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Rise and Sign: KU football inks 15 players expected plus a couple more, including Tampa linebacker Schyler Miles

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4:53 p.m. Update:

And here's a link to the full audio, if you want to listen...

http://www2.kusports.com/podcasts/press_conferences_postgame_interviews/2012/feb/01/ku-coach-charlie-weis/

4:27 p.m. Update:

Here's a solid player-by-player mini recap from KU head coach Charlie Weis at today's news conference.

Weis talked about the 2012 recruiting class — among other things — for more than an hour on Wednesday afternoon. We'll have much more from what he said in the next few days.

One other quick note worth pointing out — Earlier today I mentioned that KU ranked last in the Big 12 according to Rivals.com's rankings of this year's recruiting classes. A readjusted ranking now has KU one spot higher, as the Jayhawks vaulted ahead of Iowa State. Obviously that's not Earth-shattering news, but it's interesting to note.

Here's this for now... Enjoy!

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis talked to the media on Wednesday about his first recruiting class at KU.

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis talked to the media on Wednesday about his first recruiting class at KU. by Richard Gwin

12:16 p.m. Update:

Couple of quick notes before I sign off for a bit to get some food and get ready for Coach Weis' 2 p.m. press conference. It's definitely going to be fun to hear him talk about all of these kids who signed today.

• I got solid confirmation that all 17 guys on our list have, in fact, sent in their letters today. That brings KU's Class of 2012 to 20 (counting Crist, Heaps and McCay) and they're probably in line to add at least one or two more.

• Just saw somewhere that Carlos Lozano, offensive lineman from East Los Angeles College, has committed to Utah. Not a huge surprise... Seemed like KU had fallen out of the mix.

• Finally, I'll leave you with a quick look at the Rivals.com rankings for the Class of 2012. In terms of national rankings, KU does not crack the Top 50, according to Rivals. And when clicking on the Big 12 rankings, KU comes in ninth out of nine (West Virginia not included).

A couple of things to note about the ninth-place standing in the league. For starters, KU is one of just two schools in the Big 12 (Iowa State) without a four- or five-star recruit. That'll hurt the ranking. Second, KU has the smallest class of the bunch, which also hurts the ranking.

If you look at the average "stars" column in the rankings, though, you'll see that KU's average of 2.87 is actually ahead of K-State (2.84) and Iowa State (2.76) and isn't that far behind any of the others except for Oklahoma (3.52) and Texas (3.63).

In addition, the rankings do not include the late additions of Schyler Miles and Nas Moore, so it's possible KU could move up a spot, but even that is not likely.

Here's the link so you can scan it for yourself...

http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/teamrank/2012/BIG12/all

Stay tuned...

11:17 a.m. Update:

Jayhawks land Tampa, Fla., linebacker Schyler Miles — 6-2, 220-pound, three-star linebacker from Berkeley Prep in Tampa.

Miles chose KU over Florida and West Virginia and will go down as one of the biggest recruiting gets in quite some time for the Jayhawks. It's not every year that the KU program could even think about beating out the Gators or even the Mountaineers for a marquee player, particularly when that player resides in one of those states.

Credit Weis, his relationship with Miles and the addition of defensive coordinator Dave Campo for the decision.

More to come, but, clearly, this is HUGE news for the KU football program and particularly the defense.

Updated List of NLI's Sent In Today:
• Greg Allen, CB
• Courtney Arnick, LB
• Turner Baty, QB
• Brian Beckmann, OL
• Charles Brooks, TE
• Sean Connolly, OL
• Taylor Cox, RB
• Josh Ford, WR
• Tyler Holmes, DL
• Ty McKinney, DL
• Schyler Miles, LB
• Nas Moore, CB
• Tre Parmalee, WR
• Jordan Smith, TE
• Keon Stowers, DL
• Jordan Tavai, DL
• Tyree Williams, CB

Already Signed and On Campus:
• Dayne Crist, QB
• Jake Heaps, QB
• Justin McCay, WR

Still waiting for news on East Los Angeles College offensive lineman Carlos Lozano, but sources are saying that the 6-8, 360-pound monster of a man is down to Washington State and Utah and will not come to Kansas. Nothing official yet, though.

