Signing Day drama for KU?
Jon Kirby of Jayhawkslant.com (and the Rivals network) joins KUSports.com online editor Jesse Newell on this special pre-Signing Day edition of the Spodcasters. Jon talks about the drama that could unfold on Signing Day, as the Jayhawks might add a player or two to their already strong class. Jon goes on to discuss the rest of KU's signees, giving his take on individual players, those he thinks can help KU right away and also his sleeper pick in KU's 2009 signing class.
The Kansas University football team’s 2008 Orange Bowl championship — coupled with its Insight Bowl victory the following year — look to be paying dividends in the area of recruiting.
Today, the first day recruits may sign national letters of intent, the Jayhawks are expected to ink 24 players in a recruiting class that is currently ranked 29th nationally by the recruiting site Rivals.com, the highest in head coach Mark Mangino’s career.
The jewels of the Jayhawks’ 2009 class appear to be — on paper, at least — a trio of four-star prospects that potentially could have an impact from the time they strap on pads.
Prinz Kande, a safety out of Texas’ Euless Trinity High, and Quintin Woods, a defensive end transfer from Bakersfield (Calif.) Community College who originally committed to Michigan before taking the junior-college route, are set to arrive in Lawrence amid much fanfare.
Kande, a Kansas commit since June, was an all-district first-team selection for the 13-1 Trojans, while Woods recorded 29 tackles for loss at Bakersfield C.C. last season, and both, presumably, have aspirations of earning quick playing time on a Jayhawks’ defense that struggled against the spread offense last season.
“I’m just looking forward to going up there and being able to play as soon as I can,” Kande said Tuesday. “My goal is to play right away.”
Joining those two will be running back/fullback Toben Opurum, a 6-foot-2, 229-pound running back out of Texas’ Plano East High whose bruising style has drawn comparisons to former 1,000-yard back Brandon McAnderson.
“I’m ready,” said Opurum, who rushed for 873 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. “Signing day is when I can get my workout stuff from KU and then also the playbook. So I’ll definitely have a lot to do.”
One remaining question mark on the eve of signing day, however, was the status of Bradley McDougald, a four-star prospect out of Ohio’s Dublin Scioto High. Scioto coach Karl Johnson said last Monday that McDougald’s parents were expected to meet with Mangino later that week, but it wasn't until Wednesday morning that McDougald had committed officially to the Jayhawks.
Kansas coaches are hoping their work over the past months will pay off in a big way once commitments become official this morning.
And while signing day has been known to provide a surprise or two, at least one commit has no intentions of calling an audible.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Kande said. “I’m ready to sign.”