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KU Football Recycle: Jeremiah Hatch Moves To Center and Much More

The 2009 season is firing up and Mark Mangino took to the microphone yesterday. What did we learn?

Jeremiah Hatch will move to center which makes a lot of sense in the long range plan. That's his natural position and why we wanted him at KU. However, he played left tackle last year and that means we'll be training a new left tackle. The KC Star reports that Tanner Hawkinson (6-6/266) will move from d-line to left tackle. He started out as a tight end, but Mangino seems really sold on Hawkinson:

“Tanner Hawkinson is a big, quick, athletic guy. We think he has a chance to develop into one of the best left tackles we’ve had here.”

Okay, but I would have expected someone with more experience, like Jeff Spikes, who was also described as a natural left tackle to get a crack at the position. I think we've all learned not to question Mangino on these things, but I'm hoping we don't have a steep learning curve along the front line.


Speaking of left tackle talk -- it didn't work out for another highly-touted o-line prospect. Nate D'Cunha will be transferring to a new school. That also helps explain the Hawkinson move.


Also from the same KC Star article, there is an official indication of the plan to move Kerry Meier to full-time wideout status. Not that he isn't already, but the fact that Meier still spends practice time as the #2 QB isn't really a closely-guarded secret. Mangino did cover himself by stating that it will depend on how comfortable they feel with either Kale Pick or Jordan Webb as the number two QB. Christian Mathews will be on deck this summer as well. Since 2010 is just around the corner, I would really like to see Mangino feel comfortable with one of those guys this year.


Oh, and just in case there is someone who isn't really aware of this ... all of this stuff really comes from the KU website. In this case, specifically it comes from here. Of course, for the real media, it's always nice to take a drive over to Lawrence.


You'll want to get these times into your Outlook calendar:

Monday, March 9 – Practice starts
Wednesday, March 11 – Practice open to public (3:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 27 – Practice open to public (3:30 p.m.)
Saturday, April 11 – Spring Game (2 p.m.)

Looks like I have plans on March 11, but I'll try to make March 27 practice. The spring game is mandatory for anyone that likes to be considered a KU fan.


In the category of super-fantastic news, Mangino indicated that Angus Quigley can petition for a medical hardship year after the upcoming season. Yep, that means Angus could still be with us in 2010. I think moving Angus to LB is a two-year project, so I love this. However, we are not the University of Texas, so it seems like we never get these requests through. We'll see.


Isiah Barfield will move to wide receiver. I like this move. I don't think we are real settled at CB once you get past Justin Thornton and Daymond Patterson, but we have a lot of talent on the roster and coming in. All reports indicate that Barfield is one of the fastest guys on the team. I like putting that threat out on the field. Mangino put it this way:

"Isiah Barfield will move to wide receiver to help us develop some quality depth there. Isiah’s got great hands. We looked at it this way—in the fall we will have 10 corners on scholarship."


Back on the linebacker front, it looks like Justin Springer won't be practicing until August. Mangino indicated that the rehab is going well though. We definitely want to see Justin out there in the mix.


Dugan says that Todd Reesing was mean to the press at the Insight Bowl post game conference:

During a bizarre post-game press conference at last December’s Insight Bowl, Reesing sarcastically answered a question from a reporter and declined to answer another. Talking among themselves in the press box later that night, bowl representatives expressed distaste at the junior quarterback’s patronizing press conference demeanor.

Did I totally miss this? Someone help me out here.


In case you are confused about the offensive line, here is Mangino's take:

“Well, we’ve got Sal Capra who played a substantial amount of time for us last year. We’ve got Trevor Marrongelli who’s competing for a position; John Williams who had surgery and missed all of last year and we redshirted him. He will be a big factor in there. Now that he’s gotten going, he really looks good. Carl Wilson is in there competing. I think we’re going to be okay. I think the biggest key, is that we solidify the tackle spots. I think Jeremiah Hatch will be fine, center is his natural position, I think the guard positions will fall into place.”

Jeff Spikes will play right tackle.


