Wednesday, January 20, 2016

With 2 weeks remaining before signing day, KU football seeks to fill 2016 recruiting class

Kansas University football recruiting

Kansas University football recruiting


Tuesday marked the first day of the spring semester and the Journal-World learned that seven new members of the Kansas University football team expected to arrive on campus in time for spring football did, in fact, enroll and attend the first day of the new semester.

They include mid-year transfers DeeIsaac Davis (DT), Isi Holani (DT) and Stephan Robinson (WR), 2015 commitments Cam Durley (OL) and Shola Ayinde (DB) who were not able to make it to KU last semester and, therefore, will count in the 2016 recruiting class, and likely walk-ons Dagan Haehn (QB) and Keegan Brewer (WR), Lake Dallas High teammates who committed to the program in December.

It remains to be seen what impact these players will have on the program, but adding seven players in time for spring practices, which are set to begin in mid-March and wrap up with the April 9 spring game, provides the rebuilding program with a big lift, at least in terms of added bodies.

Second-year KU coach David Beaty and his staff have two recruiting weekends remaining before the Feb. 3 national signing day, and, as luck would have it, the KU basketball program has two Saturday home games during that stretch, this week vs. Texas and Jan. 30 vs. Kentucky.

Throughout the years, several KU coaches, including Beaty, have lauded the huge advantage that bringing recruits into Allen Fieldhouse provides because the potential Jayhawks get to see KU's fan base and campus rocking at its highest level.

That certainly will be the case this year, especially one week from now when KU and UK lock up in what figures to be as wild of an environment as you can find in Lawrence.

Because so many players on the 2015 roster counted forward, KU has five open spots remaining to fill in what will wind up being a 17-man class if all spots are filled.

Given that five of those names were names KU football fans already knew about — the three mid-year transfers plus Ayinde and Durley — you're looking at a maximum of 12 new faces being officially added to the KU roster on signing day in two weeks.

The seven future Jayhawks who already have committed and seem to be solid with Kansas are: Antione Frazier (OL), Hunter Harris (OL), Chris Hughes (OL), Maciah Long (LB), Kyle Mayberry (DB), Ian Peterson (DB) and Braylon Royal (WR).

Here's a quick look at some of KU's remaining targets, according to, in the current recruiting class.

ATH Isaiah Bean – 6-4, 210-pound, 2-star Athlete from Houston who figures to bulk up and play the rush end position considering Fresno State, Iowa State, Tulsa, UNLV, Illinois, UMass, Louisiana-Lafayette and Prairie View A&M.; Is expected to visit KU this weekend.

DT Joshua Bailey – 6-3, 270-pound, 3-star D-tackle from Jacksonville, considering Appalachian State, Iowa State, South Alabama, South Florida, Temple, UCF and Western Kentucky.

RB Khalil Herbert – 5-10, 190-pound, 2-star RB from Plantation, Florida, considering Appalachian State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Fordham, Georgia State, Kansas, Mississippi State, South Florida and Wisconsin. Expected to visit KU this weekend.

RB Jo-El Shaw – 6-1, 230-pound, 3-star Fullback from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, considering Bowling Green, Duquesne, Kansas, UMass, Old Dominion, Pitt, Temple, Toledo and Western Michigan.

RB Jawon Hamilton – 5-10, 187-pound 3-star RB from Homestead, Florida, who committed to Central Florida on Jan. 15 but recently told's Jon Kirby that he still planned to visit KU during one of the final two weekends of this recruiting period.

DB Toyous Avery – 6-foot, 200-pound, 2-star safety from Coffeyville CC, considering Arkansas State, Colorado, Colorado State, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, South Alabama, Southern Miss and West Virginia. According to, he is scheduled to visit KU this weekend and Mizzou the weekend of the January 29.

DB Julian Chandler – 5-11, 165-pound, 2-star DB from Missouri City, Texas (home of Nick Harwell), who committed to Louisiana Tech on May 9, 2015, but also had offers from Cal, Houston, K-State, Minnesota, Nevada, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Texas Tech.

DB Hamp Cheevers – 5-11, 160-pound, 2-star DB from Trenton, Florida, considering Boston College, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Idaho, Kansas, Marshall, UMass, Tulsa and Utah State.

WR Evan Fairs – 6-3, 182-pound, 2-star WR from Richmond, Texas, considering Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Sam Houston State, Texas State, UT-San Antonio and UNLV.

QB Tyriek Starks – 6-2, 188-pound QB from New Orleans considering Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico State and UCF. Starks, a late addition to KU's recruiting board, is expected to visit KU this weekend.

DB Desmond Fairell - 6-foot, 180-pound DB from Miami, Florida, considering KU and Northern Iowa. lists Fairell as one of KU's visitors this weekend.


Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

Matt, thanks for the update. The seven early arrivals will definitely help.

A lot of DB's and RB's on that list. With only 5 spots left to fill, it would seem that we'd be able to fill-up by signing day.

I don't see Mike McCoy from Topeka High listed, and he doesn't appear to have any visits scheduled, so I wonder if he's headed the JUCO route?

Let's start the weekend off with an Amani commitment!

Sam Walters 6 years, 3 months ago

Unless McCoy is from Topeka, Texas he doesn't stand a chance of being a Jayhawk.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe he'll be one of the preferred walk-ons.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

This is going to be a bad class. Currently ranked 105th nationally and last in the Big 12 by a wide margin. The average star rating of this class is also the worst in the Big 12. Amani Bledsoe needs to sign with KU to help salvage this class. I don't really blame Beaty for this mess because Charlie screwed up the numbers in this program so badly that it's going to take 3-4 yeard for Beaty to have a chance at succeeding.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

It's quite a challenge.

