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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Notebook: Gavin Potter picks KU after showing up to signing ceremony in K-State gear

Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting

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After his recruitment came down to the wire, Gavin Potter, a high school linebacker from Oklahoma, introduced himself to the Kansas football fan base in grand fashion Wednesday.

A three-star prospect who had verbally committed to Kansas State, Potter waited until National Signing Day to reveal whether he would stick with the Wildcats or choose another Big 12 program.

And when it was time for his signing ceremony at Broken Arrow High, Potter, who arrived wearing a K-State hoodie, added plenty of spectacle to his big moment.

“I would like to sign with,” Potter said in a video posted by Tulsa TV station FOX 23, before pausing for dramatic effect. Next, he began removing his purple sweatshirt, only to unveil a red Texas Tech T-shirt underneath.

But Potter wasn’t done there. He shed the Red Raiders garb, too, to uncloak the letters KU painted onto his chest. The linebacker proceeded to stand up and turn around so he could show the cameras and people in attendance the word Jayhawk painted on his back, as well, above a No. 12.

Afterward, the new Kansas signee was asked what it will be like playing against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the future.

“OU and OSU made the worst decision they’ve ever made letting me leave Oklahoma,” Potter asserted while sporting a blue KU cap. “So I’m going to look forward to playing them. And that’s what I love to do. I love to prove people wrong. So that’s going to be two games that I’m going to have a lot of fun playing.”

None by Jeff Kolb

Told about the linebacker’s presentation, first-year KU defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had a three-word response: “Doesn’t surprise me.”

Eliot said he reached out to Potter, a 6-foot-2 linebacker, on his first day on the job, after filling out paperwork and watching video of the KU players he will soon be coaching.

Next on the agenda of the outside linebackers coach and DC was checking out footage of some possible recruits. Eliot was wowed when he watched clips of Potter.

The way Eliot tells the story, he got on the phone with Potter that night.

“Hey, man. Just watched your film,” the coach recalled of his message. “You’re exactly what we’re looking for.”

Both Eliot and head coach Les Miles talked to Potter and his family on the phone “for a long time” and set up an official visit for the next week. What’s more, Eliot shared, the first home visit he made on KU’s staff was to meet with the Potters.

“I just recruited him as hard as I could for the next month and a half, I guess,” Eliot said, “and we were able to land him. And I think he’s going to be a great asset for us.”

At least while speaking with reporters, Eliot downplayed the importance of getting a K-State recruit to flip.

“I’ll be honest with you. I just want to get the best players we can get,” Eliot said. “I’m just gratified that Gavin Potter chose to come here. He obviously had many other options, because he’s such a good player. But the fact that he chose us is a testament to this staff’s recruiting.”

MacVittie KU’s starter?

During his signing day press conference, Miles, while discussing the three quarterbacks in KU’s 2019 class, seemed to give the slightest hint about what role Thomas MacVittie could play for the Jayhawks.

“If, in fact, Thomas MacVittie is the starter,” Miles said while throwing around some hypothetical situations in which one of the other QBs who signed could potentially switch to another position.

Miles spoke highly of MacVittie, a junior college transfer and former backup at Pitt, who signed with KU in December.

“We had to have a guy that could stand in there, throw, but he is also mobile,” Miles said. “He's a 6-5, 220-pound quarterback that really can really sling it.”

Miles pleased with first KU signing class

While highlighting the potential of the signees, Miles deemed Wednesday a “great day for Kansas football.”

“There's a rare combination here between strong and thick and physical and athletic and with speed. The Kansas brand helped us tremendously. It stands for academics, it stands for great athletics, and the people that went to school here and carry the message that they had when they were students here just — it's tremendous for us,” Miles said. “We use it really on a regular basis.”

With 14 players entering the program from the high school ranks, Miles didn’t mind setting the bar high for his first recruiting class at Kansas.

“This class,” he said, “will have the ability to compete for championships. It's the style of team, the speed that will develop and develop nicely. So we're proud.”

