First off, before we get started on this week's version of Jayhawk Recruit Round-up, let's recap what happened in Jayhawk recruiting this past week.
Monday morning, Jaqwaylin Arps (pronounced: JAH-KWAY-LIN), a 6'3" 230 pound defensive end from Denison, TX., switched his commitment from Texas Tech to the Jayhawks. As Denver said at the time, this was not an unexpected move by any means. There were rumors for a while that he and high school teammate Jimmay Mundine had a strong desire to play together in college. When Mundine committed in late-July, Arps decided to reconsider his decision, took a visit to Lawrence, and... VOILA!... obviously made the right choice.
The final week before the start of the season left us with little downtime, as Tuesday brought another, actually bigger, commitment from another very highly thought-of player with offers from the likes of OU, OK State, Texas Tech and Arkansas. It is debatable, but in my opinion, Trayvon Henry is the biggest pledge that head coach Mark Mangino has picked up on the defensive side of the ball during his time in Lawrence, based on area of need combined with sheer talent. Many people in-the-know from Jayhawkslant have said that Trayvon has NFL-caliber talent. Long story short - Trayvon tried to commit to OU a while back, they told him to wait, which made him weigh his options, he became more interested in Kansas, Bill Miller is a miracle-worker and, once again... VOILA!... obviously he made the right choice. So, please don't hide your excitement for this one to reach campus.
Also, there isn't much factual information to report, but there are rumors that there could be a "secret, silent commit" in the works. The goods just keep coming!!
Finally, on to the weekend round-up!!To go along with stats from the current week, I also have a running tally of season statistics for every player (thanks to my wonderful MS Excel skills and use of Formulas) and will post both the weekly numbers and season numbers every week, beginning this week. So, here is what you really read this post for - not to hear what I think, but the stats.
(Note: Many traditional stats are hard to come by only via the internet, so I was unable to find numbers for most of the players. I have, however, taken the steps to acquire more reliable numbers, so hopefully next week looks much better. Also, I anticipate numbers for this past week's games to come in within the next couple days, so I will add them in accordingly. I apologize for lack of numbers this week. I will get better with time, I promise you. So, this week, just study and memorize the names. Yeah. That's your job this week.)
Offense - Week
Defense - Week
Offense - Season
Defense - Season
(Committed) Performer of the Week: After taking in the KT3 Show in person on Friday night (special Keeston Terry reports to come), there is no way I can pick anybody else. He was simply everything advertised. This now concludes your teaser for my Video Time: Keeston Terry post.
(Prospective) Performer of the Week: We'll go with another wide receiver here. Bud Sasser, who has Kansas in a Top 3 along with Missouri and Nebraska, had a pretty good game from what I could find. Video here (0:15 mark) shows him scoring on a 43 yard touchdown reception. Based on the 64-36 final score, you would probably be in the clear to assume he had a couple more catches, at least. Adding Sasser to the Terry-Herod duo would solidify the wide receiver position for the 'Hawks for the next five years, for sure. He is former teammates with current Kansas wide receiver D.J. Bashears, a true freshman from the 2009 recruiting class.
Closer Look: D.J. Jones Edition
Last week, I gushed about how much I wanted D.J. Jones to be the next commit, or a commit, period. I got so excited over him and decided that he was the second running back commit that I wanted in this class; but did so really without having much knowledge of his game or abilities. It was more based on statistics. Now, while 76 yards rushing on only seven carries is certainly impressive, Colt Brennan also threw for a gazillion yards and had more touchdowns at Hawaii than Paris Hilton had boyfriends/ boy-toys/ "directors"/ cameramen/ "co-stars" in 2004, but isn't translating so well to the NFL game. For that reason, I decided to take a closer look at Jones and make him the subject of this week's Closer Look: D.J. Jones Edition.
After watching his Rivals film, I came away with these short notes: (keep in mind, this is all highlight film, so it only shows positive plays)
- Fast for a big "bowling ball" type running back
- Gets his pads low and runs over defenders
- Has good vision coming to the line, but tries to bounce it outside too much - negates his strength advantage
- When tackled, which is rare, he falls forward
- Shifty hips running through the linebacker's area
- Has the speed to reach the corner on outside runs and inside runs broken outside
- On one play, carried a defensive back or linebacker for about ten yards in the open field
- Benefits from great blocking, but at the same time makes his own yards at the second level with lateral moves and power
- Looks somewhat comfortable coming out of the backfield, catching the ball (although, lets it get in to his body) and turning up field
Also, this YouTube video, which was supposed to serve as a highlight for his team's season last year, but it ended up being just about a 50/50 split between the #21 Show and the rest of the team will give all the non-Jayhawkslant members a glimpse of D.J. You may have also noticed that the Denison defense looked pretty aggressive and tough there, too, right? Well, that's nothing but a good sign for Kansas fans, because two of those defensive stars are none other than Jaqwaylin Arps and Jimmay Mundine, Jones's high school teammates. Two cheers for Big Bear!!
Simply Mind-Numbing: While preparing for this week's edition, I came across this article from October 7, 2008 where Jones was named The Lone Star of the Week.
Lone Star of the Week
D.J. Jones- Denison
In a 65-64 victory over McKinney, Jones rushed for 432 yards and scored eight touchdowns. Jones scored on a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter with 3:32 remaining to bring Denison within a point at 64-63. Instead of opting for the game-tying extra point, Denison went for two. The gamble paid off, with Jordan Taylor running in the game-winning two-point try.
To go along with his late touchdown, Jones scored on touchdown runs of 78, 70, 77, 9, 10, and 30 yards and also caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Taylor. McKinney's Zach Lee threw for 440 yards and six touchdowns in a losing effort. Taylor also rushed for 147 yards to pace the victors.
Is there somewhere we can "stuff the ballot box," so to speak to get this kid to Lawrence?
A Good Fit?: The biggest question, though, as is with every recruit, is not just how good they are; but more how they fit into a certain program and system on their respective side of the ball. "How would D.J. Jones fit into the Kansas program if he were to sign with the Jayhawks?" is what all of you inquisitive minds out there must be thinking right now. Well, really, he would be a perfect fit, in my opinion. As we have seen, Ed Warrinerr likes to use a quick, shifty back alongside of a big, powerful bruiser-type as a sweet 1-2 combo. Obviously, assuming all things go according to plan this year, Toben Opurum will get plenty of opportunity to carry the ball and acclamate himself to Big 12 football. He should head into the 2010 season as the de facto, clear-cut number one running back. That said, Jones would be a great compliment to Toben in 2011 with an outside shot that Jones could steal some carries from Daniel Porter and Rell Lewis as a true freshman in 2010. While Jones might not be your typical "scat-back" that you would envision in the mold of a Jake Sharp, he still runs a 4.5-40 while weighing in at a solid 210 pounds. With size and speed like that, there's no way he wouldn't fit in at Kansas.
Can We Get Him?: Now that you are probably all excited and pumped to think about D.J. in Crimson and Blue next year, I'll bring you back down to earth a bit and remind you he is not one of our lovely, uber-talented commits. At least not yet, anyway. All things considered - opposing suitors: OU, Florida, Arkansas, Texas Tech; having two of his teammates currently committed; and the fact that Kansas will have a chance for some early playing time next year - I think the Jayhawks stand a legitimite shot at winning the battle for this four-start running back.
Hopefully, you've learned something from all of that. More to come next week.