Tuesday, May 14, 2013

KU football lands commitment from East St. Louis linebacker


Talk about a solid encore.

A few hours after the Kansas University men’s basketball program landed Andrew Wiggins, the top player in the Class of 2013, the KU football program picked up an oral commitment from linebacker Kyron Watson, the No. 4-ranked outside linebacker in the country, according to

Watson, a four-star prospect from East St. Louis, Ill., becomes the second player in the Class of 2014 to pick KU coach Charlie Weis’ program. He joins four-star, Gardner-Edgerton High running back Traevohn Wrench, who committed to the Jayhawks in March.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Watson chose the Jayhawks over an impressive list of suitors that included Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Purdue and TCU.

On Monday, Watson posted to his Twitter account words of excitement over his upcoming visit to Michigan. A day later, however, the visit to Michigan was off and his Twitter feed read simply, “I’m Officially Committed To The University Of Kansas. #JayHawk #RockChalk #DreamTeam.”

During the past several months, Watson has made a couple of trips to Lawrence. He was in town for KU’s spring game in April, and, according to Tim Sullivan, of, had narrowed his finalists to KU and Michigan.

The plan was for Watson to take a visit to Michigan this weekend and then make a decision by the end of May, but that changed when Watson, who hails from the same school that produced current KU running back Tony Pierson, decided he was ready to end the process and join the Jayhawks.

According to’s scouting report, the East St. Louis High senior could be an immediate impact player.

“Watson possesses the intelligence, athleticism and toughness needed to play early at the BCS level of competition,” the report reads.

Newell to narrow

Hiawatha High defensive end Peyton Newell, one of the top players in Kansas and’s 11th best defensive end in the nation, announced via Twitter this week that he will narrow his list to five finalists on June 1.

According to the database, Newell, 6-3, 280, currently has 34 Div. I offers, most of them coming from BCS programs. Although the long list includes schools such as Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and eight Big 12 schools, many analysts believe KU will crack the Top 5.


JayDocMD 9 years, 2 months ago

very solid pickup - keep the good news coming

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 2 months ago

He absolutely punishes runners with some vicious hits. I'm pretty excited to see what he can do after a little more coaching and div 1 weight room.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

Nice. The video quality is bad, but from what I could see the kid gotta Ben Heeney kind of feel. Big hits any chance he gets, and a motor to be in on every play.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 2 months ago

For those who were worried about the low number of commitments I guess this just shows we are going for quality and not quantity.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 2 months ago

Excellent news! Now, if Newell just figures out how KU can help him as well as he can help KU!

79ictjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Wow, twofer Tuesday! Welcome aboard Kyron!

Boouk 9 years, 2 months ago

4 stars and ranked 100th in ESPN's top 150. Beat out Michigan and Mizzou. Not bad for the second best commitment of the day.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

This is awesome! This is the type of recruit we have not been able to recruit in the 24 years I've followed the Jayhawk football team. He's the #4 OLB in the country! He cancelled a visit to Michigan to commit to us!

I spent about 2 hours this morning basking in the glow of Wiggins's commitment, but I think I am actually more impressed and excited about Mr. Watson. Three exclamation points in five sentences might have given you a clue there.

Welcome to KU, Kyron. I can't wait to watch you knock some heads off in Memorial Stadium.

KJD 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you on this being a barn burner of a pick-up for football. Wrench is an excellent commit too which keeps the running back pipe line hot. To cancel a Michigan visit and go to Kansas, to play for this coaching staff, it sure makes for a nice center piece to continue to pursue similar talent for this class!

IkePikeHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Kyron to Kansas-sounds nice. Welcome, Jayhawk!

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

Great get. Let's hope it sticks. There is nothing ethical about football recruiting, other schools will continue to go after him.

tical523 9 years, 2 months ago

We are going to be good this year (6 wins or more) and the future looks even brighter.

W Keith Swinehart II 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm excited. Going for quality. Things are happening in football.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Braden Smith would be nice as well, and David Cornwell too, but this is a fabulous start to recruiting.

Ethan Berger 9 years, 2 months ago

According to ESPN 100% of our recruits are 4 stars. Now lets get results to match this recruiting.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Rivals isn't quite as excited by him, but still a good get.

Ryan Knuth 9 years, 2 months ago

Aqib Talib was ranked as a 2 star by Rivals, so I don't use them as the holy grail of recruiting. I don't think that way with ESPN either, just saying that ranking isn't always everything.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Nice. This puts Kansas in the top 10 recruiting classes to start, if not the top spot. An ESPN 150 recruit, and there are a few other players in the Rivals 100 that are considering Kansas according to Rivals. I know, we've only gotten two commitments, but both are solid 4 star prospects and either of them could be upgraded after this coming season. With him coming in next year he'll probably be able to compete for number 2 on the depth chart, behind some pretty good linebackers already here. He'll see playing time next year.

I have confidence that Charlie's commitments will stick. They have all so far. Of course, if Kansas wins 6 or 7 or more games this season, that will entice some others to say, hey look what they're building at Kansas.

Big day for football and basketball recruiting for the Jayhawks today.

Some analysts believe that Kansas will crack the top 5 in recruiting classes in this upcoming class? WHOA! That's a big deal.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

I think you misread that last part, jayhawkintx. As much as I would LOVE to believe that KU could crack the top 5 in recruiting classes, I believe the article was referring to KU cracking the top 5 possibilities for getting Peyton Newell.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Way too premature and exaggerated.

Rivals has Kyron as a 3*, giving KU a total of 195 pts for 2 players. Even if we kept up this pace, that would be 1,950 pts for 20 player class, or little more than half of what a top 5 teams gets. It would be good for about 15th place last year; right behind NU.

Micky Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

If he's the 4th best OS Linebacker in the country, he'll likely end up rated **** by Rivals during the upcoming season.

kellerman411 9 years, 2 months ago

This is huge. These two already committed will begin to act like magnets to other talented prep players.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 2 months ago

In the end, recruiting rankings never seem to matter but beating out Michigan, Mizzou and TCU... that's impressive!

Kenneth Hillman 9 years, 2 months ago

I love this! Keep em coming Charlie and staff. I am so fired up about football this season and continuing to move in the right direction.

canuckhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

This is a solid step forward. We will need many more of these to compete with the top half of the league but this helps move us along toward respectable.

Stephen Johnson 9 years, 2 months ago

It's very impressive the number of quality recruits that Coach Weis and staff have been able to get signed. The juco studs he brought in really have me ready for the football season to start. I believe our defense is going to be massively improved and I also believe that our passing attack will find the end zone several times this season.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 2 months ago

I tip my hat to Reggie Mitchell.

In his Rivals interview, Watson's coach attibutes Mitchell to the reason why Kansas landed this guy.

...dude has some recruiting abilities. Have to give him that.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 2 months ago

Good catch. He seems to position himself well and has decent closing speed.

troutsee 9 years, 2 months ago

Big news for the real sleeper team in the Big 12. Teams will not be able to look past our Jayhawks this year or next.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.