Juco-heavy class brings immediate help to defense
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.