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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Three mid-year football transfers make KU commitments official

Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting

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Months of hard work and pavement pounding began paying off early Wednesday morning, when Kansas University football coach David Beaty announced the signing of a handful of mid-year junior college transfers.

Riverside (California) College defensive tackle Isi Holani, Highland Community College defensive tackle DeeIsaac Davis and versatile wide receiver/defensive back Stephan Robinson from Northeastern Oklahoma JC became the first in the Class of 2016 to officially join the Jayhawks on Wednesday.

"We are very excited to be adding DeeIsaac, Isi and Stephan to our program," Beaty said in a news release. "It is our goal to build Kansas football by addressing our biggest needs and at the same time finding the right people who fit the profile of who we want to be Jayhawks. All three of these guys help us accomplish that."

Beaty, one of KU's most active coaches on social media, announced the signings on Twitter.

Holani, a 6-foot-2, 315-pound, three-star prospect from Riverside College in California, made an official visit to Kansas last weekend and ended his recruitment Monday afternoon.

Holani, who hails from Hilo High in Hawaii and figures to add immediate depth to KU's defensive line, had offers from Kansas State, Hawaii, Oklahoma State, Colorado State, Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State.

Robinson, a 5-foot-11, 173-pound two-star athlete who could play wide receiver, defensive back and on special teams, will have four years remaining to play out three seasons of eligibility.

Two of Robinson's official visits during the recruiting process were to Kansas and Tennessee and, according to JayhawkSlant.com, both Nebraska and Virginia Tech recently tried to get involved with him.

Robinson also had offers from Southern Miss, Tulsa, Arkansas State, and Utah State.

Davis, a 6-foot-4, 295 pound two-star defensive tackle from Highland Community College drew serious interest from several other programs after he committed to Kansas in early November, picking up new offers from Southern Miss, Western Kentucky, New Mexico and Ohio.

Linebackers coach Kevin Kane began recruiting Davis midway through the 2015 season and Davis, who originally hails from Andover High near Wichita, ultimately chose Kansas over New Mexico.

All three players visited KU in the last month and are expected to be on campus in time for the beginning of the spring semester and spring football.

"These student-athletes address our immediate needs," Beaty added. "Having the opportunity to get these guys on campus in January was huge for our program moving forward and then also knowing we would have Stephan for three years was an added bonus."

Comments

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Congratulations to these young men, and to the KU staff for securing the commitments.

Hey Amani, the d-line is looking pretty good! Might as well join-up today!

Brad Farha 3 years, 11 months ago

Matt -- I took a look at Rivals, and it says we have 13 recruits now. At least 5 are JuCo. Does that concern you that we are hitting the JuCo route too heavily again?

This is a question for everyone. Not knocking Beaty as I like what he's doing so far. Just don't want us to walk down the same path as Weis.

Jonathan Briles 3 years, 11 months ago

One difference between how Beaty does it and how Weis did it is targeting JUCO guys who were graduating at semester. 3 of the 5 will be here for all of spring training and have a big step up on things and one of those three has 4 years to complete 3 years of eligibility. I think we are done for the most part on the JUCO route for this class and 5 in a class is not bad. Weis was routinely in the double digits.

On a side note I watched the film of Robinson and he is exactly the kind of kid we need on this team. His highlights don't wow you, but the way he plays kind of does. He has relentless pursuit on defense and always rushes to the ball and completely commits to downfield blocking as a receiver. He seems like a guy that will buy in and give everything he has and bring the effort level up for the guys around him. Good signings today.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 11 months ago

Weis' classes were double digit if you include transfers

2012 = 9 + 3 T's

2013 = 17!!!

2014 = 8 + 2 T's

The reason Weis ?Had? to go this route was the result of losing an entire class of upper classmen due to transfers from the coaching changes. We were missing 25 +/- jr's & sr's when he arrived, most of which was not a result of him kicking off the team the 20+ players that were flunking out or otherwise "not making the grade".

The real problem though is the matter of character that was missed resulting in 50% of the JC's never even making it onto the turf for game time. We're in a completely different position now if we had a class full of Johnson's, McDonald's, Tavais, Stowers, Coxes, ... and a lot fewer Combs, Martins, Shorts ...

