If there is one area that Kansas has been very disappointing since the arrival of Charlie Weis, it would be the offensive side of the ball. Weis of course prides himself on being an offensive guru and earned some of that during his time with the New England Patriots where he won an Superbowl with Bill Belichek and Tom Brady. In the college game, it hasn't been quite the same. At Kansas it most definitely has not been the same.
During his first season Weis flooded the Jayhawk roster with transfers including one player in Dayne Crist who was very highly rated at the quarterback position out of high school. That obviously turned into a pretty sub par season and a horrific offensive season. Last year was almost the same story with Jake Heaps taking his turn behind a mediocre offensive line at best. At the end of the season, Heaps had been replaced and Kansas was after a new offensive coordinator.
So here we are on National Signing day looking toward the future and wondering what pieces Kansas might be adding to the pipeline to help someday turn the fortunes on the offensive side of the ball. The good news is that after a slow start things did turn out to look fairly positive. On the flip side, it's very hard not to be cautious when getting your hopes up given the last four years at Kansas. Without further ado, the 2014 offensive football class.
|Traevohn Wrench||RB||Gardner, KSGardner Edgerton||6'0"||180||4.5|
|De'Andre Mann||RB||Salinas, CAHartnell C.C.||5'10"||205|
|Corey Avery||ATH||Dallas, TXCarter||5'10"||170||4.5|
Kansas is expected to sign three running backs. Wrench is a local product and the highest rated of three, although Avery is also rated as a four star prospect by ESPN.com. Avery generated a good deal of excitement for the Kansas fanbase by selecting Kansas over Texas and Nebraska. In all reality there were probably other things at work there, but he did have interest and/or an offer from both late into the recruiting period. Last but not least is De'Andre Mann who is the possible immediate boost in the backfield similar to what Taylor Cox was expected to provide a couple of years ago. All in all the cupboard is stocked at running back, but it will still be a tall order to replace James Sims who has been a staple in the Kansas backfield for four years.
|Darious Crawley||WR||Houston, TXCypress Ridge||5'11"||191||4.5|
|Bobby Hartzog||WR||Houston, TXWestside||5'11"||182||4.5|
|Derrick Neal||WR||Dallas, TXLincoln||5'10"||155|
|Tyler Patrick||WR||The Woodlands, TXThe Woodlands||5'11"||171|
Kansas added four wideouts which is just another indication that what the Jayhawks have on the roster isn't getting it done. Really all you need to do is a watch a game to know that this needs improvement. Kansas adds four, Crawley and Hartzog are both top 100 players in the State of Texas. Obviously size isn't necessarily this groups strength, but they do bring some explosiveness and speed to the table.
|Jacob Bragg||OL||Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches||6'4"||308||5.2|
|Apa Visinia||OL||Grandview, MOGrandview||6'5"||380|
|Devon Williams||OL||Milledgeville, GAGeorgia Military College||6'5"||335|
|Keyon Haughton||OL||Milledgeville, GAGeorgia Military||6'2"||295|
Bragg is a Texas top 100 player. Visinia is a monster that was offered by Oklahoma State during the Fall. Williams and Haughton are two pieces to one of the better junior college offensive lines going this year. All in all it's four new pieces to a pretty tricky puzzle. Kansas has been trying to pin down a solid offensive line for about a season and a half now. At some point you'd think the numbers here might turn in the Jayhawks favor. Either way this is a nice blend of future potential and immediate competition.
Overall you've got an offensive class that includes some pretty committed focus on three positions. Addressing the offensive line is almost always a must. Wideout needed to happen because right now Kansas just hasn't been getting what they need at the position. Last but not least, running back is an area where Kansas has put some production on the field lately and they've capitalized on that by building the next stockpile of talent.