Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis put the finishing touches on KU’s 2014 recruiting class Wednesday when he received 20 letters of intent in the first several hours of national signing day.
Things went so smoothly for the Jayhawks that all letters were signed, faxed and received by just after noon, leaving very little reason to worry that anything would go awry.
“I’m very pleased with this recruiting class,” Weis said on Wednesday afternoon. “Our staff had to show good patience, and, through hard work, we filled almost every pressing need.”
Unlike last year, when Weis brought in more than 20 junior-college prospects, this year’s class leans more heavily toward younger players, with juco transfers sprinkled in to fill immediate needs and add depth.
“January was a big month and they finished strong,” said JayhawkSlant.com’s Jon Kirby, who has covered Kansas recruiting for more than a decade. “And they did it with upper-end talent from the state of Texas.”
Weis’ third class at KU includes 15 high school prospects, eight junior-college transfers and Div. I transfers T.J. Millweard (UCLA) and Kent Taylor (Florida). Its national ranks — No. 55 according to both Rivals.com and 247Sports.com — are slightly down from last year and put KU’s class in the bottom half of the Big 12 Conference. Despite those rankings, Kirby said the Jayhawks hauled in a solid group.
“When you look back at Kansas’ numbers in the past, based on the successful years they’ve had, the classes that ranked 45-55 were the classes that won the most,” Kirby said. “It comes down to development.”
Because KU is able to count one of the transfers back toward the Class of 2013, Weis and company have one spot remaining in this year’s class. That spot likely will remain vacant unless an offensive tackle or wide receiver — someone who could push to become a starter — became available.
In all, the Class of 2014 includes prospects from nine different states as well as Canada. Texas led the way by delivering 11 new Jayhawks, and Kansas added two in Free State High’s Joe Dineen and Gardner-Edgerton running back Traevohn Wrench.
The Jayhawks’ four four-star recruits, according to the ESPN.com rankings — athlete Corey Avery (Dallas), center Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches, Texas), linebacker Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill.) and Wrench — marked KU’s most since ESPN began ranking prospects in 2006. Wrench was KU’s only four-star prospect according to Rivals.com.
Because of the winter storm that dropped as much as 14 inches of snow on Lawrence in a 24-hour period, Weis moved his 1 p.m. Wednesday signing day news conference to 1 p.m. today.
Corey Avery, RB/WR, 5-10, 170, Dallas, Carter High
Matthew Boateng, DB, 5-11, 175, Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy
Jacob Bragg, OL, 6-4, 305, Nacogdoches, Texas, Nacogdoches High
Darious Crawley, WR, 5-11, 183, Houston, Cypress Ridge High
Joe Dineen, DB, 6-2, 208, Lawrence, Free State High
Josh Ehambe, LB, 6-5, 232, Arlington, Texas, Prime Prep Academy
Bobby Hartzog, WR, 5-11, 180, Houston, Westside High
Lay’Trion Jones, DT, 6-3, 297, Garland, Texas, Garland High
Derrick Neal, WR, 5-10, 155, Dallas, Lincoln High
Tyler Patrick, WR, 6-0, 170, The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands
Apa Visinia, OL, 6-4, 380, Grandview, Mo., Grandview High
Kyron Watson, LB, 6-0, 220, East St. Louis, Ill., East St. Louis High
D.J. Williams, DT, 6-5, 288, Lufkin, Texas, Lufkin High
Daniel Wise, DE, 6-3, 241, Lewisville, Texas, Hebron High
Traevohn Wrench, RB, 6-0, 190, Gardner, Gardner-Edgerton High
Ronnie Davis, DB, 6-0, 180, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Kapil Fletcher, DE, 6-3, 261, Hartnell Community College
Keyon Haughton, OL, 6-2, 309, Georgia Military College
De’Andre Mann, RB, 5-10, 205, Hartnell C.C.
Damani Mosby, DE, 6-3, 228, Mesa C.C.
Anthony Olobia, DE, 6-5, 241, Arizona Western
Anthony “Fish” Smithson, DB, 5-11, 185, Hartnell C.C.
Devon Williams, OL, 6-4, 340, Georgia Military College
Div. I Transfers
T.J. Millweard, QB, 6-3, 210, Colleyville, Texas (UCLA)
Kent Taylor, TE, 6-5, 223, Land O’ Lakes, Fla. (University of Florida)