Friday, July 30, 2021
Over the course of the past several months, Kaleb Purdy picked up scholarship offers from more renowned Power Five football programs than Kansas. But on Friday, the defensive back from St. Louis announced he plans to play at KU.
Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals headed into his senior year at DeSmet High, Purdy went with the Jayhawks, despite offers from Iowa State, Michigan, Missouri and Kansas State.
Currently ranked by Rivals as the No. 20 Class of 2022 prospect in the state of Missouri, Purdy took official visits to both K-State and KU in June before announcing his decision at the end of July.
Purdy told Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant he was intrigued by the idea of playing for Lance Leipold.
“He's a new coach at Kansas and he's trying to change the culture and change it to a winning team,” Purdy said. “That's big to me, a coach that's trying to change the culture.”
According to Purdy, his relationship with KU football actually began before Leipold was hired. Jake Schoonover, one of the several holdover assistants from Les Miles’ staff, began recruiting Purdy as soon as he started working for the program a few months ago.
“Nobody else called me like Coach Schoonover,” Purdy said of Leipold’s special teams coordinator. “And it felt special. It felt real. They really wanted me. It wasn't fake love,” he added. “Coach Schoonover, when I was on the visit, showed me a lot.”
With Purdy on board, KU landed its second three-star defensive back in less than 24 hours, on the heels of Dallas cornerback Anthony Davis announcing his decision to join the Jayhawks.
Leipold’s first recruiting class at Kansas currently includes seven prospects, all of whom are set to finish up their high school careers in the fall.
Early on in the process, KU is addressing its secondary, with four three-star defensive backs committed: Purdy, Davis, Jalon Peoples and Dewuan Mack.
All verbal commitments, though, are nonbinding, and the earliest any of the recruits can sign with KU and make their ties to the program official is in December.
• Dewuan Mack — 3-star Missouri DB
• Jacobe Chester — 3-star Texas athlete
• Nikki Taylor — 3-star Alabama athlete
• Jalon Peoples — 3-star Texas CB
• Anthony Davis — 3-star Texas CB
• Kaleb Purdy — 3-star Missouri S
• James Livingston — 2-star Michigan OT