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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Latest group of KU football recruits set to sign today

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis discusses KU’s recently signed junior-college transfers at a news conference on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at KU.

Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis discusses KU’s recently signed junior-college transfers at a news conference on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at KU.

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Fire up the fax machines, cue the message board maniacs and make way for a new crew of Jayhawks.

It’s national signing day across the country, a college football holiday of sorts when athletes make commitments official by signing national letters of intent.

Today is the culmination of a year’s worth of effort for the Kansas University football program and marks the beginning of the recruits’ self-dubbed “Dream Team” era.

Although 10 of the 25 commitments in KU’s 2013 recruiting class signed with the program during the mid-year signing period in December, the remaining players are expected to do so today. And most of them plan on doing it early. Some members of KU’s new class from the East Coast expect to get things going well before the lights come on in Lawrence — as early as 7 a.m. EST.

The Jayhawks received a bit of a scare Tuesday, when juco All-American defensive back Kevin Short, of Fort Scott Community College, announced on Twitter that he would be signing with New Mexico.

A few hours later, Short, who committed to KU in December, recommitted to KU via Twitter and also told the Journal-World that he was “for sure going to sign with KU” after talking to KU coach Charlie Weis and assistant coach Clint Bowen about his role.

The three-star prospect originally chose the Jayhawks over offers from Arkansas, Houston, Louisiana Tech and Syracuse.

Nothing will be final until the Jayhawks receive his letter of intent, but, Short or no Short, KU’s incoming class, which is ranked in the Top 40 nationally by most recruiting services, still brings with it plenty of excitement.

In addition to already landing a pair of four-star defensive linemen in Marquel Combs and Chris Martin, today’s haul is expected to bring help at several key positions. The Jayhawks plan to welcome hard-hitting, high-motor linebackers Marcus Jenkins-Moore and Samson Faifili; safety Isaiah Johnson, who remained committed to Kansas despite some late pushes from other BCS-conference programs; defensive end Andrew Bolton, who had several SEC offers; Garden City C.C. wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman, who gives KU good size (6-3, 195) at a thin position; and a trio of local prospects in quarterbacks Montell Cozart (Bishop Miege) and Jordan Darling (SM East) and tight end Ben Johnson (Basehor-Linwood).

Here’s a quick look at the athletes expected to sign with the Jayhawks throughout the day (star rankings according to Rivals.com):

  • Kellen Ash (3 stars): 6-3, 194-pound linebacker from Parkway South High in Missouri. A three-star prospect, who committed to KU last April.
  • Joey Bloomfield (3 stars): 6-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Ballard High in Louisville, Ky., who chose KU over offers from Air Force, Colorado, Houston, Kansas State, San Diego State and Wyoming.
  • Andrew Bolton (3 stars): 6-3, 280-pound defensive end from Hinds C.C. in Raymond, Miss. Clocked at 4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Bolton also had offers from Iowa, LSU and Mississippi State.
  • Rodriguez Coleman (3 stars): 6-3, 195-pound wide receiver from Garden City C.C., who chose KU over Cincinnati and led the Jayhawk Conference with 64 receptions and 973 yards last season.
  • Montell Cozart (3 stars): 6-2, 180-pound quarterback from Bishop Miege High in Kansas City. Played high school football under current KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard.
  • Jordan Darling (3 stars): 6-4, 226-pound quarterback from Shawnee Mission East High in Kansas City. Dominated summer camps and picked the Jayhawks over Kansas State.
  • Samson Faifili (3 stars): 5-11, 240-pound linebacker from American River C.C. in Sacramento, Calif., committed to Kansas in mid-November, choosing KU over Hawaii, Iowa State, Nevada and Oregon State.
  • Colton Goeas (3 stars): 6-2, 245-pound linebacker from St. Louis High in Honolulu,. High school teammate of former KU target Reeve Koehler (offensive lineman who chose Arkansas) who packs a punch and plays a physical style. Chose Kansas over offers from Hawaii, Tennessee, UCLA and Washington State.
  • Ishmael Hyman (3 stars): 6-foot, 169-pound wide receiver from St. John Vianney High in Holmdel, N.J. Lightning-quick playmaker who earned MVP honors at the Chesapeake Bowl in December chose KU over offers from Boston College, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and others.
  • Marcus Jenkins-Moore (3 stars): 6-3, 210-pound linebacker from Pierce C.C. in Woodland Hills, Calif., who describes his game as “relentless” and chose KU over offers from a dozen other BCS-conference schools including K-State, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
  • Ben Johnson (3 stars): 6-5, 230-pound tight end from Basehor-Linwood High near Kansas City, Kan., was one of the first players in the class to commit.
  • Isaiah Johnson (3 stars): 6-1, 210-pound safety from Iowa Western C.C. Helped lead IWCC to a juco national title while leading the team with eight interceptions. Was named an NJCAA honorable mention All-American.
  • Kevin Short (3 stars): 6-2, 185-pound cornerback from Fort Scott C.C. Earned first-team NJCAA All-American honors last season and chose Kansas over multiple offers from BCS programs. Tuesday flirtations with New Mexico appeared to be much ado about nothing.
  • Colin Spencer (3 stars): 5-10, 179-pound athlete from Woodrow Wilson High in Dallas. Played cornerback, wide receiver and quarterback in high school. Graduate early and is on campus for spring football.
  • Mark Thomas (2 stars): 6-2, 210-pound wide receiver from Nassau C.C. in New York. Solid, physical wideout chose KU over UConn and Marshall.

