KU football lands commitment from East St. Louis linebacker

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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 ESPN.com.

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 TheWolverine.com, 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 ESPN.com’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 Rivals.com’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 Rivals.com 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.