Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jayhawks land Waco, Texas TE Jordan Smith

Tight end Jordan Smith has orally committed to the Kansas football team.

Tight end Jordan Smith has orally committed to the Kansas football team.


The Kansas University football staff continues to have recruiting success in Texas. That point is illustrated by Turner Gill and the Jayhawks recently picking up an oral commitment from three-star tight end Jordan Smith, of Waco’s Reicher High.

According to, Smith, 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, was KU’s top tight-end target in the Class of the 2012. He committed via telephone Wednesday night in an unusual way.

“I told them it was a soft verbal,” Smith told the website. “That’s only because I want to commit to them in person. I owe it to them as a sign of respect to tell them face-to-face. It’s how I have been raised. Kansas is where I want to be, and I know they will make me a better player.”

Regarded by many recruiting services as a freak athlete, Smith runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.7-second range and also has a 32-inch vertical jump.

At the time of his commitment, Smith held offers from Air Force, Cincinnati, Kansas and UTEP. However, his recruitment had picked up a lot recent weeks, with others such as Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M; and Texas Tech showing more interest.

“I probably could have waited, and there would have been more offers,” Smith said. “But the people make the place, and Kansas has the people.”

Smith becomes KU’s seventh commitment from the Class of 2012. All commitments are non-binding until signing day in February.

Jayhawks on TLN?

As reports surfaced Thursday that the University of Texas was planning to broadcast one Big 12 Conference game on the newly formed Longhorn Network this fall, Chip Brown, of, reported that a source told him the opponent for that game would be Kansas University on Oct. 29 or Kansas State on Nov. 19.

In order for the network to show one of UT’s home, Big 12 games, it would have to be one that the networks elect not to show. Because KU and KSU don’t have huge national appeal, both schools make sense. However, Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletic director for communications, said nothing was in the works and that finances, broadcasting rights and a host of other details would factor in should KU ever become involved.

“At this point, it could be anybody,” Marchiony said. “It could be any of their home games.

“The other schools involved in this are a long way from knowing what the deal is.”

Intensity on the rise

Up to this point, the offseason work put in by the Kansas University football team has focused on players getting bigger, stronger and faster.

But as the days of fall camp tick away and the Jayhawks’ season opener against McNeese State — 6 p.m., Sept. 3 at Memorial Stadium — creeps closer, a handful of players shared their view on how the excitement in camp has reached a new level.

“You can tell that our team has a little edge and the season’s getting close,” said junior wide receiver Kale Pick. “We’re all aware that it’s about that time.”

With the new vibe comes an increase in intensity. Players lock in longer during drills and in scrimmages and the clowning around, which is encouraged under the “E, Enjoy the college football experience” part of the team’s BELIEVE mantra, dwindles. What’s more, in the coming days, the coaching staff will begin to install its gameplan for the first game.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s right around the corner, but we know it’s right around the corner,” sophomore cornerback Tyler Patmon said. “We’re just trying to stay hungry because we know what our goals are. Once we get into that game week, it’s gonna really hit us that it’s time to go.”

With just 16 days remaining until kickoff, the Jayhawks, who still have competitions going at several positions, have just a handful of practices and a scrimmage or two to get the final product whipped into shape.

Rah Rah Weekend

This weekend will provide fans of KU football a couple of different chances to meet the Jayhawks up close and personal. The first comes tonight, at Corinth Square in Prairie Village, where KU coach Turner Gill will join men’s basketball coach Bill Self, athletic director Sheahon Zenger and chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little in addressing Jayhawk fans who gather in the parking lot at 83rd and Mission Road for the end-of-summer event that has become a tradition.

The rally will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature all kinds of KU giveaways and live music from the KC All Stars, who will entertain the crowd from 8-10. In addition, card-carrying members of the KU Alumni Association or the KU Medical Center Alumni Association in attendance will receive a number of deals, including a $5 coupon to Johnny’s Tavern and a $5 coupon to BRGR Kitchen + Bar.

Saturday, KU will host its annual Family Fun Fest at Memorial Stadium. The action kicks off at 9:30 a.m., with the Fun Zone opening on the practice fields next to Memorial Stadium. That will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. scrimmage open to the public. Gates will open at 11. All fans in attendance will receive a free Jayhawk license plate, and the first 500 fans to show up will receive a free hot dog and popcorn. The scrimmage will be followed by an autograph session with KU players and coaches.


tis4tim 10 years, 12 months ago

Two quotes and I already love this kid.

100 10 years, 12 months ago

Character counts....

"It's the people that make the place."

-- Jordan Smith

Recruiting counts....

"It's not the X's & O's, it's the Jimmy & Joes."