If you've made it this far, you might as well grab yourself a Lowenbrau and make some comments or share this on Facebook,* because you are definitely hardcore. And for the hardcore, I leave you with this clearly stated goal by Todd Reesing:

"Just like the rest of the team, I want to win the Big 12 North. I want to win the Big 12 Championship. We have two bowl wins and that’s a great feeling, but we want a chance to play for a championship. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

*real men don't have Facebook pages


New KU Players On The Roster

For those that need to update your XBOX rosters, a few new players and numbers were listed on the new roster. Let me know if I've missed anyone:

02-Jordan Webb / QB
17-Calvin Rubles / CB
36-Deshaun Sands / RB
54-Kevin Young / DE
88-Patrick Shilling / WR
64-JD Hill / OL
23-Tyler Hunt / FB

Did not see Rashawn Copeland, the JUCO walk-on from Highland Community College.


KU Football's Spring Prospectus PDF for 2009

The new 63-page PDF is now available for the hardcore KU football fans.

If you have trouble with that link, try this one:



What Should Be Done To KU Season Ticket Holders That Sell Their Tickets to NU Fans?

I think these answers will be the same, yet different. Click comments to post your thoughts.


Recruiting Corner: An Early Look at the 2010 Offensive Prospects

While it is still very early in the recruiting season, here is a preliminary list of KU’s potential offensive targets for the Class of 2010.  It is important to note that these are only the targets from the high school level.  Most targets from prep schools and junior colleges will not be identified until late summer or fall. 

As I said before, this is a very early list.  The list of targets will balloon to 300+ prospects following KU’s Junior Days and Kansas football summer camps.  I will do my best to track the list of targets as it grows and make a note of all offers, commits, etc. in the upcoming months.  The list of defensive targets will be posted in the next week or so.

I know for a fact that some of these prospects have already committed elsewhere, but as of now they are still on KU's target list.  At this stage in the game, it is hard to say that any commitment is secure.  If anyone knows of a prospect that I have missed, a recruit that has been offered, etc. please feel free to leave a message and I will correct the list.  Rock Chalk. 

BOLD-Prospects that have been offered
ITALICS-Prospects from Kansas/KC-Metro
*-Attended KU’s Junior Days

Pro-Style Quarterback                    
Willie Ballard
Tyler Gabbert*
Andrew Hendrix
Austin Hinder
Steve Kaiser
 Zach McCabe
Tommy Rees
Scotty Young
Luke Woodley*

Dual Threat Quarterback
Anthony Abenoja
Blake Bell*
Chase Boyce
Grail Brewster
A.J. Derby
Jim Garoppolo
Cole Hubble
Patrick Ivy
Matt Leutjan
Bronson Marsh
Emory Miller
Jacob Morgan
Joel Piper
Marshyl Rothman
Jameill Showers
Jacoby Walker
Detchauz Wray

Running Back
Brandon Bourbon
Brandin Byrd
Derek Campbell

Mark Cole
Antaries Daniels
Andre Dawson*
Deveon Dinwiddie*
Stephen Hopkins
Randall Hollimon
D.J. Jones

Marcus Lattimore
Robert Marshall
Ben Melena

Terrance Olds*
Randy Ponder
Reggie Richardson
Joseph Randle*

DeMarcus Robinson*
James Sims
Aaron Spikes
Jamal Thomas
Calvin Thompson
Kendrick Warren

Jacob Harding
Tyson McGill
Josh Smith

Tight End
Ja’Darrius Davis
Austin Kaczsor
Cameron McLain
Tim Semisch
Heath Train

Wide Receiver
Craig Anderson
Sir Bullock
Clayton Cooper
Mike Davis
Davian Harper
John Harris
Jimmie Hunt
Kevin Johnson
Ronell Lavigne
Glenn Lewis
Marcus Lucas
Chris McAlister
Sheldon McCain
Montra Nelson
Devin Patterson*
Joseph Powell
Ben Renshaw
Thomas Roberson
RayShaun Stevens
Darius Terrell
Keeston Terry*

Stephen Washington
D.J. Williamson
Julian Wilson

Offensive Tackle
Troy Baker
Nick Demien
B.J. Finney
Anthony Gatti*
Garrett Grambling

Chaz Green
Lincoln Hansen
Bronson Irwin
Chris Mayer
John McClure
Cameron McClain
Mitch Morse
Andrew Rodriguez
Chad Rokhar
Trent Spurgeon*
Jake Schwertner
Jace Warren*
Evan Washington
Daryl Williams

