Originally published December 7, 2012 at 03:00p.m., updated December 8, 2012 at 12:39a.m.

Weis, Jayhawks to host 15 recruits for weekend visits


National signing day is two months away and the Kansas University football team has nearly half a class left to fill.

With that in mind, this seems to be a big weekend for KU coach Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks, who will welcome 15 prospects on their official visits to campus, according to a report from

Included among the visitors are a handful of players who already have committed to the Jayhawks. So far, KU has landed 13 oral commitments in the Class of 2013 and Weis said they have room for a total of 27.

Kansas City-area quarterbacks Jordan Darling (SM East) and Montel Cozart (Bishop Miege) will be in town this weekend, as will Basehor-Linwood High tight end Ben Johnson and Dallas safety Colin Spencer.

While those four high school standouts already orally committed to KU, the rest of the group remains undecided. Judging by several comments that have shown up on Facebook and Twitter, this group will do its best to help the KU coaching staff land the others.

One of the biggest names — and bodies — expected to be in town this weekend is Josiah St. John, one of the top-rated junior-college offensive linemen in the country. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound St. John hails from Trinity Valley Community College (the same school as defensive tackle Ty McKinney) and has one of the most impressive offer lists of the entire group. Thirteen BCS programs have extended scholarship offers, including Big 12 schools Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and West Virginia. In addition, St. John has received offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M; and Washington.

Another notable name at a key position is Trevor Pardula, a 6-5, 210-pound kicker from De Anza (Calif.) College. KU assistants Tim Grunhard and Clint Bowen have tag-teamed Pardula’s recruitment and lists San Jose State as the 6-5, 210-pound December-graduate’s only other offer.

In all, 10 of the weekend’s 15 visitors are junior-college players, something right in line with what Weis has said would be his strategy this offseason.

“The more the merrier,” said Weis midway through the 2012 season when asked about adding junior-college prospects. “As long as kids care about education and come here with the intent to graduate and aren’t just coming here to make a one year stop to get to the NFL, as long as they want to come here and get a KU degree and help us win and are good citizens, bring them on.”

While Weis’ immediate emphasis may be on junior-college talent, he also has said throughout his first season that it’s important to bring in a balance of players who are ready to go now and players whom a coach can develop.

Of the five high school prospects coming to town this weekend, only Ishmael Hyman, a 6-foot, 169-pound wide receiver from St. John Vianney High in Holmdel, N.J. is uncommitted.

Regardless of how things pan out with the junior-college prospects, Weis seems intent on bringing in a bunch of new faces this offseason.

“I know one thing, we’ve got 27 spots, and there’s a good chance there’s going to be 27 people to fill those spots that we like,” he said. “There’s a good chance of it. It might be 26, but it’s going to be right there.”

Here’s a look at the other junior-college prospects expected to make visits to KU this weekend:

  • Lyndon Tulimasealii — 6-4, 270, defensive end, College of the Desert

  • Mike Smithburg — 6-3, 300, offensive lineman, Iowa Western C.C.

  • Kevin Short — 6-2, 185, cornerback, Ft. Scott C.C.

  • Damien Parris — 6-7, 295, offensive lineman, Contra Costa C.C.

  • Isaiah Johnson — 6-1, 210, safety, Iowa Western C.C.

  • Desmond Hollin — 6-4, 265, defensive end, ASA College

  • Trevor Harris — 6-5, 235, defensive end, ASA College

  • Matt Finnin — 6-8, 330, offensive lineman, College of DuPage


Bobby Burch 9 years, 5 months ago

Join on, guys, and you'll likely get a shot at playing from the get-go! Hope we land McKinney's former teammate. Rock Chalk!

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the recruiting updates Matt! Hopefully we get the K, S, WR, and at least one of the DE's and LT's who are capable of starting immediately.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I like them all...Matt Finnin, check your elgibility for the Basketball team as well...I would imagine Bill Self would love to have a 6'8" guy under the rim to push people around.

Wow...that is a an OL that I would love to have!

Phil Leister 9 years, 5 months ago

Reading up a bit on Finnin, found this Rivals story.

Glen Ellyn (Ill.) College of DuPage offensive tackle Matt Finnin had one offer out of high school signing with Western Michigan. The second time around is quite a different story.

