The “new” national signing day, aka the early signing period, begins this week on Wednesday, December 18, and runs through Friday, December 20. Since the establishment of the early signing period, it has quickly become the time when most recruits will put pen to paper and pledge to their school of choice.
After a decade of fairly uneventful signing days (save for maybe this instance last year), this year has a measure of uncertainty around it as it pertains to Kansas football. As of the publication of this article, Kansas has 25 players verbally committed, which is still the maximum allowed. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a couple of KU’s players get poached, or that the Jayhawks do a little poaching themselves. More on that in a bit.
From this point on, everything I am going to tell you is coming from either 247Sports or Rivals. I do not have a subscription to either, so there is no paywall breach forthcoming.
First, let’s take a look at the current verbal commit list.
2020 Verbal Commits
|Name||Juco||Pos||Size||247 Rank||Rivals||Hometown||Other Offers||Notes|
|Name||Juco||Pos||Size||247 Rank||Rivals||Hometown||Other Offers||Notes|
|Da'Vonshai Harden||ATH-QB||6'4" 195 lbs||3*||3*||Topeka, KS||KSU, UNI||-|
|Daniel Hishaw||ATH-QB||5'10" 205 lbs||3*||2*||Moore, OK||EMU, Nev, UNT, TSU||-|
|Jaylin Richardson||ATH-RB||5'11" 195 lbs||3*||3*||Kansas City, KS||CMU, Navy, BGSU, Wyo||-|
|Lawrence Arnold||WR||6'4" 180 lbs||3*||3*||De Soto, TX||Wis, Oreg, Utah, BC||20 offers, top 700 recruit|
|Tristan Golightly||WR||6'5" 205 lbs||3*||3*||Mesquite, TX||LSU, Neb, Utah, Pur||18 offers|
|Steven McBride||WR||6'0" 160 lbs||3*||3*||Gonzales, LA||Wake, NMSU, LTU, ULM||-|
|Malik Johnson||WR||5'9" 175 lbs||3*||3*||The Woodlands, TX||Mem, CU, KSU, Haw||-|
|Luke Grimm||WR||6'0" 175 lbs||3*||3*||Peculiar, MO||Ball, Kent, NDSU, Tul||-|
|Kyler Pearson||WR||5'8" 150 lbs||3*||2*||Tulsa, OK||-||-|
|Will Huggins||TE||6'6" 235 lbs||3*||3*||Overland Park, KS||Ark, Ok St, BGSU||-|
|Trevor Kardell||TE||6'6" 200 lbs||3*||3*||Lee's Summit, MO||-||Miz, Iowa interest|
|Armaj Adams-Reed||OL||6'5" 315 lbs||3*||2*||De Soto, TX||UNT, Rice, NMSU, USU||-|
|Garrett Jones||OL||6'4" 280 lbs||3*||3*||Berrien Springs, MI||AF, Ball, EMU, Tul||-|
|Nicholas Martinez||OL||6'4" 300 lbs||3*||3*||Anaheim, CA||ASU||-|
|Kenean Caldwell||DT||6'3" 330 lbs||3*||3*||Oak Grove, LA||Oreg, CU, TCU, A&M||12 offers|
|Khari Coleman||DE||6'2" 215 lbs||3*||3*||New Orleans, LA||TCU, SMU, Tenn, Vandy||Top 700 recruit|
|Chris Jones||DE||6'4 215 lbs||3*||3*||Pompano, FL||FSU, IU, Neb, PSU||18 offers|
|Caleb Taylor||DE||6'4" 245 lbs||3*||3*||Florissant, MO||ISU, Illini, Ohio, SMU||-|
|Brennon Scott||LB||6'1" 235 lbs||3*||4*||Dallas, TX||USC, UT, OU, LSU||33 offers, top 500 recruit|
|Krishawn Brown||LB||6'3" 205 lbs||3*||3*||Tulsa, OK||Ok St, Mem, UNT||-|
|Taiwan Berryhill||LB||6'1" 200 lbs||3*||3*||New Orleans, LA||Tenn, Ark, UVA, IU||19 offers|
|Alonso Person||LB||6'4" 185 lbs||3*||3*||Harbor City, CA||Oreg, Ariz, ASU, Illini||-|
|JaCobee Bryant||CB||6'0" 170 lbs||3*||3*||Evergreen, AL||VT, Tenn, Neb, UK||29 offers, top 600 recruit|
|Duece Mayberry||CB||5'11" 175 lbs||3*||3*||Owasso, OK||NMSU, SDSU, UNI||-|
|Karon Prunty||CB||6'2" 180 lbs||3*||3*||Portsmouth, VA||VT, Pitt, Tenn, Lib||Visit to VT on 12/14|
That class as it stands there, is currently ranked #44 by 247Sports and #32 by Rivals. Either way, you’re looking at a top-50 class that puts the Jayhawks somewhere in the middle of the Big 12 - 247Sports has KU at #7 in the conference, while Rivals gives KU the #3 class in the Big 12.
