Originally published April 1, 2013 at 10:43a.m., updated April 1, 2013 at 11:43p.m.

KU football lands juco cornerback


Brandon Hollomon, the latest player to join the Kansas University football program, can flat-out play, according to his Pierce Community College teammate and fellow Kansas signee, Marquel Combs.

“Basically, he was a steal,” said Combs of Hollomon, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback from Pierce who officially joined the Jayhawks on Monday. “If he would’ve played another year of juco ball, he would’ve been one of the top recruits in the country.”

Instead, the Philadelphia native saw enough from KU during last weekend’s campus visit to forego his second season at Pierce and sign with the Jayhawks in time for the 2013 season. Hollomon signed and faxed his letter of intent to Lawrence on Monday and is expected to join the team this summer.

Hollomon will be a sophomore with the Jayhawks and have three years of eligibility remaining and four years to use them. The KU staff, led by tight ends coach Jeff Blasko, got in on Hollomon early and then pursued him with a passion. The fact that Pierce teammates Combs and Marcus Jenkins-Moore were out in California to keep Kansas on Hollomon’s mind helped tremendously.

“I kept bugging him about it,” Combs said. “But it went both ways.”

During his lone season at Pierce, Hollomon played in eight games and helped lead the Brahmas to a 9-2 record and the Patriotic Bowl title. He recorded 19 tackles, including 13 solo stops, and added seven pass break-ups.

Hollomon told that KU coaches Charlie Weis and Dave Campo liked the way he covered opposing wide receivers. Combs, who huddled up with Hollomon on the same defense, offered his opinion.

“He’s got nice hands, good speed to him and I think he can help us cover those spread offenses in the Big 12,” Combs said. “He’s really good. And I think I have a pretty good eye for talent.”

Hollomon becomes the fifth defensive back and 19th junior college player in the Jayhawks’ 2013 class.

As for Combs — a missing class prevented him from joining in KU’s spring drills — he’s counting down to the Pierce trio’s arrival in Lawrence.

“It was a little disappointing at first,” Combs said. “But even though I was one unit short, I knew it was just a matter of getting the job done and getting out there.”

In addition to working out six times a week — often getting after it with Hollomon and Jenkins-Moore — Combs said he was taking a few classes this semester, “to stay ahead of the game.”

With the April 13 spring game less than two weeks away, the Jayhawks continue to work through spring practices, with three slated sessions for this week, including a Saturday scrimmage.


Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Can't get enough CB's that can cover in the Big 12.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

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Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

"This morning, just to elaborate for you recruiting gurus, I laid out a three-year recruiting plan for our staff. For the junior college kids, you have to factor in that you’re going to get a large number of seniors hitting at the same time, so you never have your numbers dwindling where you’re behind the eight-ball. I laid out a three-year plan for every position on the team. We didn’t just cover next year; we covered the next year and the year after that – leading into the year after that." (Thanks viewaskew)

Of the '09, '10, '11 classes, 41 of the 72 (57%) players are gone. Those are players that should be upperclassmen in the program now - kind of like a JuCo player. 24 players left from the '10 & '09 classes, so all CW is really doing is filling the roster spot of the players that left early. '11 lost 17 as well, so we need 15-20 next year as well. But then maybe some want to replace a jr/sr with a freshmen and expect to win against jr/sr's.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

What the #$&$ is Weis doing? 19 juco transfers in one season will be disastrous in a couple of years. He will set KU footback further back than even Turner Gill did. I honestly do not think Weis knows what he is doing to the numbers and I honestly don't think he cares. This move proves he is out to win at no cost while he is here and then is willing to leave the program in shambles when he leaves in a couple of years. It has been tried over and over again by other schools and the heavy reliance on juco transfers is not how you build a sustained winning program. Ask Ron Prince how it worked for him when he recruited 13 juco players a few years ago. Weis has proven he is not a good college coach and we'll be looking for another HC to pick up the pieces again in a couple of years.

