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KU Football inks (most of the) 2021 Recruiting Class

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KU signs 19 players on the first day of the early signing period.

NCAA Football: Coastal Carolina at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Following the abrupt end of the Kansas football season, attention naturally turned to the basketball program first day of the early signing period which this year runs from Dec 16-18. Kansas had 21 verbal commits so far for the 2021 class, 19 of which signed their NLI today.

It’s a typical Kansas football recruiting class, chock full of 3-star recruits (all rankings per 247Sports composite). Although there aren’t (currently) any four-star or higher recruits, there also aren’t any two-star or unrated recruits, so this class actually appears to be a step up for Kansas.

This is Les Miles’ third class at KU, and really, just his second full recruiting cycle. You can definitely tell that recruiting is on an uptick despite the lack of improvement in the “W” column so far (all rankings per 247Sports):

2010 (Gill) - 64

2011 (Gill) - 40

2012 (Weis) - 81

2013 (Weis) - 49

2014 (Weis) - 50

2015 (Beaty) - 73

2016 (Beaty) - 70

2017 (Beaty) - 71

2018 (Beaty) - 60

2019 (Miles) - 71

2020 (Miles) - 56

2021 (Miles) - 55 (current)

Obviously, it’s not all about the Jimmies and Joes, because Coastal Carolina smoked the Jayhawks each of the last two years, and their highest rated recruiting class since they turned D1 (in 2016) was #99 last year. Also, consider that K-State has been to 9 bowl games in the last decade with recruiting classes ranked similarly to Kansas.

Yes, recruiting is important, but as we Kansas fans have painfully learned, you have to have a competent staff to coach them once they get to campus. I would say that the jury is still out on the current staff, but given what they did offensively this most recent season with the best RB in the Big 12, three quality WRs, and upperclassmen along the offensive line - well, let’s just say that’s strike one.

As for 2021 recruiting, here is the current class. A star in front of the name means they are expected to graduate high school early and join the program in January.

2021 Kansas Football Recruiting

Name Juco Pos Size 247 Rank Hometown Other Offers Notes
Name Juco Pos Size 247 Rank Hometown Other Offers Notes
* Ben Easters QB 6'3" 195 lbs 3* Brownsburg, IN BG Interest from CIN, IU, Lou
Devin Neal RB 5'11" 188 lbs 3* Lawrence, KS Neb, OSU, KSU, Iowa Top 250 recruit
Majik Rector WR 5'9" 152 lbs 3* Lancaster, TX TTU, Rut, BG, Tul Top 1200 recruit
Kelan Robinson WR 6'2" 183 lbs 3* Grand Prairie, TX Duke, LTU, Tul, Mem, Tol -
Tanaka Scott WR 6'4" 190 lbs 3* Mobile, AL USF, Lib, CC, Troy, Ark St -
Mason Brotherton TE 6'4" 242 lbs 3* Mena, AR CC, Lib, ULM, Mem -
Corey Robinson II OL 6'5" 270 lbs 3* Roswell, GA Lib, CC, SIU, Woff, Penn -
* De'Kedrick Sterns OL 6'4" 250 lbs 3* Del Valle, TX Duke, CSU, Haw, Nev, UNT Top 1200 recruit
* Larson Workman OL 6'5" 265 lbs 3* Ganado, TX ArkSt, CC, EMU, FIU -
D'Marion Alexander DE 6'5" 215 lbs 3* China Spring, TX Minn, ASU, Bay, TCU, TTU Top 1000 recruit
Deldrick Withers DE 6'4" 245 lbs 3* Little Rock, AR Vandy, ULM, ULL, UCF Top 1000 recruit
Tommy Dunn DE 6'3" 255 lbs 3* Garland, TX Navy, Rice, AF, UTSA -
Garfield Lawrence DE 6'4" 240 lbs 3* Tyler, TX Tenn, Syr, KSU, CU, Ark Top 800 recruit
Andrew Simpson LB 6'1" 220 lbs 3* Bellflower, CA Oreg, CMU, USU Top 1200 recruit
Trey Staley LB 6'2" 200 lbs 3* Snellville, GA Ole Miss, Army, Troy, CMU -
Cameron Grays CB 6'2" 195 lbs 3* Eight Mile, AL Aub, FSU, IU, MU, Tenn Top 800 recruit
* DeVonte Wilson CB 6'3" 190 lbs 3* Quincy, FL Ohio, ECU, Lib, WKU, Marsh -
* Omar Burroughs Jr S 5'10" 170 lbs 3* Bradenton, FL Tenn, GT, AppSt, FAU, SMiss Top 900 recruit
Cam'Ron Dabney ATH/DB 5'11" 175 lbs 3* Gainesville, GA Syr, ASU, BG, Cin, CSU -
James Wright ATH/DB/S 6'1" 195 lbs 3* Sumter, SC ECU, Army, Char, Tem, WKU -
* Jayson Gilliom DB/S 6'2" 190 lbs 3* Suwanee, GA Albany, Alcorn St, Austin Peay -
2021 Kansas Football Recruiting

There are two players still verbally committed who haven’t signed yet; if they don’t sign by Thursday, they will have to wait until February 3. Those two players are DE Garfield Lawrence and CB Cameron Grays.

Once again, there are no Juco players anywhere to be found (although KU could probably use a couple along the offensive line). Also notably, Les Miles has now signed 4 of the 10 highest rated recruits in KU football history (aka since 2000), so, that’s something. However, KU still has some work to do to get back to the Mangino era of recruiting success - the 2006 class featured 15 national top-1000 high school recruits.

It’s also something that this class looked a lot better back in July, but that’s part of the nature of college football recruiting. Of course there’s still a chance that a player like Keon Coleman might still sign with KU - the Jayhawks are still listed on his recruiting page - but it doesn’t happen very often.

With 19 NLIs in so far, Kansas can still sign up to six more recruits for the 2021 class, so, KU still has a decent chance to finish inside the top 50 of the team recruiting rankings.