Monday, September 23, 2013

KU defensive lineman Marquel Combs to transfer

KU defensive tackle Marquel Combs runs through a pass-rush drill during preseason practice.

KU defensive tackle Marquel Combs runs through a pass-rush drill during preseason practice.


Kansas University junior defensive lineman Marquel Combs has asked for and been granted a release to transfer to schools outside of the Big 12, KU coach Charlie Weis announced Monday.

“Marquel was a great factor in our recruitment of last year’s signing class,” Weis said. “We would like to wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Combs, a native of Memphis, Tenn., came to Kansas from Pierce College. He did not see any game action during his time at KU.

“I appreciate the Jayhawk community, as well as my teammates and the staff, for all of the support I have received during my time with the program," Combs said. "It has been an incredible opportunity and I wish them the best of luck the rest of this season and in the future.”

Combs was part of the offseason excitement as the Jayhawks piled up juco transfers. The top signing in KU's class, Combs was the No. 1 junior-college recruit in the class of 2013 according to


BringBackMark 9 years ago

Couldn't say it much better. All you fans of this big juco class still on board? This is a debacle. Hope Weis has figured that out (and it appears he has). The problem is he's set the program back about 2-3 years with his recruiting practicing in his first two seasons.

Brian Skelly 9 years ago

Overhyped? Or dispute with Coaches about PT? My guess is we'll never know for sure.

stevemize 9 years ago

Did the KU coaching staff discover something that could effect possible eligibiity down the road?

Micky Baker 9 years ago

That's kind of what I'm thinking. It either had to do with academics or it had to do with Combs accepting gifts and then getting bogged down in that corrupt game. If that is the case, it is smart to let him leave and let another school deal with those sanctions down the road.

jhox 9 years ago

i agree, there is more here than meets the eye. A guy with this talent, on a team with this relative lack of talent (compared to other conference teams) doesn't get redshirted. Something fishy is going on here. I'm guessing he got sideways with the coaching staff early on, or else he got in trouble or maybe there were eligibility issues.

Jack Jones 9 years ago

It seems to me that whatever the reason(s), they are between the Coach and the player ~ and it's up to each of them to provide whatever, or nothing more at all to this announcement. The "rumor mill" is just that ~ and will have it's usual life of it's own regardless ~ and I don't see how it does or doesn't "bode" anything at all for the Jathawk nation.

lv_jhwk 9 years ago

Wow. Talk about something that came from the parking lot beyond the bleachers behind left field.

This puts a crimp in the plan to shore up the numbers for two years from now. We'll be fine still next year, but not having Combs here in '15 will hurt merely from the standpoint of having so many seniors in '14.

So the next question is will Jenkins-Moore be here next year, being that he and Combs are so tight? And if Combs was so instrumental in getting guys here, will there be others to leave?

Micky Baker 9 years ago

No it isn't, because those others will lose a year of eligibility and only have one left after this year if they transfer. They could play somewhere as as graduate, 5th year seniors, but will still have to sit out a year to graduate first.

Rivethead 9 years ago

You can almost bet that MJM is gone too. It was always a 2 for 1 deal.

Matt Tait 9 years ago

MJM is not going anywhere. He posted it on Twitter and I've heard it elsewhere. Remember, he committed to KU before Combs did and I think he's very happy here and appreciative of the chance and the support through his injury.

As for the others, I don't think Combs leaving will influence anyone else to follow him. Most of them are already playing in some capacity and the rest of them realize the opportunity they have here, in the Big 12, with first-class facilities and coaches with ties to the NFL. Can't just toss that away.

Blake Lehning 9 years ago

I don't know about that. MJM committed to KU long before Combs did. I think he will stay.

Andy Hess 9 years ago

if he can't get playing time for US, where CAN he get playing time?

Kip_McSmithers 9 years ago

Hopefully Jenkins-Moore and Short stay. Be nice to see that they're still committed to the program.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

Figured something was up when he didn't play in the North Dakota game. His tweets suggested that he wasn't at peace...or maybe somewhat disturbed is a good way of putting it.