-- NCAA & NFL champion Barry Switzer

"I'm not here for this to be a stepping stone. I plan on being here a long long time. I'm here to build a dynasty at Kansas & win championships."

-- 3 time Division 1 NCAA football champion Coach Turner Gill

"Keep bringin' 'em on in Coach Gill, we're behind you!!!!"

-- Jayhawk nation




hawk316 10 years, 12 months ago

Exactly, tis! This kid sounds like he's got the right stuff...based not on just the fact that he's been called "a freak athlete," but because of the kind of person he appears to be.

Because of a shortage of scholarships for this class, the coaching staff is forced to be very selective. So far, it seems (of course, we won't know for sure for 2-3 years) like they're doing remarkably well.

irvan moore 10 years, 12 months ago

he sounds like a nice catch, is BB going to be here next week?

Chris Bailey 10 years, 12 months ago

BB,. if you wanna see the previous days articles by Matt Tait, will be in and out of town till this court thing is dealt with and I believe he said the court date was in Nov or Dec. So he will most likely redshirt. He is committed to the jayhawks though and remains a member of the team. But you can scroll through the comments from Taits articles the past few days and read for yourself. I asked him quite a few questions about this situation.

David Robinett 10 years, 12 months ago

Hard to believe the relative maturity that comes out of these kids' mouths:

"But the people make the place, and Kansas has the people."

STLJHawk86 10 years, 12 months ago

I might be a little cyncial so my guess he is merely repeating a recruiting line that someone used on him. Regardless, he has the intelligence (or mentoring) to know that is a good line worth repeating. RCJH

LAJayhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Maturity is the ability to understand and utilize the wisdom that you've been taught.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 12 months ago

I like a lot about this story but really like the fact that we got a young man who was at the top of our list for the position. To me, that makes him a five-star no matter what the recruiting services say. Love everything that he had to say, too. Welcome to KU, Jordan! RCJH

KGphoto 10 years, 12 months ago

And if you look at the video, you swear he's at least a 4 star. But I'm with you. If it's the guy they want? 5 star.

GabrielMichael 10 years, 12 months ago

This is the kind of character we want representing our school! Welcome Jordan!

Tribehawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like a quality recruit. But I have to admit I'm a bit nervous that we haven't landed any D-linemen yet considering how few scholarships we have to give and what a gaping hole we have there right now.

kureader 10 years, 12 months ago

Today, the glass is half full. Enjoy it. This is a fine recruit, and a really great kid!

Ethan Berger 10 years, 12 months ago

He also plays DE in high school, but with his body size he is more fitted for a 4-3 end rather than a 3-4. I would not be surprised if they looked at the OLB spot if they stick with the 3-4.

Stan Unruh 10 years, 12 months ago

Congratulations Coach Gill staff! This kid looks and sounds like a winner!

gchawk 10 years, 12 months ago

This is great news. I know from a weight standpoint at TE he's a little light, but that can be remedied. Looking forward to seeing on the field next year, Jordan, have a fun, and safe, senior year.

kureader 10 years, 12 months ago

The weight is no big deal. The kid hasn't seen our training table yet. He'll add 15-20 lbs before he plays at KU, easily, if that's what the coaches want.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Yep. The fact that he's 6-5 means his body can support more muscle mass, and he will undoubtedly add some before he's on campus. Coaches may want him to remain lean, though, depending on schemes. His athleticism is what's important.

ozzzy 10 years, 12 months ago

Great pick up. We needed a TE, but we desperately need 2 DTs in this class. I have no doubt the coaches know this, and are holding spots for them.

justanotherfan 10 years, 12 months ago

The trouble with DT's is that very few HS kids with prototypical DT size also have the quickness and mobility to play DT at the D1 level. A lot of HS kids that play DT are either the biggest kid on the team, or they counter by getting a 200 lb kid that is so quick the offensive line can't block them. That's probably about 75%-80% of HS kids that play DT.

The elite DT's often get snapped up by Florida, or Texas or Alabama. After that, you have to find or mold your own guys. I think Gill is trying that by finding some bigger DE's and seeing if they can transition to DT, or maybe moving some offensive linemen across the ball if they have the athleticism and defensive instincts.