Offensive Guard
Chris Adcock
Dominic Farinas
Dalvin Glass
Austin Lunsford
Grant Johnson
Andrew Meuler
Adam Shead
Taylor Wallace

Jake Alexander
Gary Hiatt
Michael Lishner
Phillip McGruder
Austin Woods



Weekend Scraps: The Rivalry, Border War, Angus Quigley

Missouri fans are upset that KU fans have trotted out John Brown as a heroic symbol for Kansas during this decade. Listen, we all understand what John Brown was, but after years of watching Mizzou fans come to Lawrence touting the virtues of William Quantrill with their "Burn KU" or Burn Lawrence" signs, well there's going to be a backlash. You set the terms and unfortunately we have to step down to that level. One thing that is certain, yes you don't get it. Also, it may be time to brush up on your left and right skills.

As for the poster itself, I thought it was awesome ... but I still put it as a runner-up to John Brown-gino.

Watched a little of the Insight Bowl over the weekend. In the first half, Jocques Crawford and Angus Quigley teamed up for a pretty big hit on a Gophers' kick return. One of the most interesting aspects of spring practice will be watching AQ at linebacker. Oh yeah, that play gave me a vision of Angus (6-2, 222) as a pass rush specialist -- you know the role Brandon Perkins (6-1, 235) played back in 2005.

Speaking of Perkins, here's a good link on KU players in the pros I'd never seen before.


A Different Breed Of Back

The level of talent for the Class of 2010 in the Kansas/KC Metro area is incredibly high by normal standards. That is especially evident at the running back position. There are four to five backs that have a legitimate chance to sign with BCS teams in the spring. That hasn’t happened in well over a decade.

The most exciting thing is that most of these prospects aren’t what I would consider “iffy” prospects. All of them are extremely talented and four of the five are getting looked at by schools on the national level. That is great for Kansas high school football, even though the level of competition to sign these recruits will be steep for KU.

Despite currently living in central Iowa, I have had a chance to see every one of the running backs play in the last two years. I’ve watched film on all of them as well. I have also talked to a few coaches around the state to get their opinions on these prospects.

The feedback has been pretty good, and at times, brutally honest. Regardless, it helps build a more complete picture of the talent and potential of these kids. Below is a quick overview of the Kansas running back crop for the Class of 2010:

Derek Campbell—Manhattan High School (Manhattan) 6’0”, 185 lbs

Currently Interested In: Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Oregon, and Miami (Fla.)

Breakdown: Campbell is what I like to call a pure running back. He runs, and runs, and runs. He can catch, but doesn’t do it often. His numbers don’t look quite as good as some of the other noteworthy backs in the state, but Campbell is still a very good prospect. His recruitment is pretty much wide open and he claims that distance won’t be a big factor.

Campbell is a fundamentally sound, patient runner. He is the kind of back that will follow his blockers before waiting to make a move instead of the kind of back that makes a move and then hopes his blockers follow him. He can run inside or outside. He has great speed on the edge and in the second level. He isn’t a power runner per se, but he can run with a lot of power when he has to.

Campbell already has good size and speed. He is has fairly broad shoulders and with the right conditioning program, he should be able to grow into his frame quickly. He accelerates off of cuts very quickly.

Maturity was the first word out of three different coach’s mouths when they talked about Campbell. He is a good student, a good athlete, and stays out of trouble. One talked about him as a “foundation back” as in a college could put him into their system and he could be a good foundation for the team. The only negative thing that any of the coaches talked about was his pad height and running lean: he tends to run straight up. They said that led to Campbell being tackled in open space a lot.

Deveon Dinwiddie—Hutchinson High School (Hutchinson) 5’9” 180 lbs.

Currently Interested In: Kansas, Kansas State, Illinois, Miami (Fla.), UCLA

Breakdown: Dinwiddie is a product of the powerhouse that Randy Dreiling has built in Hutchinson. That alone speaks volumes about this recruit. For those that are unfamiliar with Hutch, the Salthawks have won 5 straight state championships in dominating fashion. Hutchinson has a conditioning program that is better than most colleges. Dinwiddie will be able to step onto a campus and adjust to the conditioning program with no problem.

