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Originally published June 19, 2013 at 06:36p.m., updated June 19, 2013 at 09:24p.m.

KU football lands two oral commitments

Top-rated center, SM West D-back pick Jayhawks

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The Kansas football team picked up a pair of oral commitments Wednesday night.

Jacob Bragg, the No. 8 rated center in the Class of 2014 according to Rivals.com, became the fourth member in the class to pledge his services to KU, joining Kansas prospects Traevohn Wrench (Gardner-Edgerton running back) and Joe Dineen (Free State safety) and East St. Louis, Ill., linebacker Kyron Watson.

A few hours later, Shawnee Mission West defensive back Andre Maloney announced via Twitter that he was becoming a Jayhawk.

"I'm taking my talents to the U of Kansas," Maloney said as part of a tweet.

Maloney — listed at 6 foot 2, 180 pounds — also had offers from Kansas State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Oklahoma State, according to Rivals. The Overland Park product is a three-star Rivals recruit and is listed as the fifth-best senior-to-be in the state of Kansas.

Bragg, 6-4, 308 pounds, is a three-star prospect out of Nacogdoches (Texas) High who told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com that the KU campus and the presence of Tim Grunhard on KU’s coaching staff played key roles in his decision.

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to be coached by someone like coach Grunhard,” Bragg told Kirby. “He played center in the NFL and it is tough to find any other opportunity like that. I think he will be a great coach to play for. I’ve built a strong relationship with him.”

Bragg visited several other Big 12 schools during his recruitment but told Kirby he was relieved to be done with the process.

Comments

Boouk 1 year, 6 months ago

ESPN has Bragg as their 2nd best C and #257 in their top 300. With Kyron Watson ranked #103, KU now has 2 commits in the ESPN300. Hopefully these guys don't even think about decommitting.

Jim Erickson 1 year, 6 months ago

They will definitely think" about it when recruiting season winds down and they get pressed hard to fill another teams recruiting gap... Part of the recruiting game, but it does seem like the majority never waver.

Andy Tweedy 1 year, 6 months ago

This time of year always makes me wonder why we don't hear more about an early signing period in college football. Seems like it might help with schools that over-recruit, and it certainly could help the lower profile schools keep some of their early pledges (like us). I get that football can result in injuries, but maybe the NCAA could allow a certain number of early commits, like 10, and that could be a way of schools telling someone they're priority commits. IDK, just thinking out loud, but it sure makes sense to me.

Displayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Makes sense to me too, rockchalk! I like the idea. Plus if a kid is dead sure where he wants to go, then he can sign and all the other schools courting him can concentrate their efforts elsewhere.

hawksfan08 1 year, 6 months ago

Number 8 center but only a 3 star? Aren't recruiting services great? Let's go ahead and get all the other #8 overall players at their position.

Welcome aboard.

gchawk 1 year, 6 months ago

My thoughts as well. Regardless of his "stars", I'm thrilled he's joined the Jayhawks. Rock Chalk!

Jim Erickson 1 year, 6 months ago

Center is one of the positions that doesn't get a lot of love. In my opinion they should be ranked against the players at their position for the stars, rather than overall. The best punter in the world wouldn't get a 5 star ranking. Centers don't get a lot of notoriety either.

Displayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Tru Dat Cairo! Plus the fact that there is no definitive way to rank athletes ability. Charles Gordon and Aqib Talib were both 2 star prospects.

LAJayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Rock Chalk. This class is off to a pretty fantastic start. Long way still to go, but Charlie & Co. is coming out of the gate like a thoroughbred.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

but "No one will ever come to play for a loser coach of a losing team".

This class is still small, but man are we getting some nice recruits, and there are some great "Jimmies & Joes" on the offer list as well. A few W's to start the season and this thing could really take off.

On top of that, when Coach came on board, he talked about a 5 year plan to turn the program around, but I think some things have changed since then. His wife has come to love Lawrence as much as Charlie and the rest of us, and his daughter is now "on her own" at Hannah House in IN. I think Charlie & Co are going to be around for a while and build something dominant.

texashawk10 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't see Charlie making KU dominant (or anyone short of KU stumbling across their own Bill Snyder), but I do believe that Weis will make KU very competitive and not a team that opponents automatically pencil in as a W at the beginning of the season. I do also believe that by the time Weis leaves KU, he will have wins over every team in the Big 12 and could challenge for a Big 12 title at some point this decade (KU historically has challenged for a conference title about once a decade). I like the blueprint Weis is implementing right now and once this team knows they can beat other Big 12 teams instead of hoping they can beat them, we'll start seeing more of those close losses turn into close W's.

Maracas 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree. Dominant is far too optimistic, and probably unrealistic. Competitive is a better goal. Gotta be competitive before you can even think about dominance.

KGphoto 1 year, 6 months ago

Also agree, dominant is tough for all but a few programs in the country.

However, I could see us getting into Okie St. territory and climbing into the upper half of the Big 12 with occasional conference title threats. It would be outstanding if KU could maintain that level consistently and go to some decent bowls every year.

texashawk10 1 year, 6 months ago

This article that Matt Tait has updated to reflect Maloney's commitment.

Eric Dawson 1 year, 6 months ago

Phog.net
http://kansas.scout.com/a.z?s=172&p=9&c=8&yr=2014

And since Matt posted an update after I read it, this article.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Another big DB with decent speed.

Nice.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 6 months ago

A class full of 3-stars would not be all bad. Getting quality commitments early can't do anything but help to get quality commitments later. As long as we continue to focus on speed, we'll be able to compete in this league.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Not just 3*. The majority of this class is better than the best of some previous classes. Huge improvement.

Miguel Colón 1 year, 6 months ago

I think Charlie is building the program the right way! There is anticipation for footbal like the last years under Mangino. I am excited.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 6 months ago

Man I am getting excited too. Great job Coaches. I was watching the KU-Kstate game from last year and if we had had some good quarterback play it could have been different. I think game planning by this staff is actually very good as good as or better than Mangino. Play calling at times is a different matter. There was a third and ten situation where we do a play action and K-state blitzes and gets the sack. Really? We are going to run on third and ten? Quick slant, QB draw (under center) or my least favorite (but none the less can be very successful) the shuttle pass. Or any variety of quick passes. Good time to utilize the TE. Anything but play action because you know they are coming. IMO

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

He knows he is playing for a multi-year All-Pro C.

It's not just Charlie that can talk about the league.

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Embid is the best center in this year's class, so he may/may not be one and done. Therefore, there may be an opportunity for Bragg when he gets here next year. Even if Embid sticks around a second year, Bragg will have a challenge to get PT with that transfer from Arkansas and some of the other KU bigs.

8th best won't likely cut it at KU. At least basketball. Now, for football, Bragg might become KU hall of fame and conference first teamer. I don't think we'll be seeing his uniform hanging from the rafters of AFH, though. 6'4" just isn't big enough.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Bragg plays with the pointy ball, just in case the 300+#'s didn't give it away.

Joe Baker 1 year, 6 months ago

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to be coached by someone like coach Grunhard,” Bragg told Kirby. “He played center in the NFL and it is tough to find any other opportunity like that. I think he will be a great coach to play for. I’ve built a strong relationship with him.”

Excellent - This team is going to be special and the talented recruits keep coming. The train has left the station and this program should be extremely competitive over the next 2-3 yrs.

Kudos to the coaching staff and KU football is becoming relevant again from a coaching and recruiting stand point.

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