Class-by-class scholarship breakdown for Kansas football


Kansas linebacker Kyron Johnson sweeps aside an obstacle during spring football practice on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Kansas linebacker Kyron Johnson sweeps aside an obstacle during spring football practice on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. by Nick Krug

Counting scholarships in college football is somewhat of a moving target. Asked a few weeks ago how many scholarship players Kansas has on the roster, coach David Beaty said 84, but that total counted walk-ons given scholarship because KU wasn't at its limit of 85.

Tallying how many players originally came to the program on scholarship is a better measure of a team's scholarship numbers. Beaty declined to reveal how many such players Kansas has. The best guess, not counting dismissed players LaQuvionte Gonzalez and Maciah Long, is 67, a figure that includes unofficially suspended right tackle Charles Baldwin and nickel back Derrick Neal. It also includes running back Octavius Matthews, whose heart-test results ended his football career and potentially saved his life, and Denzell Evans, who suffered a career-ending injury during training camp.

Part of the scholarship shortage can be attributed to recruiting too many transfers from four-year schools and junior colleges, instead of sticking to his original plan of bringing in huge high school classes every year. Transfers, such as quarterbacks Montell Cozart and Ryan Willis, guard Aaron Garza and tight end Jace Sternberger, also have thinned the ranks.

An educated guess at the players who originally came to Kansas on scholarship,:

Freshmen (17): Shola Ayinde, Earl Bostick, Jay Dineen, Joseph Gilbertson, Quan Hampton, Chris Hughes, Kyron Johnson, Liam Jones, Travis Jordan, Ian Peterson, Dru Prox, Tyriek Starks, Kenyon Tabor, Kyle Thompson, Robert Topps III, Dom Williams, Takulve Williams.

Sophomores (18): Hakeem Adeniji, Isaiah Bean, Julian Chandler, Daylon Charlot, Malik Clark, Hasan Defense, Cam Durley, Evan Fairs, Antione Frazier, Chase Harrell, Khalil Herbert, Mike Lee, Kyle Mayberry, Clyde McCauley III, Shaq Richmond, Carter Stanley, Bryce Torneden, Andru Tovi.

Juniors (24): Dorance Armstrong, Charles Baldwin, Peyton Bender, Jeremiah Booker, Jacob Bragg, Antonio Cole, Joe Dineen, Josh Ehambe, Denzel Feaster, Isi Holani, J.J. Holmes, Larry Hughes, Kerr Johnson, Taylor Martin, Octavius Matthews, Willie McCaleb, Tyrone Miller, Emmanuel Moore, Osaze Ogbebor, Tyler Patrick, Keyshaun Simmons, Steven Sims, Shakial Taylor, Daniel Wise.

Seniors (8): Kellen Ash, Jacky Dezir, Denzell Evans, DeeIsaac Davis, Zach Hannon, Bobby Hartzog, Ben Johnson, Jayson Rhodes.


Ted Adams 4 years, 6 months ago

So, if math serves, that's 69 scholarships which leaves you 16 short of the 85 allotted. That's 2/3 of a full class short. Seems they are still about 2 years away from having a legitimate 85 on scholarship.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

Most schools are at about 80 because of career-ending injuries, dismissals, last-minute transfers, etc. Taking so many transfers is a factor in not getting back up to speed more quickly.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 6 months ago

This is an important point, virtually no program, even with the ability to potentially sign 25 a year, keeps a roster much above 80, and it ebbs and flows from year-to-year. 85 is the max, not the norm.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

Bruh.. you off the mark Tom. I can confirm at least 5 of the players you listed are not on scholarship and I'd say about 5 more may not be or recently got one.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

If they recently got one, that means they did not come here on scholarship. Also, if they are counted toward next year's class (informally known as blue-shirts) that does not mean they are not on scholarship. For example, Jay Dineen, if he is a blueshirt might have come here without an official campus visit, is not counted against the 25-limit for the Class of 2017, but is a scholarship player who will count toward the 2018 class. ... Names. Go for it.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

Not sure if Joseph Gilbertson is on scholarship or pays own way and then is on scholarship for remaining two or three years, in which case it won't count against the 25-limit per class, just aagainst the total limit of 85.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

Liam Jones does not have a scholarship, neither does Antonio Cole, Tyler Patrick was a walk on?, Zach Hannon is not, Jacob Bragg is not and Jayson Rhodes is not.

