Following a Charlie Weis-led wave of dismissals of Turner Gill's former recruits and an underwhelming start to 2012 for prized golden boy transfer QB Dayne Crist, there have been some questions raised regarding the former Notre Dame coaches ability to retool the program. Of course part of that could be attributed to the Jayhawks Orange Bowl just a few years back which has led to some impatience among the fanbase when it comes to replicating that success.
Entering the bye week at 1-3 with the Kansas State Wildcats looming, this week's recruiting update recaps the prep and JUCO players that Weis and Co. have received verbal commitments from thus far.
Kellen Ash - OLB Ballwin, Missouri
Ash, a 6'2" 200 lb linebacker from St. Louis' Parkway South High School immediately jumped on the Jayhawks' scholarship offer last April and gave his verbal commitment shortly thereafter. Both a physical run stopper and pass rusher, leading the St. Louis area with 19 sacks in 2011, Ash had 20 tackles for loss in his breakout junior campaign.
Joey Bloomfield - OT Louisville, Kentucky
Bloomfield, a 6'6" 315 lb offensive tackle from Ballard High School in Louisville was aggressively pursued by offensive line coach Tim Grunhard for much of the spring and gave his verbal last month. With his size, frame and versatility it remains undecided if he will remain at tackle or slide inside to guard.
Marcus Jenkins-Moore - OLB Woodland Hills, California
The filthy purple in Manhattan definitely has the upper hand in current on-field success over the Jayhawks and after stressing to equalize the talent gap with their western neighbors, Charlie Weis grabbed a JUCO recruit from Bill Snyder. The 6'3" linebacker made a verbal commitment, albeit ‘soft', to Kansas last week but indicated he plans to take additional visits, most likely to the other dozen BCS programs that are courting him. Jenkins-Moore would immediately receive snaps at either inside or outside but possibly more importantly, Marquel Combs is his teammate at Pierce Community College. Combs has also been heavily regarded, visiting Lawrence two weeks ago and would receive immediate snaps as well alongside Jenkins-Moore.
Ben Johnson - TE Basehor, Kansas
Another player that jumped quickly on a Jayhawk offer, big tight end Ben Johnson, also broke out as a junior in 2011 when he caught 56 balls for 956 yards and 12 touchdowns. Without much experience beyond current senior Mike Ragone, Johnson could see immediate playing time upon arrival in Lawrence after being the highest rated TE in the state of Kansas for the class of 2013.
Jordan Darling - QB Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Following the transfers of Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps, Charlie Weis knew there would be no quarterback controversy for the next three years. But following Jordan Darling's verbal pledge in June, Weis may have his QB rotation locked down for the next half decade. A pro-style pro-typical Charlie Weis project, Darling was not ranked as highly by most recruiting services, largely because of multiple transfers in high school and lack of playing time as a junior but he could end of being the Midwest steal of this class.
Colin Spencer - CB Dallas, Texas
It remains unclear how whether Weis will dig into the Texas recruiting gold mine as deep as Mangino did but one player he was able to attract is workout freak Colin Spencer of Dallas. After receiving moderate BCS-level interest, Spencer blew away competition at the Nike Sparq Combine in Houston last spring, immediately attracting recruiters' attention. Despite two visits to Arkansas, he made a verbal to KU shortly after visiting Lawrence last summer. The Jayhawks' poor return game for most of 2012 could take a monster jump with Colin Spencer's 4.42 speed and dynamic quickness next season.
Taylor Lewis - S DeSoto, Texas
Another athletic phenom, Lewis was unable to find regular playing time as a junior at DeSoto High school as he sat on the depth chart behind two BCS recruits at (Jalen Mills and Bryson Echols) at safety. Dave Campo and Rob Ianello may have taken a chance on but with improved ball-hawking instincts and tacking, could he be the next Darrell Stuckey on campus?
Montell Cozart - QB Ballwin, Missouri
Montell Cozart, 2011 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, committed to Weis and former Bishop Miege head coach Tim Grunhard last spring. He might be classified as a dual threat quarterback but exhibits fantastic decision-making and arm strength to fit for Weis to develop into a pocket passer. Heaps might have the upper hand for 2013 but an interesting quarterback battle behind him could lead to a short leash early in conference play. Keeping Kerry Meier and Kale Pick on speed dial may not be a bad idea either.
Andrew Bolton - DE Raymond, Mississippi
Demontie Cross, KU's Linebackers coach, deserves all the credit for enticing the big defensive end from Mississippi. Following one season at Hinds Community College, Andrew Bolton generated interest from elite BCS programs, including Ohio State, Alabama, and LSU but immediately committed to Campo's re-built defense following a visit this month. Bolton was a huge steal and should fill the hole left by a graduating Toben Opurum in 2013.
Jamone Boyd - DE Lee's Summit, Missouri
Matthew Romar - DT Port Arthur, Texas
Kyle Meadows - OT West Chester, Ohio