While not necessarily looking for a quarterback for the 2017 class, David Beaty has consistently said he would always have his eyes open if a good opportunity came along.
Apparently, it has.
Per JayhawkSlant, Peyton Bender, a 6’1” 180 lb pro-style quarterback out of Itawamba CC in Fulton, Mississippi, verbally pledged to the Jayhawks following his official visit to Kansas this weekend, where he happened to witness the Jayhawks knock off the Texas Longhorns.
Bender is a third-year sophomore, meaning he only has two years of eligibility left. He will be eligible for the 2017 campaign and is expected to enroll this spring semester and be available for spring ball.
Coming out of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Bender was a 3-star recruit, the #25 overall quarterback in the 2014 class per Rivals. He committed to Mike Leach and Washington State over Penn State.
He redshirted in 2015 and saw some time with Washington State in 2016, starting one game. In the 2015 season, he completed 53 of 91 attempts for 498 yards with 3 TDs and 4 INTs for Wazzu.
This season at Itawamba, Bender passed for 2733 yards and 21 TDs in 9 games.
Bender - and no doubt Kansas fans in general - hope that his familiarity with the Air Raid style of offense will help with his transition back to D1.
“I know a lot of the concepts as far as the language and terminology it is a little different,” Bender said. “But that is always going to be different from offense to offense. But there are similarities to what I ran at Washington State. I ran another form of air raid in junior college. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of it and what I will be coming into at Kansas.”
Assuming no one transfers, Bender will have to compete for the starting job in 2017 with Montell Cozart, Ryan Willis, Carter Stanley, and Tyriek Starks.
It may also be worth noting that accompanying Bender on his official visit this past weekend was fellow teammate RB Octavius Matthews, who is currently committed to Auburn.
Here is Peyton Bender’s 2016 highlight film at ICC from Hudl: