Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Juco offensive lineman Ngalu Fusimalohi picks Kansas


It’s been a fruitful week for the Kansas University football program, which picked up three oral commitments from junior-college prospects in the span of two days.

The most recent pledge came from Ngalu Fusimalohi, an offensive guard at City College of San Francisco, and brought the number of known commitments in KU’s current recruiting class to 14.

Two days earlier, KU coach Charlie Weis and company picked up commitments from junior-college linebacker Samson Faifili and juco wide receiver Mark Thomas. Although Weis cannot comment on specific players, he can talk about the process in general terms and he recently said his second round of recruiting to Kansas has gone much smoother than the first.

“We are worlds ahead of where we were last year,” said Weis, who did not begin recruiting to KU last year until a month before national signing day.

Weis’ latest pick-up comes from the same school that produced KU quarterback Turner Baty, who hosted Fusimalohi on his recent visit less than a year after the two led the Rams to a national championship.

“He told me a lot about the program,” Fusimalohi told’s Jon Kirby. “They have a lot of loyal fans and have good support. I met a lot of the players. Turner likes it there. I want to help turn it around. They have good coaches and they are just missing a few, key pieces to the puzzle. They have what it takes to turn it around.”

KU tight ends coach Jeff Blasko was the lead recruiter for the 6-foot-3, 300-pound guard who chose KU over Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon State, San Diego State and Western Michigan. Weis and offensive line coach Tim Grunhard also played a big role in landing the lineman.

“I spent a lot of time around them during my visit,” Fusimalohi told Kirby. “I see a lot of potential at Kansas and a lot if it is because their coaching staff. Coach Blasko did a good job recruiting me and I think I can learn a lot under coach Grunhard.”

Fusimalohi becomes the second offensive lineman (Louisville senior Joey Bloomfield) in KU’s current class. Of KU’s 14 commitments, seven are from the junior-college ranks, a place Weis has not been shy about looking for talent.

“I totally believe you need both high school and junior college kids,” Weis said. “With junior college kids, they are there for a reason. It wasn’t because they wanted to go to junior college. So you have to do a lot of due diligence. It can’t just be whether a guy can play. You have to make sure when you bring them in you feel confident not only will he buy into the program, you want to make sure he will walk out of here in a couple years with a degree from the University of Kansas.”

Weis said last week that the Jayhawks were in position to sign as many as 27 players in the class, which will become official on national signing day Feb. 6.


clevelandjayhawker 5 years, 7 months ago

Nice. Keep them coming Charlie and company!

JayDocMD 5 years, 7 months ago

Very welcome news - now 2 or three more JUCO O-lineman, a TE and a WR or two and the offense should be OK for next year.

Defensively, we need at least another 2 guys each to compete at DB, LB and DL.

JayDocMD 5 years, 7 months ago

You're probably right. With the absence of a capable quarterback all year it's hard to tell if these guys have untapped potential. Hopefully they will thrive with Heaps.

Also, was thinking with Mundine as a Junior and Brooks as a Senior next year we needed prospects to develope, but I had forgotten about Johnson's signing.

VaJay 5 years, 7 months ago

And maybe if the receiver corps don't pan out next year either, we run sometimes with a double tight end formation, giving us an extra solid blocker & a different twist to play action passes.

KGphoto 5 years, 7 months ago

I think the O-Line is better off than people believe. Certainly we lose 3 great guys, but we return with possibly more depth next year. Those freshman who sat out (Beckman, Connolly and Peters) should be ready to play backup roles. Rotating starters Howard, Sterling and Dent will be battling for 1st team duties. Weis saw enough potential in Lewandowski to give him 2nd team LT this year. Damon Martin and Dylan Admire were groomed this year for starting roles. Riley Spencer returns and Luke Luhrson will be a RS Soph.

Overall I think we will have 10-11 guys in 2013, who will be as good as our 7th best this year. With all that competition and a 2nd year with Holsopple, Grunny and this offense, our starting 5 should be fine.

Andy Tweedy 5 years, 7 months ago

Man, I hope you're right. If the line plays well next year, I think the offense will score some points. That is provided the wideouts can make a couple catches!

VaJay 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh - wait, and if the QB can hit them.

Doug Roberts 5 years, 7 months ago

Definitely gotta throw in a kicker too.

JayDocMD 5 years, 7 months ago

not sure how I forgot that - a top priority for sure

Jeff Coffman 5 years, 7 months ago

There is a kicker that had to redshirt this year because he transferred...from what I hear that has been covered already.

Micky Baker 5 years, 7 months ago

We will have at least one side of CB that will be 2 deep, and maybe both sides with two recruits coming in. Still 13 more spots to fill on this roster, but I think the key here is to get a guy with really good speed for CB so that the one from Butler can move over to Safety, a big dude. Butler looks as if they're going to be one of the favorites for the JUCO National Title this year.

The other key is to get another guy with 4.4 speed at WR and a guy with hands. I think that a couple of the guys on the D-Line this year with a full year under Weis strength and condition program could become much more agile and put pressure on opposing QBs. We were able to get pressure on Doege at Tech and it almost worked out. I think our run defense will be solid with the Linebackers if we the kid from Mississippi pans out well at DE will help. There is a third kid from that same JUCO that is considering Kansas and is the leading tackler. I believe he is a DL. We need guys with quick feet because I think the upper body technique with what we have is okay, just not quick enough on their feet.

Kyle Sybesma 5 years, 7 months ago

Is this the 3-point specialist from Northern Iowa?

Andy Tweedy 5 years, 7 months ago

I've seen the picture of the helmet that is your avatar before. Why is cool stuff like that out there, and all we could come up with were black uniforms with white numbers on them. Maybe we don't have Nike in our pockets like Oregon, or UA like Maryland, but I refuse to believe that's the best that Adidas could come up with.

shelleysue 5 years, 7 months ago

I wouldn't mind seeing our players in that helmet. I know a lot of fans didn't like the black uniforms. But did you see the article where Pick talked about the players excitement? Those uniforms were about the players, not the fans. As rightly it should be.

squawkhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

The black unis looked like crap with the cheesey white helmet and blue stockings. A poor man's Oregon.

John Randall 5 years, 7 months ago

We sure as hell don't want anything like the chartreuse and ebony crap Nike foisted off on Baylor and Oregon. Those might be 'cool' for a marching band in a parade, but not on a football field.

Ron Prichard 5 years, 7 months ago

The helmet in Sybesma's logo is the concept helmet created by a designer (Missouri guy I think) for Nike. If you search for Big 12 football concept helmets on Google you can look at all of them. They are really all pretty cool. There are ones for the other conferences as well.

With that said, I actually liked our uniforms last week. I loved that we went with all black with the white helmets. The white numbers were about the only option once we went with the white helmets. And the white helmets with the Jayhawk on athe side were just freaking awesome! I would love to see those again. Regardless of whether they keep the black uni's for an occasional game, I definitely hope to see more of the white helmets with the Jayhawk. Please, please, please let's see those again!

KGphoto 5 years, 7 months ago

Funny how the uniforms are so polarizing. I absolutely hated those black and white duds. No cohesion at all. It looked like they found some old practice jersey's and helmets from different eras and plopped them together at the last minute.

I'm all for the modern uniforms but those were cheap looking. And instead of moving forward, a la K-State and the Power Cat to give us an identity and some swagger, we go back to the old timey smiling Jayhawk. Yuck. Can you imagine K-State going back to Willie? No way.

I want that Nike helmet with a mean face and a tasteful modern uniform scheme.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry KG, but comparing the Jayhawk to Willie is what is really wrong.

The Jayhawk is iconic and definitely should not be messed with. If we had some cheepazz junk like willie and the other pussycat to the east, then mess away, but not with the Jayhawk.

I'll take the Jayhawk (just slightly smaller than the BB court version) on the side of a silver mirrored helmet.

KGphoto 5 years, 7 months ago

We did have some cheapazz junk early on. The Jayhawk has been modernized over time. No reason we have to stay the same forever. I'm sure some people made a stink when they changed it to the more swept back version in 1941, but aren't you glad we don't still have the 1929 version? And I'm not even saying we need to make a totally new version, just enlarge the current one and place it strategically on the helmet to look cool. It's 2012!

minnhawk84 5 years, 7 months ago

Big difference between the Jayhawk and Willie.....I don't think Willie ever made it to the KSU helmet, but the Jayhawk was there a long time........

Kyle Sybesma 5 years, 7 months ago

I believe I found this picture under a google search of "Big 12 Nike Combat Helmets" I've wanted white helmets with the KU on the side not the full Jayhawk. I'm not a fan of the black uniforms. I do think we need a new uniform design but not like Oregon or Maryland.

Any truth to rumors that the Addidas contract is up and Nike will be coming back to KU?

kuilander 5 years, 7 months ago

i've heard we have already re-upped with adidas and an announcement is forthcoming

Ron Prichard 5 years, 7 months ago

I think one thing that should be said is that even without playing a down this year Turner Baty must still have a great attitude. As bad as our QB play has been at times and with Baty being available if needed (regardless of the redshirt issue), it would be easy for him to get down on the program or be a little bitter. The fact that Baty hosted Fusimalohi and helped convince him to come is a testament to his character. I also think it goes to show that these kids still have faith in the program and faith in Charlie Weis. It makes me that much more excited for the future of KU football.

eastcoasthawk 5 years, 7 months ago

I read the exact same thing into Baty's attitude. Well done Turner!

Steve Reigle 5 years, 7 months ago

Yes! Keep them coming! I'm already getting excited for next season and we've not even finished this one yet.

B0B 5 years, 7 months ago

I can already hear Bob Davis- and it is hysterical.

Boouk 5 years, 7 months ago

We recently offered Ben Grogan, whose only other offer was from Memphis last time I checked.

OPJayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Kansas should NEVER, EVER wear black uniforms. They were awful. Yes, bring back the black shoes (and tape), but NO to the black unis. Horrible.

Doug Roberts 5 years, 7 months ago

Black unis done right could look respectable. Those unis last Saturday were neither done right nor respectable.

Boouk 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't think he'll start next year but it looks like he'll at least provide some nice depth.

Doug Cramer 5 years, 7 months ago

Who gives a dam about the unies.

Weis better start bringing in some young talent on the D-Line...otherwise we're gonna be screwed 3-4 years from now. He's recruiting nothing but JUcO transfers...and our freshman class both last year...and 2013 is looking horrid.

Boouk 5 years, 7 months ago

Look at how KSU's done it and all the success they're having. If they're gone in two years, we'll replace them then instead of in 4 or 5 years. Most JUCO's are also more experienced and have a higher sense of urgency since they don't have as much time left. Talent and production are more important than wether or not they've been at a JUCO before.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 7 months ago

If you go back to CW's comments from early in the year when he was getting started with recruiting, he commented on making a point of recruiting JC's and transfers to begin with, and slowly transitioning to mostly HS athletes. HS athletes take several years of developing relationship for the recruiting to pay off, whereas JC's are one year at most. So you can bet that Ianello+ are actively recruiting many HS players, but we will not hear about them for another couple years.

vd 5 years, 7 months ago

KU football fans care more about how the team looks rather then performance. The big issue last year was names on the backs. Who cares what they look like? Mostly women fans.

squawkhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

And their performance against Iowa St....horrid.!

John Hayes 5 years, 7 months ago

I have two questions: 1) Are all the juco guys December grads....I really don't want the BS we had last fall. 2) Any sign of a kicker who can kick the ball OUT of the endzone?

Boouk 5 years, 7 months ago

Charlie said Eric Kahn, a transfer sitting out this year, has a powerful leg and will kick on kickoffs next season.

Micky Baker 5 years, 7 months ago

4 star linebacker Nick Ramirez decommitted from Mizzou and there isn't any other schools on his list. He says he listen to any school that wants to talk to him. Charlie and company, steal this kid. He committed awfully early so there is nobody else on his list. Have Jake Love host him for a visit.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 7 months ago

Espn says he has offers from 9 teams But still very definitely talk with the kid. Sounds great.

Micky Baker 5 years, 7 months ago

Charlie, Braden Smith over at Olathe South, 4 Star. Max Bench Press of 470 lbs. twice as a sophomore in high school. There is no list of schools for him. Maybe at least take a look. I think he's on the O-Line, and just a powerful kid. He looks like he's about 290 but no fat at all, all muscle. He's only about, what is it, 15 to 20 miles from Lawrence?

Dirk Medema 5 years, 7 months ago

Interesting that neither rivals nor espn lists the player you mentioned, much less a 4* that no one is recruiting.

Micky Baker 5 years, 7 months ago

I found this kid on Rivals, but he isn't on the list when you search.

squawkhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

He has a cousin who walked on at KSU and it sounds like he is very interested in Snyder's program.

hawkdds 5 years, 7 months ago

Our school colors are crimson and blue, the black & white were tasteless and disrespectful to a proud university. Charlie might look thinner in black, but I miss the blue, when I see black I can,t help but think of Mizzou.

Paul Rupp 5 years, 7 months ago

I am in big favor of not using a Smiley Jayhawk on anything football. Smiley Jayhawk has it's place, but not with our football team going forward.

Paul Rupp 5 years, 7 months ago

The Jayhawk was born of the desire to end slavery. I'm certain there was more intent reflected in the eyes of the original Jayhawks than there is in the current Smiley Jayhawk. I think it would be OK if we had something a little less Sesame Street on our helmuts, and maybe something a little more "Intent." Just sayin---

wildjayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

The heck with the new black uniforms, I don't care if the whole damn team is wearing underware, if they can only win a game of two.

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