Stay tuned...

10:39 a.m. Update:

Here's a Baty pic from signing day and I just saw a report that said juco All-American running back Taylor Cox was headed to the fax machine to send in his letter.

Stay tuned...

10:27 a.m. Update:

With Ford and Brooks officially in, might as well have someone throw them the ball.

City College of San Francisco quarterback Turner Baty just Tweeted that he had signed and faxed his letter of intent to Kansas.

In case you missed it, here's my story from yesterday on Baty committing to KU.

We're now down to Taylor Cox, RB, and Nas Moore, CB, both California guys. After that, everything KU gets today — if anything — will be a surprise and new.

Stay tuned...

10:16 a.m. Update:

Scottsdale (Ariz.) tight end Charles Brooks and Arizona Western WR Josh Ford become the first KU commitments from out west to make it official. Both letters have been signed and faxed to KU.

Brooks, the basketball-player-turned-tight-end, said he weighs 238 pounds right now, but he's hoping to get into that 245-250 range before he arrives on campus in June.

Ford, known for his great speed (4.4, 40-yard dash) and length, 6-4, 190, has the chance to impact KU's unproven receiving corps right away.

Here's film on both guys along with an updated list, as we're now up to 13 official and are still waiting on Turner Baty, Taylor Cox and Nas Moore, along with whoever else might decide to join the Jayhawks today.

Charles Brooks film, No. 85:

Josh Ford film, No. 8:

Updated List:
• Greg Allen, CB
• Courtney Arnick, LB
• Brian Beckmann, OL
• Charles Brooks, TE
• Sean Connolly, OL
• Josh Ford, WR
• Tyler Holmes, DL
• Ty McKinney, DL
• Tre Parmalee, WR
• Jordan Smith, TE
• Keon Stowers, DL
• Jordan Tavai, DL
• Tyree Williams, CB

Still waiting on:
• Turner Baty, QB
• Taylor Cox, RB
• Nas Moore, CB

Stay tuned...

9:56 a.m. Update:

As those West Coast guys make their way to the fax machines, I thought I'd update you on the progress of Tampa, Fla., LB Schyler Miles. If I wrote this in an earlier update, my apologies.

Reports have indicated that Miles will announce his decision at Noon, eastern time, today. Obviously, that's 11 a.m. Kansas time, so we're just about an hour away from hearing where the three-star prospect might end up.

Before you get your hopes up, Florida remains the most likely destination for Miles, but there's been real talk that he likes Kansas and has been seriously considering the Jayhawks.

Adding Miles would be a huge get for KU in this class, partially because the kid can flat-out play and partially because KU has just one other linebacker committed in the Class of 2012 (Dallas, Carter High LB Courtney Arnick).

If the Jayhawks don't land Miles, that's not a sign that the sky is falling. Obviously the coaching staff evaluated things and didn't see linebacker as a major area of need for this class... plus, there's always the possibility that some of those future transfers that Weis talked about adding in this class could play linebacker as well.

Bottom line, you should be hoping for Miles and there's a realistic shot. But it's not the end of the world if he picks Florida instead of Kansas.

Stay tuned...

9:26 a.m. Update:

We're up to 11 officially signed now and waiting on at least 5 more, with East Los Angeles College cornerback Nas Moore now in the fold.

Updated List:
• Greg Allen, CB
• Courtney Arnick, LB
• Brian Beckmann, OL
• Sean Connolly, OL
• Tyler Holmes, DL
• Ty McKinney, DL
• Tre Parmalee, WR
• Jordan Smith, TE
• Keon Stowers, DL
• Jordan Tavai, DL
• Tyree Williams, CB

Still waiting on:
• Turner Baty, QB
• Charles Brooks, TE
• Taylor Cox, RB
• Josh Ford, WR
• Nas Moore, CB

Most of those, if not all, should be no problem. All of them are West Coast guys so that could explain the "delay," if you can even call it that. It's still only 9:26 a.m. here, which makes it 7:26 a.m. out west.

Should be hearing from those guys very soon.

Stay tuned...

