We're two weeks from national signing day 2014 and Kansas football is still pulling the pieces together for their upcoming class. It's certainly become more difficult to get excited about this day as a Kansas football fan as the program has fallen pretty far from the Orange Bowl a few years back and the draw of the future has lost some of it's luster. It used to be enjoyable to look at the players coming in and talk about what each had to offer, what the future might hold and how they might contribute. Unfortunately a program short on wins and long on disappointment means that almost everything has to be viewed as a 'wait and see situation'.
That's exactly where Kansas recruiting is. First we were sold on Turner Gill as a fantastic recruiter and someone who was going to step into a program with a strong foundation built by Mark Mangino and perhaps take things to the next level. Perhaps he did recruit well, but the coaching on the field was horrendous. Now we have Charlie Weis and 'second chance U'. The only problem here is that it's getting very difficult to get excited about any sort of hype following the underwhelming results from Dayne Crist, Jake Heaps and a host of other highly billed transfers.
So here we are, two weeks until signing day and while I'm happy to acknowledge a player picking Kansas, I'm in a show me don't tell me phase when it comes to Kansas football. Until the contribute, until they make an impact in the program, they are unknown commodities to me and something that should be monitored, but I'm not ready to celebrate until I see some results.
All that said, we do have a class and we do like to talk football around here as painful as it can sometimes be. So where are we at?
To date Kansas has signed three. All three are junior college December grads that are expected to be on campus at this point. Ronnie Davis and Anthony Smithson are defensive backs with good size and in the mold of some of the junior college players from a year ago that did show promise. The other is an Keyton Haughton, a solid guard prospect from one of the top teams in the nation. Depth piece or potential starter? We'll wait and see.
On the commitment front Kansas has fourteen players in tow. Four of those appear to be from the junior college circuit with the remaining ten coming from the high school ranks. Does the current 7 to 10 ratio make people more comfortable after a very heavy junior college class a year ago?
Of those players Kansas has three offensive lineman. Apa Visinia is a local prospect who had an offer from Oklahoma State and stuck with Kansas. That would indicate he might be one to keep an eye on. Jacob Bragg is the other high school offensive lineman and he has drawn more attention than Visinia on a national level, so that too could be viewed as a possible positive indicator. The third is a teammate of Haughton, Devon Williams, and he's a big one at 6'5" 335. Any way you slice it, Weis is at least adding big bodies and competition on the offensive line.
Kansas has two defensive backs and one running back in the class. Gardner Edgerton product Traevohn Wrench is the highest rated prospect and another solid back in the pipeline for Kansas. In the defensive backfield Kansas has a two star recruit in Matthew Boeteng out of Florida and a three star local product in Joe Dineen from Free State.
Wide receiver was a focus it would appear. Kansas has three committed (Tyler Patrick, Derrick Neal, and Bobby Hartzog) and the Jayhawks are still in on more.
At defensive end Kansas will continue to try to beef up the pass rush bringing in Kapil Fletcher from the junior college level, Damani Mosby also from the juco ranks and a high school duo of Daniel Wise and Josh Ehambe. Ehambe might be more in the mold of the 'buck' position, but finding players that can get to the quarterback and create pressure is invaluable.
Lastly the Jayhawks have one linebacker committed. One is Kyron Watson out of East St. Louis. This is a Reggie Mitchell signing and there does seem to be some excitement surrounding his future.
So there you have it. Kansas still has a few targets on the board, and two weeks left to make an impact.