DT is a position that we have been thin at unless someone that was not a home run prospect explodes into the position (think James McClinton). Unfortunately, we haven't landed a guy even on that level in a while other than Jamal Greene, who got himself into trouble and kicked off the team just as it looked like he was ready to emerge. Hopefully Coach Gill can find some high character guys to mold into DT's unlike Mr. Greene.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 12 months ago

Even though I know better, I still find myself having to stop myself from prejudging based on a kid's star rating. I've said before "3 Star" athletes are the bread and butter of a solid football program. But at the same time, the people giving ratings to these kids don't really research them as much as we'd like to think they do, and then we start judging our recruiting classes based on their star rating. Bottom line, people like Talib were 2 Stars. You never know how these kids are going to blossom in college. And I'm sure the coaching staff wouldn't be recruiting these kids if they are sub-par. But, true 3 Star athletes really are the bread and butter of college football programs. The only positions that 4 and 5 stars really matter are the spotlight skill positions, and even those are flops more often than they deliver. That being said, 6-5, 225 and a 4.7 40? I'd like to see him either gain a lot of muscle and be a monster TE, or gain a little bit of muscle and pop out to be a monster WR. Could be a big boon to our game. How exciting!

Michael Pannacciulli 10 years, 12 months ago

I totally agree, I love this dude already...maybe he can suit up for self also!

waywardJay 10 years, 12 months ago

Imagine that. 3 three star recruit has you speechless... hopefully there's alot more of that on the horizon. Just to run that by you again.....

"I probably could have waited and there would have been more offers," Smith said. "But the people make the place, and Kansas has the people."

At the risk of redundancy.....

"I probably could have waited and there would have been more offers," Smith said. "But the people make the place, and Kansas has the people."

Those PEOPLE are our players you stick your nose up to, Our fans who you constantly bicker with , our coaching staff that you say is underqualified or underperforming, and most importantly It's Turner Gill and Sheahon Zenger who you verbally cigar burn any chance you get.

maybe there's more at work here than you suggest, Azalum.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 12 months ago

Wouldn't go that far. And I'm sure the of telling in person will take place on donut Sunday at church but it's nice to see a kid with his head on straight. No mention of winning a national championship or comparison of gates, Gonzales, or sharpe. Just a kid coming to do work.

Other than that...

Any word on if we will break into the top 50 on rivals ratings with this guy?!?!?!?!?

waywardJay 10 years, 12 months ago

Denial seems it had to come. Relied on me to say it all. Denial's left you all alone.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 12 months ago

...and with a couple sentences, Jordan has done what so many on this board have been unable to do!!!

LAJayhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Wait.................. WTF?!?!

No smart**s comment about the teams that offered a scholly?? No jab at his weight?? No unrelated bash of The Gill????

Dude... perse.... you feelin' alright, man? Too much Arizona sun? Get lost in an ASU coed harem and lose all your zest for negativity (and, ya know, other stuff)? Did the Guarantee fairy come to your house?

"Build model airplanes!" says the fairy. Don't listen to him, perse!

PJ Karasek 10 years, 12 months ago

Seems like the type of TE that Mizzou has had in recent years. I would be ecstatic if KU could develop that type of pedigree for perennial top TEs, and if Jordan can become an enormous target for our future QBs.

David Atchley 10 years, 12 months ago

For those interested....Jordan Smith is ranked as the "96th" best player in the State of Texas....and its the first time I have ever heard of the term "freakish" used to describe a 4.7 time in the forty yard dash! Of the "Top 20" ranked in the 2012 class in Texas, "11" of them have committed to the UT Longhorns. Of the Top "10" football players in the State of Texas, "6" have committed to the UT Longhorns. That is "5" 4-Star rated players and "1" 5 star rated player.

The point of the breakdown is this afternoon ESPN had a "media tour" of their new network facility on the UT Campus. They had all the big shots from ESPN, all the on-air talent that will be providing coverage and news (if you haven't googled Samantha Steele do yourself a favor!) and Mack Brown and all the dignitaries.

If you have any doubt that ESPN and the Longhorn Network are business as usual, and full-speed ahead, they announced today a "2nd" Longhorn Football Game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. The first one is against Rice, but they alluded the second game will be either Kansas or Kansas State. (Fox has to pass on broadcasting the game in order for the rights to fall to the Longhorn Network)

The other bit of news that came out of the media tour this afternoon was ESPN is for now going to down-shift on the pressure to air Texas High School Games on the Longhorn Network. However, they will be showing highlights and in depth pre-game, post-game interviews of players on the Longhorn Network. They are still working on showing regional and State games as well.

However, as you can see in the first paragraph, the talk of any unfair advantage to recruiting for UT, they've dominated it long before the talk of any network. There will be plenty recruits from the 1700 high schools leftover in Texas and a lot of good "3 Star" recruits like Jordan Smith. Recall a 3 Star Quarterback from Tuscola TX named Colt McCoy that did okay for himself!

kureader 10 years, 12 months ago

Why do you read the LJW blog?

