Archive for Monday, December 17, 2012

KU’s top 10 juco football recruits

December 17, 2012


Charlie Weis and his staff of assistants, motivated by a 1-11 season, hit the road sprinting after junior-college recruits. So far, 16 juco standouts have committed to play football for Kansas University.

Based on the other schools that offered them scholarships, KU’s needs, and last and least, their highlight films (everybody’s highlights look great, that’s why they’re highlights), here is one guess at the 10 most promising, listed in reverse order so as to build up the drama toward the list of BCS-conference schools that offered the No. 1 player:

10. Mike Smithburg, 6-3, 300, OL, Iowa Western: Shaved his trademark, mustache-less beard Monday, so he might only weigh 299 now.

Coming out of high school, he needed to make his body bigger and stronger to attract the attention of Div. I schools, and he accomplished his goals, always a good sign.

BCS conference offers: Illinois, South Florida.

KU recruiter: Buddy Wyatt.

Anticipated arrival: January.

9. Tedarian Johnson, 6-3, 285, DT, Hinds: One of three Johnsons in this recruiting class (high school tight end Ben and junior college safety Isaiah), Tedarian will earn immediate playing time if he can show he explodes off the line of scrimmage, a quality KU’s D-tackles have lacked since James McClinton exhausted his eligibility.

BCS conference offers: Iowa State, Mississippi State, Texas Tech.

KU recruiter: DeMontie Cross.

Anticipated arrival: January.

8. Zach Fondal, 6-5, 295, OL, American River: Tanner Hawkinson manned the left-tackle position well for the Jayhawks and won’t be easy to replace. Fondal will try to win the job.

BCS conference offers: Arkansas, South Florida.

KU recruiter: Rob Ianello.

Anticipated arrival: January.

7. Samson Faifili, 5-11, 240, LB, American River: He hunts quarterbacks and had 12 sacks in two seasons in junior college. Quietly, Kansas has been improving its outlook at linebacker since the start of the just-completed season.

BCS conference offers: Iowa State, Kansas State, Oregon State.

KU recruiter: Jeff Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: June.

6. Cassius Sendish, 6-2, 185, CB, Arizona Western: He has the size to compete with those long Big 12 receivers who in recent years have made a habit of abusing Kansas cornerbacks.

BCS conference offers: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.

5. Kevin Short, 6-2, 185, CB, Fort Scott: He is Short in name only.

BCS conference offers: Arkansas, Syracuse.

KU recruiter: Clint Bowen.

Anticipated arrival: June.

4. Marcus Jenkins-Moore, 6-3, 210, LB, Pierce: Tall and lean for a linebacker, Jenkins-Moore brings a lot of speed and a nose for the ball that will make it difficult for defensive coordinator Dave Campo to keep him on the sideline.

BCS conference offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas State, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Texas A&M;, Texas Tech.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.

3. Andrew Bolton, 6-3, 280, DE, Hinds: When LSU recruits a defensive lineman, that generally means he’s big, fast and loves to play football.

BCS conference offers: Iowa, LSU, Mississippi State.

KU recruiter: Cross.

Anticipated arrival: June.

2. Chris Martin, 6-5, 260, DE, City College of San Francisco: Weis recruited him when Weis was at Notre Dame and Martin was a junior in high school. They were reunited at Florida during Martin’s freshman season. Martin initially committed to Notre Dame, but then switched to Florida. His maturity came into question when he created the wrong kind of off-the-field buzzes, including using social media to blast former Gators and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Nobody questions his ceiling as a college football player, which at the very least is higher than any defensive end Kansas has had since Charlton Keith.

BCS conference offers: Nebraska, Washington State.

KU recruiter: Charlie Weis.

Anticipated arrival: January.

1. Marquel Combs, 6-3, 305, DT, Pierce: He decommitted from Mississippi in September and cited a concern that he might not be able to cram enough classes into his fall semester to meet requirements in time to enroll in time for spring football. If Combs has his academic house in order in time to enroll at Kansas for this coming semester and can have an entire offseason working with strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple and a spring and summer under the tutelage of Wyatt and Campo, Kansas could have its first All-Big 12 defensive tackle since McClinton, a second-team All-American in 2007.

BCS conference offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Boston College, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oregon State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M;, Texas Tech, Washington State.

KU recruiter: Blasko.

Anticipated arrival: January.


John Brown 4 years, 11 months ago

One of the things that excites me about the JUCO kids is that many are coming in January. So they can work with the KU strength and conditioning coach and attend spring practices. Look forward to the 2013 season.

cop62 4 years, 11 months ago

Tom, while I appreciate any and all KU football news...your last few articles continue to baffle me. I do not expect you to be a homer but you almost seem to be auditioning to write for or the Columbia Tribune. Why write this article the day BEFORE Junior College signing date?? Give more fuel to the schools trying to get our commitments to change their mind today ahead of signing.

This staff and the current players that are assisting with the recruiting process are doing a great job with the challenges we inherited -- we don't need you adding more mine fields...

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