With an impressive 2011 recruiting class already signed, Kansas University’s football program has not let off the gas pedal with regard to chasing down talent in the Class of 2012.
Last February, KU coach Turner Gill and his staff signed 27 new players, mostly high school seniors with speed who figure to make an impact right away.
As they hit the recruiting trail for 2012, the KU coaches weren’t equipped with the same number of scholarships — about half as many, in fact — but that hasn’t stopped them from going after guys who fit what the program needs. Already, Gill and company have handed out more than four times as many scholarship offers as they have scholarships to give.
So far, no 2012 recruits have committed to KU, but, as we learned last year, that could change at any moment.
One of KU’s first targets in the Class of 2012, wide receiver Dontonio Jordan, of Lake Dallas High in Corinth, Texas, is expected to announce his decision Friday.
Jordan, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, has been clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and was in town for KU’s spring game. He also recently visited Stanford, and many believe both KU and Stanford are among his finalists.
Aaron Stamn is listed as the lead recruiter for Jordan, and the scholarship offer came directly from Gill, something that made a big impact on the speedy wideout.
“I had a big Kool-Aid smile on my face when I heard it,” Jordan told Rivals.com about receiving the offer.
Fla. connection still in play
The KU coaching staff’s connection to Florida continues to drum up interest from some of the top players in that area.
Last week, the Jayhawks offered a scholarship to Duaron Williams, a 6-4, 292-pound offensive guard from Jones High in Orlando.
Williams’ offer list already is long and includes Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, Rutgers, South Florida and UCF, among others.
Another Florida player with interest in KU is wide receiver Daniel Braverman, of University High in Fort Lauderdale. Braverman, 6-foot, 175, was one of the first players in his class to receive an offer from Kansas, and his recent comments indicate that KU’s early interest carried weight.
“I would be open to visiting Kansas because the Big 12 is a really good conference,” Braverman told Rivals. “They were one of the first schools to contact my coaches at the start of the recruiting process.”
Braverman’s offer list includes: Duke, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), South Florida and Toledo.
A big reason for KU’s recent success in Florida is assistant coach Robert Wimberly, a native of Miami who coaches KU’s safeties.
Wimberly made a huge impression with Felix Varela High wide receiver Jordan Armstrong, of Miami.
Armstrong, 5-11, 175, said he plans to visit KU this fall. His other offers have come from: Auburn, Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Despite many of those schools having better football pedigrees than Kansas, Armstrong said the Jayhawks had been able to hang with the big boys.
“Kansas is recruiting me the hardest,” Armstrong told Rivals. “We keep in touch more than the other schools. They talk to my coach a lot, too.”
Waco CB a hot commodity
Despite not yet receiving an official offer from the Jayhawks, Waco (Texas) High cornerback Will Hines continues to keep Kansas on his radar.
Hines, 6-1, 175, told Rivals earlier this week that Stamn had been working hard to find a time for him to take an official visit to Kansas.
Hines has no shortage of interest from colleges throughout the country. Included on his offer list are schools such as Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
Despite the long and ever-growing list, Hines told Rivals he’d likely visit KU if he got an offer.
Tight end receives offer
Last week, KU dished out a scholarship offer to tight end, Jordan Smith, a 6-5, 220-pound two-way player from Reicher High in Waco, Texas.
So far, Smith’s only other reported offer is from Air Force, but several other Big 12 schools are showing interest, including Baylor, Kansas State, Texas A&M; and Texas Tech.
DE does double duty
Late last month, Wichita defensive end Trace Clark made visits to Kansas and Kansas State on back-to-back days.
The 6-5, 240-pound weakside D-end visited Lawrence for KU’s final practice of the spring and then went to Manhattan the following day to attend K-State’s spring game.
Clark, who has been clocked at 4.57 in the 40, already has more than a dozen offers from BCS schools but said he was in no hurry to pick a place to play.
“I really don’t know when I will make my decision,” he told Rivals. “I want to use the summer to get out and see who has offered me. I want to meet with all of the coaches and see the campuses at each school.”