Many of you must be wondering who the heck Hunter Harris is and why is Kansas messing with our emotions in making a fake NCAA Football 15 cover with him on it. I don't have the answer to the second question but I think I can help out with the whole Hunter Harris thing.
According to 247sports.com, Hunter is a 3-star KU football commit. Harris received scholarship offers most notably from Kansas, Army, and California, but it is worth noting that he received interest from many more schools, including TCU and Oregon. Standing at 6'3'' and 255 lbs it's not hard to see why Coach Beaty and staff were willing to go to such great lengths to lock up an offensive center that can put a big body on someone and disrupt a defensive pass rush. Hunter is a student-athlete at Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas. That gives KU 5 total prospects from Texas in their admittedly very small class up to this point.
The offensive linemen in this class so far are some big boys - I believe the term is "hog mollies." Antione Frazier and Joe Malanga are the two other OTs that join Harris in the KU class of 2016. Antione Frazier is a towering 6'5'' and if he was a box of trash bags he would be the heavy duty special because this kid weighs in at 250 lbs. Another prospect from the state of Texas, Frazier attends Hargrave High School out of Huffman, Texas. Frazier is a 3-star prospect as well according to 247sports.com. Joining Harris and Frazier is Joe Malanga, a 3-star prospect from Ephraim, Utah currently attending Snow Junior College. Malanga is 6'4'' and weighs in at 285. We can call him the heavy duty trash bags from Costco bulk box.
I know that linemen can be boring to talk about, but we understand their importance because they are often the key to a team's success - most notably for the running back, a position that the Jayhawks just received a commitment in (see what I did there?). Dominic Williams from Dallas, Texas, a high school junior at Parish Episcopal School is a 5'8'' and 177 lbs scat back. Williams is often compared to a Darren Sproles-type back, a jack of all trades type deal. Kansas was able to pick up his commitment while beating out primarily the SMU Mustangs for his services. The key recruiter in this prospect was Reggie Mitchell. As of right now Williams is not ranked in the class of 2017, but 247sports.com was able to provide a grade of about 2 to 3 stars. Keep in mind that Kansas most likely recruited this prospect as a sophomore so a lot of the databases haven't got a good read on him yet. He certainly has the attention from some others, including California, who isn't exactly in Dominic's backyard so to speak. Coach Beaty is offering these prospects early in their recruitment and hopes it pays dividends a few years from now.
This week may not have been as exciting on the recruiting front as last week, what with the receivers and whatnot, but I thought it was important for everyone to know about the offensive linemen that will hopefully be donning the crimson and blue. It is becoming evident that the pass protection this year may be lacking, and the fact that Coach Beaty recognizes that and goes and gets these big guys is telling as to how he wants to build the program. I am also impressed that recruitment of these players doesn't stop once they commit, as the coaching staff is showing commitment to them throughout the process, whether it's for a 50-50 crystal ball prediction or 100 percent commit to Kansas. The coaches care, and it shows, and all of these recruits are commenting about that.