Archive for Thursday, February 8, 1996


February 8, 1996


Kansas University's football team wrapped up its recruiting season on Wednesday ... or did it?

KU coach Glen Mason released a list of 24 players who signed with KU on Wednesday, the first day of the national letter of intent signing period.

Not included on that list was Akili Roberson, quarterback from Los Angeles Southwest Community College.

Roberson said Wednesday that he had signed with KU but still hadn't achieved eligibility. A junior college player who failed to meet NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines coming out of high school must graduate from his juco before he can enroll at a major college.

"I signed with Kansas today," Roberson said, "but they told me not to talk about it. I'm still a couple units short. It all depends on this semester right here. But, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm coming to Kansas next fall."

Roberson, the city player of the year his senior year at L.A. Locke High, threw for 1,750 yards and rushed for 300 more as a sophomore at L.A. Southwest.

Also not on KU's list of 24 was Dean Royal, a junior college punter from Tyler JC. Royal signed during the early juco signing period and is enrolled at KU.

Also absent were two preps who said they signed national letters of intent with Kansas early Wednesday morning. Chuck Jarvis, an offensive lineman from San Pedro, Calif., and James McGee, a defensive back from Cahokia, Ill., said they signed their letters. Jarvis said he faxed his to KU; McGee said he put his in a Federal Express envelope and that it might not have been reached Lawrence yet.

"These are all the ones I've got," Mason said during a late-afternoon press conference.

When asked if the recruiting class might swell, Mason dodged.

"I don't know," he said. "This is no way to operate a business, I'll tell you that. ... Sometimes you get involved with guys who don't have phones. I'm serious."

During his press conference, Mason lauded the 24 players he did announce.

"Overall, I'm very pleased," he said. "Did we get everyone we wanted? The answer is no. But I think we met our needs. ... I don't like to get too high or too low on any of these guys. Only time will tell. But I feel pretty good about it."

The list includes four sets of high school teammates -- Detroit Pershing's Michael Goree and David Glover, KC Washington's Dariss Lomax and Jason Sykes, Olathe North's Arland Bruce and Bob Schmidt, and Houston Madison's Torrance Norris and Daniel Wilturner.

The Jayhawks signed 13 defensive players and 11 offensive, with an emphasis on both lines.

"Offensive line was a big need for us," Mason said. "I've been concerned that we were getting thin in the ranks. These guys keep getting bigger and bigger. These guys average 6-4, 288 pounds coming out of high school.

"On the defensive line, we signed four. They average 6-3, 278."

The geographic distribution looks like this: five players from Kansas, three each from Michigan, Florida and Texas, two players from Missouri and Ohio and one each from California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Ontario, Canada.

Mason said he was able to capitalize on the Jayhawks' 10-2 season this past fall, when they beat UCLA in the Aloha Bowl and finished No. 9 in the final Associated Press poll.

"I got better receptions, it seemed like, when I went to places like Florida and Texas," Mason said. "People were saying, 'What a great year you had.' Obviously, that type of stuff sure helped."

Mason said that most of the 24 signees had met NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines but some still lagged. He refused to say how many were still waiting on their clearance.

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