One of the top prospects in the state of Kansas - and nationally - has committed to play college football out of state.
Like Geneo Grissom, Blake Bell, Justin McCay, and many others before him, Oklahoma has taken one of the top talents out of the state of Kansas. Amani Bledsoe has decided to take his talents to Norman, OK, and play for Bob Stoops and the Sooners.
Beldsoe, who is from Lawrence, spurned scholarship offers from Baylor, Oregon, and dozens of others. Oklahoma had been considered to be the favorite to land the 4-star defensive end for some time. Although Kansas was his second choice, let's be honest, it felt a little bit like watching Perry Ellis "decide" between KU and Wichita State - you just knew he wasn't going to "stay home."
Bledsoe could have been a potential program-changer for the Jayhawks. He would have given the Kansas defensive line an immediate infusion of size (6'5", 270 lbs) and talent that the Jayhawks have been missing since the Mark Mangino era. He's a consensus 4-star talent (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports) and a top-300 player nationally regardless of position.
In all likelihood, Bledsoe would have started right away for Kansas. He could work his way into the Oklahoma D-line rotation as soon as this year with Charles Tapper on his way to the NFL. However, there will be some fierce competition at OU for playing time as the Sooners list six returnees at DE, all of whom were three or four star recruits, and several of whom saw action in 2015. Bledsoe might even be a candidate to redshirt. Either way, honestly, it's probably not a bad decision for Bledsoe, as Oklahoma does have an excellent track record of getting defensive linemen into the NFL.
I know it's a lot to expect for Kansas to beat out schools like Oklahoma, Oregon, and Baylor for recruits, but losing a guy that is quite literally in your back yard (Lawrence High) stings. This would have been a huge get for Beaty and the staff, and would have gone a long way in their efforts to get even more talent to Lawrence. Look for Beaty and staff to turn their full attention on another in-state recruit, Olathe North's DB Isaiah Simmons, who has Louisville and Nebraska hot on his tail to go along with recent offers from Michigan and Clemson.