We can't catch a break with the D-line position. We have got to get some stud recruits in here that can play in the trenches...otherwise this program goes no where. This is so disappointing to here about.

C'mon coaching staff...let's get some reliable recruits that can play in the trenches.

HighQ 9 years ago

Hyped recruiting class?

One can add up in three words:

Kicker and Punter.

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

The kicker wasn't part of the recruiting class. He's a walk-on that was already on campus - and didn't survive walk-on tryouts last fall.

Matthew Krische 9 years ago

I think my lesson here is there are never absolutes about KU football, just grains of salt. Combs is so hyped, now he's gone. Crist was so hyped, no comment. This guy's great, this guy's great. Eh. What is encouraging is the players in the system seem to have improved, especially along the D front and D overall. That's encouraging that they are being coached up, at least in the weight room. If anything Weis plays the best player and sticks to his guns. Good for him and good for the players who work hard to be the best.

Boouk 9 years ago

Considering he couldn't beat out Jordan Tavai and Ty McKinney for playing time this season, this isn't a big loss or crushing blow. It is, however, disappointing.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

I beg to differ. We needed him on the D-line for next year. A year of strength and condidtioning...coached up...and experienced on the practice squad...would have gotten him ready to make an impact.

John Randall 9 years ago

We don't need anyone who wants it to be easy for himself. That attitude makes him a team negative, if not a cancer, real quick.

HighQ 9 years ago

Recruit: forget "pile

of crap." You come here, nothing

is given to you.

Chris Gilbertson 9 years ago

He's going to have to sit out next year right? So I really don't see what he's gaining by transferring, he's actually losing another year of playing time right? However if I'm completely wrong on this and he doesn't sit out next year, he's still not gaining anything, cause he's sitting out this year. I guess I just think there is something more to the story, and it would be nice to know what it is.

Andy Hess 9 years ago

no, he sits out this year. he hasn't seen any gametime, so he sits out this year, plays next year no matter where he goes.

Chris Gilbertson 9 years ago

Ok, so he just has to sit out this year. What's he gaining though? If he were to stay here and learn the system and get some weight training under Hoppsople (I'm pretty sure I butchered that sorry) he could be a beast, instead he's transferring to a different school where he has to learn another coach and defense. It just doesn't make sense to me I don't really understand what's his thinking or what's the reasoning behind it, like I said it just seems like there is more to the story.

tophawk87 9 years ago

no doubt he was pushed out the door....

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

Pretty sure it is a matter of enrolling at the university, not playing.

Withey would be the example #1. Didn't play at Arizona, t still had to sit out the spring when he transferred, plus the next fall.

This would mean that Combs has to sit out next year, and I think only have one year left; his 5th in college. As I scratch my head, I seem to recall that he went to several JC's before landing at Pierce - or am I mixing him up with someone else? Yes, I realize that Martin was all over the place, but that was mostly 4 yr schools - yes?

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

that is correct dagger.

Combs started out at Fort Scott CC, then transferred to Pierce.

However he didn't redshirt during Juco, so I guess that Juco doesn't have the same transfer rule as the NCAA.

Jory Collins 9 years ago

Correct, it is a matter of enrolling. He can't transfer to a D1 and play next season.

Lloyd Kinnison 9 years ago

I have watched this player at TT and BU. His departure will be no loss.

Boouk 9 years ago

Hopefully Marcus Jenkins-Moore doesn't leave with him.

John Randall 9 years ago

He may have sounded tireless hyping KU to other recruits, but not when it came time to put in the work to make the team.

It seems like a case of coaches taking the stand, "Don't just TELL me, SHOW me!"

Phogdoggy 9 years ago

The #1 JUCO recruit---BUST. QB Crist---BUST. QB Heaps---not sure yet, but certainly does not fulfill expectations of a 5 STAR QB. Yes, i kow we don't have the greatest receivers.

