Thursday, January 27, 2011

KU lands speedy WR Marquis Jackson

Kenneth Lynn expected to decommit


With less than a week remaining until signing day, the Kansas University football team continues to stack the Class of 2011.


Kansas fooball coach Turner Gill landed more speed to his recruiting class on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2011 with an oral commitment from receiver Marquis Jackson, a Texas native.

Wednesday, just two days after landing a junior-college linebacker with blazing speed, the Jayhawks learned that Marquis Jackson, an all-state wide receiver from Arlington Heights High in Fort Worth, Texas, had orally committed to Kansas.

Jackson, a 6-foot, 205-pound, three-star prospect, had no shortage of offers, as he turned down scholarships from Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska and UTEP to join the Jayhawks.

Like so many members of the Class of 2011, Jackson’s biggest asset appears to be his speed. The first-team all-state selection, who hauled in 44 passes for 1,186 yards this season, has consistently been clocked in the sub-4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash. His high school coach, Ged Kates, told Wednesday that there was much more to Jackson’s game than his wheels.

“When recruiters would come through the one word that stood out was ‘explosive,’” Kates told Rivals. “At every camp he was the fastest guy. He’s 205 pounds so he’s not small for a receiver. He’s our second-best squatter and squats over 500 pounds.”

Special teams and tight ends coach Aaron Stamn was the lead recruiter for Jackson and Kates said Stamn’s efforts to land the star receiver went a long way.

“I know he really likes coach Stamn and that was one reason,” Kates said. “I know he really enjoyed being around (head) coach (Turner) Gill. When coach Stamn was here and asked Marquis what he wanted at the next level, he told coach Stamn he wanted to play for coaches who will get the most out of him but feels like a family.”

The addition of Jackson, along with this week’s commitments from defensive ends Michael Reynolds and Javonte Daniel as well as linebacker Tunde Bakare, have put KU’s current recruiting class — Gill’s first complete class — on the brink of cracking the Top 30 nationally. The 2011 signing period opens Wednesday, with national signing day. Most of KU’s recruits are expected to make their commitments official then.

Cornerback jumps ship

While KU coach Turner Gill continues to add players to the Class of 2011, one prospect, cornerback Kenneth Lynn, appears poised to drop the Jayhawks.

Lynn, a 5-11, 165-pound corner from Dallas, originally committed to Iowa State but switched his commitment to the Jayhawks late last month.

Wednesday, reported that Lynn had switched back to ISU and that his high school coach expected it to stay that way.

Lynn’s second change of heart is not a huge surprise. Former KU wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt, who left for Texas earlier this month, was the lead recruiter for Lynn. With Wyatt gone, it seems as if that was enough to entice Lynn to stick with his original choice.


Phoggin_Loud 3 years, 2 months ago

Given the recent Iowa hospitalization incident, what is the chance that parents of recruits could be scared away? Specifically, Rodney Coe is a 4-star athlete who did visit Lawrence in December.;_ylt=AkyBoGfK_TkSWJacQVyFVv_BsJB4


DubaiHusker 3 years, 2 months ago

Guys, please excuse me for "trolling" but, just a reminder of a quote from ole Barry Switzer on why the Huskers were having so much trouble beating the Sooners during the 70's. " It ain't about the X's and the O's...its about the Jimmys and the Joes! The Sooners just had better athletes that made plays when the outcome of the game was on the line. Tell Coach Gill to "keep loading up the wagon"


KUDUDE 3 years, 2 months ago



bayareajhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

We need to win a couple of games next year, but we all need to be realistic, look at our schedule, and think about who our starting QB is going to be. Unless Webb or Mecham make serious improvements this offseason, we will be starting either a freshman QB or a mediocre QB. We have some good running backs, but who is going to block for them? The freshmen?