Kirk 9 years, 6 months ago

Not sure what options you might suggest. We need to try to match Big XII talent in order to get enough wins to create a sense of momentum among HS recruits. Otherwise why would the truly talented ones want to come here?

Bill Snyder had success with juco talent. Lots of it.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Snyder has never recruited anywhere close to 19 juco kids because he knows it is not the way to build a sustainable program. Snyder fills gaps with juoo kids, he doesn't replace both sides of the line at one time. Nor does any other good coach in D1. Weis' desperate attempt to win today will set the program further back in 2 years and probably only result in modest success in this year and next. Enjoy the ride boys, it's not going to get much better before we run Charlie out of town. NEXT!

lama 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, you're correct in the sense K-State has nothing coming in this year. Horrid recruiting year, especially coming off league title. Maybe the beat-down in the bowl game scared everyone away. How many straight bowl losses is that?

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 6 months ago

Why do you think that there will be such a drop off in two years? Are you under some kind of illusion that Weis is just not going to recruit for the next two years? Weis will continue to recruit JUCO guys, but lower the number of them to make room for an increased number of HS guys. He is getting a quick influx of talent. He knows just as well as anyone that bringing in 19 JUCO guys is not ideal. He did it once and will now recruit even better talent of the next two years.

BringBackMark 9 years, 6 months ago

Agree completely! Zenger needs to start overseeing this train wreck. We're two years away from being back to the level we were when Bob Valasente was coach.

April13 9 years, 6 months ago

Actually....we've been at that level for three years already.

9 years, 6 months ago

For those who are not familiar with squawkhawk, he/she is a KSU fan (ergo troll) masquerading as a KU fan. Pay no heed to his/her drivel.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't worry, we'll at least get a few virtual wins this year thanks to Charlie.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 6 months ago

I disagree. I think that Weis is trying to jump start the program. He is not trying to recruit that many JUCO kids every year. We needed an upgrade and we needed one quickly and he put us in a position to be competitive this season. If we can get some wins then we can recruit talented HS players. With a team in the state ours is right now he had little to sell. The biggest selling point he had was playing time and the biggest buyers for that are JUCO players. He loaded us up with a solid amount of talent to get some wins on the board and he will spend the next few season recruiting talented HS players to step in when this group leaves. I think its a great plan and will have KU football back to respectability and stable by the time Weis is done.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. This looks like a road to sustained success, to me. First you have to get the train rolling and then you work to keep it rolling. I think Weis is doing a terrific job.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

I thought Charlie's master plan to jump start the program was to use glorified video games...yeah, that will prepare the team for Big 12 football. Look, there is a reason Charlie failed as Head coach at ND, and we are really beginning to see why here at KU. It is really quite simple. With the exception of Pro football where he was surrounded by great talent, he has failed. He has proven to be a sub par college level coach because he does not know how to coach up young kids (re: Dayne Crist experiment). Everything he has done o far at KU has been a poor attempt to emulate ome one else. I'd prefer to have a HCBW who had a few original thought of his own and who was not a self proclaimed messiah of KU football.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 5 months ago

Young kids? Crist was a 5th year senior... good try you fail again, just as you did earlier, saying that the program would be bare when these juco recruits graduate? You obviously know nothing about Jayhawk football, the recruits from '11, '10, lost half their class to transfers the past two years... Ya, cuz everyone will be a senior, hah, really? You must be a Manhattan clown, cuz "you can do that there math real good". You're a clown, go sit on a corn stalk, hrm, maybe that's why they call you the purple p's.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Weis' recruiting strategy is the best way to get the best players to KU. Just look at the way Snyder's been doing it.

squawkhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Snyder does not get the best players to KSU (ok he gets one or two decent players a year but his roster is filled with walk ons and 2 and 3 star kids). He get kids with potential and coaches them to be the best they can be. Weis either does not get this concept or he does not know how to do it. Either way is not good for KU. Wis is no Bill Snyder and the final product on the field will prove it.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

That isn't what Snyder does, by the way. For example, their blocking schemes don't really take much talent. They just close off one side and the runner runs to the other side. Not much, up the gut, type of running there. They aren't able to do that.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 6 months ago

Coach Weis watches a week of spring practice and decides he needs another corner RIGHT NOW! Squawkhawk reads a news story online and declares coach Weis an idiot.