Season ticket holder since 1984. I've seen many more losses than wins. I travel to at least 2 away games per year. I try to stay positive. There have been signs that KU football FINALLY turned the corner--most recently 2007 and 2008. I seriously thought after the Orange Bowl win that we would not have to endure 1 and 2 win seasons. I foolishly thought those days were long gone---I WAS WRONG. Magino's 2nd year---things looked much better---beat the Misery Tiggers early in the season.

I'm just not feeling it----------trying to stay positive------maybe it's because I am an old fart and am having trouble seeing the glass half full. I know it is only HCCW's 2nd year----having trouble seeing the gains. Certainly hope I am wrong and that the Hawks surprise me.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

For those of us that have followed KU football maticulously for several years...come to realize that Perkins set this program back for X amount of years.

Pisses me off because I too have contributed a lot of money to this program. Mangino had this program in shape to compete. Who the hell knows when that will happen again.

jhox 9 years ago

Mangino lost his last 7 games in 2009. I agree he had this program in shape, then he quit working and left it in shambles, and Gill compounded the problem.

I'm not loving the job Weis is doing, and I would love to see better results, but he's been creative, trying to build this program back up quickly, out of a very deep hole. He needs time, and people need to drop the Mangino thing. He's not coming back, nor does he deserve to come back. He blew a good thing, period. He got lazy recruiting and pushed things too far in disciplining players.

For those of you with selective memories, here is a link to the scores from Mangino's last season. Maybe this will refresh your memories. He didn't just lose 7 in a row, he lost 7 in a row with Todd Reesing at QB. That was not easy to do, but when you quit recruiting, bad things happen.

Mike Nicco 9 years ago

jhox - nobody likes looking back all the time at our glory year(s). But you can't deny Coach Mangino left a legacy with his BCS and other bowl victories. Those events established what KU Footbal can achieve. You're right, he's not coming back but be prepared to hear his name until another coach surpasses him.

Adam McEwen 9 years ago

something interesting I found, a former mangino player who was head coach at a HS, was recently suspended for being abusive to his players, guess the nut doesn't fall far from the tree...

GoHawks1 9 years ago

Don't be so quick to throw Mangino under the bus. How about throwing Lew Perkins under the bus? He is the one that started the fire Mangino rolling. How do you think the LJW got the scoop on the supposed improprieties that Mangino committed? Mangino lost support by his boss and he coasted the rest of the way.

Todd Reesing was a miraculous player when he was healthy. Unfortunately, in 2009 he was playing hurt a major part of the season.

Please put the blame the right person for what happened in 2009.

tophawk87 9 years ago

the recruiting trail dried up when word about Mangino got out....ask yourself, would you want to play for a guy who physically and verbally abused you....a 5' 10'' guy who made you do bear crawls 100 yards over astro turf until your palms were bleeding, a guy who screamed, "I could send you back to your homies where you could get shot too!" Yeah, word got out about the little fat man and nobody good wanted to come play for him....

Brad Farha 9 years ago

@jhox -- he did lose his last 7 games with Reesing at QB, but you have to remember that Reesing injured his groin during the 5th game, the last win. He was never the same again. Couldn't scramble like he used to, couldn't fully plant and extend, etc. That was a huge factor as well.

KGphoto 9 years ago

Yes it was. He was a shell of himself.

Rivethead 9 years ago

Let's not forgot that Lew Perkins callled a players only meeting (can you say back stab?) right after that too. And the downward spiral began.

Mangino never stopped working hard or recruiting. But how to you work and recruit when you boss is back stabbing you with your players, media, etc.?

I'd also like to remind everyone: we only heard one side of the story. We never heard Mangino's side due to the confidentiality agreement. And yet so many "Jayhawks" passed judgement.

KGphoto 9 years ago

Let’s also not forget that the players were never fully heard either. I think all needed information was on the table.

Mangino did everything the reports said he did. It’s just a matter of whether you think it was wrong or right. Mangino was a straight up ahole, and nobody ever argued that. You either forgave his issues because he produced a respectable product, or you didn’t.