I want Gill to redshirt everybody he can, including Berglund. He should lay the best foundation he can for the future. Redshirt everybody! Gill has already proven he can recruit well after a losing season. Hopefully he only has to do that one more time.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love the guys to prove me wrong and win some games in the Big XII next year. It's just going to be tough. Whether we redshirt guys or not, we have 3 basically guaranteed losses, 1 game we ought to feel really good about winning, and 8 games that will be tough. I don't think redshirting these guys will dramatically affect our W-L record next year, but it could give us a chance to have a lot of experience in the future. Can you imagine this class as a bunch of 5th year Seniors? I agree with those above who were talking about building a dynasty. I think the dynasty move here is to redshirt these guys.


slowplay 3 years, 2 months ago

Just a quick rant about Div 1 head football coaches. By the time they reach this level they are usually competent football people. Their failures will not come from an X's & O's standpoint, but rather a from failure to hire good assistants, poor recruiting, poor player relationships, off field problems, offending alums, lack of communication, etc. etc. I think Gill will eventually do a good job because he seems to grasp the intangibles. That said, it's still about wins and he needs to show progress next year.


justanotherfan 3 years, 2 months ago

The thing I like about Gill is that he is upgrading the overall athleticism of the players on this team. He isn't just recruiting a guy to play X position. He's going out and signing athletes that, if necessary, can move from WR to DB, or RB to LB, or LB to DE, or DE to DT, or WR to S, or OL to DL, etc.

Gill saw through last season that his main problems were inconsistent line play on both sides of the ball, inconsistent QB play, a lack of depth at LB and a lack of defensive playmakers. So let's see how he and his staff have done addressing those needs.

Got verbals from six offensive linemen - 5 three star prospects and a two star. All but one of the OLs is 6-5 or taller, none weigh less than 260. Not saying that these guys will be starters or stars next season, but its depth and competition. And one of them is ALREADY ON CAMPUS for spring practice. Based on that, he gets a B+ for his work here.

Got verbals from three DE's. Not as big a splash here, but he has some athletes to work with here now. And moving Toben Opurum from RB to DE could end up having the biggest impact. On the recruiting side I can only give him a C+, particularly because Michael Reynolds is wavering on his commit. If he reels in all three, I could move that to a B-. If I count the Opurum move, he may have a solid B when all is said and done.

Two freshmen QB's committed, and Berglund is on campus for spring practice. Cummings is coming off an injury, so he is probably going to redshirt, but landing two QBs and getting one enrolled in time for the spring makes this an A-.

Last year's LB corps was wiped out by injury. Getting everyone healthy (and keeping them that way) by itself would probably net him a B-. But there's more. Three HS LBs and a JC transfer (who could come in and play immediately) are committed. That makes this a B+ area for the off season.

And that's not the whole class. The best RB in the KC area is committed to KU. The best RB in Wichita is already on campus. Several athletic players (Victor Simmons, Anthony Pierson, Alex Matlock) could make an impact on special teams early in their careers. And we grabbed a kicker, too.

I'd say that the staff has had a B+ off season. Let's hope this is the start of something big.


KGphoto 3 years, 2 months ago

It's not like we don't have tall receivers.

6'2" Ricki Herod 6'4" Brian Maura 6'3" Erick McGriff 6'4" Chris Omigie


Dale Kroening 3 years, 2 months ago

Anyone else notice he's listed as a sg, on the KU basketball recruiting page. Is he going to play fb and bb ?


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 2 months ago

Gill will fall flat on his face again like he did last year. Might as well plow up the football field and plant corn to make a profit.


100 3 years, 2 months ago


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

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

It's the Jimmy & Joes....."

---- NCAA Champion & NFL champion football coach, Barry Switzer

"Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!!!!!"

---- Head Coach Turner Gill, coach of a young man who is about to start in his first Super Bowl as a running back, a position he wasn't slated to play until Coach Gill moved him there.... At Buffalo, a school which couldn't recruit the broad side of a barn before Coach Gill arrived.

Ahperse..... Nice to hear from you....

And yes, we at Kansas, do finally understand the importance of outrecruiting your competitors....

