Kansas catches lightning in a bottle

No visit? No problem. The bond Washington (DC) Woodson High defensive end De'Jon Wilson shared with Kansas assistant Reggie Mitchell and Head Coach Turner Gill was strong enough for the three-star prospect to make his college decision early this week.

Sometimes, college coaches just manage to catch lightning in a bottle on the recruiting trail.

Sure it's unusual for a recruit to commit to a program without taking an official visit. Unusual, though not unheard of - as the University of Kansas proved this week when they earned a pledge from Washington (D.C.) Woodson High defensive end De'Jon Wilson.

A three-star prospect, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Wilson was - to put it mildly - productive last season for the Warriors, recording 21 sacks and 33 tackles for loss according to The Washington Post.

It was during his junior campaign that he caught the eye of the Kansas coaching staff, and lead recruiter Reggie Mitchell made the trip to the nation's capital. Since then, Wilson developed a strong bong with the Jayhawks running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, as well as with Head Coach Turner Gill.

"We talked, and (Mitchell) said that Kansas wanted to offer me," he recalled. "I was excited about the offer, and ever since then we've been having conversations every week."

Wilson chose Kansas on Monday night - over a list of offers that included Pittsburgh, Rutgers and others - after a period of discussion that included his family and coaches.

Though he has yet to visit the Lawrence, Kan. campus, he pointed out that he actually hasn't taken any visits as of yet - and that it was never something that was going to deter him from making a decision.

"I was always going to commit before the season started," he said. "I had a plan to commit early, but the relationship was there. We bonded early."

Part of what made Kansas attractive, in addition to the relationship he enjoyed with the coaching staff, was its recent shift to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Wilson said the coaches see him as an outside linebacker in the system, likely cut from a mold similar to that of current Jayhawks junior Toben Opurum.

With his decision made, he's hoping to get an official visit scheduled soon - likely during late September.

"They're a program on the rise," Wilson said, of his future college destination. "And I want to be a part of that."

Scout Football Top Stories