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Another 2017 O-Lineman de-commits from KU Football

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Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting

Back in January, as the Kansas football coaching staff was racing to finalize its 2016 recruiting class, David Beaty and company picked up a couple of commitments from 2017 offensive linemen within hours of one another.

Today, neither lineman remains committed to Kansas.

Grant Polley (6-5, 275, Denton (Texas) High) de-committed almost exactly a month ago, and, on Tuesday, Jared Hocker (6-5, 290, North Richland Hills, Texas) followed Polley's lead. The two situations are unrelated other than the fact that both committed very early and soon found that interest from other schools with winning pedigrees was headed their way.

Hocker explained via Twitter on Tuesday.

"After a long period of deliberation, I have decided to de-commit from the Jayhawks and reopen my recruiting. When I received my offer from KU, I wasn't familiar with the recruiting process and, in hindsight, I made a premature decision. There is a great deal I like, even love, about KU not the least of which is the coaching staff. Coaches Beaty, (Zach) Yenser and (Kenny) Perry have all been wonderful to me and it is with the deepest regret that I feel I must re-examine my options. Please respect my privacy with no interviews due to my decision. Thank you."

Although the loss of both linemen certainly qualifies as a disappointment for the Jayhawks, it also comes as no surprise. Any time players of their caliber — or, really, any caliber — commit as early as they did to a place like KU, it's always a challenge for the Jayhawks to hang on to them.

That's not to say it can't be done, but when bigger and better programs come calling, it often can be tough for these players to stick with Kansas. That's human nature in many ways and understandable, as well.

With Hocker specifically, recent visits to Texas A&M and Texas Tech illustrate the point perfectly.

So it's back to the drawing board for Kansas, which will continue to seek offensive linemen in the 2017 class and is in on some pretty solid secondary options, including a couple of in-state linemen.

With Hocker now off the list, KU has oral commitments from six players in the Class of 2017 and room to add somewhere in the range of 15 more, depending on how many additions to the current roster wind up counting forward to the 2017 class via the blue shirt rule.

Comments

Gavin Fritton 3 years, 11 months ago

So, Matt, what is normal in situations like this? Does KU just write them off and not even try to hang on to them? I mean, it seems pretty clear we are out of it, but when they say things like "there's a lot I like, even love" about KU, it seems like we might still have a shot. Or is this just coded language for "SEE YA!"? Do we try to kep up for awhile and make them say a firm no or do we just tell them "best of luck" and stop returning their calls? Is this the end or do they ever re-commit?

Steve Corder 3 years, 11 months ago

Good question. I don't recall ever seeing a post about a re-commit. I would think KU continues to recruit, but chances seem "slim-to-none". One never knows. Best if they start winning games this fall to show progress to these kids!

Glen Miller 3 years, 11 months ago

Normally it is just a nice way of saying that our program sucks and they'll have a better opportunity to play in meaningful games and get noticed elsewhere. Unfortunately, until we start showing better results on the field, this will continue to happen. Kudos for Beaty and our coaches putting the squeeze on these guys to commit early. It's the only way to try and land some of the better players. Catch em before they blow up and hope they are loyal to their commitments once the big dogs come calling.

John Myers 3 years, 11 months ago

It's all just lip service. His line about not being familiar with the recruiting process is a load of crap, too. I get that it's unfortunately part of the process and happens all the time, but I still think it's classless.

Matt Tait 3 years, 11 months ago

Gavin - KU will keep in touch with Hocker just in case there's a chance that they can still land him, but that's very unlikely at this point and, because of that, the coaching staff won't jeopardize their chances with other more attainable recruits on the chance that this kid -- or any others like him -- could wind up sticking with KU. But they definitely won't burn the bridge and will continue to regularly check in just to see where he's at.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 11 months ago

A lot of times high school players under the radar commit early to a D1 program, like KU, with the hope of drawing attention from other D1 programs. That is why I only start to pay attention when a player actually signs a letter of intent during the signing period(s) to play at KU. Beaty and his staff will continue to have a real challenge in trying to maintain early commitments and fill the roster for 2017.

Greg Ledom 3 years, 11 months ago

We won't truly 'fill' the roster until 2019 I'd guess. We won't have any issue fulfilling our scholarship allotment for the upcoming period. Keep sawing wood Coach Beaty!! Rock Chalk!

Carter Patterson 3 years, 11 months ago

This tells me that HCDB is recruiting the right guys.

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