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Archive for Monday, February 5, 2001

KU football recruiting class ranks high

Jayhawks fill position needs as national signing date approaches

February 5, 2001

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Who would have thought heading into the recruiting season that Kansas University would finish ranked ahead of traditional bowl teams like Ohio State, Mississippi State and Florida, just to name a few.

The KU coaching staff has found a way to pull off another successful class in the eyes of the recruiting analysts around the nation.

One way to judge a recruiting class is to measure how a school recruited to its needs by position. It was no secret that the Jayhawks were looking to bolster their defensive ends/outside linebackers and their offensive line through the junior college ranks.

And they did just that. Kansas again will have one of the top junior college classes in the country, and it filled several needs at key positions. Two offensive line recruits who were highly recruited were John Harvey and Jawad Pearson. Then Kansas came back on the defensive side and picked up Greg Cole, Leo Etienne, and Charlie Dennis, who were recruited by schools such as Auburn, South Carolina, Purdue, Clemson, Michigan State and others.

On the local front, the Jayhawks landed three of the top five prospects in the Kansas City area, including holding off Notre Dame for KC Schlagle standout Greg Heaggans. KU picked up the best safety in the two-state region in Banks Floodman and the best cover corner in the region with Johnnie Watkins from St. Louis.

Two of the best recruits in Oklahoma Joey Guzman and Marshell Chiles have given Kansas nonbinding oral commitments. Sources in Oklahoma have told me that Chiles is one of the top four recruits in the state.

Then Kansas picked up a couple of sleepers. Two that come to mind are Kevin Luke and Nick Clapp. Luke had Oregon come back into the picture late, and Clapp was set to commit to Arizona State until the Sun Devils made a coaching change.

Last year was considered one of the best classes in KU history and finished ranked in the top 30 nationally. This year's class might be a notch behind that group, but will still finish strong and will end up in the top 40.

Also, there appears to be a couple of scholarships remaining, so look for some news to break before signing day.

KU coach Terry Allen and his staff have a proven track record as good recruiters.

This Wednesday will again provide an upbeat atmosphere for the Kansas coaches when the signings become official and KU again lands another nationally ranked recruiting class.




Jon Kirby is the founder and chief analyst for the Kansas City-based MoKan football online recruiting service. His Web site can be viewed at mokanfootball.rivals.com

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