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Juco-heavy class brings immediate help to defense

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Kansas football head coach David Beaty watches a drill during the team's second practice of fall camp on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017.

Kansas football head coach David Beaty watches a drill during the team's second practice of fall camp on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. by Mike Yoder

The NJCAA released its All-American football teams Wednesday, citing 25 first-team names, 25 second-teamers and 25 Honorable Mention selections.

None of the nine junior-college prospects welcomed Wednesday by Kansas on the first day of the three-day early signing period were among the 75 honored players, but Kansas coaches are hopeful that the class, which so far also includes one graduate transfer and four high school recruits, brings immediate help to the defense.

Nine of the 14 signees play defense, including four additions to the beleaguered secondary. Look for signing-day surprise Corione Harris, a cornerback from Landry-Walker High in New Orleans and the only of the original six verbal commitments from Louisiana to sign with KU, to start from Day 1. Juco cornerback Elijah Jones, listed at 6-foot-3, will compete for a starting spot and juco safeties Davon Ferguson and Jeremiah McCullough will compete for the starting spot alongside Mike Lee at safety.

Edge rusher Azur Kamara, one of four junior-college defensive lineman in the class, appears to be the signee with the highest ceiling in the class, aside from Harris.

If Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise resist the temptation to declare for the NFL draft, there is reason to believe the defense will be better than last season.

Five or six scholarships remain in a transfer-heavy class that bankrupts the 2021 senior class. Look for one to go to a juco or graduate-transfer offensive tackle, which shapes up as the most shallow position on the roster.

Kansas added two offensive linemen from the high school ranks, always a good idea, but don’t expect them to help in 2018. They’ll need to be groomed.

So far, David Beaty's fourth recruiting class doesn’t include a quarterback and efforts to recruit a juco dual-threat trigger man capable of escaping the inevitable steady stream of pass-rushers so far have been fruitless.

Comments

Blake Phillips 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Hey Tom,

Does this mean "Pooka" Williams is not coming or does this mean he may sign later down the road?

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 4 weeks ago

He is expected to announce tomorrow in the morning.

Tom Keegan 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Actually, there has been some talk that he will wait until February.

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I've heard a huge mix of the same from rivals and then around football complex...I'd say if he doesn't sign by Friday we don't have him anymore.

Drew Matthews 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Although it will help to have more depth, the way our corners play is so bad. They play like 10 yards off and still get burned. Hopefully these guys can come in and be stout. Rock Chalk!

Edward Daub 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Wise and Armstrong will most likely both declare for the NFL Draft. Kamara has potential except for the fact he "Shrank" from 6'6" 230 Lbs to 6'4" 225 Lbs in 1 Day ! (comparing the 2 Recent KU Sports Articles).

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 4 weeks ago

"So far, David Beaty's fourth recruiting class doesn’t include a quarterback and efforts to recruit a juco dual-threat trigger man capable of escaping the inevitable steady stream of pass-rushers so far have been fruitless"

Lindsey Scott?? Thought to have Kansas as his front runner right now after his visit no?

Adam Engelbrecht 10 months, 4 weeks ago

That doesn't make what was said wrong though? I guess I may be missing your point.

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I was emphasizing this point: "efforts to recruit a juco dual-threat trigger man capable of escaping the inevitable steady stream of pass-rushers so far have been fruitless"... I don't think they have come up with absolutely nothing in regards to recruiting a juco dual threat trigger man.. i just think they haven't secured a commitment from him.

Mike Hart 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Bryson, it sounds more negative just to call it fruitless. News will always be presented worst-case with little benefit of the doubt, because it is Beaty. Here is my favorite line in Keegan's article:

"If Dorance Armstrong and Daniel Wise resist the temptation to declare for the NFL draft, there is reason to believe the defense will be better than last season."

LOL. Well of course it will be. We have a 4 star CB coming in and many 3 star players to supplement a defense that loses ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. What is it going to do get worse with another year of weight room/seasoning/experience? Ridiculous...

Dirk Medema 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I try to be positive in general, but until someone signs or arrives on campus, fruitless is the appropriate word to describe all the effort the coaches have put into recruiting all the players they've, scouted, offered and talked to.

Chandler Accipiter 10 months, 4 weeks ago

KU met with a high school QB in AZ last week, Brock Purdy, but they didn't offer. It was his first Power 5 visit, although he did pick up a full offer to Boise St and a preferred walk-on offer from Alabama. The impression was that KU was waiting to see what happens during this early period before offering Purdy.

Dale Rogers 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Thank you, Bryson Stricker. That is an excellent article and it clearly points out the clear lack of knowledge rampant among posters to columns like this.

