If a pipeline indeed is developing, it certainly is a nice school for Kansas University's football program to be associated with.
The Jayhawks received a non-binding oral commitment Wednesday from Phillip Strozier, a 6-foot defensive back who just completed his playing days at Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst High. Kansas now has 11 commitments for 2006, including two from Rockhurst: Strozier and linebacker Sal Capra.
"(Strozier) and Sal are good friends," Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. "He just felt comfortable with the whole situation. Being close to home made a big difference. He's close to his family, and they'll get to see him play."
Strozier was a three-year starter at cornerback for Rockhurst, and he also played wide receiver. He doubles as the Hawklets' basketball point guard during the winter.
"He did a great job of shutting off one half of the field," Severino said. "He has real good athletic ability. He just kind of has a smoothness about him."
KU football commitments
Players who have given non-binding oral commitments to play football for Kansas University beginning in 2006:
Donte Bean, 5-9, 180, RB, Garland, Texas Sal Capra, 6-3, 235, LB, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst Jamal Greene, 6-4, 255, DE, Kansas City Washington Tyler Lawrence, 6-2, 195, QB, Shawnee Mission West Dakota Lewis, 6-0, 190, LB, Sulpher, Okla. John Marshall, 6-2, 275, OL, Mt. Vernon, Texas Xavier Rambo, 6-1, 190, WR, Dallas Todd Reesing, 6-0, 180, QB, Lake Travis, Texas Jake Sharp, 5-10, 175, RB, Salina Central Phillip Strozier, 6-0, 185, DB, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst Anthony Webb, 6-1, 190, DB, Dallas
Severino would know. Over the years, his Rockhurst teams have churned out several Division One players, including former Oklahoma defensive back Brandon Shelby, former Missouri linebacker Sean Doyle, Missouri running back Tony Temple, Kansas linebacker Kevin Kane, and Severino's son, Brandon, who played wide receiver at Missouri.
Severino can envision Strozier playing cornerback or safety in college.
"He's probably one of the better receivers we have here, which helps him in the fact that he's a defensive back with good hands," Severino said. "A lot of times, kids become d-backs because they don't have good hands."
Strozier's commitment is non-binding, and he won't sign a letter of intent until February. His pledge gives KU 11 known commitments for the 2006 class.
¢ Reid doesn't sweep: KU linebacker Nick Reid was bidding to be the Big 12 Conference's defensive player of the year by both the coaches and the media, but it didn't happen.
Reid was given the honor by the coaches Tuesday, but it was announced Wednesday that the Associated Press instead tapped Texas Tech safety Dwayne Slay. Slay topped 100 tackles and became known across the region as a hard-hitting back. He forced eight fumbles this season.
Reid likely has more hardware awaiting, though - the AP All-Big 12 teams will be announced today.
¢ Informally interested: Former Kansas University coach Terry Allen has "talked informally" with officials at Missouri State regarding their coaching vacancy, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.
"I have not gone through the interview process," Allen told the Register. "All I can say is that we have been in contact."
Missouri State, an NCAA Division I-AA school, did not retain Randy Ball after going 4-6 this year. Allen was successful as coach of I-AA Northern Iowa in the 1990s, but couldn't translate the success to Kansas before being fired in 2001.