Archive for Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kansas football recruiting fluctuates

January 18, 2005


The stretch run of the football recruiting season is, as it is every year, maddening.

As schools start making their final sales pitches to high school recruits during the next two weeks -- whether the players have made nonbinding oral commitments elsewhere or not -- Kansas University, as expected, finds itself in the midst of the firestorm.

Two KU pledges from Texas -- Dallas wide receiver Val Taylor and Cedar Hill defensive lineman Terrel Nemons -- are backtracking on their commitments to Mark Mangino's program, instead looking elsewhere for the right fit.

National recruiting service learned Monday night that Nemons decommitted from KU and now is planning on signing with Tulsa, where two of his close friends also will play. A 6-foot-3, 315-pound defensive tackle, Nemons was considered one of the top recruits to give his word to KU, though it appears he now has taken it back.

Even without Nemons, KU still has had a successful season luring defensive linemen. Two junior-college standouts -- Garden City tackle Wayne Wilder and Saddleback (Calif.) end Paul Como signed as mid-year transfers already, and four high school linemen -- Caleb Blakesley, Bobby Johnson, Russell Brorsen and Jeff Wheeler -- still plan to join the Jayhawks.

Taylor, a 6-1 wideout who committed to KU after visiting in December, now considers himself undecided, but indications are that he's leaning toward Kansas State. Taylor, out of South Oak Cliff High, visited K-State this weekend and is torn between the two Sunflower State schools.

Taylor's coach, J.B. Wallace Jr., couldn't be reached for comment Monday, but Taylor told rivals that his visit to Manhattan went well.

"Now I see why the coaches at Kansas didn't want me to go," Taylor told rivals. "I knew I would like it, and I did."

KU coaches originally threatened to withdraw their scholarship offer to Taylor if he visited Kansas State, but Taylor said the staff didn't go through with it. His trip to K-State was Taylor's third official visit -- he committed to the first two schools he visited (UTEP and Kansas).

If Taylor changes his mind again and notches another commitment on his belt, he'd be the second receiver to decommit from Kansas; Denver wideout Jarrell Yates switched to Colorado last week.

KU still has two solid pledges for 2005 at receiver -- Butler County Community College's Brian Murph, who already has signed as a mid-year transfer, and Garland (Texas) wideout Raimond Pendleton. Jon Kirby of rivals said another receiver from Butler County --

None of KU's 15 known high school commitments are tied down to the Jayhawks until Feb. 2, when high school seniors first are allowed to sign their national letters of intent.

  • Officially seeing Kansas: With a bulk of KU's recruiting class now complete, many of the Jayhawks' early commitments finally are taking their official visits to Lawrence.

Of KU's first five known commitments, Blakesley and Ozark (Mo.) linebacker Jake Schermer took their official visits last weekend, while Kansas City Washington defensive back Darrell Stuckey will be in town Friday to see the campus. Newton lineman Adam Welty and California lineman Jose Rodriguez visited KU in December.

  • Brorsen brilliant: Speaking of Brorsen, the Stillwater, Okla., native once again is dominating the tradition-rich wrestling mats of Oklahoma.

Brorsen, the third-ranked heavyweight in the state, was the 275-pound champion in the Sand Springs Tournament last weekend, beating nemesis and second-ranked Justin Morsey by decision in the finals.

The win especially was sweet because Morsey is the only wrestler this year to beat Brorsen (12-1). Brorsen's other 11 matches were won by fall, including three pins in less than 14 seconds.

"Everything's going really good for me," Brorsen said. "I'm healthy and the season's going great."

Brorsen said he still will attend KU, and has no interest in making any other official visits before signing day.

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