9:13 a.m. Update:

El Camino CC defensive tackle Jordan Tavai makes it official and signs with Kansas.

This is huge news for the Jayhawks, as many analysts believe Tavai, 6-3, 280, has the skills and motor to step in and play right away.

Although he committed to KU last Sunday night, I've heard that several coaches from other schools tried hard to get him to change his mind.

Officially, Tavai chose Kansas over Texas Tech, Washington State and Hawaii.

We're up to 11 officially in now. Stay tuned...

9:00 a.m. Update:

Two more officially committed now: Trinity Valley CC DL Ty McKinney and Carter High (Dallas) LB Courtney Arnick.

Waiting to hear on the official fax from Nas Moore. Here's the updated list, followed by some more video. We're up to 10 officially signed, sealed and delivered.

Updated List:
• Greg Allen, CB
• Courtney Arnick, LB
• Brian Beckmann, OL
• Sean Connolly, OL
• Tyler Holmes, DL
• Ty McKinney, DL
• Tre Parmalee, WR
• Jordan Smith, TE
• Keon Stowers, DL
• Tyree Williams, CB

Courtney Arnick video, No. 85:

Stay tuned...

8:54 a.m. Update:

JayhawkSlant.com just reported that Nas Moore, a 6-0, 190-pound cornerback with no rating from East Los Angeles College, has said he will sign with KU today.

Moore, a teammate of ELAC offensive lineman Carlos Lozano, who KU also is targeting, brings needed depth and experience to KU's secondary. This definitely qualifies as one of those big surprises people were hoping for.

Looking for more... videos, photos, info, etc.

Stay tuned...

8:41 a.m. Update:

One of the funniest things about signing day is how people forget about time zones in the heat of the moment.

For instance, I've been up and at it since 6 a.m. and I feel like I've played out a whole day already. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, it's just now 6:30 and guys are getting up and prepping to send their letters off around 7 a.m. (their time), which is obviously around 9 a.m. our time.

Just got this note from El Camino CC defensive tackle Jordan Tavai from California: "I'm so excited!! And I'll just announce the winning school that has the grand prize of Jordan Tavai, around 7:20 this morning."

That, of course, means 9:20, Kansas time, so expect something in the next 40 minutes or so.

Tavai committed to KU last Sunday night, but has taken the process hard and has continued to say he has a lot on his mind. I'd be surprised if it's not KU since he went ahead and committed, but this one is definitely not a slam dunk. And if he does in fact sign with Kansas at 9:20, that could be the biggest news of the day so far.

Stay tuned...

8:26 a.m. Update:

Waco, Texas, tight end Jordan Smith just confirmed that he has sent his letter to KU and that he officially is a Jayhawk.

I asked him what the first thought was that went through his mind after seeing that the fax machine had verified his transaction and he summed it up in a few simple words.

“Amazing. I can’t believe it really happened,” he said.

Smith, 6-3, 240, is another one of KU’s newest players who committed to the Jayhawks with the old staff and decided to stick it out after meeting Charlie Weis and Co.

“I love it up there, the people are great,” Smith said of Lawrence and the KU campus. “It’s kind of like an extension of Waco to me. It’s not too big, and, from what I’m hearing, everything revolves around Kansas, whether it’s football or basketball, and that’s really important to me.”

Although the firing of Turner Gill made Smith a little uneasy about his commitment, he kept an open mind throughout the process and was determined to wait and see who KU hired to replace Gill before he made any decisions.

As things went on and Smith followed the coaching search from afar, he found himself hoping against this guy or that guy for one reason or another. When he finally found out who KU had hired, he was blown away.

“I don’t think I could’ve gotten any luckier,” he said.

Stay tuned...

Updated List:
• Greg Allen, CB
• Brian Beckmann, OL
• Sean Connolly, OL
• Tyler Holmes, DL
• Tre Parmalee, WR
• Jordan Smith, TE
• Keon Stowers, DL
• Tyree Williams, CB

Jordan Smith video, No. 13:

8:14 a.m. Update:

Updated list of the letters that have arrived:

Greg Allen, CB
Brian Beckmann, OL
Sean Connolly, OL
Tyler Holmes, DL
Tre Parmalee, WR
Keon Stowers, DL
Tyree Williams, CB

We're about halfway there. Much more to come!