I have a hard time believing Lew just up and stoned a coach that took KU to it’s greatest season ever, over nothing. He didn’t sabotage Todd Reesing and company without cause.

Reesing got hurt and there is no overstating how important he was to our winning ways. Everything around him fell apart (fell back to KU’s mediocre ways) because he wasn’t working his miracles.

If Reesing had kept winning games, Lew would’ve had no choice but to keep the good thing going, but he didn’t, and Mangino’s indiscretions took center stage.

Adam McEwen 9 years ago

I think you need to take a look at the improvements, we are clearly much better on special teams, which is huge, field position is so important. We are getting much better play on the D line, our sack total is almost past what we had last season. The D is giving up yards still, but not that many points, and yards don't win games. If we can get the O going, we will win some of these games, the rest of the B12 hasn't been too impressive thus far, we're sitting middle of the pack in W-L right now.

Marcia Parsons 9 years ago

Just consider how good Heaps would look if he was throwing to Meier or Talib.

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

I bet he ends up at a D2 type school. I get the feeling he realized he may not be D1 material. Yes i still use the terms D1 and D2 because it makes more sense lol. Numerous juco players have panned out for us and have improved certain areas of this team. I am not saying we need another big juco recruiting class, but Weis is bringing in talent. Since a lot of guys will be back this years class needs to be big on high school recruits so they can have a year to develop. I'm certain a few juco players will come in to strengthen potential weak spots.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

I call BS on him "realizing that he's not D-1 material".

If he put the effort into Holsopples program...along with gaining additional experience on the practice squad...he would have been dominate.

Have thoughts about why this happened...but I'll leave out any speculation...since it's not fair to Combs. But yeah...I've heard...and seen tweets that makes me question some things.

Mark Lindrud 9 years ago

We all can speculate, but we may not ever know. It is what it is. We haven't seen him play anyway for us so I'm moving on. Thankfully, the defense has been playing better.

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

Division 1 has two subdivisions. They used to be called D1A and D1AA, now they are the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, formerly D1A) and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly D1AA).

D1 still exists and D2 still exists. D2 is Pitt State, Emporia State etc. D2 is NOT the same thing as FCS.

Brad Farha 9 years ago

@plastic -- I'm just having a little fun at your expense, but you say D1 has no subdivisions, and then spell out FBS and FCS which both have the word Subdivision in them.

Brad Farha 9 years ago

I think I had a reading comprehension error there. I thought you said no subdivisions, but I see you called out two My bad.

Brian Skelly 9 years ago

I agree that is a possibility. Im comfortable in saying that he wont end up at some Big school and set the world on fire. It's just not going to happen. He'll end up somewhere, but my guess is it wont be playing on Sundays.

Pbbut 9 years ago

When I look at that offer list, the only question I have is "How did he end up at KU?" There is something we're missing here, because everyone thought he was a ballplayer.

David Leathers 9 years ago

He's hoping that Ole Miss is still a possibility. For him, I hope it becomes reality. Nothing negative should be said about a kid who changes his mind. He came to Kansas hoping to play immediately, and once he realized it wasn't going to happen this year, he decided to transfer to a school that might get some wins in his two years.

Marquel Combs will continue to effect our team for the next couple of years. Just think about all those D-lineman who weren't about to let a JUCO all-star take their spots. All they did was bust their butts just to make sure it didn't happen, and it would seem that it has helped on the defensive front, so far anyhow.

nwhawk 9 years ago

"We just coming in, trying to put KU back where it should be,” Combs said during fall camp. “Like that Orange Bowl feeling. We want to be the reason why this program came from here all the way to the top. And I think it’s the perfect year to do it.” (

"When the going gets tough, the Combs gets gone."

jpsoldier24 9 years ago

No wrong !!!! Combs had his heart set on ole miss from day 1 he see's how well ole miss is doing he always wanted to be a Rebel the only reason he did not become a Rebel was due to a class that was not offered online at his junior college !!!! My personal opinion I've seen this kid play he is a star in the making and if and actually it's only a matter of time he will be a REBEL and will thrive in Chris KIFFEN system him and nkemdiche wow !!!!

jayhawkinATL 9 years ago

Just reminds me of Weis' earlier quote, "If you can't play here, where CAN you play?"

