Kansas football secures 2 more transfer portal pick-ups after weekend visits
photo by: Journal-World illustration
The Kansas football program added another group of transfer portal pick-ups over the weekend, with recent visitors Damarius McGhee, a cornerback out of LSU, and Patrick Joyner Jr., a defensive end from Utah State, committing to Kansas.
McGhee, a former four-star prospect who originally had offers from Alabama, Georgia and several other big time programs, announced his commitment to Kansas on social media.
He told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com that the relationship he built with KU assistant coach Jordan Peterson after he entered the portal was a huge reason he picked Kansas.
“That’s my guy,” McGhee said of Peterson. “He told me a lot. He told me about the defense, and I like how they do their schemes. I like what they do. He was joking around a lot on the visit. He’s the one who basically recruited me the whole time.”
McGhee started on special teams for the Tigers as a true freshman in 2021 and appeared in one game during his sophomore season last fall. He said the KU coaches told him that both special teams and cornerback would be in his future at Kansas. That means returning kicks and that was something that stood out to him throughout his communications with KU.
“One of the first things they said was something about special teams and running kicks back,” he told Kirby “So, I was just like, ‘Yeah, this is probably going to be the place for me.’ I’ve been wanting to do that. I missed that and I’ve been gone for too long.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback who originally hails from Pensacola, Florida, was hosted on his visit by fellow-Florida native Kenny Logan Jr.
Joyner is another Florida native, hailing from Miami and earning all-state honors out of South Dade High School during his senior season. He had offers from Miami (Fla.), Florida State, Florida, UCF and several other schools and signed with the Hurricanes before transferring to Utah State.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound D-End played three seasons at Miami (2018-20) before spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons at Utah State.
According to ESPN.com, he, too, was a four-star prospect out of high school, and his decision to commit to KU came down to the bond he felt with defensive ends coach Taiwo Onatolu and the players on the current KU roster.
“The players welcomed me with open arms,” Joyner told Kirby. “I’m sure they’ll make it easy for me to adapt. Coach O is really great dude. He made sure I know what he expects from his players. He’s definitely a coach I feel is going to prepare me to be successful on the field.”
Both players are expected to arrive on campus this week, when classes in the spring semester begin. KU is closing in on five weeks out from the start of spring football, which head coach Lance Leipold said last month was slated to begin on Feb. 28.
KU also recently landed a commitment from a former high school standout from the Kansas City area, when tight end Max Muehlberger announced on Twitter that he was leaving Oklahoma State to join the KU program.
Muehlberger, who hails from Blue Valley Northwest High, is expected to join the Jayhawks as a walk-on. The 6-foot-4, 215 pound tight end did not record any statistics during his freshman season at OSU.