Monday, December 17, 2012


KU’s top 10 juco football recruits


Charlie Weis and his staff of assistants, motivated by a 1-11 season, hit the road sprinting after junior-college recruits. So far, 16 juco standouts have committed to play football for Kansas University.

Based on the other schools that offered them scholarships, KU’s needs, and last and least, their highlight films (everybody’s highlights look great, that’s why they’re highlights), here is one guess at the 10 most promising, listed in reverse order so as to build up the drama toward the list of BCS-conference schools that offered the No. 1 player:

10. Mike Smithburg, 6-3, 300, OL, Iowa Western: Shaved his trademark, mustache-less beard Monday, so he might only weigh 299 now.

Coming out of high school, he needed to make his body bigger and stronger to attract the attention of Div. I schools, and he accomplished his goals, always a good sign.

BCS conference offers: Illinois, South Florida.

KU recruiter: Buddy Wyatt.

Anticipated arrival: January.

9. Tedarian Johnson, 6-3, 285, DT, Hinds: One of three Johnsons in this recruiting class (high school tight end Ben and junior college safety Isaiah), Tedarian will earn immediate playing time if he can show he explodes off the line of scrimmage, a quality KU’s D-tackles have lacked since James McClinton exhausted his eligibility.

BCS conference offers: Iowa State, Mississippi State, Texas Tech.

KU recruiter: DeMontie Cross.

Anticipated arrival: January.

8. Zach Fondal, 6-5, 295, OL, American River: Tanner Hawkinson manned the left-tackle position well for the Jayhawks and won’t be easy to replace. Fondal will try to win the job.

BCS conference offers: Arkansas, South Florida.

KU recruiter: Rob Ianello.

Anticipated arrival: January.

7. Samson Faifili, 5-11, 240, LB, American River: He hunts quarterbacks and had 12 sacks in two seasons in junior college. Quietly, Kansas has been improving its outlook at linebacker since the start of the just-completed season.

BCS conference offers: Iowa State, Kansas State, Oregon State.

KU recruiter: Jeff Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: June.

6. Cassius Sendish, 6-2, 185, CB, Arizona Western: He has the size to compete with those long Big 12 receivers who in recent years have made a habit of abusing Kansas cornerbacks.

BCS conference offers: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.

5. Kevin Short, 6-2, 185, CB, Fort Scott: He is Short in name only.

BCS conference offers: Arkansas, Syracuse.

KU recruiter: Clint Bowen.

Anticipated arrival: June.

4. Marcus Jenkins-Moore, 6-3, 210, LB, Pierce: Tall and lean for a linebacker, Jenkins-Moore brings a lot of speed and a nose for the ball that will make it difficult for defensive coordinator Dave Campo to keep him on the sideline.

BCS conference offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas State, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Texas Tech.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.

3. Andrew Bolton, 6-3, 280, DE, Hinds: When LSU recruits a defensive lineman, that generally means he’s big, fast and loves to play football.

BCS conference offers: Iowa, LSU, Mississippi State.

KU recruiter: Cross.

Anticipated arrival: June.

2. Chris Martin, 6-5, 260, DE, City College of San Francisco: Weis recruited him when Weis was at Notre Dame and Martin was a junior in high school. They were reunited at Florida during Martin’s freshman season. Martin initially committed to Notre Dame, but then switched to Florida. His maturity came into question when he created the wrong kind of off-the-field buzzes, including using social media to blast former Gators and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Nobody questions his ceiling as a college football player, which at the very least is higher than any defensive end Kansas has had since Charlton Keith.

BCS conference offers: Nebraska, Washington State.

KU recruiter: Charlie Weis.

Anticipated arrival: January.

1. Marquel Combs, 6-3, 305, DT, Pierce: He decommitted from Mississippi in September and cited a concern that he might not be able to cram enough classes into his fall semester to meet requirements in time to enroll in time for spring football. If Combs has his academic house in order in time to enroll at Kansas for this coming semester and can have an entire offseason working with strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple and a spring and summer under the tutelage of Wyatt and Campo, Kansas could have its first All-Big 12 defensive tackle since McClinton, a second-team All-American in 2007.

BCS conference offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Boston College, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oregon State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Washington State.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.


phog1004 1 year, 4 months ago

what is odd about Dexter, is that he barely saw the field this year, while Sendish and Short are both ranked much higher as CB's on the other sites and were all league/All American Corners...


texashawk10 1 year, 4 months ago

KU has 6 of the top 100 JuCo recruits according to ESPN.