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Brad, without repeating Jonathan's points, my opinion is that a sizable number of JUCO guys will be essential next year.

The problem that I envision would be back-to-back calamitous seasons. If we were to go 1-11 next year, recruiting would start to get very difficult. Recruits will give you the one-year bye, but if you aren't showing significant improvement in the second year, then the die may well be cast, and your competitors will be killing you on the recruiting trail. It might be over for you before you ever get started. Improvement next year is of paramount importance but, to your point, it has to executed in a thoughtful way.

There are 24 positions on the field, including specialists. You have approximately 21 schollies to offer each year. I think that you should take the 3 weakest defensive positions and the 3 weakest offensive positions and bolster them every year with the best JUCO's available, assuming that they are high-character guys. As you get into years 4 and 5 of the rebuild, you could then cut this number back to two on each side of the ball.

If you can develop a smart plan for JUCO kids, you'll be able to score better players who can come in at the semester and contribute right away, while effectively managing your numbers.

Taking the emotion out of the Weis debacle leaves me thinking that, in addition to his over-confidence, he really was going for a 3-year turn-around and then was going to leverage it into a better job somewhere else. He was not thinking long-term, which led us to this mess.

My opinion is that too much has been made on this site of JUCO's and transfers. Smart manipulation of these resources can help us to get where we want to be.

Brad Farha 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank you Jonathan & Brett. Appreciate the detailed explanation, and it definitely puts my mind at rest. Looking forward to seeing how Coach rounds out the class.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 11 months ago

Great to see us going after players, like Holani, who can help in big problem areas.

I just posted this by error on an older Bledsoe article but Kansas fans should be excited about Maciah Long, the Houston North Shore QB, is slated to be a LB. Long is one heck of a football player. As a QB, he has led Northshore to the 6A Div 1 State Championship game this Saturday. Although committed to KU, other schools like Indiana continues to pursue him.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Matt- Beaty hasn't tweeted on Holani yet. Are we sure it's a done deal?

Michael Bennett 3 years, 11 months ago

Nothing here to get excited about. Meanwhile KS Gatorade player of the year is 20 miles up the road w/o a full ride offer from KU. 6' 2" 200 lb WR or safety who runs a 4.6, likes to hit with great hands. Beaty has not impressed yet with his recruiting.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

He's on their radar and no one else has offered him a scholarship.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Michael, a 3-star DT and three total early arrivals is something to get excited about. Let's not minimize kids who have committed to KU simply because your favorite player hasn't been offered.

Though Christian may be a good player, he wasn't ranked going into the season and just recently was promoted to a 3-star level. Gatorade Player of the Year is a terrific award, but it's not a predictor of collegiate success.

Based on Matt's earlier story, we may have as few as 18 scholarships available, which means that it will be difficult to parse them out properly. My guess is that in-state guys will probably get a heavy walk-on push because it's much harder to get out-of-state walk-ons. We have 13 WR's returning next year (based on the roster), plus two current commitments (not sure where Robinson will play). That's just about 15% of the current roster. Even with 4-wide sets, WR's should account for 10% of the total roster.

We should be careful to use broad-brush critiques of recruiting this early in the game. Signing day isn't until February. Beaty's recruiting effectiveness probably can't be judged on-field until the beginning of Year 4. Until then, there isn't much we can do but trust him.

Jennifer Nikkila Pressgrove 3 years, 11 months ago

What's the deal with the two guys from Snow CC? They committed this summer and we've already seen one Snow commit jump ship. Are they not eligible to sign this period?

Michael Bennett 3 years, 11 months ago

As I said, not impressed. Past Gatorade POY- Goolsby-KSU, Dineen-KU, Cozart's- KU, Bubba Starling, Blake Bell...0nly 1 in last 7-8 years that wasn't a household name and stud. Been watching KU FB for over 40 years. SOS. Every year LJW blows smoke up our ##% to sell papers w/o making any attempt to vet players. People need to challenge coaches to be better instead of letting it slide.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Only you can give someone permission to blow smoke up you xyz".

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 11 months ago

The players from Snow will likely not sign with us. They were recruited to be here mid-year and did not make the grade.

As for Beaty's recruiting skills, they are acknowledged by football people far and wide. Sit back and watch, baby.

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