It might have taken 121 years to figure it out (minus the glorious Kreb scandal unfefeated season, or an occasional great hit like Gale Sayers, John Riggins, Gilbert Brown, Dana Stubblefield, John Hadl or Tommy Johnson, our epic hero & Phog Allen's best friend as a student who died after an illegal hit from two Missouri Tigers)....

But the point is... We all get it now...

It's not about spreading 25 amazing football recruits across a century....

It's about grabbing 25 amazing players, right now, and praying they are faster than the other team....

And hoping that a strength facility at our school is the best in the nation, to make these 4.35 18 year olds, infringe on Bo Jackson's record NFL combine time of 4.17 by the time they depart after a great career here....

Maybe on graduation day they're "only" running a 4.31.... Or a 4.22.... Or heck even a 4.18....

But one thing is certain, whether they top Bo's time or not at the NFL combines... They will leave here faster than they were when they arrived...

There's a reason these fast kids are coming here....

We all get it now, Ahperse.....

Thanks for joining the force...

Speed does win championships in college football.

The foundation of a dynasty is being born right here in Lawrence, Kansas.

It is all about the players.

And we as fans, must not settle anymore for slow players & short stubby lineman like we did in the 80's....

It's all about recruiting.

We should support & encourage Coach Gill to go for that top class every year.

It's a new age here in Lawrence & I'm glad you're along for the ride.....

Because we're gonna be fast!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep bringin 'em in Coach Gill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phoggin_Loud 3 years, 2 months ago

Ultimately, KU needs Turner Gill to succeed.

Turner Gill is the 37th Head Football Coach since 1890 which means the average coaching tenure is less than 4 years. Conversely, Bill Self is the 8th Head Basketball Coach since 1898. This averages out to over 14 years per coach.

I understand that this is an "apples & oranges" comparison, but there has to be stability in order to build a program. KU football has never "built" it's program. The overall record is 569-556-58. This sort of mediocrity will impact all of KU's sports due to the economic impact of football. If KU wants to be a national player and solidify it's conference stability (Big XII or other), they NEED to build a legitimate football program. Turner Gill has to be the guy to do it. No longer can we hope that maybe Coach #38 will do it. No longer can we be satisfied with mediocrity. No longer can we be a "basketball school" only. We need Turner Gill to succeed.

Turner Gill is the only coach in recent memory that has taken a "build a dynasty" approach at KU. He has the opportunity to stay for a long time and be THE guy to legitimately build a football program at KU. He has the intelligence, drive, determination, and experience to be a successful BCS Head Coach. He has some unknowns as well, but don't we all? Ultimately, if we want KU to succeed on the national landscape then we all need to give him 100% of our support; win, lose, or draw.

KU needs Turner Gill to succeed!


hawksfan08 3 years, 2 months ago

You don't have to be able to coach to win.

See: Les Miles, Rick Barnes.


trout984bum 3 years, 2 months ago

troutsee: Don't you mean "The jury is still out"?


741hawk 3 years, 2 months ago

cusack118: Right on. Improving recruiting is one thing, but coaching (preparation and game day) separates those who CAN recruit into two categories: big winners and also-rans.

Hearing from the players after the Colorado game that they had never practiced a surprise on-side kick convinced me that this head coach is not going to cut it.

I could be wrong, but I know where I'd place my bet.


troutsee 3 years, 2 months ago

Great recruiting class considering our on-field performances last year. Still we did win 3 games and made a game of it against MU, NU, and ISU. We will be better next year but our record might be the same and we might not even have a winning record two years from now. It will probably be in Gill's fourth year that these recruits come of age. I hope it comes sooner and perhaps it will, but it is difficult to see a quick turnaround.

School is still out on Gill's coaching abilities, but I think he has the makings to be a very good coach and taking us to the next level.

Incidently, I don't think you need to jump around on the sideline to be a good head coach. Bill Snyder, Tom Osborne, and Bud Wilkinson were not rah-rah guys. \

Coaches, congratulations on a great job of recruiting and thanks for all of your hard work.


