Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jayhawk football adds speed with linebacker Tunde Bakare


The Kansas University football team’s continued quest to add speed this offseason may have just landed its biggest burner.

Monday, Tunde Bakare, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound linebacker from Highland Community College, told that he planned to join the Jayhawks.

Bakare, who has been clocked as fast as 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, chose Kansas over offers from East Carolina, Iowa State and Minnesota. USC and Boise State also showed heavy interest.

Bakare, who originally hails from Forest Park High in Woodbridge, Va., said he chose KU after visiting last weekend because of the family atmosphere.

“The players want to win at Kansas,” he told Rivals. “The players at Kansas are hungry. I’m ready to go in there and get to work.”

What exactly that work will lead to remains to be seen, but Bakare said KU defensive coordinator Carl Torbush already had a few ideas in mind.

“Coach Torbush said I would be like a hybrid for them,” Bakare said. “He liked how I could make plays. He did a great job recruiting me. He didn’t sugar-coat anything. He told me about his coaching background and how he planned on using me. He liked my speed and I plan on getting faster.”


Chris Bruning 7 years, 5 months ago

awesome! keep it up coaches, you're doing such a great job!!!

KU_Alumn_2000 7 years, 5 months ago

Love it - maybe we can get another d-lineman or two before this class is finished.

Andy Hess 7 years, 5 months ago

i wouldn't count on it. NCAA prohibits any team from signing any more than 25 scholarship players. as of now we are either at our limit of 25 or over at 26. to get any more signees, people will have to either a) back out of their commitments or b) take a grayshirt.

Drew Alan 7 years, 5 months ago

We do have 26 players in the class coming in. However, 3 of them are on campus and enrolled in classes this spring, so for the NCAA those 3 count towards last years class. So technically we are at 23 for next year and can probably add 2 more without hitting the total limit of 85, since last years class was so small and we had a bit of attrition prior to and during the season.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought I read somewhere that only JUCO guys can count towards the previous year, but I could be wrong.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

One blogger has said that HS early enrollees can not be count against the previous class, but a writer for - who covers recruiting very well, and has even been referenced on this site, has commented that HS early enrollees indeed can count towards the previous class. Owen is a more reliable source in my opinion. Is it posible that Tunde will still enroll for spring classes?

Andy Hess 7 years, 5 months ago

wrong. the only ones who count for the previous year are JUCO guys, which our early entrants are not.

Matt Tait 7 years, 5 months ago

It's my understanding that Julius Green is the only one who can count toward the 2010 Class because he actually graduated from high school in 2010.

All the rest, early enrollment or not, are in the Class of 2011.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

Matt - How does your understanding correlate with the rules that KC notes near the end of all this?

Maybe you or Jesse can do some research on this and write a little article to enlighten the masses. You guys in particular are so good at that - actually researching a topic and writing about it vs. just putting a bunch of thoughts on a page.

Alex Berger 7 years, 5 months ago

Since the early enrollees (enrollers? enrolli?) enrolled in the Spring semester they would have to graduate in 2010 which makes them 2010 recruits. There is an article on SI talking about how USC is able to get around some of the sanctions this year because they had 9 athletes enroll in the spring and are counted for last year's class.

minnhawk84 7 years, 5 months ago

How can he get faster than 4.35? WOW! And I'll let the KU coaching staff count the scholarships; if he was on campus last weekend, he'll get a scholarship/pell grant or something.

Jhawk59 7 years, 5 months ago

There is about a 0% chance he runs an electric 4.35, this is probably some old coach with a stopwatch which means it's probably more like 4.55, still good though!

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

At, there is discussion that the more consistent times he has run are in the 4.4 - 4.5 range, which is still plenty fast for a LB, and a real nice upgrade.

Ryan Gerstner 7 years, 5 months ago

Swish, not quite how it works, but nice try. KU already has 3 of this year's class on campus so you can back 3 off of that number. KU should be able to squeeze a couple more guys in this class.

Andy Hess 7 years, 5 months ago

nice try? since when do you know anything about this at all? why don't you explain your expert opinion and provide some sort of link to validate that ridiculousness.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

Swish - How about KC's ridiculous ref of the rules book later in this blog, or the reference to the SI article right above yours?

Personally, I know next to nothing about all this, but am glad I ask questions and read the info (vs. opinions) provided by others.

Nice try.

Andy Hess 7 years, 5 months ago

not my fault that you believe every bit of nonsense you read instead of using your head and actually thinking about the situation. nice try. also, eat me.

Jayhawk1116 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, it's getting tougher for you, isn't it?

redlegger 7 years, 5 months ago

Shouldn't you excuse yourself after queefing like that - where are your manners?

Displayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Did anybody else think of Willie Pless after reading this article??? Great job HCTG and staff on this years recruiting class.

justanotherfan 7 years, 5 months ago

If you have a chance, check out some film on Bakare. He hits like a truck and can really fly to the ball. There's video of him on the internet and all it shows is him blowing guys up in space. He's a little small, but can cover ground and hits like he's 6-2, 235.

Beakem77 7 years, 5 months ago

I hope he's just jawin' - this would really be unfortunate.... Good find.

Tait, we need an update!

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 5 months ago

Sign of the times. Maybe just covering his bets. Like the girl who agrees to go to the prom with the debate captain, and then dumps him at the last minute when the quarterback asks her.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 5 months ago

That stuff certainly happens. I'm pretty sure Jacob Lacey of the Colts was at one time a KU verbal, and others I'm sure. But I haven't heard that type of stuff from the others, so if he's the only one, that's pretty good!

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

You should visit more often. Owen posted the link last night.

100 7 years, 5 months ago


That's nearly the fastest 40 in college football!!!!

That's also as fast as Bo Jackson was running as a freshman!!!!!!

(will Alexander be next? That's another 4 star stud leaning towards KU)

Keep 'em coming Coach Gill!!!!!!!!!!!!

KGphoto 7 years, 5 months ago

Bo Jackson!?!

Reel it in 100.

Bo Jackson broke the stopwatch and the man holding it. Let's not have one just yet.

100 7 years, 4 months ago

Bo was amazing, ran the fastest digitally timed 40 ever at an NFL combine. I believe it was 4.17.

That said, how fast do you think his 40 time was going into college?

I'll tell you: 4.3....

His training at Auburn helped develop his already incredible speed. It's not like he was running a 4.17 out of high school.

And yes he did break the stopwatch & the coach holding it!!!!!!

rastameta 7 years, 4 months ago

Alexander IS NOT leaning towards KU. There is 0% he would pick KU. Bad information.

100 7 years, 4 months ago

Your words:

  1. "o percent chance...."

  2. "impossible"

All this in the face of what was reported a couple days ago about Alexander considering Kansas.

Do you have a reason you don't want Alexander?

If so do tell, the kid is a stud, perfect for Gill's system.

kureader 7 years, 5 months ago

Tait, it's great getting regular signing updates like this. Stuff like this makes me want to check the paper every day. Thanks.

okiedave 7 years, 5 months ago

Happy to see Gill having good success in recruiting. I recall that was his mantra, recruit, recruit and recruit. My only grief is we are not likely to see the fruits of the recruiting until 2013. However, Tunde Bakare should be able to provide immediate impact.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

4.35 at LB.

Sick. Put on some weight, Mr. Bakare, but keep that speed.

redlegger 7 years, 5 months ago

“The players at Kansas are hungry. I’m ready to go in there and get to work.”

Great attitude - check Great speed - check Great fundamentals - check

Not only can Tunde (Akintunde) hit, but he takes great angles, knows how to wrap-up the ball carrier, and seems to create turnovers. Can't wait to see him in action with a Jayhawk uniform on!

KCHawk81 7 years, 5 months ago

From the NCAA bylaws (

Relevant passages are below. The way I'm reading it, I was wrong on initial counters--article seems to apply to Berglund, Admire, and Miller. Reynolds is wavering in his commitment from what I've read, so we're at 22 (or 23 if you count Reynolds). Matt (or anyone else), do you know how many total scholarship players we have returning? Limitation on Number of National Letter of Intent/Offer of Financial Aid Signings—Bowl Subdivision Football. [FBS] In bowl subdivision football, there shall be an annual limit of 28 on the number 120 of prospective student-athletes who may sign a National Letter of Intent or an institutional offer of financial aid from the initial signing date of the regular signing period of the National Letter of Intent through May 31. (Adopted: 1/16/10 effective 8/1/10) Limitation on Number of National Letter of Intent/Offer of Financial Aid Signings—Bowl Subdivision Football. [FBS] In bowl subdivision football, there shall be an annual limit of 28 on the number of prospective student-athletes who may sign a National Letter of Intent or an institutional offer of financial aid from the initial signing date of the regular signing period of the National Letter of Intent through May 31. (Adopted: 1/16/10 effective 8/1/10) Recruited Student-Athlete Entering after Fall Term, Aided in First Year. [FBS/FCS] A student-athlete recruited by the awarding institution who enters after the first term of the academic year and immediately receives institutional financial aid (based in any degree on athletics ability) shall be an initial counter for either the current academic year (if the institution’s annual limit has not been reached) or the next academic year. The student-athlete shall be included in the institution’s total counter limit during the academic year in which the aid was first received.

texashawk10 7 years, 5 months ago

I know ESPN isn't the greatest place to look at for recruiting, but I do so more to read the descriptions of the players along with Rivals and Scout. One interesting thing on ESPN and Scout is that they both have him classified as a Safety. With his size and speed if it is actually is in the 4.4 range, he already has the ideal size and speed to play safety at the D1 level. Then again, Huldon Tharpe was an undersized LB in 2009 and showed great potential there and LB is one of the thinnest positions on the team so we'll have to see what position he ends up at.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 5 months ago

Very cool! Speed! Speed! Speed! Keep em coming coach! Welcome to Jayhawk nation!

