Offensive Line coming at 10:00am CST
Next up in our signing day coverage comes a pair of positions where Kansas has done a nice job of developing depth. However, while things are more stable at tight end with Tim Biere and AJ Steward the receiver position is wide open with the departure of Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier. There is certainly talent returning with names like Jonathan Wilson, Bradley McDougald, Daymond Patterson, Chris Omigie, Erick McGriff and Tetravian Ingram all in the pipeline, but the opportunity is there with a new staff for a young player to see the field immediately.
Kansas added five very solid players with this years class going nationwide to get this done. One is a local four star talent with Kansas ties. Two are top 100 players in the state of Texas. There is a big target out of the state of New Jersey and last but not least a little bit of speed from the state of Florida. Not a bad mix and a group that could help solidify the positions for the next several years.
With that in mind let's jump into the breakdown.
The first receiver on the list is one that many Jayhawk fans look at as a big one in the grand scheme of things for multiple reasons. Obviously Terry is a highly rated recruit, but more than that he is a local talent. Terry has family connections to the Jayhawks and his coach is a former Jayhawk. When the year started off with a Terry commitment to Nebraska it was a blow. Fast forward a few months, things change to Kansas and it was the second Kansas City area prospect in as many years to shun the Corn for the crimson and blue.
That wasn't the end of the story, but in the end despite coaching changes, a push from Mizzou and Notre Dame, Terry will end up a Jayhawk. This season Terry led the Blue Springs Wildcats to a state finals appearance. Terry caught 74 balls for 928 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year while also running 50 times for 376 yards and 4 TD's. Those are pretty decent numbers and even more impressive when you consider that Blue Springs bread and butter was 2011 recruit Darrian Miller who rushed for over 2700 yards on the year.
Terry received first team all state honors as a receiver and also was the recipient of the Otis Taylor Award honoring the top receiver in the Kansas City area. As always Keeston was very generous with his time and spoke with us here at RCT briefly one last time before signing today.
Keeston, Walk us through what it's been like and how it's going to feel tomorrow after going from Nebraska, making the tough decision to switch to Kansas and then having that whole situation occur, questioning whether KU was the right place and then ultimately deciding it was?
Tommorrow is going to feel like a relief. I'm going to be happy that every thing is over and I'm going to great place in Lawrence Kansas. The whole process was long and frustrating but after all this KU ended up being the right place for me regardless of the changes.
Obviously you are a local talent and I think it goes without saying that KU fans are very excited to have you, but what does it mean on your end to stay close to home and play for a team you grew up watching.
It means alot to me. My parents, family, friends and many other people who live throughout the KC area can make a short trip down the road and see me play and being a Jayhawk just makes the whole college situation just that much sweeter. It seems like things are coming full circle now, being born in Lawrence and then coming back for college in Lawrence
4 years from now or however long your time in Lawrence lasts, how do you want to be remembered and what do you want to accomplish at Kansas?
Well first I want to be known as a great person that people enjoy watching on the field and enjoy my company off the field. After my 4 years are over at Kansas I want to be known as the greatest Jayhawk football player to come through. I know that goal is going to be a long process but I feel like I can do it.
Sounds like a plan to me. Think while you are at it you can bring Darrian Miller and Bernard Thomas along with you? I think a Blue Springs pipeline could come in handy.
Keeston Terry Profile
Height: 6'3" Weight: 185 40 Time: 4.69 Shuttle: 4.59
Strengths: Keeston as a receiver has been said to have great body control, excellent hands and he's a guy that makes plays. He has a high football IQ, decent height and is an extremely reliable receiver.
Question Marks: Speed. Plain and simple he doesn't clock as fast as many would like. However he does stack up pretty similarly in a lot of areas to a former Jayhawk currently training to be in the NFL a year early. I'd take a repeat of that career without any question.
The next addition to the receiving corps for 2010 is a tall athletic target out of New Jersey in Andrew Turzilli. Turzilli was a very under the radar recruit for the Jayhawks who was offered after his performance at camp last summer. He committed early in the fall but word didn't get out until well into the season. I had a chance to speak with Andrew last night about getting ready to sign and one of the things I asked him was why Kansas and what was it about the new staff that put you him at ease.
"With Kansas it was the opportunity to play in the Big 12, I had offers from Syracuse, Rutgers and Boston College but the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the country. The opportunity was to good to pass up."
"As far as sticking with Kansas I liked that both Coach Long and Coach Gill came out to see me almost right away. It showed that they still wanted me and cared."
Obviously he's a little bit of an unknown for Kansas fans but with the depth at the position Turzilli will have the opportunity to compete, grow into his frame and make an impact. Great attitude, solid recruit and definitely a good addition to the program.
