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Kansas Football: 2015 football recruiting update

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Charlie Weis, Reggie Mitchell and company have 11 recruits committed for next season. How is the class shaping up?

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For obvious reasons, the 2015 recruiting class being put together by Charlie Weis and staff hasn't been getting much attention. After 2013's juco-heavy crop yielded multiple highly-regarded players who never even suited up, and last year's fairly anonymous (so far) class, there hasn't been much reason to stay on top of Kansas' gridiron recruiting efforts.

That said, we do currently have 11 players committed for 2015. Rivals currently has us ranked #51 in D1, good for 7th in the Big 12. Obviously those rankings don't mean much until we get closer to the signing deadline, and even then the merits can be debated. Instead of just looking at rankings, I wanted to go through the list and give a brief breakdown on each committed recruit to date.

As you go through list, it's worth noting that while Charlie Weis emphasized that 2013's heavy load of jucos was part of a long term plan that involved shifting focus to more HS players, the majority of the 2015 signees are coming from the community college ranks.

L.B. Bates - Cornerback (TX Juco) - 3 stars

Bates is ranked 3 stars by Rivals and 247 sports. He has played both corner and safety, but was reportedly recruited to take over the nickelback spot after this year. He has average size at 6'0 and has a reputation for being a solid tackler. There are reports of interest from Nebraska and Texas Tech, but neither gave a formal offer.

Cory Butler - Wide Receiver (CA Juco) - 4 stars

Butler had quite a bit of interest from the Pac-12, and landed formal offers from Oregon State and Utah. Oregon State has put together quite the passing game in recent years, and sent a WR to the NFL in the 1st round in 2014, so their interest is promising. Butler is listed at just 5'11, 170 pounds, but has good speed and instincts after the catch, and may also be effective in the return game. There is some question about his instincts as a route-runner, so he likely figures to be a slot receiver.

Jacky Dezir - Defensive Tackle (IL Juco) - 2 stars

No service I found ranks Dezir above 2 stars, so as a juco he likely figures to represent depth on the interior defensive line. He's listed at 6'3, hovering around 300 pounds depending on the measurement, but didn't pick up any offers despite interest from some Great Lakes area schools.

Raeshawn Lee - Wide Receiver (CA Juco) - 2 stars

There isn't a lot of information out there on Lee, who got the offer from Kansas after pulling in 15 catches for 300 yards his freshman year in community college. He has decent size at 6'1, but generated only mild interest from other schools, most notably Louisville and Texas Tech. Our pursuit of him likely says more about a lack of depth at wide receiver past our current handful of upperclassmen than anything else.

Taylor Martin - Running Back (TX HS) - 2/3 stars

Rivals lists Martin as a 2 star, but 247 and scout.com both have him listed a 3. He also had offers from Colorado State and Purdue, with TCU making a late push as well. Martin is a smaller back, but draws rave reviews for speed and elusiveness. He looks to be a running back in the mold of Tony Pierson, though expecting him to fill Pierson's shoes as an explosive playmaker would be premature.

Delonte Murray - Offensive Line (PA Juco) - 2/3 stars

Murray is listed at 6'5, 315 lbs, so he has the size of an immediate contributor. He did pick up offers from other schools, but the best program on that list was Utah State, so take that for what it's worth. Tackle seems to be his likeliest position on the line, though scout.com lists him as a guard.

Jarek Smalley - Offensive Line (KS Juco) - 2 stars

Smalley comes to us from Garden City Community College, known for producing some solid transfers to bigger schools. Though he pulls in just a 2 star ranking, multiple sites show interest (though not an offer) from Oklahoma and Arkansas, which is promising. Smalley is definitely best suited for the tackle position at 6'6, 315 lbs.

Will Smith - Offensive Line (KS Juco) - 3 stars

Butler County is about as strong a name as there is in juco football, and is where Will Smith is playing his first two years. Smith was considered a Kansas lean from the beginning and never got much pursuit from other schools, but the recruiting services give him solid marks. Smith plays guard for Butler, and would figure to do the same at Kansas.

Kevin Thomas - Wide Receiver (TX HS) - 3 stars

Thomas is our biggest high school commit to date in this class. His list of interested parties is quite impressive, with noteworthy programs like Clemson, Nebraska and Wisconsin all making formal scholarship offers. At 6'2, Thomas has above average size for the position with good instincts and respectable speed. This is a program starved for talented wide receivers, so picking up a quality high school recruit like this is good to see.

Carl Thompson - Defensive End (TX HS) - 3 stars

Thompson's list of offers isn't quite as impressive as Thomas' from a football standpoint, but it's pretty obvious where he is academically. He managed to land scholarship offers from Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Rice and the Air Force Academy. At 6'3, 260 lbs, he looks to play strongside defensive end, and the scouting reports rave about a nonstop motor and ability to fight through blocks.

Ryan Willis - Quarterback (KS HS) - 3 star

Willis is rated a 5.7 by Rivals, the highest rating in the 3 star range. He snagged an offer from Bill Snyder at K-State before deciding on the Jayhawks, which is encouraging as well. Willis is considered a pro-style quarterback, so it remains to be seen how he would fit in to John Reagan's spread style attack. Willis has a strong arm and throws a nice deep ball, and though he lacks running ability, the scouting reports say he moves well in the pocket