Dinwiddie is probably the most complete back of the bunch, although he isn’t the most talented of the group. He is a slasher-back and is a terror around the edges. He has fluid hips and very good balance. He doesn’t dance like most high school backs, but he is great at changing direction and making quick cuts. He has the ability to go up the middle and break into the secondary, but he doesn’t have the strength to consistently power through defenders.

Dinwiddie is by far the best pass catcher of the bunch. He can catch screens, hot routes, or line up in the slot position. He isn’t afraid to catch passes in traffic. If he is able to catch a pass in stride, he is a hard person to catch.

Physically, Dinwiddie is still a work in progress. He is a bit wiry right now. He doesn’t have broad shoulders, but he has enough room to get into the mid-190’s without losing any speed. His height will probably scare a lot of teams off. As far as speed goes, he is fast. I mean really fast. He ran a 4.42 forty as a junior, but on the field he plays a lot faster than that. He accelerates quickly and has a second gear once he is in open space.

Talking with a few coaches, they feel that Dinwiddie has the best upside of any back in the state of Kansas. They say that he has great instincts and is a pretty competitive person on the field. They are unsure of how he will fair in college. Most seem to feel that his success or failure will depend a lot on the type of system that he gets into. If he gets into a system that allows him to take advantage of his skill set, he will flourish. If he ends up in a system that uses a lot of power run, he will likely not perform as well.

For what it is worth, my father has been sold on Dinwiddie since he was a sophomore. My dad is a former football coach and has seen the prospect play 10-15 times over the last two years. I trust his judgment.

Joseph Randle—Southeast High School (Wichita) 6’0”, 180 lbs.

Currently Interested In: Kansas, K-State Nebraska, Stanford, Duke, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Miami, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Arizona, Louisville, Texas A&M

Breakdown: If not for a guy from across town by the name of Bryce Brown, people would have been hearing a lot more about this kid sooner. He has been an All City League selection since he was a freshman. Randle is the brother of former Jayhawk John Randle. He is about as skilled now as John was as a sophomore at KU. For those that remember John Randle, that is speaking volumes. The younger Randle is very personable, dedicated, and hardworking.

Randle is almost the mold of what college coaches look for in a back. He has the speed and elusiveness to make defenders miss. His acceleration to top speed is incredibly quick as well. His top end speed isn’t as fast as some of the other backs in the state, but he gets to his top speed very quickly.

Randle is an extremely versatile player. He can play defense, return kicks or punts, play in the slot, catch passes out of the backfield. Rumor has it he can throw the ball pretty well too. He will be a great asset to any team in college. He will have the ability to see the field incredibly early and have a big impact.

Randle has a great frame, and he is going to be able to put weight on quickly. He is a little lanky right now, but he has good definition. He can easily get to 200 pounds before he ever steps onto a college campus. He should have no problem carrying 205-2010 pounds in college. Randle probably runs a forty in the mid-4.4 range, although I haven’t seen a concrete listing.

Every coach I talk to has nothing but good things to say about Randle, both as a football player and a prospect. Physically he is ready to be on campus and mentally he is prepared for college and the entire recruitment process. KU is expected to offer him at Junior Days. I sincerely hope that he harbors no ill-will towards Mark Mangino or the University of Kansas for what happened to his brother because Randle has the potential to be a game-changer.

DeMarcus Robinson—Northwest High School (Wichita) 5’9”, 192 lbs.

Currently Interested In: Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville

Breakdown: No one knew who Robinson was before his sophomore year. Then he rushed for over 1,200 yards as a sophomore. He almost ran for 2000 yards as a junior. People know about him now.

Robinson is one of the fastest high school athletes in the state of Kansas…not just one of the fastest football players. As a sophomore he placed third at the state track meet with a time of 10.91. He also posted two of the three fastest times in Class 6A last spring (10.81, 10.88).

As a football player, Robinson takes full advantage of his speed. He currently has a listed forty time of 4.4, although I have been told that he hasn’t run a timed forty since last summer. He accelerates so quickly that he is often in the second level before people realize that he has the ball. If he is able to get outside, there aren’t too many people that are going to be able to catch him. He has perfected the speed cut and makes opponents look foolish.

Robinson has pretty decent hands, although there is definitely room for improvement. He is a gifted punt returner as well.