Finnin, 6-foot-8, 320-pounds, redshirted during his freshman season at Western Michigan but left school in order to head home to attend to his father's medical issues.

"He had infections in both legs, one got better and one got worse and they had to amputate his leg. His insurance ran out on him and it was either he got put in a nursing home or I can come home and take care of him," he said. "That's how I ended up here."

Wow. Another story said he's narrowed his 5 to West Virginia, Marshall, Florida International, Kansas and South Alabama.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

If he comes to KU, we'll have 2 huge OT's probably starting for us.

Eric Dawson 9 years, 5 months ago

Ford ended up at Iowa Western CC after failing to qualify. Last I read he had converted to LDS and wanted to play at BYU, but he decided he wanted to do his mission first. That was last summer, have not read any more on him since.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

JUCO WR Rodriguez Coleman, who has offers from KSU, KU, and Cinncinnati, is visiting this weekend as well.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Getting someone from Samantha Ryan's line of work involved in recruiting is one of the biggest reasons why Colorado is in the shape its in.

Terry Sexton 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey, short story long...I been following these birds since I was a KUFF ticket holder back in grade school.. Bought season tix this year for the first time as a grownup & had fun. Prolly do it again.

Every time I hear about recruits coming in, I think of the time Mrs52 & I were at the Barbed Wire Steakhouse where they seated us next to Terry Allen & his gang of youngster recruits. You say recruit speed? Cuz Coach Allen was goin' for speed. We saw this one table of four put away a steak each, two racks of ribs & an appetizer before we even got a salad.

If I'd only had worn some KU gear I bet I could've grifted our check.

riverdrifter 9 years, 5 months ago

Here's the deal: Weis and Campo are NFL guys, proven coaches -and that's OK -IF they can recruit at the college level. We will see.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Charlie Weis did get a Mormon to commit to a Catholic school. Not to mention most of the relevant players on a team playing for a national title this year.

David Meredith 9 years, 5 months ago

A 6 foot 5 kicker? That is kind of unusual.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

He just committed to KU, by the way.

mikehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Weis gets a pass on his recruiting the first year. Now, it is go time. Now it matters and this year and next shows the ability of Weis and his coaches to get some players in here. I don't envy him. It is a tough job for anyone. The Old Ball Coach has the program headed in the right direction, but you have to have some talent, and fast.

hawkdds 9 years, 5 months ago

I second that, it use to be coaches were given4-5 years to turn a program around-no more. Good luck and good hunting HCCW.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 5 months ago

I've felt for sometime that until we are a consistent winner the majority of our recruits need to come from the juco ranks. Big weekend for us.

jhox 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm guessing Charlie would take a one and done Juco transfer if he really felt the guy was that good. At least I hope he would. I wouldn't want to see us turn away a Cam Newton clone.

beebe1 9 years, 5 months ago

Repeat Post

Offense looks glorious, but DEFENSE WINS GAMES!

Our Defensive coaches can't coach Defense.

Your reporting has been very good, but -- with you and all other JW staff --you don't seem to know anything about Defense!

You published a story that 'Bowen got it'. Shame on all of you, we' re at the end of the season, and he never 'got' anything.

You published a story about Campo having to work so hard for Defensive schemes. He clearly doesn't understand 'The Notre Dame Defense'. Probably less than 10 yrs old when Parshegian brought it out. Almost no coaches do!

The last game for me was K State. Zero Defense. Examples: KU #24, 23, and 55 hit the sub QB at the same spot. He shook them all off and made an extra 10-12 yds. No one covered the receiver running backward down the field, but our db showed up, didn't look for the ball, but pushed him out. Gain of 17 yds.

Two basic items are essential to ANY defense: Tackling and coverage. Defensive Schemes are a poor third place.

Elmer Schaake's tackling rules (dated 1941) are:

                             1. Belt Buckle Rule
                             2. Hesitate and Adjust Route
                             3. Wrap Him Up (hopefully in the thighs)

Bill Self's Coverage Rules

                            1. Belt Buckle Rule
                            2. Be in the passing Lane
                            3. Stop the ball (before it gets to the receiver)
                            4. Tackle if you miss

The Defensive Scheme has to do with the assignment of defensive responsibility. The defense in 'The Notre Dame Defense' is man to man. The easy way out is to put our best coverage man on their best receiver, no matter where he lines up. A defender is assigned to every backfield man and the extra receiver. In any event, the Rules apply.