Andy Tweedy 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not a rivals subscriber, but I occasionally check it out to see what they think of our recruits. If you go to their KU page, this guy is actually listed as a commit for basketball as well, where it says he is a shooting guard but has no star rating. Strange! Anybody notice this? Is there anything to that?


HAWKTOPIA 3 years, 2 months ago

All things being equal, size wins. But speed beats size every time. Remember that the defence has to stay with him, not the other way around. (This is why the toughest position is defensive back. They have to tackle runners head on, then cover the fastest players on the field.) This is another great signing.


Chris Bruning 3 years, 2 months ago

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


ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 2 months ago

great another 6 footer. someone call adidas, we are going to need another medium football jersey!

i've noticed the word "speedy" has been substuted for the word "short" with our last couple of recruits!

a 6' reciever is like a 6'3" power forward. what's the point!

ok, i'm done. no seriously. done for a while. this class has turned out way better than i or even most homers (excluding 100, who expects a top 10 class every year) could of imagined considering our on field preformance last season. i've always said all ku football needs to be is a top 30 team in the country and most fans would be more than happy. here's to hoping this class pans out like forcasted!

man! that was hard to say/type!!!!!


clevelandjayhawker 3 years, 2 months ago

I will feel better once it is signed in ink, I hope we dont "lose" anymore recruits like this. Super excited for KU football (even if i think it may be 2012 till we see a turnaround in our record) Rock Chalk


Keith Hummel 3 years, 2 months ago

Kudos to Coach Gill and staff on another awesome recruit. Welcome Marquis!

While I'm officially a member of the "Homer" camp, I share the sentiments of cusack118 and NebraskaJayhawk. Gill has lived up to his recruiting promise, now he has to put a better product on the field. This team is still extremely young and inexperienced, but they are loaded with speed and raw talent. If they are not a bunch more competitive next year, I will be very disappointed. No more excuses.


jhox 3 years, 2 months ago

We're finally going to have the speed to compete with Big 12 teams. Next season may still be a struggle for us, but hopefully by 2012 this group will be ready to contribute, big time.

My one knock on Gill early on last season was that our team was not fired up when they came on the field, and that Gill, himself, didn't show any emotion. To his credit, I think he figured that out and it was not nearly so much of a problem later in the season.

I'm going to withhold judgement on his X's ans O's ability until 2012, when we have the speed and experience to start competing with Big 12 teams.


NebraskaJayhawk 3 years, 2 months ago

There's been several posts the last couple of weeks about the need to add some defensive linemen. I think what some people are forgetting is that there was a lot of talk previously that a couple of the (6) offensive linemen that were recruited were in fact recruited for the defensive line. I think Gill has his ducks in a row as far as recruiting goes. I will say, however, that I agree somewhat with Cusack118's remark about in-game coaching. I am looking forward to seeing what Gill does with this talent he has landed. Hopefully these guys come in, work hard to improve their skills, and start winning games in a year or two.


Dirk Medema 3 years, 2 months ago

Speed to spread the field and the strength to spring loose one of the blazing RB's. Sounds great.


KU_Alumn_2000 3 years, 2 months ago

I see this guy being the next Dez Brisco...only about 3 inches shorter. Jackson might be more explosive in the open field though.

Coach Gill - I'm impressed...keep up the nice work you and your coaching staff have done with recruiting. Maybe a couple more quality defensive linemen would help tremendously.


David Hodges 3 years, 2 months ago

Man it gets harder and harder for the Gill haters to talk... keep up the good work.


Chris Bruning 3 years, 2 months ago

Brock Berglund drops back, he's lookin, avoids one tackle, he's goin deep. Got it! Marquis Jackson catches it and outruns his defender for a 74-yard pass and catch TD!!!! And they are wavin the wheat here in Lawrence!

Be ready for this next fall Jayhawk Nation!!!

After we handle our business in March and April of course


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