While his height will scare some teams off, he is a very strong, thick kid. He still has a little room to grow, but he will probably never get above 200-205 pounds. He shouldn’t need to though.

Speed. Speed. Speed. That is all the coaches wanted to talk about. He just outruns everyone and he pumps his legs continuously…which makes him hard to drag down when people do catch him. They all felt that even on the collegiate level, Robinson is going to be faster than just about every other player on the field. In a sport where speed kills, Robinson should have no trouble finding a home.

Joshua Smith—Hutchinson High School (Hutchinson) 5’10” 205 lbs.

Currently Interested In: Kansas, Kansas State

Breakdown: Another one of Randy Dreiling’s kids. Smith is the workhorse of the Hutchinson offense. He can take a beating and continues to keep getting up for more.

Smith actually plays fullback, but should have no problem transitioning to tailback at the next level. He is a power runner in the truest sense of the term. As a runner, he has a low center of gravity, good body tilt, and can disappear in a pile and come out the other side. His legs just keep churning. He is incredibly hard to bring down, and there are few people at the high school level that can consistently bring him down alone. Arm tackles don’t work on Smith. He runs right through them…and may actually take the arm with him. He is an absolute beast. On the field it looks like he lives for the contact, the hitting. He doesn’t just take hits, he delivers them.

Smith is a very gifted blocker. He blocks selflessly and is more than willing to sacrifice his body to make a block. He packs a punch and people know when they have been blocked by him. He doesn’t miss blocks often.

Smith is already a very strong, thick football player. His legs are like small tree trunks. His torso isn’t as thick as his lower body, but he has a good frame. He is far from chiseled, but he has quite a bit of mass on his body. He should have no problem getting up to the 230-235 pound range in college. He may also be a touch shorter than his listed height, but not by much. His biggest drawback is his speed. He is probably in the mid-4.6 range. He is far from slow, but he doesn’t have the second gear when he gets into space. He has good acceleration, but his strength is by far his power.

The coaches that I have talked to like Smith, but are unsure of whether or not he will be able to contribute on the collegiate level before he is a junior/senior. The one thing that every one of them said was that he runs hard. One coach said that his team actually packed the box with eight and nine guys to force Hutch to beat them to the outside…and Smith still ran for 200 yards. The coach told me that his team just couldn’t drag Smith down. Most coaches commented on Smith’s ability to disappear behind taller blockers and then reappear in a seam. In the end, most of the coaches I talked to said that Smith is almost too short to play fullback and just a touch too slow to play tailback in college.

Smith is a very durable back (I have seen him get 30+ touches multiple times), and he can run for 200 yards against about anyone in the state. As a matter of fact, he ran for 257 yards and three scores in the Kansas 5A state championship game. Smith nearly topped 2000 yards for the season. He isn’t flashy, but he works hard.



Recruiting Corner: An Early Look At The 2010 Defensive Prospects


As promised, here is the preliminary list of targets for defense/special teams/athletes.

Once again, this list is still very early.  Target lists change from week to week, but I will do my best to update it as things begin to unfold.  Rock Chalk.

Bold—Prospect offered
Italics—Kansas/KC-Metro prospect
*—Attended KU’s Junior Days

Weak Side Defensive End
Greg Daniels
Nehemiah Hicks
Orlando Hill
Mathew Knott
Riley Lange
Marcus Rush

Strong Side Defensive End
Derrick Bryant
Bryan Dale

Michael Daniels
Josh Ewing
Geneo Grissom*
Sonny Peletusi
Chaquil Reed
Chase Rome*
Colton Underwood
Donovan Vestel
Lucas Vincent

Defensive Tackle
Taylor Bible
Ron Coleman
Jatashun Beachum
Logan David
Jeremiah Edwards
Jesse Hinz
Ryan Isom
Mason Myers
Anthony Render
Cedric Steward
Jeff Uher
Ryland Widener
Damon Willaims
Lucas Vincentm

Inside Linebacker
Matt Acree
Mathew Bass
Ken Berry*
John Bordano
Nicholas Canavan
Ron Coleman
Kyle Emanuel
Ben Eskelsen
Tyler Fee
Tim Goode

Steve Mehrer
Clancy Merrill
Trey Millard*
Cameron Nwosu
Trevor Roach
Allen Roy
Lee Ward*