Stay tuned...

8:11 a.m. Update:

Georgia Military College defensive lineman, Keon Stowers, has signed and faxed his letter to the KU campus. He just sent me this photo of the big moment. Lookin' sharp with that suit and the KU cap.

Stay tuned for more on Stowers...

For now, here's a quick look at some of his film.

Keon Stowers video, No. 99

8:05 a.m. Update:

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College tight end Charles Brooks is about to enter new territory — big time college football.

Despite being listed as one of the top five juco TEs available in this year’s class, the game itself is still pretty new to Brooks, who is the latest out of the Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates mold to give up his first love of basketball to try to make it on the football field.

So far, it seems to be working, and Brooks, who said today’s signing would not be accompanied by any fan fare because he’s still out in Arizona, said he was very excited about the idea of playing for Weis.

“The offense that coach Weis runs, he throws the ball around a lot and he’s got three or four tight ends who are in the NFL right now,” Brooks said. “He does a good job with the tight end position and allows them a lot in the offense.”

Gifted with good size, good speed and great athleticism, Brooks calls himself a receiving tight end who likes to stretch the field.

One of his favorite pro players to watch is Jacksonville TE Marcedes Lewis, but the Scottsdale prospect admitted that he almost exclusively watches the tight end position every time he’s watching a game.

Charles Brooks video, No. 8 (during prep days near St. Louis):

Brooks is expected to sign and fax his letter over around 8 a.m. Waco, Texas TE, Jordan Smith, also is expected to sign around that time. Big hour for tight ends!

Stay tuned...

7:58 a.m. Update:

Tyler Holmes, defensive end from Sachse High near Garland, Texas becomes the fifth new Jayhawk to get his letter to Lawrence.

7:47 a.m. Update:

Add another one to the list.... Blue Valley West offensive lineman Brian Beckmann, who committed to KU last summer, has made it official.

Beckmann video, No. 74:

List of those LOI's in as of this update:
Greg Allen, CB
Brian Beckmann, OL
Sean Connolly, OL
Tre Parmalee, WR

Stay tuned...

7:39 a.m. Update:

JayhawkSlant.com is reporting that Greg Allen, a cornerback from Houston's Alief Taylor High, has faxed his letter in to KU's coaching staff.

Allen told me earlier this week that he would have a signing ceremony at his school at 10 a.m., but, like most do, it seems that he made sure to get the official letter in as early as possible so that he could let out that big sigh of relief.

Allen, as you know, switched his commitment from Utah to KU. I've been told that the 5-11, 190-pound corner has the skill set to get on the field early.

Here's an interesting look at some of Allen's speed stats: http://speedrank.net/user/239

Stay tuned...

7:19 a.m. Update:

Word is Tre Parmalee's letter of intent has reached campus. That makes two official commitments, as the Bishop Miege wide receiver joins Ohio offensive lineman, Sean Connolly, as the first to get their letters to KU.

Parmalee video, No. 5:

Tyler Holmes expected to sign at 7:45 a.m. and Ty McKinney sometime between 7 and 8.

Stay tuned...

6:44 a.m. Update:

The next known group of KU prospects expected to sign includes a pair of defensive linemen and a local wide receiver.

Ty McKinney, of Trinity Valley CC and Tyler Holmes of Sachse High in Garland, Texas, both bring depth and talent to a position of great need and Bishop Miege High wide receiver Tre Parmalee brings speed.

McKinney’s signing day story is the best of the three. When I asked him the other night why guys like to sign and fax their letters so early, his answer was priceless:

“So you can be in the media, so coach can talk about you in his press conference,” he said.

Gotta love that answer. And, indeed, once KU and head coach Charlie Weis receive the letters, Weis is able to talk about these guys as much as he wants. He has a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. this afternoon when he will do just that.

As for this trio of signees, McKinney, 6-3, 310, decided to join the Jayhawks during the transition from former coach Turner Gill to Weis. The biggest reason for that was the relationship he formed with Buddy Wyatt.