1) DT- Marquel Combs

70) WR- Rodriguez Coleman

77) DE- Chris Martin

80) CB- Dexter McDonald

90) OL- Ahongalu Fusimalohi

94) LB- Marcus Jenkins-Moore

Something interesting I noticed on the list is that former KU commit Dreamius Smith is ranked 26th and is now a 4 star player headed to West Virginia.


Randy Maxwell 1 year, 4 months ago

Coleman is the 2nd highest ranking KU recruit in the newly released top 100 jc players but if Keegs put him on the list it would go against his earlier story needing WR's


flloyd 1 year, 4 months ago

We'll be lucky to win two games in 2013...look at our schedule next year. This rebuilding process is going to take many, many years. Gill did much more damage to KU than Prince did to KSU. Look at our stadium and then take a look at what K-Stae is doing to theirs. Look at all the other Big 12 school facilities and it'll be a wonder if we can get any top-notch recruits.


JayHok 1 year, 4 months ago

A key to allowing our defense to be its best is to have a potent offense controlling the gridiron, keeping the defense fresh. For the sake of the imagination put Heaps at QB. McCay at one wide receiver. Pierson at the slot. Sims at RB. Now find one more 6'2" or taller 4.5 WR who can pluck the ball out of traffic and our offense suddenly looks extremely potent.

I agree with most if we can find another game breaker type to put on the other side of the line at WR we should click right away. We have several good ones, Parmalee included. However solid offenses substitute and stay fresh for four quarters if need be so I see one more gamebreakser WR as extremely important for next year.

How about our tight end situation?

Think Tony Gonzales. How nice is it to have a 6'5" 260 muscle with soft hands who can pick you up 7 yards just about anytime.

Any word on tight ends or WR's would be greatly appreciated. Happy Holidays to all.

Forgive, Smile, Cry, Hug, Love.


JHAWKERJIM 1 year, 4 months ago

I love our recruits coming in and know we have super running backs returning but I am concerned we don't seem to be recuiting new ones. Any reasons or are in on any good ones? Anyone know?



phog1004 1 year, 4 months ago

Oh, and Fusimalohi is ranked as the #1 OG by 247's composite ranking and #2 OG in the country in their regular ranking. Just sayin'


phog1004 1 year, 4 months ago

I have a hard time not putting Mark Thomas/Rod Coleman or Isaiah Johnson on this list in lieu of Tedarian. I think he will be a good player, but with McKinney coming in with Combs, 2 studs at DE, and Tavai, Stowers, Kevin Young, and Keba all back...I don't think he meets the criteria of being a huge immediate need. WR is a big need, and Thomas is a 4.4 guy at 6'2", who ESPN cites as having very good hands and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air in traffic. Coleman is a big body, who runs really good routes, has really good speed, and was a first team all jayhawk conference WR. As for Isaiah, he represents someone who can step in a and replace one of our biggest losses...McDougald. Isaiah finished second in the nation in INT's, and was a ball hawking Safety that plays the run very well.

if those guys don't deserve to be on this list based on KU needs, then I guess I don't get the criteria....and as for looking at who offered, that is sort of flawed. Coleman committed to Cincy out of HS, and when to Garden City to "greyshirt", so no schools kept recruiting him....he instead reopened his recruitment late this year, and KU jumped on him and Short. He otherwise would have had a lot of schools on him. Same with Isaiah, he is a guy who people didn't know if he was even coming out this year, as he still has 3 seasons to play, so a lot of school laid off thinking he might be picked up for 2014.


Jeff Suther 1 year, 4 months ago

I remember one of the knocks on Weis was he wouldn't care enough about the D to get good enough recruits. Appears that couldn't be further from the truth


hawkdds 1 year, 4 months ago

It would certainly help the defense if the offemse could stay on the field longer with a complimentary passing attack. I don't care how good you are if your gasping for air you can't compete.


Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 4 months ago

Ty McKinney is now listed at Rivals as a 2013 commit....i assume that means he's ready to sign again. our d-line should be a lot better next year, and in just overall strength, quickness and the pass rush....we must wreak havoc in the backfield on defense....'tis where it all starts.

Rock Chalk!


AzHawk97 1 year, 4 months ago

Jimmys and Joes: Check

X's and O's: ???


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 4 months ago

Honestly our run D was relatively stable this year. And LB play wasn't terrible. But obviously the two embarrassing aspects of our defense is pass rush and secondary.

