While most of the class in the books, the expectation at Kansas is that some things are still likely to change or develop as the spring semester roles on. That said, the bulk of the signing day class is in and all things considered there are some positives and some potential concerns to take away.
First off if we're truly evaluating the class and additions as a whole to date, we have to include the 'transfers'. While Dayne Crist, Jake Heaps and Justin McCay don't count toward any recruiting class ranking, they all provide some pretty big value to the program so they have to be included when talking about this class.
With that in mind, Kansas has signed 20. Let's take a look at the components of Charlie Weis's first class.
Quarterback - A
It's hard not to be extremely enthusiastic about this position based on the changes that were made. Dayne Crist will be the frontrunner for the starting job but Kansas has an incoming player who is proven at the junior college level that can compete and provide depth in a back up role.
If Turner Baty isn't needed, then he can redshirt and still have three years to play at the University of Kansas. Two of those years he will compete with incoming transfer Jake Heaps. In a perfect world Charlie Weis has gone out and instantly given himself his starting quarterback for the next four seasons. That's a pretty impressive start to rebuilding the Kansas program.
Obviously that's the ideal and things can change, it doesn't hurt our standing at the position. If Weis can have some success with Crist and further the Weis/QB mystique, that only strengthens his position when recruiting the next high school quarterback addition.
RunningBack - B
Kansas already had some pretty strong options at this position. With Weis's system some of those options might become even more valuable. Yet this is still a position where you can never really have enough depth. Kansas adds a junior to the mix to provide some immediate help as necessary.
Overall this isn't necessarily the biggest area of improvement but it could prove to be pretty valuable depending on how things shake out.
Wide Receiver/Tight End - B
Kansas does have a plethora of wideouts on the roster but many of them are pretty unproven. This wasn't a huge area of concern for this particular class, but Weis did bring in a potentially big junior college prospect as well as a potential program player.
At tight end Kansas did the same thing. One junior college player with a low risk, high reward type ceiling and a high school prospect that can be molded for the longterm Kansas did some good things in providing options and competition at these positions and they did so in a pretty strategic manner.
Offensive Line - C/Incomplete
Kansas has a good crop in the system and while next years class will need to be stepped up in terms of numbers, this one only included a pair of high school players. A big reason for that is that we could still see some movement in terms of transfer market or further JuCo additions and that is really what Kansas could use next year.
As for the immediate needs addressed, the two that Kansas landed have big frames and are exactly the type of offensive lineman that Kansas can shape and mold for three years before turning them into upperclassman starters. I like the two, I consider this group incomplete because we could see more movement.
Defensive Line - A
It's hard to deny that this was a huge are of need. Kansas brought in four players at the position and that is huge from a depth perspective. We'll still need to see it on the field from some of them, but it does sound like a Tavai is going to be a player and at the very least McKinney and Stowers will push for time.
I think you have to give the group an A just because we were so desperate and at least now we can build a rotation instead of running two guys to the point of exhaustion and wearing down in the fourth quarter if not earlier.
Linebacker - B+
Best high school prospect in the class and a project type player. It's nice to see us address every position with such a small class and this one is no exception. We've been in the spot before where we have been razor thin at linebacker and it's no fun. Miles will play sooner rather than later and Arnick could be a solid developmental player. Without Miles this is probably a C, but it wasn't necessarily a huge need. Still it's nice to see some solid talent added.
Defensive Back - C
It's hard to say if Kansas has any immediate impact players at this spot and it is a position with some depth concerns. That said Nas Moore and Greg Allen have excellent potential and Moore falls in that low risk, high reward category. I think Allen gives you a future contributor and Williams a developmental type prospect, but it's hard to say if any are going to step in and change the fortunes of this group right away.
Ideally we get some improvement from what we have on the roster and it's hard to change everything instantly, but the additions on the defensive line might have more impact on any defensive backfield improvement than the additions in the backfield.
I think you give the staff a pretty solid B on a curve or maybe a B- in this one. Considering the timeline, size of the class and needs for this class, they went out with a different approach than normal and put together competition that can improve the program immediately. At least that's the hope.
Junior College talent and transfers have helped an old man to the West build up a pretty solid program twice now, so I'm not at all above copying that model. Now we just have to make sure that our staff can coach that talent up and find a way to maximize what they have in the same way.