I'm with Charlie on this one!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

I think it is insulting to the University compound the word. The only appropriate way to refer to him is Squawker.

maxbball11 9 years, 6 months ago

You guys are all wrong its different when you already have talent you can take time to get high school kids ready, but when your program is the absolute worst in the big 12 you have to go JUCO. If Weis went just with high school kids we would have 2 plus years of bottom feeding, he has to recruit older more physical ready players now and eventually he will recruit high school kids, probably starting next year.

JayDocMD 9 years, 6 months ago

This kid has 3 years of eligibilty. In "a couple of years" he will be a senior (if he doesn't red shirt.)

Cmill1221 9 years, 6 months ago

You are clueless! We are on life support as a program, no good HS player would ever want to come here. He is finding players that can play NOW! TG was all about passing in JR college kids play the HS kids and now look, out talent pool is completely dry!

viewaskew 9 years, 6 months ago

Just for fun, Squawk, I will go with Charlie on this:

“You’ll notice that number I gave you – 25 scholarship players – leaving three spots; yes, we have action going on, but no, I can’t talk about it. The action won’t happen in days, but I definitely have action going on. Remember now, for each spot that I fill, that’s one less potential guy I can take next year. This morning, just to elaborate for you recruiting gurus, I laid out a three-year recruiting plan for our staff. For the junior college kids, you have to factor in that you’re going to get a large number of seniors hitting at the same time, so you never have your numbers dwindling where you’re behind the eight-ball. I laid out a three-year plan for every position on the team. We didn’t just cover next year; we covered the next year and the year after that – leading into the year after that. So for those of you who have written me off and said that I’ll be here for a short period of time, I’m sorry to disappoint you.”

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

This is the quote I referred to above, and should be a headliner on all these articles. It is part of why it is easy to trust CW. He commented when he first came here that he has a plan for everything, and always has a plan. Just one more example to the T.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

I believe his "plan" at KC worked out pretty well. 10-6 record following a dismal year before; first trip to the playoffs in years and his QB in the Pro Bowl, never to be seen again after Weis' departure.

orbiter 9 years, 6 months ago

Are they passing over piles of quality HS players that want to get in on our juggernaut program to get these JUCO guys? Is there a crater coming in two years? Maybe, but we've been in a crater for five years.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I highly Weis is passing any quality HS kid that wants to come here. His first 2014 recruit is a 4 star RB. The problem with winning 6 games in 3 years and 1 conference game in 3 years is that very few HS kids capable of being impact players at the Big 12 level at any point in their careers want to come to KU. The way Weis is building up KU right now is a very risky thing to do that very well could end up back firing on him hugely in a couple of years, but this is also the only way to build team in a state without enough HS talent to sustain a BCS program. Weis has said he'll thin out the JuCo numbers in the coming classes, but to be successful at a place like KU, the HS-JuCo ratio probably needs to be around 65-35%.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

Maybe if we get a bunch of good recruits out of high school to develop, it could be very poor. But the kid that left, He'll probably be QB 3 years from now and will have 3 years to play 2 I believe after spending a year playing. The guy this year is going to be tough to beat for the starting job aside from him getting injured. Reloading at Running Back is already beginning.

It got really annoying last year, and these people that were complaining about 1 win and pretending there was no improvement are the same ones bitching about Weis getting better players from Juco now. "Want the cake, the icing, and then to eat the whole thing".

shufly 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't understand the negativity. Charlie and staff promised few wins but a big improvement in the program the first year, they delivered. They also set "winning", sooner than later as an immediate goal. I believe they have identified the best option available - take the best players possible, start up that long road to winning and improve the caliber of high school recruits when possible. I'm excited with what I've seen to date and believe this season will be the start of a long progression of success. KU football is not for the faint of heart and will disappoint the perfectionists. Charlie is a great college coach and we get to watch him prove it, enjoy the process.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 6 months ago

I am 100% on board with these JUCO signings.

