On second thought, preps pick KU

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday turned out to be quite the day for the Kansas University football program.

Just days after learning that offensive lineman Dylan Admire, out of Blue Valley West High, had decommitted from Nebraska, head coach Turner Gill and the Jayhawks found out that Admire was coming to Kansas.

After a visit to KU with his parents Friday, Admire, 6-foot-3, 264 pounds, told the coaches he would make a decision on KU within 24 hours. On the drive home, he placed the call to Gill and orally committed to Kansas.

“When we got there, the whole staff was sitting there waiting for me,” Admire told Rivals.com. “You can’t ask for more of a welcoming committee than that. I talked with the coaches for a while. Then I talked to the weight coaches and the academic people. I had a chance to sit down and talk with coach Turner Gill for an hour.”

Admire, a three-star guard in the Class of 2011, is the second-rated offensive lineman in Kansas and the 26th-rated guard in the nation. He became the seventh O-line prospect in his class to commit to Kansas and joins Damon Martin, 6-5, 265; Nick Johnson, 6-3, 290; Bryan Peters, 6-5, 305; Travis Bodenstein, 6-5, 295; Phil Ford, 6-6, 325; and Luke Luhrsen, 6-5, 275, in a deep and talented class of offensive lineman.

That wasn’t the only big news the Jayhawks received Friday, as another member of the Class of 2011 also announced that KU was his second first choice.

Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd, a 5-11, 170-pound wideout from Horn High in Mesquite, Texas, announced Friday that he had orally committed to Kansas. Shepherd, a three-star prospect with 4.5-second 40-yard dash speed, had previously committed to Iowa.

Despite the change of heart, Shepherd made sure to emphasize that his decision was more about what Kansas could offer and not what Iowa could not.

“It didn’t have anything to do with Iowa at all,” he told Rivals.com. “I think I will fit in better with the offense at Kansas. I talked with (wide receivers) coach (Darrell) Wyatt and (offensive coordinator) Chuck Long about it. They like my versatility and what I can do when I get the ball in my hands.”

According to Rivals, Shepherd is the 10th-rated receiver in Texas and one of the state’s top 100 players in his class.

Earlier this week, KU received another oral commitment, when Alma (Ark.) High linebacker Jason Hensley decided to join the Jayhawks.

Hensley is the second linebacker in the Class of 2011 to pledge his services to the Jayhawks. Three-star linebacker Jake Love, of Tonkawa, Okla., did so in early May.

Like Love and the dozen other players who committed before him, Hensley told Rivals.com that one of the biggest reasons he committed to KU was the coaching staff.

“I just like everything about Kansas; it’s a perfect fit for me,” Hensley said. “When I showed up for my visit, all of the coaches were waiting for me. That was really a big thing. Also, talking to coach (Carl) Torbush (defensive coordinator) was a great experience for me. He was one of the big reasons why I committed to Kansas, along with coach Gill.”

Hensley informed Gill of his decision while sitting in his office. Moments after he processed what he had heard, Gill got up from his desk and gave Hensley a hug.

Kansas has been in the lead for Hensley for quite some time, making this week’s announcement not much of a surprise. The only other scholarship offer Hensley had was from Tulsa, though Arkansas and Oklahoma State both were showing strong interest. Hensley also had been on LSU’s radar throughout the summer.

In Hensley, the Jayhawks land a linebacker with athleticism and a college football body. At 6-2, 215 pounds with good speed, many have said that Hensley physically is ready to play college ball now. As a junior at Alma High, he racked up 118 tackles and six sacks while being named all-conference.

In all, KU’s 2011 class now includes 15 players.