Comments

Doug Roberts 4 months, 1 week ago

I still shudder when a coach talks about competing for championships.

Dane Pratt 4 months, 1 week ago

Same here. When Turner Gill talked about a national championship I cringed. However, a conference title is I hope something within our grasp. Some day.

Dale Rogers 4 months, 1 week ago

I would be happy just getting a bowl game in year 3 of the Les Miles era. I'd be ecstatic if we reached that level in year 2. I'm not expecting miracles although with that we've been through the past 10 years or so, just getting more than 3 wins will feel really good to me.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 1 week ago

"The Kansas brand helped us tremendously. It stands for academics, it stands for great athletics, and the people that went to school here and carry the message that they had when they were students here just — it's tremendous for us,” Miles said.

After having one of the best basketball coaches in the county, who followed one of the best basketball coaches in the country, (and so on) you would think that I would know what it is like to have a great coach at our university. We've just never had it in football. We've had two really good coaches in modern history: Glen Mason and Mark Mangino. We've never had a great one. I think we have one now.

Andy Tweedy 4 months, 1 week ago

I do so love it when folks give Mason credit for doing such a good job here, he seems to be forgotten. His teams weren't perfect and he made some head scratching game day decisions, but his teams would run through a brick wall and they were tough as hell!!!

Al Martin 4 months, 1 week ago

The team that beat UCLA in the bowl game in Hawaii was pretty darned good. KU and K-State both ended up in the top 10 that year. Mason did a good job here.

Brad Avery 4 months, 1 week ago

Still remember Tony Sands popping Misery for 396 yards. Mason's teams always ran the ball exceptionally well, and he was a very good recruiter. Ironically, I believe one of the reasons Glen was hired at KU was that he came to Lawrence in 1987 as the HC of Kent State and put a whupping on the Jayhawks, 31-17.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 months, 1 week ago

ldk how any of this will play out come September, but let me tell you after 10 years of horse%$#* Miles can say anything he wants. He has people talking and getting excited about oh my God......Kansas Football. Right now thats enough. People are hopeful, it's a start. He stole players that big time programs wanted and hopefully that's just the beginning. If they can be competitive next year other big time players might listen to him to come. He has proven recruiters on his staff and whether he falls on his face or soars above the clouds, at least there is a little excitement around KUFB.

Brad Avery 4 months, 1 week ago

JaRon Rush redux, only this time it turned out well for the crimson and blue.

Titus Canby 4 months, 1 week ago

Just my opinion, but I'm not a big fan of this kind of grandstanding. It's like recruits who do the hat dance.

[''] 4 months, 1 week ago

Careful Titus -- when I mentioned that yesterday it chapped the soft backsides of a couple of prickly posters here. : )

Greg Ledom 4 months, 1 week ago

Puhleez, soft backsides are those chapped by what he chose to do to reveal his college team. Dudes a 21st century teenager. Relax Francis and relish in the fact that this kid turned down two other power 5 programs (and our in state rival to boot) to come to Kansas. Bring the attitude, bring the talent and back up your shiz and get to work. Do that and nobody will care about how you chose to show your college team of choice. Rock Chalk!!

Layne Pierce 4 months, 1 week ago

Let's just see if Mr. Potter can back it up. If not we throw him into Potter Lake.

Fact is there is a whole different feeling about KU football, right now, and even this recruiting was well thought out, and purposeful. Not only can many of these players help right away, but they are going to be here two years from now, and believe me that's when the numbers game will be critical. Just take a look at our current freshmen and sophomores, they will have to improve a bunch to be ready to play in 2020-21.

You can see if you pay attention that Coach Miles is looking towards the future, and putting a program in place. He will have every opportunity to do so. If this group of recruits continues next year to be even better, then Katy bar the door.

Also let's pay close attention to what Coach does with the Juco players. And how do the players here get bigger and better.

RCJH

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