KGphoto 7 years, 5 months ago

4.4... or so, at 215 in H.S.

I'm impressed.

Alongside a healthy Huldon Tharp, he should help shrink the field by 10 yards.

Just don't move him to R.B. or some sht. Leave him at LB.

hawkalumN2011 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, Matt....for the continued KU football coverage!!

DevilHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

It also seems that Kenneth Lynn switched his commitment back to Iowa State.

KGphoto 7 years, 4 months ago

Gotta love 4.4 at 210 pounds. Man we are getting fast.

Just going over some of the speed that wasn't on the field last year.

RB - Brandon Bourbon < 4.4 LB - Huldon Tharp < 4.5 LB - Tunde Bakare < 4.4 LB - Jake Love = 4.5 LB - Ben Heeney = 4.5 LB - Jason Hensley = 4.5 ATL - Anthony Pierson < 4.5 CB - Chris Robinson = 4.4 WR - Marquis Jackson = 4.4

Just at LB alone we are a different team!

Ben Kliewer 7 years, 4 months ago

Just checked the recruiting boards. You probably already know this, but...

p> has Kansas at 39 overall, 7th in the Big 12, but it's counting Nebraska at #5, so technically we're 6th in the Big 12-2 The last highest ranking for KU on Scout was 47 in 2006.

On Rivals we dropped one spot to #34 overall, but it has KU 6th in the Big 12 and Nebraska 4th, so technically Rivals has Kansas 5th in the Big 12-2. The last highest incoming class was 31st overall in 2009, 38th in '06, 39 in '03.

ESPN only lists the top 25, and we haven't been in ESPN's top 25 in the last 6 years. Although Colorado had a top 25 recruiting class on ESPN in, who knows what that means.

Although I can't help but notice the drastic discrepancies between Scout and Rivals. Scout seems to judge classes and individual players harsher than Rivals. 4 stars on Rivals are 3 stars on Scout, and 3 stars are 2 etc.

For example: 2006 Rivals ranked our recruiting class 38, Scout ranked it 47 2007 Rivals 50, Scout 78 2009 Rivals 31, Scout 50.

Which really goes to show that recruiting ranking is subjective and not an exact science. But within a common system (mostly being used here is Rivals) it's neat to compare classes. Seeing as we're very well within the range of the best recruiting classes of the last decade...or longer, it's very exciting.

Now, we'll see if they can be coached, and I cannot stress enough that this remains to be seen...

DevilHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

This is an impressive class from KU's perspective, but it may take a year or two before these recruits contribute - and probably two or three years before they contribute without making costly mental errors.

As for coaching: 90% true.

We have Beaty coaching receivers again in addition to being co-OC, so that should count for something.

Gill still has a lot to prove, but this recruiting class (his first true recruiting class at KU) is certainly a step in the right direction.

DevilHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Scout finally updated their list for KU to include today's changes (+Jackson; -Lynn). They now have this class at # 5 in the Big 12(-2).

There is only a 16 point difference between our class and A&M's class, but it's enough to put this class into the top half of the conference.

Rivals also has us in the top half of the conference now with a 24 point lead over A&M.

panalytic 7 years, 4 months ago

Nice job Kleave. I just checked this to see if there was some news about how well we were doing with recruiting and your post helped out. I was also wondering about the discrepancy between rivals and scout and how our guys don't seem to do as well on scout.

Your wait and see approach may be warranted. I will say that I am looking at this recruiting as a positive sign. It is a large class and comparable to some of our best classes in recent years. Gill's first class looks pretty good overall. Heck, it is not even the spring yet, so we might as well be optimistic now. Maybe all these fast guys are going to add some excitement along with increased competitiveness.

Seems like it is time for some more football analysis on this site. Matt?? What do you think????

babyjay1 7 years, 4 months ago

Just fyi... According to Rivals, we now also have a committment from Marquis Jackson, , all state WR from Arlington, TX. Picked us over offers from Ark, Neb, KSU, Baylor and Houston! Rock Chalk

GridironHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

And this guy has a 4.4 40. Gill sure is following through with his speed commitment.

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