Chris DeWeese 4 years, 6 months ago

KU offered a scholarship to Jacob Bragg, Antonio Cole, and Jayson Rhodes according to Rivals. Are scholarships rescinded often?

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

Jacob Bragg was a high school All-American. He's on scholarship, so are Jayson Rhodes and Tyler Patrick. Zach Hannon's is a tricky deal, where I don't think he has to pay his own way but it does not count against any class. As I stated in previous column on scholarships, I wasn't sure on Hannon and did not count him as one of the 29 transfers during Beaty's time. Not sure on Hannon. I believe Cole is on scholarship but not 100 percent positive. I thought he was a blue-shirt, counting toward next year's class.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

If you’re gonna argue with Tom, at least get your facts straight. I’m embarrassed for you.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

Also before you come at me sideways. Make sure you aren't wrong. I promise you I have way more insight to the factuals inside of KU Football and in some situations have more access to the truth rather than what gets said to the public. 247sports (the leader in HS recruiting) says Jayson Rhodes and Jacob Bragg never got offered from Kansas and I from speaking to them got the impression they are not scholarship athletes.

I may have mispoke about Tyler Patrick however, seems he did get an offer.

But I highly doubt a site like 247 didn't know that a school that they committed too didn't get them an offer (Rhodes & Bragg)

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

I worked with both Jacob and Jayson and they both specifically said they were working because they didn't receive the benefits that scholarship athletes did. shrug

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

We should have 25 TRUE freshmen every year until we hit our numbers. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. Beaty is failing at his own game and it's one of the main reasons he was hired.

Lucas Town 4 years, 6 months ago

According to the KU Athletics roster there are 36 freshman, 25 true and 11 redshirt. 29 sophomores, 27 true and 2 redshirt. 30 juniors 29 true and 1 redshirt. 14 seniors, 13 true and 1 redshirt. That is how the site breaks them down by class.

ESPN shows our last 3 recruiting classes (Beaty's) as having 24 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and 21 in 2017.

Beaty will get another 21-22 recruits this year. Now we are approaching the number of around 80 scholarship players and 115 or so players on the team. This is why Beaty will be back next year.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

We’re allowed 25 recruits a year, correct? Until we hit the max of 85?

Lucas Town 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but as Keegan stated in a previous comment most schools carry around 80 scholarship players due to injuries, dismissals and transfers. So even though 85 is the max the average number of scholarships players is somewhere around 80. If Beaty gets 25 players during this next recruiting year (2018) we will have 85 players on scholarship. This information coming from this article and looking at the KU roster.

Bradley Hope 4 years, 6 months ago

One of the things folks my not recall from the early Mangino days was he got in trouble with the NCAAs and one of the punishments was a limit on Juco recruits to 3 per year. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for KU at that point because they had to go find high school players and could only take an occasional Juco guy.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

That's absolutely right, Hope. And just one of the 22 Orange Bowl starters, Chet Hartley, was a junior-college player.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

I agree that Beaty has taken in a little bit too much in the juco front. But he quite literally has to do it to field a team so that he can red shirt these young guys and I think some of you are missing that point.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

Hasn't red-shirted a whole lot of players. And you never HAVE to take too many jucos. You can play high school players before they're ready, if need be, as Baylor has done this season. Baylor has played 17 true freshmen and 10 have started at least one game.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

I whole-heartedly agree with you. However there is a reason they were 0-8 and it is simply that reason. Baylor will experience the same thing we are with possibly slightly better results because they have more talent.

You would much rather redshirt those kids and let them develop so they start playing for the first time as redshirt sophomores in their third year of the program.

If you look across our conference, that is the biggest difference in our roster compared to other teams. We've had nobody to mentor/help younger players that had skillsets. If they were good, they played. Mike Lee was the only player who got an opportunity to be mentored by a player older than him with skill and that paid off for him greatly. If we had that like other schools do at every position, we'd be much better off.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 6 months ago

As a frequent criticizer of Beaty (he should have been fired last year), I've never contested the fact that the scholarship situation was difficult when he arrived.

I never expected a bowl game in year three of the rebuild. Entering the season, three wins seemed reasonable, and I went with the over at 4 wins because I felt that the addition of Meachem and Bender would have a big impact on our offense. However, 3 wins would still have been absolutely respectable, measurable improvement.

