Former Jayhawk DT Marquel Combs finds new home


His arrival was hyped to the Nth degree and his departure came as quite a surprise. Now former Kansas University defensive tackle Marquel Combs has a new home.

Combs, who last week received his release from KU after deciding to transfer, has joined the Southeastern Louisiana University program, head coach Ron Roberts announced Monday.

Combs, a junior who was the No. 1 ranked junior-college player in the class of 2013 according to, is eligible to play immediately at the FCS school and seems thrilled to have landed at a place where he could play right away.

"I'm very thankful to all the people who have given me support and helped with my decision," Combs said in the SLU release. "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to continue my playing career and studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. I'm excited to be a Lion."

The Memphis native will wear No. 90 at SLU and figures to find playing time immediately.

"We are very excited to have someone of Marquel's talents become a Lion," Roberts said in a release. "In addition to his athletic abilities, he's a high-character young man who is going to be an asset to our program on and off the field."

This ending sure is a far cry from what many expected from Combs just nine months ago. Not only was the 6-foot-3, 300-pound tackle projected to be a cornerstone of KU's rebuilding project, but he also was instrumental in recruiting several other junior-college transfers to KU to join him.

Now, most of them remain and it's Combs who has a new home.

Although there was some speculation when he left that Combs believed he could land at another Div. I program, perhaps even in the powerful SEC, doing so would have derailed his career further because he would have been forced to sit out the 2013 season after transferring anyway.

Combs never found his footing after arriving in Lawrence and could not crack the first string on KU's depth chart. He did not play in KU's first three games and did not even travel to Rice, where KU lost on Sept. 14.

At SLU, Combs joins a program that currently sits 2-2, with losses to TCU and South Dakota State. He is expected to make his Southeastern debut this weekend, when the Lions take on Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. at home.


HighQ 4 years, 8 months ago

"If you can't play here,

Where can you play?" I guess we

Have our answer now.

hawk316 4 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes, things just don't work out as planned. I wish Marquel the best at SE Louisiana. And thanks to his initial enthusiasm and influence, we have some good players still on our roster.

Max Ledom 4 years, 8 months ago

Incarnate Word. Incarnate Word.

Incarnate Word.

Al Martin 4 years, 8 months ago

Ricky Williams is the running backs coach at Incarnate Word. You learn this sort of useless thing if you listen to Austin sports radio.

Marc Frey 4 years, 8 months ago

The Incarnate Word in SA? Did not know they had football.

texashawk10 4 years, 8 months ago

They are transitioning their athletics programs into the Southland Conference.

Al Martin 4 years, 8 months ago

I grew up in San Antonio, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I read the sports pages avidly every day. I was unaware that Incarnate Word had any athletics at all.

Blake Lehning 4 years, 8 months ago

Southeastern Louisiana is a FCS school because it is in the lower tier Football Divison he is eligble to play right away.

Dave Benjamin 4 years, 8 months ago

He may be cutting it close for the upcoming Incarnate Word game. However there's little to no chance he'll miss Southeastern's following game against Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.

Phil Leister 4 years, 8 months ago

Gotta love these kids who've had their hand held their whole lives, who have no idea what hard work is. Here's a guy who comes into the worst team in the Big 12 and can't find a way onto the field. He must have thought he was the number 1 HS recruit, not the number 1 juco recruit, and that things would just be handed to him.

Good riddance Marquel. We hardly knew ya.

Boouk 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad Marcus Jenkins-Moore didn't transfer as well.

Dale Kroening 4 years, 8 months ago

Wish him the best of luck, but this just tells me it was all about playing time being given to him and not earned.

BayPark 4 years, 8 months ago

Good for him. I think it shows maturity to realize that perhaps you're not as good as you thought you were. Maybe making this decision was about setting aside NFL aspirations and going somewhere to enjoy football again.

DanR 4 years, 8 months ago

Good luck to the kid. LJW--I know Tait (and whatever the player's name is) hyped him(self) to the point of embarrassment, but it's a sign of a pathetic program to keep tracking these failures.

machinegun 4 years, 8 months ago

Weis has a sales pitch that he makes to these young men before they sign on the dotted line. You already know about the "pile of crap" reference that he uses to describe his team. He assures them that they can play for Kansas. He makes it clear that they will get on the field.

