Originally published January 2, 2013 at 09:10a.m., updated January 2, 2013 at 11:56p.m.
When Kansas University kicks off spring football practice in a couple of months, it will do so with just 13 players remaining from the 2011 recruiting class that ranked 34th in the country.
The group that included such gems as Tony Pierson, Ben Heeney and Jake Love, dropped another member Wednesday, when KU released the news that offensive lineman Luke Luhrsen, a red-shirt freshman from Wheaton, Ill., was leaving the team.
“I have decided to give up football to concentrate on my academics,” Luhrsen said in a statement. “I appreciate the Jayhawk community, as well as my teammates and coaches, for all of the support I have received during my time with the program. It has been an unforgettable experience and an incredible opportunity. I will continue to support the program and I will always be proud to be a Jayhawk.”
After red-shirting in 2011, Luhrsen, 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, made his KU debut in the Jayhawks’ 21-17 loss to Texas. He also played in losses to Iowa State and West Virginia and finished the season as a second-string left guard on KU’s depth chart.
He becomes the 14th member — and second offensive lineman — in his signing class to leave KU, joining such names as Brock Berglund, Darrian Miller, Collin Garrett and Dreamius Smith on the list of once-promising prospects whose Kansas careers never got going.
“Luke was a valuable asset to our team,” coach Charlie Weis said. “And we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
One of the top remaining targets on KU’s wish list in the Class of 2013 might be close to revealing his decision.
Reeve Koehler, a 6-3, 280-pound, four-star offensive guard from St. Louis High in Honolulu, recently told Adam Gorney of Rivals.com that he could make a decision this weekend at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
Koehler said he would like to commit at the game because his brother, Solomon, did the same thing when he picked Arizona in 2010.
Arkansas, Cal, KU and Tennesse make up Koehler’s final four.