As important as Saturday’s festivities at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium were for the Jayhawks who were able to show off their skills during the spring game, the weekend itself doubled as a giant stage for the program and its future under new head coach Les Miles.
Although former KU standouts such as Todd Reesing and Chris Harris Jr. attended Miles’ debut and the postgame Rick Ross concert, the night was also about recruiting.
KU’s football staff expected approximately 70 recruits in attendance for the scrimmage and the postgame show.
While that number included some players who signed in KU’s 2019 class, it also featured many Class of 2020 targets and local and in-state prospects.
Most notably, at least five recruits used the spring game extravaganza as their official visits to KU:
• T.J. Finley, a 6-foot-7, four-star pro style quarterback from Ponchatoula, La., who is committed to LSU
• Tee Webb, a 6-4, three-star pro style QB from Cartersville, Ga.
• Larry Moore, a 6-6, three-star offensive tackle from Missouri City, Texas
• Keith Miller, a 6-5, three-star receiver from The Colony, Texas
• Jimmy Holiday, a 6-1, three-star QB from Flora, Miss.
Miles said earlier this week the response from recruits had been “very good” ahead of the spring game and the Rick Ross show.
View a gallery from the Kansas football Spring Game on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Memorial Stadium.
“There’s going to be a number of guys who want to see Lawrence in a festive environment, and I think that that’s very realistic,” Miles predicted.
Pooka Williams in attendance
KU’s most explosive offensive player in 2018, Pooka Williams didn’t participate in the spring game.
But the running back from New Orleans was in attendance, watching from the front row of the bleachers and occasionally posing for photos with fans before the scrimmage began.
A KU official told the Journal-World that Williams remains suspended.
Miles suspended Williams this past December, after KU police arrested Williams and he was charged with domestic battery. Williams agreed to a domestic violence diversion earlier this month. He has not participated in any spring practices.
KU standouts back for spring game
Orange Bowl winners Reesing and Harris weren’t the only notable Jayhawks back in Lawrence this weekend to check out the KU football program.
One of their standout teammates from that Mark Mangino-coached team, Dezmon Briscoe, played in the K-Club alumni flag football game before the spring game, catching passes from Reesing during the day’s warmup act.
Harris, Bradley McDougald and Fish Smithson didn’t play flag football, but took it all in.
So, too, did former KU basketball standouts Devonte’ Graham and Landen Lucas.
Miles joins Ross on stage
At one point during Rick Ross’ performance, Miles joined the rapper on stage and danced along, joining the show.
Earlier this week, quarterback Thomas MacVittie said Miles might have been more excited about Rick Ross coming to Lawrence than anyone.
“He comes in the meeting room doing that Rick Ross grunt — you know, ‘huhh.’ We’re playing Rick Ross before meetings,” MacVittie said. “I just think as a program we’re pretty excited.”