Steve Reigle 9 years ago

Best of luck to Marquel Combs. I sure hate to see him go. I think he would eventually be a big cog in the defense. Really sad to see him go but I wish him luck, anyhow.

vd 9 years ago

Reminds me of the No. 1 Juco RB we had a while back. Hard to believe how bad these recruiting rankings are.

jayhawkinATL 9 years ago

Oh, yeah...the guy who said he was going to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season.

Adam McEwen 9 years ago

He did knock that Texas safety, I forget his name, #21 out cold, that was great!

texashawk10 9 years ago

I believe that was Angus Quigley who did that.

Brad Farha 9 years ago

Angus ran hard -- fun to watch.

Rivethead 9 years ago

Jocque Crawford. And like so many things, Jayhawks mis-interpreted what he said. He said he set a personal goal for himself to run for 2000 yards. He never predicted he would do it. Personally, I'm glad the kid set high goals.

But Jocque was largely ineffective at KU.

DanR 9 years ago

And, this will be the last anyone hears of... whatever his name is.

Topher Peters 9 years ago

Anyone who thinks this kid is gonna go play at a quality program is crazy. Remember the whole "If you can't play here where can you play?" recruiting pitch? There is definitely something funny going on here. If he was as good or close to as good as the hype there's no way he wouldn't start here. I wonder if maybe he's not going to class/having trouble in class or something.

Brian Skelly 9 years ago

Agreed. This kid will never be heard from again as far as football significance nationally. It doesnt bother me that he's leaving, though my guess is there is something with this that hasnt gone public. This sorta thing doesnt just happen.

Andy Tweedy 9 years ago

JUCO recruiting sucks!!! How the hell does Snyder make this work???

Dirk Medema 9 years ago

You apparently missed our DB's, as well as the other half dozen or so players on the 2 deep.

It's more accurately, it's like rolling the dice. Some are players. Some are not.

Andy Tweedy 9 years ago

Nope, didn't miss them, they appear to be pretty decent. But this isn't the first time KU has gone JUCO heavy and it doesn't seem to work out so hot. You're right, some work and some don't...but cracking our two deep is probably more a result of what we had before we recruited them than what we brought in.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

I may be reading too much into this...but Marcus Jenkins Moore just tweeted "thinkin".

Chris Gilbertson 9 years ago

Hopefully he's just thinking about what it's going to be like to be playing next year at KU without his buddy Combs

JayHawkFanToo 9 years ago

Come on people, let's face when players perceived to be talented end up playing at JUCO, the majority do it for one of the following reasons:


Off-field issues

Poor work ethic

Poor attitude

Overrated in the first place

There are over 250 Div1-A and Div1-AA programs and if they did not make one of these teams the first time around, the odds that they will excel the second time around are very small.

Occasionally you get a gem (Pardula) but more often than not, what you get, even with top rated JUCO players, is the equivalent of a 2 or 3 star HS player, with a little more physical maturity and experience playing at a level just above that of High School.

I will guess that Combs found out that he went from being the big fish in the small pond to being the small fish in the big pond, and that all the other players were equally or more talented than he was and he could not dominate like he did in JUCO.

If he could not make it at KU, chances are that there will not be many big programs interested, and he will likely end playing for an NAIA program...maybe he can play for Coach Gill at Liberty.

Adam McEwen 9 years ago

what's so strange is that he was so hot on KU, with the whole "dream team" and everything. My guess is he's upset about not starting, but doesn't have the fortitude to sack up. No big loss, and if MJM and Short follow him then they aren't the kind of players we need anyways. We need Ben Heeneys. I'll take blue collar guys any day.

