KU adds five prospects from latest set of official visits

Kansas football recruiting

The Kansas football team continued to bolster what looks to be one of its strongest position groups in the years ahead, adding two more defensive ends with the commitments of 2025 three-star prospects Adrian Holley and Garrett Martin on Sunday.

Holley, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds and hails from Michigan City, Indiana, picked the Jayhawks over offers from schools such as Minnesota and Cincinnati.

He was recruited by KU assistant coach Jim Panagos, and the Jayhawks offered him a scholarship at the end of March. Holley previously told Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com that Panagos thought he had a similar frame to Austin Booker (who is also from Indiana) and could develop into a similar kind of player.

What Holley saw on his weekend visit was enough for him to commit in short order.

“It’s the people, facilities, and just the landscape of it all,” he told Kirby on Sunday. “Lawrence, Kansas is a beautiful landscape. And then the coaches, they’re absolutely amazing in every facet of every way. Just being able to be around these guys for the past couple of days has been amazing. And then also the facilities, they’re revamping new facilities and coming into it in 2025 everything is going to be brand new.”

Martin, meanwhile, is 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, and becomes the latest player to join KU from Arizona, a state in which it began to make inroads with former defensive backs coach Jordan Peterson and has continued to have a presence since (including with the prior pledge of KU legacy offensive lineman Anderson Kopp).

Martin told Kirby he had given a verbal commitment prior to his visit but that he felt even more secure in his decision after meeting defensive ends coach Taiwo Onatolu.

“That sealed the deal,” he said. “That position meeting was amazing. We covered everything. He’s an amazing coach and an amazing guy. We’re going to do great things at Kansas.”

Martin comes from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale and had previously reported offers from the likes of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas State, Oregon, TCU and Washington.

The pair of ends provides KU more intriguing future options off the edge. When they arrive in 2025, the Jayhawks will still have Dylan Brooks and Dean Miller, along with Michigan State transfer Bai Jobe and highly touted 2024 prospects Dakyus Brinkley and Deshawn Warner.

Holley and Martin are the first two defensive line commitments for KU in its 2025 class.

KU adds Hammond, possibly at tackle

A third addition came at the conclusion of Sunday’s barrage when Josiah “Cheese” Hammond, a defensive lineman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, committed to Panagos and the Jayhawks.

Hammond had been slated for an official visit to Washington but decided to shut down his recruitment instead after the weekend at KU. He also had scholarship offers from schools like Arizona, Cal, Houston, Minnesota and Utah.

A three-star, Hammond measures 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds and has played defensive end but could end up moving inside.

“Coach P is truly a gem,” Hammond told Kirby. “That’s my guy. He was the first coach to come in before my recruitment jumped off and kept it real with me. He told me what I needed to do to earn an offer and become a great player. He kept it real about where he wants me to play in his defense and didn’t sugarcoat anything with me.”

Jayhawks add in-state athlete prospect

Closely following Holley on Sunday morning was Brandon Schmelzle, a three-star recruit from Axtell.

Schmelzle is classified as an athlete and has played both quarterback and defensive back during his time at Axtell; he projects to play defense and most likely safety during his time with the Jayhawks.

“I had a meeting with Coach (Brian) Borland yesterday, and it is definitely a safety position,” he told Kirby. “He really hasn’t said anything about linebacker, but it all kind of depends if I grow and how much weight I put on. As of right now, they want me as a safety.”

KU was the first program to give Schmelzle a Division I offer. He later picked up offers from North Dakota State and South Dakota State, which play at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

Schmelzle, who is 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, is KU’s second in-state commitment of the cycle after Olathe South lineman Juju Marks.

Rivera wraps up Sunday’s commitments

The Jayhawks’ second linebacker of the class also joined the fold Sunday. That was Kenyon Rivera, another three-star with an impressive offer list; as a high school sophomore he got offered scholarships by Michigan, Miami, Texas and many more.

“Going to KU I didn’t really know what to expect,” Rivera told Kirby. “I quickly found out it was somewhat like home. I got to do a walkthrough of the new stadium being built. It is going to be very impressive. Another thing that stood out to me was the resources and things I would have at hand to be successful not only in football but later in life.”

Rivera attends Buford High, a well-regarded football powerhouse, in the Atlanta area and is listed as a 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker.

Prior to Sunday, the 2025 class already featured another linebacker in Malachi Curvey, as well as offensive linemen Kopp and Marks, quarterback David McComb, running back John Kelly and tight end Joeseph Skipworth. The size of that group nearly doubled in the span of a few hours.


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