“That was exactly why,” McKinney said. “No ifs, ands or buts about it. “I like how, right now, he’s always checking in with me. He already wants the best out of me and I’m not even there yet.”

McKinney video, No. 57:

As for Holmes, he comes with a ton of talent and confidence. He is expected to sign at an all-school ceremony that will be attended by his mother and sister. He said he was the only football player at his school who would sign with a Div. I program today. And he could not be more ready.

“It’s been hard waiting,” he said. “And I’m ready for it to happen. I’m ready to get signed and get up there and take somebody’s job, man.”

An expected graphic design major who compares himself to Pittsburgh Steelers manchild James Harrison (without the illegal hits), Holmes said he could play inside or outside on the D-Line but would prefer to stay inside.

At either spot, he says power and not necessarily speed is what helps him be successful.

“It’s mainly strength,” he said. “Once I get my body turned into them, it’s a downhill pass rush.”

Holmes, who also does track in the spring, said he plans to get up to the 295-300-pound range before arriving at KU in June.

Holmes video, No. 94:

As for Parmalee, the son of former NFL player Bernie Parmalee, he’s expected to sign this morning to make it official and then will participate in Miege’s celebration in the school gymnasium.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Jayhawk family, connecting with the coaches and players, and can’t wait to get on the field and help my team win games,” he said.

Next up: The 8 a.m. group of juco tight end Charles Brooks and prep tight end Jordan Smith, from Waco, Texas.

Stay tuned...

6:13 a.m. Update:

Connolly is now official. He just sent me a text that said he had signed and was faxing the letter of intent to KU.

Next up: Tre Parmalee, Ty McKinney and Tyler Holmes, all expected to sign around 7 a.m.

Stay tuned...

6:06 a.m. Update:

It’s not official, but Ohio offensive lineman Sean Connolly may have the distinction of being the first member of the Class of 2012 to get his letter faxed into the Kansas University coaching staff.

Chalk that up to his home sitting in the Eastern Time Zone.

Connolloy, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive tackle from St. Edward High in Lakewood, Ohio, is expected to fax his letter to the KU football office by 6:10 a.m. CST.

It’s time to rise and sign.

Welcome to the 2012 edition of the KU football signing day blog. Throughout the morning, we’ll do our best to keep you abreast of the signings as they roll in, and we’ll also bring you little tidbits of information about KU’s recruits as well as whatever breaking news may occur during the course of the day.

During the past few days, I’ve reached out to all 15 members of the Class of 2012 who are expected to sign at some point today. I heard back from most of them and those I did talk to were more than happy to share their stories and excitement about signing with the Jayhawks.

Take Connolly, for instance. The two-star prospect comes from what can only be described as an offensive lineman factory. His junior year, when Connolly stood 6-7 and weighed 260 pounds, four members of his team’s offensive line went on to sign with Div. I schools. Connolly didn’t mind watching and learning from them.

“I was in no shape or way ready to play major Ohio football yet,” he said. “So this offseason I just dedicated myself and I wanted to be the left tackle for this team.”

It worked. Thirty pounds and several reps later, Connolly became the starter, opposite five-star right tackle Kyle Kalis, who is headed to Michigan.

Connolly has been called a late bloomer by many. He has a theory as to why.

“The reason they probably want to call me a late bloomer is I really haven’t had that much experience in football,” he said. “I didn’t play my seventh and eighth-grade years because I wanted to focus on basketball.”

Connolly initially was looking at Akron, when new KU assistant coaches Rob Ianello and Ron Powlus were still working there. Things changed quickly, once Weis was hired.

“I know coach Powlus and coach Ianello from Akron and I really liked Akron,” Connolly said. “When they went to Kansas, I’m sitting there going, ‘Wow. That would be cool.’ And it all just worked out.”

Connolly’s father went to Notre Dame, so when Sean was younger and they rooted for the Fighting Irish together, Notre Dame was coached by Weis. Now, once that letter arrives, Connolly will be the one who’s coached by Weis.

The next wave of letters is supposed to roll in starting around 7:00 a.m.

Stay tuned...

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