Well, for reasons known to Weis, he chose not to play Combs. Combs may have told Weis just what he thought of him before he left town. Since arriving, Weis has used this same routine with other players. Weis likes to play mind games with players and so this sort of thing is going to continue until the team wins or he gets fired. Weis may not realize it but this sort of thing is bad for business.

kuilander 4 years, 8 months ago

sorry, but no way is weis going to jeopardize the atmosphere he's building by promising anyone automatic playing time. telling a kid we've had a pile of crap here that he has to compete with for a starting position and just giving it to him before even stepping on the practice field are two different things einstein

Blake Lehning 4 years, 8 months ago

Combs seemed to be lazy and wanted everything handed to him on a silver platter. CW comment if you can't play here where can you play gets kids in the door. But you still have to work hard to get playing time. Sounds like Combs didn't want to work and look where it got him FCS Southeastern Louisiana.

David Lara 4 years, 8 months ago

Spot on analysis here. Clearly Combs was the best D-lineman and Weis just didn't put him on the field because of some unknown prejudice. That really makes the most sense... If he wasn't ever able to crack the 2-deep then it must be Weis's fault. It couldn't possibly be the fault of the player.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe that Tait didn't touch on this!

Apparently #92 was already taken at SLU.

Now that Combs is listed on the roster as #90, is he going to change his twitter handle?

Steve Reigle 4 years, 8 months ago

Weis plays whomever is playing best and that is exactly as it should be. If this young man was not willing to put in the effort and did not have the drive to be good enough to play, then he doesn't deserve to play here.I wouldn't want it any other way. You don't build a winning program by playing kids based on their past performances.

pepper_bar 4 years, 8 months ago

Weis has never built a winning college football program. He won with inherited talent at ND, then failed with his own recruits.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 8 months ago

Tempest in a teapot here folks. This kid will never be heard from again. My hope is that he becomes more self aware and gets motivated to a better player.

Time will tell, but i'd be curious as to weather this kid was merely all hype or he was simply a prima donna who didnt want to (or know how to) work very hard. My guess is somewhere in the middle, but we'll see.

KGphoto 4 years, 8 months ago

Isn’t everybody here simply guessing as to why he is gone? As far as I can tell we haven’t had an official statement from Weis explaining with any real detail why he decided to transfer.

All we know is he didn’t beat out the Dlineman we had, and that he is transferring. Everybody has concluded that he has no work ethic. Do we have any solid quotes from anyone in a position to know, that this is indeed the case?

While I’d LOVE to know the answer, straight from Weis and Combs’ mouths, I’ll withhold speculation of the kids character until I do.

actorman 4 years, 8 months ago

Hear, hear, KG. I'm so sick of people disparaging a person's character without knowing any of the facts. Maybe it just wasn't the right fit for him at KU and it had nothing whatsoever to do with his work ethic or lack thereof.

Ross Cargo 4 years, 8 months ago

First, I wish Marquel well. He seems like a good guy who is fun to be around.

I think he made a mistake with the transfer. He didn't have the maturity to understand the commitment level needed for hard work and earning his way to the field of play.

It might work out ok for him to dominate at a lower level and obtain some sort of degree. But, he would have been far better off sucking it up, busting his ass in the weight room and practice field here (and classroom).

Big XII training and competition and a KU degree would be far more rewarding in the end. I think he could easily have become a player for us somewhere down the road with hard work.

Clearly the current starters on the Dline worked their asses off. He just had to follow their lead. Obviously, no one could get through to him on that, and he is gone. Someday, he may well regret it.

Many of you give a bunch of our athletes a pass for a DUI or some other stupid thing. This is a bad choice, but not like driving drunk or shooting at people with a BB gun from a dorm room. Unfortunately he didn't listen to good advice (or didn't even get good advice).

Ross Cargo 4 years, 8 months ago

A couple of other thoughts. One, this is the other side of the coin from guys like Russell Robinson, who thought of leaving but stuck it out.

Two, I think this is kind of a lose-lose. Mr. Combs loses out on a degree from a good school (not really trying to knock on SE Louisiana, but I think it goes without saying KU offers more...) and the chance to compete with and against better competition. We lose out on his fun personality and the realization of his ability on the field.

pepper_bar 4 years, 8 months ago

Obviously KU didn't offer him more. For some students, KU is a better choice than Harvard. Let's not get all "US News and World Report" about this.

Mark Lindrud 4 years, 8 months ago

So, just to clarify he went to what we call a D2 school. If so, he realized he can't hack it at a D1 school. If you can't handle the competition then you don't have the competitive fire that is needed. Good luck to him either way, just my two cents.

Bruce Adair 4 years, 8 months ago

I can't understand how Combs got such a high Rivals (?) rating if he is such a drizzle spit? Don't they have some sort of evaluation that would indicate desire? To me this is a big failure of Rivals that needs to be answered before I would reserve a spot for him on a division one program in a major conference.

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