Gunnar Hays 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Interesting article, thanks for posting. As a former Juco student athlete myself, I admit I'm sort of biased. That said, I think having these kinds of recruits isn't in itself make or break. We've seen it work successfully, and have seen it become disastrous. Coach Beaty is a positive guy, but he's not ignorant to his situation. The fact is KU has to improve in year 4, and I would speculate that means winning at least 4 games to keep the coach in place. He is trying to get guys capable of stepping in to make an impact right away, because the 2018 team certainly has some question marks at various positions. I guess as fans, there is nothing left to do other than see how this recruiting class plays out, and see what happens next Fall.

Mike Bennett 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Which provided 0 evidence that signing a high amount of JUCO players actually improves your team since we've been signing high numbers of JUCO's for years and can't win more than 1 game a year.

Mike Hart 10 months, 4 weeks ago

I'll ask once again..show me a KU coach that recruited all 3 star juco talent prior to Beaty this season.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks. Good link Bryson. An amazing contrast to the knee jerk JC info paraded here. Huge difference between the current and former JC recruiting.

Huge difference.

John Fitzgerald 10 months, 4 weeks ago

It's great we got help for the defense but we need help all over.

-67th in Passing

-124th in Rushing

-109th in Points For

-129th in Points Against

-108th in Defense Efficiency

-121st in Offense Efficiency

-124th in Special Teams

-127th in Turnover Margin

William Woody 10 months, 4 weeks ago

JUCO players are not the problem. Moses out in Manhattan built winning teams for years by plucking the JUCO ranks, but he got the BEST JUCO players. Get the best or don't go at all!

Mike Bennett 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Exactly, and what about KU and this staff leads anyone to believe they signed the best? To me, there is 0 evidence this staff can evaluate and sign the best.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 3 weeks ago

And your analysis to determine gramps got the best?

He has been a wizard to work all sorts of underrated players (JC & HS) into his program. Doesn't prove anything about anyone else.

Blake Phillips 10 months, 4 weeks ago

devonta was crying during his press conference and looking over toward Corrione because he felt horrible he didn't keep his word. Corrione had already chosen and was wearing his jayhawk shirt. What a bum.

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 4 weeks ago

God forbid a kid makes a choice that he feels is best for him. No need to call him a bum or make a mockery of him shedding tears over it.

He chose guaranteed publicity and success with his 3 year HS QB over god knows what would happen here at kansas with his best friend. Can't fault the dude.

Thank him for putting us on the map.

Blake Phillips 10 months, 4 weeks ago

i get that Bryson..... but any man or kid or woman inn the world who pledges a commitment and turns his back, is a bum.

had we switched coaches, coordinators etc - i wouldnt fault said person. but the other schools flipped coaches and coordinators and he flipped his commitment having only known mississipi state coach a week. BUM.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Or maybe you're just seeing a reflection and think it's Jason.

Mike Bennett 10 months, 4 weeks ago

First, we don't know if any of these guys can help us. We don't. They haven't played one minute of Big XII football. Based on KU's track record of heavily recruiting JUCO's since the Charlie Weis era there is no reason to believe these guys will help us anymore than the ones getting toasted for 50pts every week right now. There is no evidence to believe the guys we signed today are any better than the JUCO's we signed last year. All we have is hope based on ZERO empirical data to show heavily recruiting JUCO's will provide help. On our defense our four best players are Wise, Armstrong, Dineen and Lee. Guess what, no JUCO's in the bunch. Look, you can keep smelling dog poop and calling it roses all you want, but sooner or later you will realize it's still just dog poop.

Dirk Medema 10 months, 3 weeks ago

So you have to be the best or you're not contributing?

The rivals article above is a good reference. While he doesn't discuss specifics, you'd have to call him a liar to say that the Beaty JC recruits haven't been positive contributors.

Personally, I'm siding with the guy that's earned a living covering the team for the past 2 decades vs. the pile being dump here.

Charlie Gaughn 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Way to go Beaty/Zenger!!!! We doubled everyone's salaries on the early promise of 4 of these hot shots from Louisiana coming in here. Instead, we got one and 10 jucos That's doing it the right way. Is anyone reading this article simple enough to think this recruiting class is going to make any difference?

I was relieved recently to hear Zenger explain why the program is so bad....it's because of the men's pole vault team. Imagine Al Bohl, Bob Frederick, or Mark Mangino blaming the track team for such dismal performance on the football field. Having gone to Catholic school growing up, a stupid excuse like that would've gotten you bloody knuckles or upside down in the trash can. Furthermore, this clown Zenger has had six years to identify that we needed an indoor pole vault practice facility, say to the tune of $300,000. Instead we're going to dump millions of dollars into, yet another, indoor football facility.

At least we'll have a renamed stadium for the handful of fans that will be there to watch these bozo's pretend to be Big 12 calibre AD/Coaches.

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