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Archive for Friday, February 5, 1993

KU FOOTBALL RECRUITS FILL NEEDS

February 5, 1993

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Kansas needed defensive backs and signed five, needed quarterbacks and signed four, and needed defensive linemen and signed four.

In all, the Jayhawks signed 22 players to letters of intent in what coach Glen Mason said was the most talented of the six recruiting classes he has brought to KU.

All 19 players previously reported to have committed to Kansas signed. The three names not revealed were Nebraska Baker, a 6-6, 255-pound defensive end from Aberdeen, N.J.; Roderick Johnson, a 5-11, 205-pound running back from Newark, N.J.; and Avery Randle, a 6-0, 170-pound defensive back from Dallas.

"We think it's a very talented group in some areas where we had some needs," Mason said. "We probably would have liked to recruit a couple more defensive linemen, but I don't think you're going to find anybody in college football who's not going to tell you that also. Those guys are a premium."

IF ONE SHOULD pop up before the week-long signing period ends next Wednesday, the Jayhawks could afford to give him a scholarship.

"There might be one left here and there. You never know," Mason said with a grin.

One of KU's most prized recruits was Tony Blevins, a 6-0, 170-pound defensive back from Kansas City, Mo., Rockhurst.

"I would be remiss if I did not mention Tony Blevins," Mason said. "Not only is he one of the outstanding defensive backs to come out this year, but he's a local guy. He could have gone anywhere, and he decided to stay around here and attend the University of Kansas."

Isaac Byrd, a quarterback from Parkway Central and the St. Louis Metro player of the year, chose to cross state lines to KU. Now, Mason said, the Jayhawks have to keep him.

"Besides being an excellent high school football player he's a great baseball player," Mason said. "Our biggest concern now is whether he'll get drafted."

BYRD AND KU's other quarterback signees prep Matt Johner and juco transfers Rodney Hogan and Darrin Simmons generate the most interest of any position in the recruiting class.

"The most-asked question I've had since the bowl game is, `Hi, coach, how are you doing? Who's the quarterback you're trying to recruit?'" Mason said. "The perception out there is we don't have a quarterback. We'll be fine. We'll come up with a quarterback in some fashion."

Simmons, a 6-2, 215-pounder, was recruited as a punter, but he quarterbacked Dodge City CC the last two seasons. He has already joined Frederick Thomas, Asheiki Preston, Brian Schottenheimer and Van Davis on campus and will get a shot at the QB job. Those five will go through spring drills.

"I'm not looking forward to next year until I look to spring practice," Mason said. "But we will not have a quarterback controversy. We will make up our minds. . .I think."

Mason said he did not expect an academic controversy, either.

"They have not all made (NCAA standards) yet, but we expect all but maybe one to make it," he said.

THE JAYHAWKS' five junior college signees were the most of any Mason recruiting class, and defensive end Luke Sills of Sublette was their only in-state high school senior.

Mason said they tried for two more Kansans believed to be KC Wyandotte linebacker Lyron Cobbins and Wichita Collegiate lineman Chris Clevenger, both of whom picked Notre Dame.

"Our first commitment is to in-state players," Mason said. "There weren't as many Kansas players this year as last year."

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