We need talent and depth for years to come. This young man has 4 years to complete 3 years of eligibility.

Lets go Charlie!!! Keep them coming!!!

April13 9 years, 6 months ago

It's nice to see a little urgency on behalf of the KU staff. First and foremost, a coach can't build a program if he doesn't have a job. Another year or two of what we've had and you can bet that both the A.D. and the football coach would be gone. And it might be difficult to ever recover.

All of these juco guys have a min. of 2 years at KU. This means that, with his next recruiting class, Weis can go a little heavier with high schoolers so that he'll have a strong sophomore class coming up when these guys graduate.

I anticipate a 50/50 mix in next year's recruiting and then 66/33 thereafter. For the next ten years - assuming we start winning - KU will probably need 8-10 juco players a year, every year.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Oh boy.

Well you gotta hand it to Weis. He's going all in. He said he was going JUCO, and by God, he man is going JUCO.

Do I think it will work? Absolutely not. But at least he's trying something new.

Regardless, I think the program is all but dead.

John Boyle 9 years, 6 months ago

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

In your scenario there is NO way to fix the program. I don't think I will hire you to motivate my youngsters. You're just a little too positive for me. NOT

diegohawk 9 years, 6 months ago


Love the avatar. Sad they don't make movie stars like him anymore. Bigger than life he was.

I think you are wrong about Weis. I understand your position but I think you are wrong. At least I hope you are.

Pbbut 9 years, 6 months ago

JayDocMD has hit a critical point on this one. Four years to play three is a big difference. Let's just consider him a freshman recruit from last year who got a lot of on-field experience, albeit Juco. Charlie has already talked about his "spreadsheet" showing projected needs relative to players using up their eligibility. It's not like he decided this off the cuff.
Last spring we brought in a lot of one year players, three years sounds like a bargain. Besides, next fall this kid could just blow up this fall at Juco and then you're fighting a bunch of other programs for him.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

At the end of the day...KU football has gotten consistently worse every year for the past 3 years.

Signing a freshman JUCO cornerback won't change that.

April13 9 years, 6 months ago

Signing three 5-star high school seniors wouldn't change it either. Football is a numbers game, it takes a lot of bodies over several years plus great coaching to turn a program around. That's why they allow you to carry 85 scholarship players.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

With what Mangino did his last year at KU and what Gill did in his 2 years, it will take 3 years minimum to get KU to a bowl game. It takes time to change the negative and losing culture that Mangino and Gill left at KU. Last year, Weis ran off the trouble makers who weren't willing to put in the work on and off the field and the hit to depth that took meant KU didn't have enough talented players to compete.

It also takes time to install new playbooks and when that's changing every year, teams spend the spring focusing on learning the new playbooks and terminology instead of getting better. This is the first spring in 5 years in which KU is running pretty much the same defense and using the same terminology which means the players are actually focusing on getting better this spring and that alone will make KU better on both sides of the ball this spring.

The conditioning of the team was noticeably better last year as well even with less depth. With the continued improvement of the conditioning of the team along with improved depth and talent also means KU should be improved this season.

This improvement does not mean that KU will become a Big 12 contender overnight, but it should mean that KU is more competitive this year and wins more games this year. I do believe that Weis has learned from mistakes made at Notre Dame and Florida and will continue to improve KU. This does not mean he will be mistake free, not coach has ever not taken a misstep and Weis is no exception.