Doug Cramer 9 years ago

JayHawkFanToo - Has nothing to do with him feeling like he can't compete at this level. It could be announced that he's going to Ol Miss. Just retweeted "come on home Big M. Rebelnation !!! "

Adam McEwen 9 years ago

They can have him. Our guys have to buy in 100% for this to work out, if that's where he wants to be then good for him, but if he can't start at KU he's going to get his ass whooped in the SEC for sure..

kellerman411 9 years ago

After sleeping on it, I came to this conclusion. Combs did what we needed him to for this program. His high profile status pushed the likes of Keba, Keon and others to work their tails off over the off-season and you can really see improvement in our defense.

tophawk87 9 years ago

JUCO players are like cheap houses, they always come with problems....

bigtex 9 years ago

Never had much faith in recruiting services with their star rankings. There are a lot of players in markets that don't get the hype, but can definitely can play ball.

Marvin Blackburn 9 years ago

A rat (fink) jumping a sinking ship.

Micky Baker 9 years ago

I have this gut feeling that the reason he wasn't playing was his grades, and he may not have been going to class. If KU knows this and he transfers and get's on the field immediately, then there is some shenanigans going on where he transfers to.

He thought he could just walk in and be given a pass. Shame. That is why he couldn't play D1 right out of high school. I'd rather not have a guy like that on the team.

Micky Baker 9 years ago

Chris Martin and Marquel Combs are missing out on opportunities. It doesn't matter where you go, you're going to have to work, but there is an issue with the City College of San Francisco in that they lost their accreditation so this could be an issue with the NCAA. However, it shouldn't be but you know how the NCAA is. If it was accredited and they received the grades they needed, the NCAA shouldn't make this an issue with Kansas.

Remember, they screwed McKay while other players at OU and Texas were granted waivers. It's $$$$$. Well, if these things are right, and I am speculating, then kudos to Weis for maintaining integrity. Of course, I'm not speculating about the City College of San Francisco losing its accreditation, but that it might have an impact on some of these guys.

I'm okay with KU releasing him, because if he was close to getting on the field, KU wouldn't have done that. There has to be something unrelated to athletics here.

jpsoldier24 9 years ago

U guys are crazy if u don't think combs is talented he will thrive at ole miss under Hugh freeze watch the kid wanted to play in the SEC from day 1 and that's what he is gonna do

Bee Bee 9 years ago

He ll do as well as Mizzou has done in the SEC.

Darren McSweeney 9 years ago

JP, or should I call you Marquel? I sure wish it would have worked out for you at KU. I hope you have a successful career.

kureader 9 years ago

This kid leaves at the beginning of a season and in the middle of a college semester (though I guess no one said he was leaving the university immediately ... maybe he'll finish the academic semester). So, is there an advantage to leaving now? Does he sit out for a year beginning now, or beginning at the end of the season? I thought it was from season's end ... and, if so, I wonder why he would bail out at this point in the year.

kureader 9 years ago

Sorry, I think someone above answered my question.

namohcan_99 9 years ago

Sounds like an attitude problem. I wish the guy the best. I really wanted to believe he had the strength to help do something special here. Now it sounds like he realized it was hard work and regrets signing up. It is probably best that he's gone, but I am disappointed he didn't show more leadership/ownership. We'll get there. We are getting there now.

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years ago

Inquiring minds want to know more... Until more comes out on this it's all speculation. Too bad it didn't work out. Pretty dumb to transfer and only get to play one season though.

Mike Barnhart 9 years ago

Conspiracies aside he's probably just ... not.... good enough (PERIOD)

Randy Bombardier 9 years ago

Hmm. These things happen but some of you posters, many of which have handles I 've never seen before, make more of this than there is. Also, why berate, belittle or wish him ill will? As far as we know he has done nothing but good for KU. Too much speculation. I am glad that he added to the competitive mix and also glad to have many of the other JUCO players. Don't understand that slam at all unless its some fan of an opponent who lost out on several of these guys. I smell a tigger or a cat. Best of luck, Marquel. Hope you reconsider. Take the criticism from coaches as people who just want to make you better. Don't retreat from hard things.

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