As the 2012 season played out and the Kansas University football team routinely struggled in the kicking game, KU coach Charlie Weis made it clear that upgrading the position would be a top priority in the offseason.
Sunday, after welcoming more than a dozen recruits in for the weekend, Weis learned he was at least part of the way there when Trevor Pardula, of DeAnza College in California, orally committed to the Jayhawks.
Pardula, who is from San Jose, Calif., chose the Jayhawks over San Jose State. According to Rivals.com, those were the only schools to offer the 6-foot-5, 210-pound punter and kickoff specialist.
Last season, while earning all-conference honors, Pardula averaged 44 yards per punt and landed 14 kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
Many recruiting analysts expected Pardula to be tough to pull away from his home state. But it sounds like this weekend’s visit, which was hosted by quarterback Turner Baty, put Kansas over the top.
“I liked everything about the visit,” Pardula told JayhawkSlant.com’s Jon Kirby. “Everything blew my expectations away. All of the guys on the team were great.”
Pardula becomes the 14th member of KU’s current recruiting class. He is expected to graduate this month and will enroll in classes at KU in time for spring practice.
KU in Combs’ final two
He still has not made a final decision, but junior-college standout Marquel Combs, a 6-5, 305-pound defensive tackle from Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif., revealed Sunday night that he had narrowed his list to two.
“I’m not committed,” wrote Combs, who goes by the Twitter handle @TheReal_92. “But (it’s) between the 2 Kansas schools.”
Combs, a juco teammate of KU commitment Marcus Jenkins-Moore, a 6-3, 210-pound linebacker at Pierce C.C., visited KU with Jenkins-Moore back in September. The two went to Kansas State on Dec. 1.
Combs has said throughout the past couple of weeks that he would make his decision on Dec. 18, one day before the midyear transfer signing period begins.
Back at it
It promises to be another busy week for the KU coaching staff. Weis and all of his assistant coaches are expected to be back on the road recruiting, and, with the KU men’s basketball team playing host to Belmont on Saturday night, the upcoming weekend could be another key visitation period for potential signees.
Sunday evening, through Twitter, Weis offered a glimpse into what his week would look like.
“One more busy week of recruiting before quiet and dead periods for the holidays. Tough travel week ahead,” Weis wrote, via @CoachWeisKansas. “Starting in Mississippi, but traveling from Florida to Hawaii then back to the midwest with stops in Texas, Iowa, Kentucky, before Kansas!”