It is comforting to see so much attention paid to these areas, but we still have to remain skeptical until we see it pay off on the field. Remember that JUCO players, regardless of caliber, are just as hit or miss as high school recruits...if not more so.

Understand one thing...we will probably still get burned deep. That's been our stigma for quite some time. Having said that, the two things to look for next year in gauging improvement are as follows:

1) Are we hurrying the quarterback, and once we do, are the players fundamentally sound enough to approach with the right angles to make the sack?

2) Are the cornerbacks still playing 10 yards off wideouts? The biggest improvement, in my opinion, is not whether our secondary can avoid getting beat deep, but rather that they are in position to make a play on the short pass.

These little things would help us tremendously. The only question that we have the personnel and coaching to get it done?


NebraskaJayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

I notice there aren't any big time playmaker wide receivers that made the top ten list. I'm going to beat this horse for a while because we need a big time receiver in a big way. Just one...somebody who can change the game in the passing game. Somebody that requires double and triple coverage so when Tony Pierson breaks one past the LB corpse the entire opposing defense goes "Oh !@#$". A WR that can truly stretch defenses will change our game offensively because by what everyone is saying, we have a QB that has the accuracy and the arm strength downfield to get the ball to him. That's my Christmas wish. A real "go to" receiver.


pbouldenv 1 year, 4 months ago

Good stuff Keegan! I really enjoyed reading this article. Just reminds me of how solid this class is.


edmondjayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

That was jacked up....

Texas ...13th......Oklahoma ....22nd.......O-State....24....Baylor ....26......West Virginia and KU tied at 34th......Iowa State....41.....TCU....48.......K-State and Texas Tech tied at 55..........hopefully these standings aren't as confusing. Nit sure what happened on the last post.


edmondjayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Through Saturday, Dec 15th, had KU tied for 34th in recruiting. The rest of the Big 12 went as follows:

  1. Texas
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Baylor T34. Kansas T34. Virginia Tech
  5. Iowa State
  6. TCU T55. Texas Tech T55. K-State

tecuani 1 year, 4 months ago

p> has KU #4 in the Big 12, #30 in College Football.


panalytic 1 year, 4 months ago

It was great to hear more about these football recruits! It is difficult to know what to make out of a new recruit, so any more analysis is good to hear, including this rating.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 4 months ago

Can anyone tell me where this class ranks so far...I mean officially?

I've gotten varying information on this.


Jim Jackson 1 year, 4 months ago

We are also in very good standing with Colton Goeas; ILB and Reeve Koehler's HS teammate who decommitted from Tennessee.

Love what this staff is doing. To be 1-11 and recruit like this is very, very impressive.

We are going bowling next year.


Brandon Deines 1 year, 4 months ago

I hope for the sake of our offense that Rodriguez Coleman belongs on this list.


vd 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm assuming none of the top 10 are HS recruits, right?


MoralVictory 1 year, 4 months ago

It's interesting that we don't hear too much about Grunhard in terms of recruiting. Perhaps this is just how the responsibilities are divided but I thought that we would hear a lot more about him with the OL recruits.


bville_hawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Wow, Tom's column has been up for over 7 hours and not one J-School dropout writing critic has jumped in to complain.

Next season should be interesting.


Jason Keller 1 year, 4 months ago

Any word on Reeve Koehler? Last I knew, Blasko jumped the gun a little on Twitter but the kid hadn't committed yet. This guy is something else, he tosses Juco D-lineman like rag dolls.


JHWKDW 1 year, 4 months ago

Well you cannot say they are not trying to improve the team with the recruits they are getting.

The number 1 pick had offers from Texas A&M, and Michigan State and many others, but chose Kansas. The number 2 DE chose Kansas over Nebraska. No 3 guy had offers from LSU but chose us. Hey we must be doing something right I am not expecting miracles overnight, but at least we are on the radar of players.

Well keep up the good recruiting, and hopefully we can turn this ship around.


DrGraydog 1 year, 4 months ago

Going to suprise some folks next year......


Dillon Davis 1 year, 4 months ago

Damn Jeff Blasko killed it on the trail!!


Doug Cramer 1 year, 4 months ago

OK - I will publicly admit...I was wrong about Weis's ability to recruit. I've been ripping on two items that I thought would limit this programs performance. The D-line and Weis's recruiting class.

Absolutely love the attention that he has given the D-line !!! LOVE IT !!!

Finally we realize how important that D-line is...and we got some decent talent coming in.

Not gonna make any predictions...but I'm willing to bet we win more than 1 game next season. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK !!!


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