Weis is taking a huge gamble with the number of JuCo recruits he is bringing in and it very well could backfire on him in 2-3 years when they leave. This is also the only to get KU to a competitive level sooner than 4-5 years down the road from now. Weis has said he plans to bring in more HS over time, but that JuCo's offer the fastest fix so that's what he's doing now. The plan laid out is a sound plan that can work (Bill Snyder is proof of that), but it's up to Weis and his staff to execute it and so far it appears that they are on their way to making KU a better program.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

Just curious. What exactly have you done "at this level" that places you in a better position thn Combs?

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Most players are at the JuCo level because their grades landed them there, they aren't physically ready for D1 football, or they're looking for a better opportunity. You do get the Cam Newton's of the world too that are at a JuCo because of behavioral issues, but most are there because of one of the first three reasons. In regards to work ethic, not an issue because those who don't have one get exposed very quickly through interviews with coaches and others around the recruit. As far as being accustomed to winning, most of, if not all, the recruits come from JuCo's that are very good programs used to putting winning teams on the field.

Brak 9 years, 6 months ago

Did you really come up with this gem of a thought 30 minutes after your other Debbie Downer comment and think man I need to put this out there because the people need to know that our football teams sucks and it will never change. Better double up on the metamucil because it sounds like you are full of it.

Brian Zachary 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope that most of the comments are just April Fool's pranks because most of them are sounding downright foolish.

Coach-Matt Koelling 9 years, 6 months ago

For those who say it will be a disaster in a couple years - you act like we won't be recruiting for the next couple years. There's always going to be a group of ~20-25 players/year coming in. The faster you win, the faster you can get better players.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

It's not a certainty that recruiting JuCo's this heavily will backfire on Weis, but it is a possibility. Yes Weis will bring recruits in every year, but the risk is that with this many JuCo's combined with the current players on the roster could result is Weis coming up short as far as filling roster spots and then crippling the depth of the team. That's the risk of going this heavy with JuCo recruiting.

gchawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Proposition 48 has forever changed the complexion of D1 football because you have D1 talent just boding their time in Juco's while trying to get their grades up. There is a never ending supply of highly talented athletes attending Juco's, which Coach Snyder figured out a long time ago, so, in my opinion, it makes perfect sense to utilize them, not only to rebuild a program as expediciously as possible, but also to maintain a high level of talent coming in "game ready" each year.

John Randall 9 years, 5 months ago

Maybe we should look at the next three years as an expedition to expeditiously expedite the return to respectability . . .

Carolyn Troupe 9 years, 6 months ago

What is the big deal about recruiting high school talent? Do the coaches try to recruit a great HS class once every four years because they have four years eligibility, whereas JUCO players have maybe only two? No. They are trying to recruit top HS players EVERY year. So what difference does it make where these top players come from - HS or JUCO? We are recruiting EVERY year. JUCO players have the benefit of a year or two of conditioning and experience. I am assuming that the players being signed are top flight players, not just some guy who happens to be a JUCO player. Since the coaches are recruiting every year, the recruits can from anywhere if they are good. The coaches are not recruiting someone they think will be good four years from now. At most they are looking to the next season

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, there is a difference in having a guy 4-5 years in your system as opposed to 2-3 years.

John Randall 9 years, 5 months ago

And, in many, cases that difference is two more years of occupying a dorm room and place at the training table . . . especially immature, underdeveloped teenagers. The real key to filling gaps from the JuCo ranks is selecting players with the necessary ethics and attitudes to benefit the program from among the dozens with adequate speed, size, strength, etc. because of the shorter time available for 'coaching up' those character traits.

hawkdds 9 years, 6 months ago

Coaches in football and basketball aren't given4-6 years to turn a program around even ones with winning records i.e. UCLA & Minnesota as starters, so Weis is doing what he has to do to get instant wins to satisfy alums, donors and his bosses. As Tiger Woods was quoted recently "Winning takes care of everything" so take off the shackles and let him run as long as its legal.

Larry Ewart 9 years, 5 months ago

For all u naysayers in regard to CW's plan concerning JC talent and winning just look at the WSU making the Final Four. Their roster is loaded with JC players who were Hungary to make a difference had that chip on their shoulder which motivates so many to perform.

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