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