On the surface, it looks like a “typical” Kansas recruiting class full of three-star recruits. However, one other thing I’d like to note that was pointed out several months ago by someone on Twitter that now of course I can’t find so I had go to figure it up myself. This class has nine (high school) players ranked in the top-1000 by 247Sports. Last year in 2019, Les Miles inked four such players. In five years, David Beaty got 15 total, but seven of those came in his first recruiting class in 2014. That means that, over his final four seasons, Beaty averaged just two top-1000 (high school) recruits per class.
You’ll most likely see a lot of beat writers proclaiming this “the best Kansas recruiting class in history.” Not so fast, my friend. Digging a little deeper, if we stick to 247Sports’ rankings, yes, it will be up there. However, going back 20 years (which is almost as far back as recruiting rankings go), Kansas has had two previous top-40 classes (#39 in 2006, #40 in 2011) as well as seven top-50 classes.
That said, it’s clear that Les Miles has had a tremendous impact on KU’s recruiting. You have to go back to the Mark Mangino era to find regular recruiting classes in the top-50. David Beaty’s average class was ranked #65, Gill/Weis averaged #58, while Mangino averaged #46. And remember, Weis and Beaty leaned on Juco recruits to bolster those class rankings as well.
If Les can stay the course and bring in recruiting classes similar to this one over the next couple of years, Kansas won’t be down for much longer.
I’ve already hinted at this, but the first thing that stands out to me is the number of Juco recruits on that list. Did you notice it? Zero is the number.
I think that six receivers seems a little excessive, especially considering that Andrew Parchment, Stephon Robinson, and Kwamie Lassiter are all eligible to return next season.
Kansas loses three senior starters from its 2019 offensive line, but you typically don’t expect high school freshmen to be able to make an impact at that spot anyway.
Defense was not neglected as there are four linebackers, four defensive linemen, and three corners on the list. If Kansas is going to make the 3-4 work, they’ll need better and faster linebackers, and Brennon Scott looks to be the jewel of this class.
Ten recruits are from KS/MO/OK, while just five come from Texas and four from Louisiana.
What to Watch For
I mentioned earlier there may be some signing day excitement, so here are a few names to keep an eye on.
First up, CB Karon Prunty took a visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend, and a few recruitniks think he may be leaning that way. Prunty did verbally commit to KU just a few weeks ago. It should also probably be noted that Prunty is from Virginia.
Likewise, DE Khari Coleman is considered by 247Sports to be a “soft” KU commit, and he is projected to go with either TCU or SMU on signing day over the Jayhawks. As noted here at RCT when he first committed, Coleman would be one of the higher ranked players in the class if the Jayhawks manage to hang on to him.
RB Ashaad Clayton had KU in his top 4 before verbally committing to Colorado a few weeks ago. However, he was in Lawrence for the basketball game against the Buffs, and it seems like the Jayhawks may have a decent shot at swaying the four-star recruit, who has his choice out of dozens of offers. Clayton is a national top-250 recruit, and would immediately give Kansas one of the best backfields in the conference (maybe even the country) alongside Pooka Williams. LSU also reportedly remains in the mix for Clayton.
CB Johnquai Lewis has a bevy of offers, including plenty of P5 schools such as Auburn, Michigan, Syracuse, Nebraska, NC State, Utah, West Virginia, Kentucky, and more. From what I can tell he has not announced a verbal commit, but 247Sports is predicting that he will sign with Kansas.
OL Josh Remetich is verbally committed to Tulane but just took a visit to KU earlier this month. He has offers from K-State, Missouri, West Virginia, and many others as well, but per 247Sports he is expected to hold with his verbal to Tulane.
Florida transfer QB Feleipe Franks just took a visit to KU this weekend as well. Franks is a former 4-star and national top-100 recruit who would be a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility. Franks is coming off a year where an ankle injury in week 3 ended his 2019 season; he was the starter for Florida throughout 2018 and into 2019 until his injury.