a safe bet that we'll get some great contributors. But seriously, earlier this year, on this site, we had KU fans writing in talking about how the football program was doomed to mediocrity because Kansas is a "basketball school".

These recruits are reviewed as solid talent, but more importantly, I think there are two great takeaways from this development.

1) Coach Gill and staff can convert commits to schools that have typically been considered as having bigger/better football programs.

2) KU is starting to keep top KC metro area and in-state talent.

Both of these bode well for the future of KU football.

DevilHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

It does help when Nebraska bolts from the conference and when we will be playing all of the Texas schools...

Tony Bandle 11 years, 6 months ago

Don't be surprised if down the line you see a couple of these kids on the defensive side. Several of them are two way players and wer'll see how they grow and develope.

WOW...I was an All-State defensive end in the sixties. At 6'-3", 190 lbs, I was one of the bigger guys. Now, I don't think my size would qualify me for free safety....maybe not even kicker!!!

JJHAWK 11 years, 6 months ago

Anyone know how many schollies are available this year?

100 11 years, 6 months ago

All I know is two Big 10 recruits just decomitted from Big 10 schools to become...

Kansas Jayhawks!

Thanks Coach Gill!

Keep 'em coming!

We got the line, now let's bring in those Speedy 5 star specialties!

It's not the X's & O's...

It's the Jimmy & Joes....

And thanks to Coach Gill...

Jimmy & Joe have just decided to play Big XXII football and become the foundation for a Jayhawk sans Gills dynasty....

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 6 months ago

Uh, why do you want a dynasty without Gill?

troutsee 11 years, 6 months ago

Looking at MU commit list is a depressing. Currently MU's recruiting class is ranked #21 with 7 4-star commits.

Kman_blue 11 years, 6 months ago

I agree, MU is nothing but a bunch of depressing failures. How many times can 1 school fail?

NebraskaJayhawk 11 years, 6 months ago

They have a really good recruiting class coming in this year and looks like next year might be even better.

truefan 11 years, 6 months ago

I think troutsee must be looking at Mizzou's class from last year on Rivals. This year they only have 10 commits to our 15, and only one of theirs is a 4 star.

Overall we're recruiting toe to toe with them and may even end up with a better class this year.

s6u6r6f 11 years, 6 months ago

Kansas will always have a better class than Missouri. Missouri could take all the five-star players in the nation and Kansas recruit but pregnant women and ginger children and Kansas would still have a better class than Missouri. The defining word is class. Toxic Columbia ravages youthful prefrontal lobes and turns Marilyns into Mansons.

DevilHawk 11 years, 6 months ago

Good TheShiver article on Admire: http://theshiver.com/2010/07/second-time-is-the-charm/

It's always good when guys have a winning attitude: " 'We are going to do some great things when we get on campus,' said Admire. 'We are going to work hard and try to win a national championship,' Admire added."

100 11 years, 6 months ago

"National Championship"

... Those are the kind of words from recruits I like to hear...

"Dynasty"

... That's the kind of word I like to hear from our coach.

"Recruit, Recruit, Recruit."

... The game is won in the trenches. Keep bringin 'em in Coach Gill.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 6 months ago

In every great plan there is a practical progression. Like building a house. There is order and sequence of activities that have to be done in certain sequence and at a certain time. And it takes time. I think Gill is doing it right. Time will tell. But I like that first he is winning hearts and minds before he wins any games. There is a lot to that. He is apparently putting a lot of effort on the oline. Overall greater emphasis on recruiting. Emphasis on weight training. Emphasis on personal responsibility off the field is more likely to create a sense of it on the field. Do you guys think he learned anything at Nebraska? How do you think they Huskers recruited to Lincoln? Was it the culture of Lincoln? It was the culture of NU Football. If some of you don't respect Gill yet, at least respect the idea that he learned a few things from Tom Osborne.

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