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Archive for Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jayhawks, Wildcats vying for juco defenders, teammates

December 5, 2012

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Kansas University commitment Marcus Jenkins-Moore, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker from Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif., has yet to sign with or suit up for the Jayhawks, but he already has sampled a taste of the rivalry between KU and Kansas State.

In Manhattan last weekend for an official visit with juco teammate and KU target Marquel Combs, Jenkins-Moore became even more fired up about his commitment to KU while standing on the sideline watching KSU’s victory over Texas.

“It showed me how intense the rivalry is and how much the fans care about those schools and the recruits,” he said of his interactions with KU and K-State fans both at the game and on Twitter. “I understand all the fans out there are different, but it doesn’t matter to me, I’m just ready to ball.”

After returning to California earlier this week, Jenkins-Moore, who originally hails from Louisville, Ky., solidified his commitment to Kansas both on Twitter and in person with Kansas coach Charlie Weis.

“He already knew that I would stay committed,” Jenkins-Moore said of Weis. “Me and coach Weis have been talking on Facebook a lot and I tell him, ‘I’m strong on the process and I’m strong on my commitment to Kansas because I want to make that difference for ’em.’”

The two Pierce CC defenders have been a priority for Weis, who has conducted in-home visits with both players and their families already this week.

“I appreciate that on their first day off since the season ended that they came to my parents’ house and Marquel’s parents’ house,” Jenkins-Moore said. “They told my mom that they were gonna make me go to class and academics would be a priority and everything was gonna be good for me. That was just another thing that made my mom happy, so it made me happy.”

It remains to be seen which school the 6-3, 305-pound defensive tackle Combs will select, but the Jayhawks appear to be very much in the mix, and Jenkins-Moore is doing all he can to inspire Combs to join him at Kansas.

“We would love to play together,” Jenkins-Moore said. “We’re not friends, we’re not homies, we’re like brothers. I was in his ear about (recruiting) a lot about a month ago, and we’ve been having long discussions about it, but lately, I’ve been keeping quiet and giving him the time to think about it himself. It’s his decision.”

Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy reported in late November that Combs had narrowed his list to a top three of KU, Kansas State and Washington State.

Combs will graduate this month and he told Rivals he would make a decision Dec. 18.

CBSSports.com honors Sims

Junior running back James Sims, who, this season, became the 11th player in KU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season, was named to CBSsports.com’s all-Big 12 first team earlier this week.

Sims’ total of 1,013 yards came in just nine games after he served a three-game suspension to open the season.

Sims’ career total of 2,482 ranks him eighth on KU’s all-time rushing list, 1,359 yards behind all-time leader June Henley. Sims’ 27 career touchdowns rank third all-time, one behind Tony Sands for second, and 14 behind Henley.

CB reopens recruitment

Taylor Lewis, a senior at DeSoto (Texas) High has been removed from KU’s commitment list on JayhawkSlant.com and appears to have reopened his recruitment.

The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback who committed to Kansas in late June also has offers from Oklahoma State and Washington State and has been rumored to be seriously looking at the Cowboys.

With Lewis no longer in the mix, KU sits at 13 oral commitments in the Class of 2013 and is expected to bring in roughly twice that many, with several coming from the junior-college ranks.

OSU offers Texas kicker

KU’s efforts to sign Arlington, Texas, place kicker Ben Grogan became a little more difficult recently, when Oklahoma State officially offered the 6-1, 175-pound player a scholarship.

Grogan told Jay Fielder of OStateIllustrated.com that he was leaning heavily toward the Cowboys. Grogan has plans to visit both Kansas State and Kansas in the near future and also is being pursued by Memphis.

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