What we have, in year three of the rebuild, is a team that is, in many ways, epically bad. Not improved over last year, not really improved over year one other than a single win over a low, low-level FCS team.

While some commenters want Beaty to be given a pass on his first class, recruiting was supposed to be his schtick. That class, now juniors, should be contributing more. His next class was next-to-last in the Big 12. Want to know how tough it is to win with that type of recruiting? Ask Bill Snyder, who had the worst class that year, and is having one of the most mediocre years of his career.

If Beaty were truly the recruiting wizard he was touted to be, the opportunity to play right away at KU should have landed a solid number of quality, 3-star recruits. Recruits who should be contributing now.

There are some good players on this team. Unfortunately, you can say the same thing about every FBS program in the country. It's just not saying much.

I've heard a variety of excuses for the poor performance: Beaty is learning how to coach (who hires a coach to rebuild a program when that coach needs to learn how to coach?), that the scholarship numbers were bad (he's made the situation worse), that the facilities are bad (not really, the facilities that impact the players have been pretty good ever since Anderson was built), that fans don't support the program (they actually have been far more supportive than the program has deserved) and on, and on.

Bottom line is this, when Zenger looked at the situation after killing us with the Weis hire, the obvious answer was: I need a proven builder. Zenger, instead, went with an unproven coach who hasn't been able to deliver on two key things his candidacy promised: recruiting and offensive scheme.

Time for Jeff Monken. A coach with a proven offensive system, a substantial resume of experience, and the proven ability to build a winner.

Lucas Town 4 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so we let this senior class of 8 move on. Say we get 20 on scholarship for the next incoming class. That would put KU at approximately 80 scholarship players on the roster. Give or take a couple that might leave or end their careers early. It is this exact reason why I think Beaty will be back next year. I am only hearing dissatisfaction from fans and wish lists on who to hire next. There is nothing coming from Girod or Zenger that makes me think anything is going to happen this year. If Beaty is in fact our coach next season and shows improvement in year 4 then he will be around for a while.

Drew Matthews 4 years, 6 months ago

But what makes you think there will be any improvement in play? Our team looks lost out there. I realize we have worse talent but we do not have much worse than Iowa State or any of the MAC teams we lost to. That is why I want a new coach, we get dominated by MAC teams with worse talent. That is all on the coaches.

Lucas Town 4 years, 6 months ago

I guess hope and trying to be optimistic is what makes me think there will be improvement. By this article we are still playing with less than a full deck. Recruiting the roster full and then competition in practice will hopefully yield better results. Has anyone heard to the contrary that Beaty is gone after this year? Beaty will be here next season and if the team still struggles and Beaty is let go next year it will show other coaches you will get a few years to try and turn this around. Instead of seeing coaches canned every 2-3 years.

John Brazelton 4 years, 6 months ago

Both Tom and Brett should have gotten the message by now that Beaty is returning next year as Head Coach. Yes, other coaches, if hired, might have done a much better job with the wins and losses each year, but Beaty is the coach that we have. If I were a potential KU football recruit and I read Tom Keegan's daily "hit" articles and then viewed the negative comments by most posters, I would have second thoughts about ever coming to a football program like KU's. The one thing to remember is that it's the same 10 to 12 posters who comment on Keegan's articles every day and they don't necessarily represent the opinion of everyone who supports KU football by buying game tickets and donating to the Williams Education Fund.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

Why do you assume we don’t buy tickets and don’t donate to the Williams Fund? I do both. Also, what makes you any more knowledge or worthy of such opinions just because you do? And finally, every time you post nonsense by bashing Tom or other fans you don’t have the guts to back up your claims. You’re a cheap shot diva that can’t take the heat of debate.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 6 months ago

I would commend TK, especially recently, for staying quite factual. Just a smidge of negative comes out, but then that's only human. He's well aware that there are plenty of commenters that will supply more than enough negativism.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

I believe the coaches who are not meeting expectations are bringing the negativism.

Brad Sherp 4 years, 6 months ago

To all of the commenters: you are not factoring in red shirts. Players could be with the program for 5 years. At other programs, most recruits spend their first year as red-shirts, building up their bodies before they ever see the field. Because Beaty took so many transfers, he could never red-shirt nearly as many players as needed it.

Keegan previously reported that Beaty said "you win with 4th and 5th year seniors." There will be virtually no 5th year seniors on Beaty's watch.

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