Andrew Turzilli Profile
Height: 6'4" Weight: 185 40 Time: 4.65
Strengths: Truzilli brings size and a lot of length to the receiver position and that makes him a solid deep target as well as a great redzone target for a quarterback. His ability to make adjustments to the ball in the air and go up and attack it are a big part of this. Anytime you can put the ball out there and let a 6'4" athlete like Turzilli go after it, it increases your odds of coming away with a big play.
Question Marks: The biggest question marks for Turzilli right now are his breakaway speed ability and also his elusiveness after the catch. He's a nice, big target that makes the catch but isn't necessarily going to make several guys miss and get to the endzone. No surprise this is pretty common for players that fit the profile of Turzilli. Not a huge ding in my opinion as we're talking about an 18 year old kid with plenty of time to grow into that frame.
Starting at about the 2 minute mark Andrew makes a play to get the ball to the goal line and then catches a fade in the corner of the endzone. Turzilli (#1)
One of the first and longest standing commitments the Kansas Jayhawks have had for the 2010 class is that of Ricki Herod out of Mesquite Texas. Herod comes from the same high school as current Jayhawk receiver Daymond Patterson.
Ricki is a lot like Chris Omigie from last year in the fact that he is a very impressive prospect in camps but plays in a system that just doesn't garner much attention for the receiver. Career numbers of just 35 catches and over 500 yards hardly screams home run signing,but Herod has performed very well at different recruiting combines and camps to the extent that Texas, Texas Tech, Florida and UCLA were other schools showing interest prior to his commitment.
Not much out there on Ricki but Jayhawk ESPN Affiliate the Shiver did have this video from prior to the season where they were able to talk with him at camp.
Ricki Herod Jr. Profile
Height: 6'2" Weight: 175
Strengths: Ricki has been described as a very athletic receiver with good height to go with it. He's long and lean like many of the recent Jayhawk receivers and makes plays look easy at times. He's also been described as a player who slippery and tough to tackle.
Question Marks: Once again, straight line breakaway speed isn't necessarily there. Obviously this isn't something Kansas has always been overly concerned with at receiver in the past and that trend continues. The other question mark for Herod is his route running ability isn't as crisp as you'd like to see but at the same time, that's why you hire top notch coaches.
The latest addition to the Kansas recruiting class at the receiver position is actually the first at the position recruited by the new staff. Coach Wimberly had an existing relationship in the Miami area prior to arriving at Kansas and used that to land a receiver target with speed in Brian Maura.
Maura played receiver and returned kicks for Felix Varela High School in Miami Florida and as they say Miami is where you go to find elite speed.
Brian Maura Profile
Height: 6'3" Weight: 190 40 Time: 4.49
Strengths: In a word, speed. Maura is tall like all the others but he does possess the type of speed to make him a homerun threat. Throw in his ability to return kicks at the high school level and you have a pretty valuable weapon.
Question Marks: Quite simply he's a relative unknown. Maura did make the All Dade County team and finished in the top 10 amongst receivers in both receptions and touchdowns according to rivals, but he really came out of nowhere. There is very little in terms of other schools being interested and that seems a little strange considering his combination of size and speed. Perhaps a hidden gem uncovered by the new staff? At least that's the hope.
Kansas' one and only tight end commitment is a good one. Trent Smiley comes to Kansas from Frisco Texas and jumped on the Jayhawk bandwagon very early on. Committed since July, Smiley received offers from Florida State, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kentucky. Even during the coaching change there was never talk of wavering on his initial decision to go to Kansas.
During his senior season Smiley was on the receiving end of 36 passes for a total of 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. Smiley's big game on the year came in September as he caught 7 passes for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was named 2nd team all district just behind fellow Kansas commitment Jimmay Mundine. Overall though Smiley is viewed by many as a top prospect garnering a #30 ranking in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the top ranking for a tight end.
Again not much out there on Smiley which tends to be the case when a player commits this early in the process. Actually a little refreshing to see players like Herod Jr and Smiley make such a definitive choice early on.
Trent Smiley Profile
Height: 6'4" Weight: 225 40 Time: 4.7
Strengths: Smiley is a solid blocker but also possesses the speed and size to be a bit of a hybrid in the spread. He'll make the catch, has a high football IQ and overall is an excellent prospect for the Jayhawks. This is a relatively unheralded signing because he committed early and has been very steadfast in that commitment, but this could be looked back on as one of the better pickups.
Question Marks: He's been quoted as saying he's working to improve his ability with the ball after the catch. Hard to call it a question mark but from the sounds of things it's an area he sees the opportunity to improve. In addition his size will present some challenges if he is being used tight on the line in a three point. He certainly has the potential to add to his frame but when you think about Tim Biere who is an excellent blocker, you are talking about a guy 30 pounds heavier than Smiley.