Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Les Miles, KU staff poised to sign many 2020 recruits during early period

New Kansas head football coach Les Miles talks about his first recruiting class during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 in Mrkonic Auditorium.

New Kansas head football coach Les Miles talks about his first recruiting class during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 in Mrkonic Auditorium.


On the always fluid college football recruiting scene, nothing is official until a prospect signs his national letter of intent.

Now, after months of work toward trying to get some new Jayhawks to enlist, Kansas head coach Les Miles and his staff should soon be able to rest a little easier.

Wednesday marks the beginning of the three-day December early signing period, and the Jayhawks could get a bulk of their 2020 commitments officially on board now — though others will wait until February to sign.

The buzz around the KU football facility indicates Miles and company could welcome aboard about 16 to 20 new Jayhawks, among a class that currently includes 25 commitments.

Here’s a rundown of what to watch for, before Miles and his assistants discuss their newest batch of recruits with media members on Wednesday afternoon inside Anderson Family Football Complex.

Who seems to be in?

Signing is such a huge deal for college football prospects that several of KU’s commitments — or others associated with their respective high schools — have announced via social media their plans to sign this week.

It appears KU could have the following signatures in place by the end of Wednesday (star rankings via Rivals):

• 3-star CB Duece Mayberry

• 3-star TE Will Huggins

• 3-star LB Krishawn Brown

• 3-star OL Garrett Jones

• 3-star DE Caleb Taylor

• 3-star athlete Jaylin Richardson

• 2-star athlete Daniel Hishaw Jr.

• 3-star WR Steven McBride

• 3-star WR Tristan Golightly

• 2-star CB Karon Prunty

Additionally, two-star receiver Kyler Pearson and two-star offensive lineman Nicholas Martinez each told the Journal-World he plans to sign on Wednesday. And three-star linebacker Alonso Person told Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant he hopes to graduate from high school early and enroll at KU in January.

Who’s waiting?

While the exact signing plans of some players already committed to KU aren’t publicly known, others definitely will wait until the traditional National Signing Day in February.

The latter group includes the highest rated player currently connected to the Jayhawks. Four-star linebacker Brennon Scott told Jayhawk Slant he will not sign during December’s early period.

What’s more, each of the following recruits told the Journal-World he will wait until February to sign: three-star defensive lineman Kenean Caldwell, three-star receiver Luke Grimm and three-star cornerback JaCobee Bryant.

Who might flip?

At least one recruit who previously made a nonbinding verbal pledge to KU could sign elsewhere.

A three-star defensive end from New Orleans, Khari Coleman, according to Rivals’ Chad Simmons, could flip this week.

Per Rivals, Tennessee improved its standing with Coleman’s recruitment, following the D-lineman’s visit to check out the Volunteers in late November. Plus, TCU is considered to still be in the mix for Coleman.

Who might announce?

One unaffiliated recruit who just visited Lawrence will make his decision public during the first day of the early signing period.

A three-star high school cornerback from Florida, Johnquai Lewis will announce his college choice during a signing ceremony Wednesday, as he told Kirby of Jayhawk Slant, following a snowy visit to Lawrence.

Lewis told Kirby that KU, Louisville, Wake Forest, Indiana and Connecticut have recruited him the hardest.

KU football 2020 verbal commitments

(Rivals recruiting rankings listed)

• Brennon Scott - 4-star LB from Texas

• Duece Mayberry - 3-star CB from Oklahoma

• Trevor Kardell - 3-star TE from Missouri

• Will Huggins - 3-star TE from Kansas

• Krishawn Brown - 3-star LB from Oklahoma

• Khari Coleman - 3-star DE from Louisiana

• Garrett Jones - 3-star OL from Michigan

• Ja’Cobee Bryant - 3-star CB from Alabama

• Malik Johnson - 3-star WR from Texas

• Caleb Taylor - 3-star DE from Missouri

• Kenean Caldwell - 3-star DT from Louisiana

• Jaylin Richardson - 3-star athlete from Kansas

• Taiwan Berryhill - 3-star LB from Louisiana

• Lawrence Arnold - 3-star WR from Texas

• Chris Jones - 3-star DE from Florida

• Alonso Person - 3-star LB from California

• Steven McBride - 3-star WR from Louisiana

• Tristan Golightly - 3-star TE from Texas

• DaVonshai Harden Jr. - 2-star QB from Kansas

• Luke Grimm - 2-star WR from Missouri

• Nicholas Martinez - 2-star OL from California

• Kyler Pearson - 2-star WR from Oklahoma

• Daniel Hishaw Jr. - 2-star athlete from Oklahoma

• Karon Prunty - 2-star CB from Virginia

• Armaj Adams-Reed - 2-star OL from Texas


Len Shaffer 1 year, 4 months ago

Are any of these guys who are saying they're going to wait until February giving reasons why? If they were truly committed to KU, wouldn't they want to sign now rather than waiting?

Brett McCabe 1 year, 4 months ago

Len, fair question. It will be interesting to see how other teams do today in signing their commitments. Certainly, a player isn’t committed if he doesn’t sign today. Not that we won’t get him but he’s clearly looking to see what’s out there after signing day.

If a player doesn’t have any official visits left, it would seem that our odds at keeping him would be relatively strong. If he has visits available, then things could get dicey.

With all the statisticians in sports today, I would think that there’s a pretty reliable predictor out there somewhere of what happens to committed recruits who don’t sign early.

This situation also shows why it’s important for programs like KU to get early commitments, and a lot of them, because there is going to be some leakage on and after signing day.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 4 months ago

Since we can’t comment on Benton’s running update, I just wanted to note that 8 of the first 9 signings were 3 star athletes. Historically, a 2.9 avg star rating equated to top-half of the conference in recruiting.

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