Outside Linebacker
Jace Banner
Dallas Buck

Perry Cooper
Tevin Jackson
Steven Maeweather
Dominique Patterson
Spencer Phillips
Jayron Robinson
Kale Sawatsky
Ezra Schantz
Tate Snyder

Jacob Allsop
B.J Christmas
Donald Collier|
Ciante Evans
Bobby Germinder
Mar’shauwn Grays
Devin Hedgepeth
Miguel Johns
Dion Jones
Brandon Neal
Elisha Olabode
Tre’vante Porter
Trevor Releford*
Tyler Stephenson
Curry Sexton*
Josh Wessling

Ethan Boulder
Aaron Colvin
Spencer Delande
Tyler Evans
Rashad Favors
Quentin Hayes
Chris Lucido
Nick Mizaur
Luke Muncie
Matt Shannon
Steven Stalder

Andrew Mitteis
Mat Sims


Demarco Cobbs
Kain Colter
Tyler Coughenour
Tony Drake
Christian Dudzik
Brad Hefley*
Marquis Hill*
David Johnson
Justin McCay*

Joe Powell
Jordan Taylor


Mangino's Greatest Hits: KU / CU 2007

By this time, KU fans knew something special could be in the works if the 6-0 Jayhawks could pull off a win in Boulder. Mark Mangino only had two conference road wins in his first five years and KU had already notched a big one in Manhattan.

The matchup with Colorado had a little more national attention and you could see intensity on both sides of the ball. It shaped up to be a defensive battle throughout the first half, but Todd Reesing did go on one of his long gallups. Scott Webb pulled off a crazy one-step 48 yard field goal to give KU a 3-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, CU answered on a trick play-action TD pass that put them up 7-3. KU answered with a Jake Sharp TD about 90 seconds later and retained the lead throughout. The Hawks pushed it out to 19-7 on Derek Fine TD catch in the fourth, but the Buffs did tighten it up and KU had to make a defensive stand at the end of the game to preserve the 19-14 win.

The 7-0 Jayhawks would be ranked #9 in the BCS poll -- rarified air for KU football diehards. Nationally though, the Jayhawks were starting to bristle the national pundits and their concept of the natural college football order. The "who have they played" chorus was growing and it had a verse that would change each week and went something like, "we'll see how they do in College Station, we'll see how they do in Stillwater."

Fans pretended to be annoyed, and the team used it as motivation. A perfect balance and a great ride.


6sports summary:


"We have some hard-nosed, tough kids. We have some talented kids, but the heart and soul of this team is the overachiever, hard-nosed kids. They were the ones that really buckled down here tonight."
--Mark Mangino

"We never feel unbeatable. You just have to prepare every week : Once you go out there feeling unbeatable, that's when you end up upset."
Aqib Talib

"I was just trying to get it down as fast as I could. If I didn't get it down the first time, I was going to run. Webb had an awesome kick. A (48)-yard, one-step kick."
--Kyle Tucker

"It was crazy, exciting. We're 7-0 now. We're ready to go out and get eight."
--Kyle Tucker

More from the series: Mangino's Greatest Hits


Is It Time To Expand Memorial Stadium?

The weekly question. Click comments to get in.


Tuesday Recruiting Corner: Rolling into 2010


The 2009 recruiting class is all but wrapped up. Rivals ranked the class of 2009 31st nationally and 5th in the Big XII. The class has a strong defensive lean, with 15 of the 25 new recruits slotted on the defensive side of the ball. On paper, it is by far the best class that KU has had under Mark Mangino.

Please take a moment to be excited.

The moment is over. It is time to move on.

The heart of college football is recruiting. Recruiting is a year round process. It never stops. It doesn't take time to eat.  It never sleeps. It just keeps going and going.

The recruiting landscape has changed drastically in the last ten years, due in large part to the success of Texas coach Mack Brown. In years past, colleges were able to begin recruiting evaluations and start drafting prospects lists in the spring. They would evaluate those prospects in the fall and offer them in the winter.

If a school did that now, they would never be able to sign a full class...let alone a good class. 

Prospects are committing earlier and earlier each year. Texas already has ten commitments for the Class of 2010.  19 of Texas’ 20 signees in 2009 had committed by June of 2008. As it stands, colleges must follow that trend or risk falling off a recruit’s radar entirely.