If we could land Amani and a couple of 3-stars, then we might move up - based on average ranking. It didn't help to lose one of our key recruiters in the middle of the recruiting season.

My hope is that this staff is better at talent evaluation and that we are landing 2-star guys who are really 3 and 4-star talents.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

KU probably won't move up much, maybe 80-90 range, but this class is going 10th in the Big 12 by quite a lot.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 3 months ago

105th does not sound good but we have been beaten by teams with worse recruiting classes.

Brian Wilson 6 years, 3 months ago

Funny you mention stars. But, apparently the NFL Pro Bowl this year is apparently filled with 2 Star high school players. So, more and more, I don't think stars mean squat We just need to find players with speed and size and develop them.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

This is where the talent evaluation part really comes in. If you are better at spotting guys who have a spark, or who have potential, then you will be able to find talent.

The QB from New Orleans might be a good example, he's not even listed in the recruiting service. But maybe the staff found a real diamond in the rough.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Stars absolutely mean something. Who just won the national title? Who just lost the title game? Alabama and Clemson are consistently ranked in the top 10 recruiting classes. Having one or two overachievers doesn't sustain a program. How well did KU sustain tgeir success from tge Orange Bowl? Not well because the talent played down to their talent level.

Jim Stauffer 6 years, 3 months ago

And it should be duly noted that 'Bama is out ranked by about 8-9 teams in this year's recruiting. Think they will fall to 9th or 10th in the nation for this. No!. What is suggested is not that our class will lead us to the natty, but that the 100th class may well beat the 85th class. That is where we are. Let's try to compete on our level first and then continue each year to move up a level or so. Be reasonable. Don't speak of NC's with regard to our recruiting classes at this point.

Bill Kackley 6 years, 3 months ago

One reason for the low numbers is the fact we can only sign 12. Star rankings and numbers figure into overall ranking. The ranking also does not take into consideration, filling team needs.

Matt Schierlman 6 years, 3 months ago

Its easy to get discouraged, but remember Talib, Reid, Heeney, Reesing, Meier, Stucky, Chris Harris, Steven Johnson....I don't believe any of the guys had high rankings nor were they heavily recruited. I'd say they turned out pretty dang good.

On the other hand - Crist, Heaps were both highly touted 5 stars but failed to be anywhere close to the hype.

It's all about

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

I often think about North Dakota State, who beat KSU at KSU two years ago and beat us at home in Gill's first year. If that team were in the Big 12, they'd finish near the bottom, but they would be competitive - they wouldn't get blown out all of the time as we do. And that team probably doesn't have a single 3-star player on it, plus they have only 65 scholarships to offer.

To hit the elite level, you need elite players. Right now, we need good players. The staff's ability to identify these types of kids will be critical in determining our success.

Michael Lorraine 6 years, 3 months ago

I think about NDSU as well. They also beat Minnesota and Iowa State which means they have as many P5 conference wins in the last five years as we do. How does one explain that?

Michael Bennett 6 years, 3 months ago

Way to seal those borders. More BS from another BS football coach

Robert Brock 6 years, 3 months ago

Meanwhile, that old man in Manhattan, Kansas is recruiting 3 and 4-star players out of Kansas City.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

The only guy in the country who could come to Kansas and out-recruit Snyder right now is Nick Saban. Snyder is a miracle coach with a 20-year history of success. It might take more than one 0-12 season for our staff to out-recruit him.

Darrell Alexander 6 years, 3 months ago

Actually it's a great time to recruit against Snyder. K-State is really struggling right now with recruiting because the players know he won't be there in their future. I was really hoping Beaty could take advantage of that. It's a tough start when you can't beat South Dakota State and for the second year in a row you have the lowest star rated recruits KU has had in over a decade. Hopefully they have found diamonds in the rough, but if you're not looking at this through crimson glasses it looks pretty bad.

Brennan Keller 6 years, 3 months ago

I typically do not get to involved with the comments section of the articles, but thought I would chime in on this one.

We should not be concerned with how many "stars" are players are. Different types of players fit with different types of football programs and those that are scouting these young men simply give a broad evaluation of each players' football skills.

Kansas football needs to go after the 2 star players from Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri -- Those who have been overlooked by a majority of power 5 schools. We need players with a chip on their shoulder and a strong desire to prove their skeptics wrong. We need players who are thankful to be at KU playing football.

KU football will NEVER be able to consistently compete with other power programs to get the annual 4 star recruits. I have no problem with that either.

I applaud Coach Beaty for not getting consumed with how many stars a recruit is ranked or what KU's team recruiting rankings are.

He is a realist and understands that KU football teams are at their best when they have players who feel they they have something to prove to their skeptics.

Aquib Talib, Chris Harris, John Randall, Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Jon Cornish, Dezmon Briscoe amongst many others came to KU with an "underdog" mentality.

I believe that "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard" and I believe Coach Beaty does too.

Anyways, just my thoughts on this.

Have a great day KU fans!

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

Brennan, my oft-repeated thought is that Beaty needs to be our version of Billy Beane. We have to find value guys that other teams are missing, and we have to find guys that fit holes in the roster, and who fit our style of play. Do those things, and we'll begin being competitive much more quickly than some people imagine.

David Kemp 6 years, 3 months ago

My question is what exactly is our style of play. Not convinced last year's scheme will be the future. Thu s find the scheme that fits the best athletes you can recruit

Jim Stauffer 6 years, 3 months ago

Never use the word NEVER. Our limitations apply only to the present, not the future.

Ashwin Rao 6 years, 3 months ago

Looking at #KUCWB & #KUFBALL, do you have any comments on Mr. Zender's success rate? I am still trying to figure out what is going on. I am not blaming the coaches, or the kids, as they are here based on a decision made by Mr. Zender... I don't want to start a flame war, just want to know your thoughts.

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