Even LSU and Old Miss had pretty poor defenses. ND has finally revised and installed Parseghian's defense. It would be virtually impossible to find a good coach who understands Defense.

Suffice it to say, we haven't had a good defensive coach for at least 9 yrs (maybe for 1 yr 8 yrs ago).

And the JW staff has no idea what a good defense is. You talk too much about 'talent' and the schemes involved. Our coaches didn't teach 'tackling' nor 'coverage". No 'scheme has any valur without those basics.

Get a new Defensive Coach! .

Ryan Woods 9 years, 5 months ago

You must be drunk, or high. If you didn't see any improvement from last year..... oh stopped watching games after K-State. Therefore, any statement you make is irrational.

rockchalkblock 9 years, 5 months ago

Beene you must be the drunk numb numb that sat in front of me at the home games because he wasn't at any game after TCU( the last home game before ksu) and spouted off out dated information like you! Oh! And man to man coverages only work when you have enough talent and speed to match the opponents , something we clearly suffered with late in the season. Schemes help disguise your talent disparity! Shhhh

troutsee 9 years, 5 months ago

Beebe---say what? There have been some crazy posts on this board in the past but your's is not only crazy but insufferably arrogant, too. Chill!!!

hawkfan13 9 years, 5 months ago

Beebe, It's tough to hold opponents at bay when our offense has as many 3 & outs as we do. Also we didn't exactly give our defense the best field position with our kicking game. I didn't think our defense did that bad in our given circumstances.

machinegun 9 years, 5 months ago

Everything that I have heard about this weekend's activities has been positive. We know that we lacked an effective passing attack this year and hopefully next year we will score more points. 18 or 19 points a game will not win many in the Big 12.

rockchalkblock 9 years, 5 months ago

So acording to Jenkins Moore on twitter there should be a big announcement coming to ku football Monday!... Combs to KU perhaps?

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

Combs said earlier he'll announce his decision on December 18.

amatxjayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

T. Tuberville leaving Tech for Cinci. Hope this help us in a few spots.

squawkhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Too bad a new head coach candidate didn't visit too. We're wasting time with Weis. Flashing your over rated SB rings isn't coaching and so far he hasn't shown anything differently on the field. Next year he will reach his peak with 3 wins over non-con weaklings while once again going winless in the Big 12. Time to step it up and find a real coach who actually knows how to teach and coach kids up.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

Your user name makes me think you're a troll.

troutsee 9 years, 5 months ago

squawkhawk--I think you are wrong. But, only time will tell. We did get an excellent place kicker from California today. He committed this am.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

Matt Tait said his specialty is actually kickoffs and punting, but Eric Kahn may be able to handle the field goal kicking duties. He also said someone told him Pardula could have an NFL future.

Boouk 9 years, 5 months ago

Marquel Combs is down to KU and KSU, by the way.

Adam McEwen 9 years, 5 months ago

a mediocre quarterback and and kicker and we were at least a 5 win team this year. I would like to see several WR's on this list, these guys we have are just awful. They couldn't catch the clap in a 2 dollar brothel.

beebe1 9 years, 5 months ago

It is pretty clear our defense was not taught to tackle, cover, or a viable scheme!

Look at how the enemy came back on us. If you had read the 'poster' on Weis his last year at ND, and read the scores, you would know he was fired for inadequate defense. He still is inadequate to evaluate defense -- as are most of you. You can't teach tackling and coverage in a week, nor in the middle of a season. As for me, I''ve been alive and thinking for more games than you have ever seen;

Bailey, Kansas 48

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Good thing Charlie Weis isn't overly involved in the defense and is letting Dave Campo run the defense. If you were half as smart as you think you are, you would also realize that it's impossible to build any kind of respectable defense when a team changes coordinators and defensive schemes every year. KU's defense will finally have some stability this offseason and because of keeping the same coaching staff and not having to spend all spring learning a new playbook, I think KU's defense will be significantly improved over last year's defense. The reason I think KU's defense will be improved is because as I mentioned above, KU's defense won't be spending the spring learning a new defense and the terminology that goes along with it. They will instead be spending the spring working a schemes and techniques which will only make the defense better.

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