In addition, the following players are mid-year transfers who signed their letters of intent in December. Many of them already are on campus and are planning to participate in spring drills in March. A few were delayed for academic reasons and likely will join the Jayhawks in June with the group that signs today.

  • Marquel Combs (4 stars): 6-5, 305-pound defensive tackle from Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif. This four-star impact player had 50 offers and chose Kansas over Kansas State.
  • Zach Fondal (2 stars): 6-5, 295-pound offensive tackle from Navarro Junior College in California. Canceled trips to Arkansas and Texas Tech and committed to KU.
  • Ngalu Fusimalohi (3 stars): 6-3, 300-pound offensive guard from City College of San Francisco. Known as a mauler, Fusimalohi’s offer list closely resembled Faifili’s.
  • Tedarian Johnson (3 stars): 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle and juco teammate of Bolton. Chose Kansas over offers from Iowa State, Memphis, Mississippi State and Texas Tech.
  • Chris Martin (4 stars): 6-5, 260-pound defensive end who played one season at Florida while Weis was the offensive coordinator, chose Kansas after spending the 2012 season at City College of San Francisco. Former five-star prospect also had offers from Houston, Nebraska, San Diego State and Washington State.
  • Dexter McDonald (3 stars): 6-2, 203-pound cornerback and former KU player who recommitted to the Jayhawks this fall after spending the year at Butler County C.C.
  • Ty McKinney (3 stars): 6-3, 310-pound defensive tackle from Trinity Valley C.C. In Athens, Texas, originally was supposed to join the Jayhawks in the Class of 2012 but ran into academic snags which delayed his arrival by a year. Chose KU over Arkansas State, Houston and UTEP and committed before Weis was hired.
  • Trevor Pardula (2 stars): 6-5, 210-pound punter and kickoff specialist who picked the Jayhawks over hometown San Jose State.
  • Cassius Sendish (3 stars): 6-2, 185-pound cornerback from Arizona Western C.C. A natural leader and hard hitter who chose KU over Big 12 schools Iowa State and K-State, among others.
  • Mike Smithburg (3 stars): 6-3, 300-pound offensive lineman from Iowa Western C.C. Versatile lineman with experience as both a guard and a center, picked KU over Illinois and will participate in spring football.

Comments

Kman_blue 1 year, 5 months ago

Looking forward to the faxes to roll in!

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53jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

If you think it is the end of recruiting for this season - you are badly mistaken. Very poor title for this article.

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Jim Erickson 1 year, 5 months ago

At the moment there are only a couple scholarships left. The end of the big stuff is most likely here, though an interesting player or two could turn up. 5th year transfers?!

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53jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Title to this article has changed since I made my post this morning. Prior title said today was the end of recruiting - current title is much better.

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Jim Erickson 1 year, 5 months ago

Glad to see the "Win Now" mentality, but I wish there had been a few more high school guys. I would rather a guy develop in our program than at a Junior College.

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Boouk 1 year, 5 months ago

Good luck beating out KSU, ISU and Missouri for any decent high school players.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

Appreciate your excitement but I have to say screw that. You can't have consistent success in the state of Kansas without using mostly juco guys, we don't have the local talent pool to support that. I wish we would recruit nothing but juco from here on out other than QBs. I guarantee it would take us to respectability with a run at something special every 3 to 4 years.

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Jim Erickson 1 year, 5 months ago

Agree to an extent (with you and Boouk) but I still think there is a lot of value in the continuity you get with 4-5 year guys. I like the large number of Juco guys but a having a nice core of high school guys would be big too.

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Mark Lindrud 1 year, 5 months ago

Once we get some success I'm certain there will be more high school players down the road. To get a bunch of guys that can play now would be helpful. To be honest I can see this year and the next being dominated with juco players with a sprinkle of high school players and then a transition of bringing in more high school players who can develop and we wouldn't need immediately.

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Jason Keller 1 year, 5 months ago

I say we make this JucoU. Why not? Why not develop a pipeline from here to Butler CC, Garden CC, Hutch CC and all of the California Jucos? Screw high school players. Sure we can grab our local guys but we can't compete for any real high school talent anyway. Let's make this school a place where Juco athletes can transition to division I without being treated like second class citizens by their coaches and fellow teammates.

It starts with getting a few guys from this class into the NFL. If we do that, it probably means we won some games and will make recruiting more Juco All-American's a little easier. We are fortunate to get this class and we MUST cash in on it.

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squawkhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

With 18 juco signees this year Weis will soon effectively have KU doing the Ron Prince shuffle. Prince signed 19 juco players and set their program back 3 years. Weis claims that he is modeling what Bill Snyder does at KSU yet Snyder signed only 6 juco players this year. Snyder knows what he is doing and Weis has no idea what he is doing.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 5 months ago

squakhawk why don't you take your whinny ars over to one of MU articles and stay there !!! You sound like some MU troll on here.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 5 months ago

Rather you are a MU troll or a KST troll squawkhawk take your Prince crap some where else. Charlie knows a heck of a lot more than you will in your life time. Your talking like some Monday morning coach with his head up his ars !!!

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