Friday, January 30, 2015

Big recruiting weekend on tap for KU football

Kansas University football recruiting.

Kansas University football recruiting.


The final weekend before signing day is always a big deal, but this weekend looks to have even more importance for the Kansas University football program, which still is in the process of trying to fill up first-year head coach David Beaty's first recruiting class.

With 21 spots accounted for — eight mid-year transfers and 13 oral commitments — and a few spots still left to fill, Beaty and company have been logging all kinds of frequent flier miles during the past couple of weeks in hopes of identifying the final pieces to the puzzle.

According to site, the Jayhawks will welcome 10 athletes to town this weekend for their official visits. Four of the 10 — quarterback Carter Stanley, wide receiver Steven Sims and cornerbacks Shaq Richmond and Shola Ayinde — already have committed to Kansas and are just coming to take one final look around before making things official next Wednesday on national signing day.

The six other visitors, which include everything from Coffeyville Community College offensive tackle to an in-state safety from Derby, remain undecided and are in the process of trying to decide if Kansas is the place for them.

Along with touring the facilities, meeting the coaching staff, academic counselors and getting answers to all kinds of questions, the weekend visitors also will attend Saturday's 1 p.m. KU-K-State basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. Throughout the past several decades, getting recruits into the Fieldhouse for a game has proven to be a huge tool in getting them to say yes to Kansas.

It's important to remember that the recruiting game is incredibly fluid, especially this close to signing day. So even though these guys were expected to visit this weekend does not mean they all made it or that others did not join them at the last minute.

Stay logged in to and Twitter — @KUSports or @mctait — throughout the weekend for updates.

Here's a quick look at the visitors KU is expected to host this weekend, along with the most up-to-date version of the 2015 recruiting class as it stands today.

Clyde McCauley – 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle from Bowie High in Arlington, Texas. Mcauley, a 2-star prospect, committed to Fresno State back in August, but KU cornerbacks coach Kenny Perry has been in hot pursuit since he took the job. McCauley also has offers from Louisiana-Monroe and San Diego State.

Cam Durley – 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle from Houston Christian High. Also has offers from TCU and McNeese State. Offensive line coach Zach Yenser said earlier this month that his job was to find two offensive tackles by signing day and Yenser is the lead recruiter for Durley.

Marnez Ogletree – 5-foot-10, 190-pound cornerback from Fullerton (California) Community College. Two-star prospect has offers from Boise State, Fresno State, Georgia State, Hawaii, Indiana, KU, Middle Tennessee State and Utah State. Perry recently made an in-home visit with Ogletree and the idea of playing in the Big 12 seems to have some pull.

Tyrone Miller – 6-foot, 178-pound safety from Saline (Michigan) High. Miller committed to Central Michigan in early December but appears to be at least open to looking around. Also has offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, Indiana State, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Darreon Jackson – 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety from Derby High. Three-star Kansas prospect is one of the biggest fish left on KU's wish list. Jackson also has offers from Boise State, Kansas State Army, North Texas, Southern Illinois, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Illinois. Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen is the lead recruiter for Jackson.

Jaypee Philbert – 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Coffeyville Community College. Another Yenser target, the three-star juco prospect also has offers from Colorado State, Iowa State, South Florida, Arizona State, Arkansas State and Georgia State. Interesting note: The lead recruiter for Philbert at Iowa State is none other than Tommy Mangino, son of former KU coach Mark Mangino.

Carter Stanley – 6-foot-2, 188-pound quarterback from Vero Beach (Florida) High. Stanley became the second, and likely final, QB to commit to KU in the current class, joining Bishop Miege's Ryan Willis. Two-star, dual-threat prospect chose KU over UConn and late interest from Penn State, Miami (Florida) and Texas Tech.

Shaq Richmond – 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from Timberview High in Arlington, Texas. Three-star prospect committed to KU in mid-December and picked the Jayhawks over offers from Louisville, New Mexico, SMU and UTEP.

Shola Ayinde – 6-foot, 168-pound cornerback from George Ranch High in Richmond, Texas. Ayinde, a two-star prospect who had been committed to Tulsa, chose KU over offers from New Mexico, Tulsa, Utah State and UTEP. He committed to KU on Jan. 19 and came largely because of KU D-Line coach Calvin Thibodeaux, who previously coached at Tulsa.

Steven Sims – 5-foot-10, 165-pound wide receiver from Travis High in Richmond, Texas. Two-star prospect known for ability to play in space, picked KU over offers from McNeese State, Southeast Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin. KU receivers coach Klint Kubiak, who first caught wind of Sims while still working with Beaty at Texas A&M;, was the lead recruiter for Sims.


Micky Baker 4 years, 11 months ago

To say it's a big recruiting weekend is an understatement. I think the O-line and then Jackson should be the priorities. We only have four spots left so we can hope for something, but there just isn't going to be all the pieces we need in one recruiting class. That's just the reality. I do think that Beaty wants to build the team around the offense, which I think means that we need to get the right kind of players for that first and establish the "air raid" attack. Then the defense will come together and the type of defense we need will be focused hard on the secondary and guys up front that can block. We will also need linebackers than cover the pass, because if the air raid works there will be times 3 to 4 years down the road when we build leads that force teams to be one-dimensional on offense. Just my 2 cents.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 11 months ago

ESP* has Ogletree committed to BSU, as well as the other 2 "committed" elsewhere. Interesting to see us poaching the classes of others.

Jackson and Philbert are definitely the 2 biggest prospects this weekend, as much because they could otherwise be playing against us as because they are positions of need. Lots of CB's in this class, and a bunch of upperclassmen as safeties, but the S roster is definitely lacking for underclassmen. There is always a need for OT's, and easier for an OT to move inside to play OG than vice versa.

It would also be nice to have at least one stole leftover to offer to a Joe Mortensen - dissed by NU, and a great post-signing day pick up for KU.

Larry Jackson 4 years, 11 months ago

This is an excellent group of recruits! Prayerfully, the DFW recruiting pipeline connection can pay early dividends. If we manage to steal a couple, or three of these guys, we'll be in good shape. Specifically, Clyde McCauley OT from Bowie H.S., Perry was this kid's coach.

Mark Lindrud 4 years, 11 months ago

2 offensive lineman, a corner and safety would look pretty good to finish this class, especially if Jackson and Philbert are two of the names. Finishing off the trenches and helping the defense would be nice. With all of the OL that we are bringing in we can always move 1 or 2 to DL if it comes to that. This class can definitely finish off being solid for with plenty of high school kids to develop. Even if next year is a throw away year, young talent to grow and develop can be worth it in the end.

Marcy Frick 4 years, 11 months ago

KU is missing out on a great OL in the Edmond OK area, and he even wanted to go to KU!

Dirk Medema 4 years, 11 months ago

Looks like "great" might be referring to HS vs D1 ability. Maybe he'll walk-on somewhere and prove everyone else wrong.

Additionally, he's an OG. We already have 2 JC & 2 HS OG's signed/committed. We now need OT's not OG's.

Michael Bennett 4 years, 11 months ago

As long as we keep recruiting 5' 10" WR's, we have no shot at ever being competitive.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 11 months ago

ESPN indicates that we received a commit today from Denzel Feaster, a 6'2'', 180 lb athlete (QB/FS) from Manor, TX, though he isn't one of the 11 on campus this weekend.

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