Kansas Jayhawk Football Signing Day 2011: Defensive Backfield

Next Up: Specialists 12:45PM CST

The last defensive position in the recruiting class is the defensive backfield.  The Jayhawk pass defense has been touch and go over the last two seasons but there have been signs of hope with athletes like Isiah Barfield, Tyler Patmon and Greg Brown emerging at corner, a potentially key position change with Bradley McDougald moving to safety and the development of some solid young talent in Keeston Terry.

In addition the Jayhawks have a player with starting experience on the roster in Anthony Davis.  Kansas also has a group of other players who have yet to see the field in Dexter McDonald, Ray Mitchell Corrigan Powell and Dexter Linton.

The key for coach Gill at this spot seems to be speed.  Kansas has some but not enough and the staff has keyed in on finding speed and athleticism to help give the position a boost for the future.  The immediate playing time is most likely going to the players already on campus, but in order to upgrade the speed on the roster that has to begin today.

Chris Robinson - CB - 5'9" 170

Rivals Profile - 3*   ESPN Profile - 2*  Scout Profile - 3*

Committed: 5/29/10

Breakdown:  Robinson was one of the first "speed" guys to commit to Kansas and he also was one of the first this year out of the Southeast.  Robinson claims Florida as home and was a recruit that Robert Wimberly went down into the state to pull away.  The biggest asset for Robinson is his speed and competitiveness.

Question Marks:  Obviously at 5'9" that might raise some questions.  The trend is toward corners with more length, but Robinson had offers from schools in the Big East and in the Southeast region so his athleticism clearly presents enough upside to take a chance.

 

Alex Matlock - S - 6'2" 195  4.5 Forty

Rivals Profile - 3*    ESPN Profile - 3*   Scout Profile - 3*

Breakdown:  Matlock is a player that has noticably good size for the secondary at the division one level.  He has good speed and he'll lay a hit.  Sounds a little like a player that could end up as part of the Kansas linebacking corps at some point but for now it appears he'll start out at safety.  His strength seems to be in run support and the ability to make a big open field hit and tackle. 

Question Marks:  Coverage ability is the area where Matlock doesn't have a tremendous track record of success. It's not that he's bad at it, he just seems more comfortable in other areas which is why there is a lot of speculation that over time he might project better at that outside linebacker spot.  The guy can hit.

 

Adonis Saunders - CB - 5'11" 185

Rivals Profile - 2*   ESPN Profile - 2*  Scout Profile - 2*

Breakdown:  A local prospect from a school that has turned out a good number of division one prospects over recent years.  In short, it's a good pipeline to have.  The best thing about Saunders is he is probably the fastest player in the state and records a 4.3 forty.  That's great speed and that's what Kansas needs.  He's fairly raw and will need some fine tuning, but how can you complain about a local talent with the type of speed that Saunders brings to the table.  Now the coaches have to earn their money molding him into the next Revis Island.

Question Marks:  He's raw, plain and simple.  That's a cliche term but in short Saunders is a tremendous athlete but he needs time and coaching to reach his potential. 

 

Victor Simmons - S - 6'1" 185

Rivals Profile - 3*   ESPN Profile - 3*  Scout Profile - 3*

Breakdown:  Simmons is the teammate of Saunders and Simmons was probably the best player on the Olathe North team.  He has great versatility playing quarterback, safety and special teams but his destination at Kansas will be the safety position.  His forty time is clocked in the 4.5 range and Simmons has the physical build and ability to turn into a very good player for Kansas.  Simmons was a player who Kansas offered early and again, it keeps that Olathe North pipeline open for Kansas.  Another thing that Simmons has in common with Saunders and multiple other Kansas recruit is running track at the highest level in the state.  Team speed is getting an upgrade today.

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