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Sunday, June 15, 2014

KU football lands 5 juco commitments during busy weekend

Kansas University football recruiting.

Kansas University football recruiting.

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Always in search of upgrading the talent at his team's positions of greatest need, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis enjoyed a productive weekend on the recruiting trail.

Five junior college prospects who made official visits to campus over the weekend orally committed to KU before leaving town.

The first two — defensive tackle Jacky Dezir (6-3, 305, College of DuPage) and offensive tackle Jarek Smalley (6-6, 315, Garden City C.C.) — made their intentions known on Friday and the next wave came Saturday evening, when offensive linemen DeLonte' Murray and Will Smith joined wide receiver Raeshawn Lee in telling Weis they planned to join the Jayhawks.

In Murray, Smalley and Smith, the Jayhawks added three offensive linemen already over 300 pounds who not only have good size but also good versatility.

Murray, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound tackle from Lackawanna Community College in Scranton, Pa., chose KU over interest from Oklahoma, South Florida, Eastern Michigan, Utah State and Temple. Offensive line coach and offensive coordinator John Reagan did the heavy lifting for Murray and seemed to make a big-time impact.

"He (Reagan) came out to my school in the spring and then they started staying in touch with me," Murray told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com. "Coach Reagan said he liked my physicality and how I can play tackle and guard. He really liked that. Right now they have talked to me more about guard."

Smith is the latest in-state juco prospect to pick Kansas. He's one of a trio of Butler County C.C. offensive linemen getting looks from big-time college programs across the country and he chose KU over Iowa and North Texas.

Defensive coordinator and former Kansas juco standout Clint Bowen was the lead recruiter for the 6-4, 315-pound offensive guard.

New wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau played a big role in landing Lee, a 6-1, 185-pound receiver from College of San Mateo, who has shown an ability to line up all over the field. In addition to the personal relationship the two built, Kiesau's reputation, along with that of Weis, enticed Lee to pick Kansas.

"Coach Kiesau has been recruiting me pretty hard for the last month,” Lee told Kirby. “I know he was the offensive coordinator at Washington when they had a good offense. I know their head coach Charlie Weis is familiar with the NFL and coached Tom Brady. Coach Kiesau told me he thinks I can be a big-time player for them. He said I can be a deep threat and can make plays. I hope to be one of those type players if I choose Kansas."

All three players Weis picked up on Saturday are expected to be December graduates, which would put them on campus in time for spring ball next season.

The Jayhawks are now up to six commitments in the Class of 2015.

Comments

Brent Held 5 months, 1 week ago

Do we really want to keep recruiting juco instead of high school talent?

Mark Lindrud 5 months, 1 week ago

This next year we need them. We are going to be real young. This doesn't mean we need nearly 20 guys like before, but around a dozen would be a good fit. We really need a good season this year so we can start to recruit classes with more high school players.

Aaron Paisley 5 months, 1 week ago

A program like KU will always have to be reliant upon the JuCo ranks to fill out their roster because there simply isn't enough local HS talent to support 1, let alone 2 programs in the state. A program like KU should usually have about 1/3 of their recruiting class each year come from the JuCo ranks. That's just the reality of recruiting to a place like KU that doesn't have the tradition to recruit great HS talent outside the state like Oklahoma or Nebraska can, and there just isn't the local talent to support KU like there is in Texas, California, or Florida.

Dirk Medema 5 months, 1 week ago

A quick scan of the roster explains what Coach Weis was talking about when he first got here about a lack of upperclassmen. We lost about 15 recruits from each of the first 2 classes, which is why we had to recruit JC's so hard to begin with. That we have 5 (80% of the class) at this point does not determine the final make up. It is good that we have some big boyz for the OL and a DT, because we don't have nearly enough depth there at this point.

Travis Clementsmith 5 months, 1 week ago

We don't recruit on the level of Texas and Oklahoma in football. There's only so many large and mobile prospects that come out of high school and the top football schools fight each other over them. You can develop some prospectives you hope are late bloomers, but it just makes sense to add those late bloomers who blossomed under playing time at a JUCO. Do we want our program to be primarily JUCO? No. But, we have to supplement with JUCO if we ever hope to compete. Until we start showing a consistent winner, we're not competing for the top tier prospects. And even if we do, its still hard to overcome the football schools' traditions in prep recruiting.

Brandon Mahon 5 months, 1 week ago

We need JUCO... People need to understand we have a big senior class about to leave. There is nothing wrong with getting some big guys that are already matured. Have a few juco guys is a good idea. People need to realize that, mixing juco and freshman is how to do it. We can't just put out a freshman/sophomore team next year. These jucos will push the others and give us depth.

Andy Tweedy 5 months, 1 week ago

All are "expected" to be December graduates. I hope these kids work out, and I have no reason to believe they won't. But I'll believe they'll be here when they are actually here.

Jim Jackson 5 months, 1 week ago

It's HUGE that these guys are December grads. This is great news!

Lucas Town 5 months, 1 week ago

According to Rivals and ESPN...Murray had offers from Bethune-Cookman, Eastern Michigan, Temple, Utah State and Southern Alabama.

Lee, Dezir, Smalley and Smith had no other offers. Sure there was some interest from some schools but there were no offers reported. I hope the coaches have done their homework evaluating these guys.

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