You wrote 5 paragraphs about Texas football. I could care less about Texas' TV network. You don't have to justify it to me. Your lenghty "Texas Longhorn" email will last me the rest of the season. I now know all I need to know. Thanks. I don't have a problem with Texas, but if I want to learn more about them, I'll sign on to the Austin Texas newspaper blog.

David Atchley 10 years, 12 months ago

Apparently you don't follow this blog regularly, as it has been completely dedicated the past 2 weeks to all things "Texas" football This just happens to be "1" of 8 sports sections I read online daily.

The TAMU emotional meltdown, and how the uninformed perceive UT will have some unfair recruiting advantage as a result of the Longhorn Network. If you followed this particular article it is about all of the jubilation of signing a kid ranked out of Texas. However, I am glad you perceive all of these entries, including mine, are somehow posted to try and justify anything to you.

The Longhorn Network, has every school on high alert in the Big 12, and the jubilation of Kansas signing a kid no Texas school was recruiting, and is the 96th ranked kid in the State, was directly related to the perceived unfair recruiting advantage around the league, when UT coming off a 5-7 still has their pick of the elite athletes in Texas. Finally I shared breaking news about Kansas playing their game against UT

If I can bring you current on news regarding the Big 12, or KU for that matter, please feel free to drop me another note. Perhaps instead of reading an Austin Texas blog, you should simply try and keep up with this one....

Kevin Studer 10 years, 12 months ago

I hope he can play defensive tackle, since Gill seems to think he doesn't need to recruit any of those.

truefan 10 years, 12 months ago

Turner is recruiting a lot of those, they are just hard to sign since they play one of the most highly sought after positions in college football.

Turner is currently recruiting:

Vincent Valentine...6'3", 300 Vontrell Williams...6'2", 275 Aaron Curry...6'3", 275 Demonte Hood...6'0", 295 Tomme Mark...6'2", 260 Jonathan Harden...6'0", 300 Kevin Laudermill...6'3", 300

Technically, this isn't the full list of DT's that he is recruiting as it does not include recruits that have already committed elsewhere and does not include recruits that we have not yet offered. But yeah, I think he's making an effort.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 12 months ago

And they were recruiting quite a few last year even though we didn't get any commits. And there have been several recruits that have already decided to go elsewhere. Maybe you could leave a post on the right way to recruit, since you obviously know more about recruiting.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 12 months ago

Doesn't mean much, I'm afraid. First, it's really early. Second, this year's class will be small regardless, so this class won't have the numbers to be ranked high, no matter how good its players are...

justanotherfan 10 years, 12 months ago

KU will have a hard time ranking higher than 7th in the conference because they can't sign a full 25 man class. Anything higher than 9th means that our quality will be better than someone else's quantity.

I bet this kid is a four star after the season if he plays well.

truefan 10 years, 12 months ago

Jordan may make 4* status, but I doubt it. Usually after kids commit and stop going to camps they get shuffled to the bottom of the evaluation pile. If he'd waited until the end of his senior season he could have shot up the rankings, but since he committed now (which I am completely okay with) he'll be forgotten, which is good for us if we want to keep him a Jayhawk.

justanotherfan 10 years, 12 months ago

With no camps to go to during the football season, I think he can get some more positive evaluations. Since he plays in Texas, it's guaranteed that scouts will continue to see him, even if its just while they are watching another kid. He's about 20 pounds from being an impact guy in college, but he's got a full year to get to that weight.

Bob Forer 10 years, 12 months ago

Can't help but like the kid. Gill and staff are proving themselves to be decent recruiters. We owe HCTG another three years before we start complaining.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 12 months ago

Well, this is why I love KU. Sometimes I pull the wool over my own eyes, but as far as college sports go, I think we can hold our heads as high as anyone.

Football or Basketball (no disrespect to all the other sports), Jordan Smith is representative of the kinds of players that I admire and WANT here. Hardworking, talented, respectful, humble. I'll take these guys over a whole truckload of high profile, glittery, mouthy, "look at me" players anytime.

That goes for the coaches too. Self and Gill are two guys who we can depend on to do it right the first time. Guys that we don't have to worry about picking up the paper and seeing them in any kind of scandal. I don't have blind faith in very many people, but I believe that they are both good men that play by the rules and I will continue to believe that until they do otherwise. For that, they have my respect.

number1jayhawker 10 years, 12 months ago

As far as great athletes, there are two kinds. The ones with characture issues and the ones without. I'm glad HCTG is going the latter route. It will pay off bigtime in the long run.

jayhawkintx73 10 years, 12 months ago


Welcome to the Jayhawks. It is one great big family that has support from all reaches of the country. You'll be just fine with arguable the top two recruiting classes of all time filling up Kansas' roster and big up-side potential.

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