Most schools have their prospect lists already drafted and a lot of player evaluations done before spring practice and are already extending scholarship offers.  KU is no different.  Three players committed to Kansas by July 2006 for the Class of 2007.  The Class of 2008 had four commits by July, 2007. The Class of 2009 had nine commitments by July, 2008. This trend of gathering more early commitments must continue if KU has any hope of closing the talent gap further with the likes of Texas and Oklahoma.

Recruiting will be anything but easy in 2010. In addition to the normal challenges that KU faces, there are new foes on the recruiting trail. KU lost out on four players to Arkansas in 2009, including a prospect that was a KU commit. Bill Snyder’s return to K-State has the potential to throw a serious monkey wrench into KU’s ability to recruit in-state.

Fear not, all is not lost. In spite of all of the challenges that KU will face on the recruiting trails next year, there are several important factors that are tilting the scales in the Jayhawks favor for the Class of 2010.

1. Bill Miller Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach has traditionally recruited the state of Florida and the Jayhawk Conference (JuCo) almost exclusively. There is no reason to expect that to change any time soon. Both are areas that the Jayhawks have had mild-success with in the past, and areas that should improve with Miller spearheading the effort.

2. Ed Warriner’s push to recruit the state of Ohio appears to finally be panning out. In the last two years, KU has been able to sign two recruits from the state. While that is only a drop in the bucket, it isn’t as if Texas prospects were beating down the door to play at KU five years ago either. The addition of Defensive Line Coach Tom Sims, formerly of Illinois, should improve the effectiveness of recruiting in the heart of Big Ten country.

3. The depth of talented players in the state of Kansas and the KC Metro area for the Class of 2010 is probably the strongest it has been in at least a decade. The player rankings are not out yet, but I will be really surprised if there aren’t quite a few 4- and 5-Star prospects in those two regions.

4. Graduation will hit the Jayhawks hard after the 2009-2010 football season. Virtually every player at a skill position will be graduating after next year.  That means that there will be a lot of starting jobs up for grabs. The ability to come in and start on a high octane offense should entice several talented recruits to make Lawrence their home.

The University of Kansas is finally getting to the point where they can no longer be considered a fluke program. Over the last four years, the Jayhawks have won nearly 70% of their games as well as three bowl games in the same span.  As KU continues to show that it can consistently win games and get to bowls, Lawrence becomes a more attractive place attend school for potential recruits. If nothing else, the last two years have proved that.

The Jayhawks have a lot of things working in their favor for the Class of 2010. If Mark Mangino’s team is able to take care of business on the field, the recruiting should be able to take care of itself.


Weekend Scraps: Rambo Official, Jayhawks Nest and NU QB Transfer

The battle for the north just became a little more intriguing as Nebraska QB Patrick Witt is leaving the Huskers. There's a poll on that Corn Nation link that indicates NU fans like Zac Lee as the starter which still means it's a complete mystery as what kind of performance the Huskers will get out of that position. I guess I'll be watching more NU football in September than I normally would, trying to figure out if they're going to have someone decent or not. Speaking of which ... we need some blowouts in the non-con, so Kale Pick can get some live action to prep for 2010.

Last week there was news that WR Xavier Rambo was transferring to Delta State. The UDK had the official story in case you don't feel like the Gridiron is a true source.

I also mentioned last week that there is a new KU blog on the block -- That makes eight blogs actively covering KU sports. When I started, it was Phog Blog and Jayhawk Nation. Here's the rundown.

Hawk Digest - The worldwide leader in unofficial websites dedicated strictly to KU football.
Rock Chalk Talk - SBNation blog provides the best all-around KU sports coverage.
Oread Boom Kings - Formerly, KJ-IBT/KF-IBT. All-around coverage with more of an edge. Part of a building network.
The Shiver - Comprehensive with a cool WordPress "magazine" layout.
Jayhawks Nest - All KU-Sports with a weekly video feature and YouTube channel.
Phog Blog - Used to be the big one. Definitely geared toward Kansas basketball, but they'll comment on the other sports as well.
Jayhawk Nation - Emphasis on basketball.
Rock Chalk Jay-Blog - All KU sports.