Sunday, January 19, 2014

Two from Class of 2014 pick KU football after weekend visits

Kansas University football recruiting.

Kansas University football recruiting.


The presence of Aaron Rodgers and a big-time college basketball victory proved to be beneficial for the Kansas University football program, which landed a pair of commitments on Sunday.

Dallas wide receiver Derrick Neal, of Lincoln High, and Hartnell Community College defensive end Kapil Fletcher both orally committed to join the Jayhawks on Sunday after enjoying official visits to campus over the weekend.

Neal, 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, is a three-star prospect who originally committed to Texas Tech but then changed his mind and committed to play basketball at UT-Arlington before deciding to go the football route again.

He chose KU over New Mexico and late interest from TCU and Baylor, and told Jon Kirby of that Saturday's KU basketball game played a big role.

"It was a good experience," he said. "I loved it and how all of the fans were pumped up. I have never seen a crowd like that before."

Neal is known as a playmaker on both sides of the ball and could get a look at cornerback as well as receiver.

Fletcher, a 6-4, 255-pound two-star edge rusher with just two years of football experience chose KU over interest from Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi State, New Mexico and others.

KU defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt played a big role in landing Fletcher, and the wild Allen Fieldhouse environment did not hurt either.

"One thing that impressed me was the atmosphere by the Kansas fans at the basketball game," Fletcher told Kirby. "I have never witnessed anything like that. It was crazy and words can't describe it. They have good fan support at Kansas."

Fletcher played the 2013 season with running back De'Andre Mann, a juco All-American who also visited Lawrence this weekend.

The additions of Neal and Fletcher bring the total number of commitments in KU's 2014 recruiting class to 16. Three of those prospects — defensive backs Ronnie Davis and Anthony Smithson and offensive lineman Keyon Haughton — signed in December and will report to campus for the spring semester. The rest of the class, which has as many as 10 spots still remaining, can sign starting Feb. 5.


Marc Frey 8 years, 8 months ago

Good gets. Hoping for a couple more 3 and 4 stars to land at KU.

Joe Naismith 8 years, 8 months ago

Shhh, nobody tell them what a football game at KU is like...

Jack Jones 8 years, 8 months ago

Attaboy ~ Just can't resist being negative, can you?

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 8 months ago

That was dang funny. I'm hoping when we upgrade the stadium that changes. I can dream

Dirk Medema 8 years, 8 months ago

and the team continues to upgrade. The BB atmosphere is a long time in the making. Unfortunately, so is FB. Stadiums will help, but Cameron would indicate that it is more about what happens in the middle of the stadium than the outside.

Gary Amble 8 years, 8 months ago

Memorial stadium can be great. A few more kids like this & we'll bring back the excitement. New stadium in the next few years (?) and this will be a great place to play.

Mike Hart 8 years, 8 months ago

With Harwell in the fold at WR... should finally have a viable WR target to complement the high volume of passes that have been thrown to TE's the last 2 seasons. Curious to see how our passing game evolves this year. 2-3 TD's to WR over the last 2 seasons... doesn't cut it.(Zero in 2012).

Brandon Mahon 8 years, 8 months ago

Right now I am thinking we have 8 or 9 receivers that we will be able to use or can see the field. Harwell, McCay, Coleman, Turzilli, the Juco Transfer from last year thomas, and I think that last years recruit Hyman and Spencer will help a lot. I think Neal could be starter right away and maybe even Hartzog. They will redshirt Patrick most likely, but I feel like there will be some good competition.

Fletcher's inexperience with playing for only a few years could hurt, and could cause a redshirt, but I think he could be a solid player and will/should push some of the newer and older guys for time. I am excited to see Bolton on the field finally.

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