Fresh off its successful run in recruiting the Class of 2013, the Kansas University football program kicked off its efforts in the Class of 2014 on an impressive note Saturday.
Four-star running back Traevohn Wrench, a junior at nearby Gardner-Edgerton High, became the first player in the class to make an official commitment to the Jayhawks.
One Kansas high school coach who faced the 6-foot, 191-pound tailback with speed in the range of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, called him the best back in the Kansas City area since former Olathe North and Kansas State standout and current NFL player Darren Sproles, and several college coaches appear to agree. Wrench chose Kansas over offers from Iowa, Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska.
Wrench committed to KU coach Charlie Weis on Saturday morning and then took in KU’s men’s basketball victory over West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse. Although he won’t be in town until the 2014 season, his addition figures to be perfect timing for a KU program that has done well running the football during recent years, as both James Sims and Taylor Cox will be graduating at the time Wrench is set to move to town.
KU assistant Reggie Mitchell, who has a reputation as a running-backs guru and already has enticed Brandon Bourbon, Tony Pierson, Darrian Miller and Colin Spencer to come to KU, played a big role in landing Wrench, as well. So, too, did the campus’ proximity to his hometown.
In the last two seasons at GEHS, Wrench pushed the 5,000-yard mark, rushing for 2,500 as a sophomore and another 2,268 last season, including a 50-carry, 328-yard, three-touchdown night in a loss to Lawrence High in the first round of the state playoffs.
GEHS coach Marvin Diener, who won six 5A state championships in 19 seasons at Salina Central, coached three backs to 3,000-yard seasons during his days in Salina — Donnie Anders, Parker Wallace and Jake Sharp.
“Trae doesn’t take a back seat to any of those players,” Diener told the Journal-World last fall. “And (he) has a lot of the same qualities.”