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Five-star Kansas commit Devonta Jason praised for talent and character

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Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting

Class of 2018 wide receiver Devonta Jason became the most discussed prospect in recent Kansas football memory when the New Orleans native verbally committed to David Beaty’s program in February.

Despite some skepticism on whether Jason, rated the No. 22 prep senior in the nation and a five-star talent by Rivals, will indeed end up playing at KU because commitments are non-binding, the athletic, 6-foot-3 receiver coveted by LSU and a number of other high-profile programs remains on board some five months away from his anticipated December graduation and the NCAA’s new early-signing period.

Associate head coach Tony Hull, responsible for recruiting Jason and other Louisiana standouts, such as KU sophomore safety Mike Lee (also an early Landry-Walker grad), might deserve another raise if Jason and his high school teammate, four-star cornerback Corione Harris, actually end up at Kansas and aren’t stolen away by a more successful program before they sign their letters of intent.

In a new video feature for NOLA.com, recruiting analyst Jimmy Smith explains why Jason is so intriguing for Kansas and the many other programs from which he has received offers, such as Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

“He’s 6-3, 205 pounds and he has the leaping ability of most NBA guards,” Smith says of Jason. “His athleticism, explosiveness, leaping ability — I mean, the kid’s been impressive from Day 1 of his prep career and he’s been a dominant force throughout high school.”

The way Smith, who first watched Jason as a freshman, describes the KU pledge, the receiver has the character to succeed, as well.

“Devonta has a desire to be great, and so he’s got that work ethic and that drive, and that will help propel him through his future. He’s doing it for a lot more than just himself,” Smith says. “He puts his family on his back, his community on his back.

Jason told NOLA.com the drug scene and violence he has witnessed in his community while growing up served as a form of inspiration.

“It just keeps me going,” Jason says in the video. “I don’t want to be in that predicament. To not put my life in danger.”

He began playing football at 11 as an offensive lineman, Jason reveals, but his athleticism and hands made him a natural at receiver. Not to mention his competitive nature.

What kind of play does he enjoy most, while trying to beat a defensive back (or backs) in coverage?

“Most times I like to go up top and make them feel like even less of a DB,” Jason says.

The prep star showed off some of those skills this past weekend at the USA Football 7v7 National Championship Series Tournament, in Frisco, Texas. In a highlight video from the event produced by Scout.com, Jason displays his open-field speed and footwork, as well as his ability to out-muscle or out-leap his defender to make a play.

He’s a long way from officially becoming a Jayhawk, but Jason could be a program-altering recruit for Beaty and his staff.

Comments

David A. Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Benton- I know you've got your pulse on the Twitter-verse as much as I do (Patrick777David). I have a very solid feeling about this cat. I interact with he, and our other commits. He and Coe really engage with me, and other fans there. The interactions seem to have a real family vibe to it.

What's your take?

Ryan Zimmerman 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I guess my main question is why? Why would a top recruit choose KU at this point? I love my alma mater and hope for the best, but it's so uncommon and slightly odd that a top guy would attend a school that rarely wins, has little exposure, etc

No offense to Beaty or anything, and I hope he stays, but I can't imagine him not getting wooed by some big program and getting stolen away

Len Shaffer 4 months, 4 weeks ago

There are a number of reasons why someone like that might pick KU:

(1) a chance to play right away;

(2) similarly to # 1, a chance to be a big fish in a small pond as opposed to a small fish in a big pond;

(3) a chance to be a legend at KU instead of just another great player at a powerhouse;

(4) a connection to Tony Hull and/or David Beaty;

(5) the strength to be his own man and go against the crowd, instead of just doing what's expected of him;

(6) a chance to go with his teammate, who wants to go to KU;

(7) a chance to be known for building a program from barely above scratch.

And these are just the reasons that come to mind right away. With time, I could come up with more.

I agree that it's extremely uncommon, but for some people that could be very appealing. And as for getting "little exposure," it's not like KU is Appalachian State. We're still in the Big XII, and we're still on TV a fair amount. It obviously doesn't compare to the big boys, but it's not exactly anonymous either, especially if he turns out to be as great as he's supposed to be.

David A. Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Ryan- I think a very big point is being overlooked: he had most of the big offers before he committed.

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