Not every prospect who made his commitment to the Kansas football program official on National Signing Day comes to the team with the buzz of a highly-rated skill player.
But head coach David Beaty took time Wednesday to compliment every player in the 2017 class whom he could officially announce — from four-star running back Dom Williams, December signee and potential starting quarterback Peyton Bender, to in-state players who most likely will join the program as walk-ons. (Remember: Beaty and KU chose not to distinguish publicly which players signed scholarships and which will pay their own way.)
In total, Kansas announced eight future Jayhawks who don’t have any stars attached to their names on recruiting websites, such as Rivals. That’s not a bad thing. Beaty and his staff need unheralded players, too. Once they get to KU and start practicing, you never know what kind of impact they might have, either at practices or in games down the line.
Below are highlights of the “other guys” from this Kansas recruiting class, accompanied by what Beaty had to say about each of them.
• K Cole Brungardt, Lawrence H.S., Kansas (6-5, 200)
- Beaty: Has a really strong leg and can knock it out of the end zone. Could be a weapon from a touchback standpoint.
• DL Sam Burt, Abilene H.S., Kansas (6-4, 240)
- Beaty: KU coaches think he could do things for them on offense or defensive line. Should have some flexibility.
• S Nick Caudle, Maur Hill Prep-Mount Academy, Kansas (6-0, 185)
- Beaty: Announced after Beaty’s press conference.
• WR Hunter Kaufman, Pratt H.S., Kansas (5-11, 170)
- Beaty: Has great vision and uses his speed to make big plays. Hard to catch and bigger than you think.
• TE/HB Moses Marshall IV, Erie C.C., New York (6-3, 230)
- Beaty: KU needs to replace Michael Zunica at H-back and Marshall could be the player to do that. Big enough to play tight end but can line up in backfield.
• FB/HB Quinton McQuillan, Lansing H.S., Kansas (6-2, 225)
- Beaty: Another possibility at H-back, where KU needs depth. “Hard-nosed dude.” Will run over you.
• TE/HB Sam Schroeder, Wichita Trinity Academy, Kansas (6-0, 225)
- Beaty: Does hard-nosed, “dirty” stuff you need and another possible H-back. Can be someone to plug in on special teams.
• OL Jack Williams, Argyle H.S., Texas (6-3, 270)
- Beaty: Strong lineman from Texas, and played in a tough 4A league. Can get out on screens and keep control of his body.
Other preps will make their way to KU, likely as walk-ons initially, too. Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant confirmed two other additions on signing day — one from Alabama, and the other from California.
• FB Kashe Boatner, Glenwood H.S., Alabama (6-1, 230)
• WR Alec Oshita, Mira Costa H.S., California (6-2, 190)
Additionally, the father of a prospect from Cleveland told me he plans to join Kansas as a walk-on.
• S Thomas Barrett, Saint Ignatius H.S., Ohio (6-1, 200)