Stevens Chooses Kansas

Montclair (N.J.) High defensive end Austin Stevens liked Kansas for a while, and Thursday he acted on it by committing to the Jayhawks. Before he hit the practice field, he spoke with about the decision.

A scheduling snafu kept Austin Stevens from visiting Kansas earlier this month, but it didn't keep the Montclair (N.J.) High defensive end from committing.

Jawhawks coach Charlie Weis continued to reach into his native state for talent, and the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Stevens is the third product from the Garden State to commit in three years.

"Kansas is everything I want in a school," Stevens said. "Obviously, coach Weis is outstanding. You look at his resume and it's outstanding, but the biggest thing with me is I want to do me. I want to get away from New Jersey. I want to get to a place where no one has done anything from this area I want to make a name for myself, by myself."

Stevens has two sacks in a season-opening win against North Bergen High, and is looking forward to playing in Kansas' defensive scheme. The only yet-to-be-answered question is how Stevens will like Lawrence, since he is yet to travel there.

However, with former Piscataway (N.J.) High defensive back Tevin Shaw and Holmdel (N.J.) St. John Vianney receiver Ishmael Hyman at Kansas, there will be some Jersey familiarity for him.

But Stevens' biggest thing is making a name for himself in another region, and in a place Jerseyans don't often go to play college football.

"It's a little self motivation," Stevens said. "It's something I always wanted to do. It's something that's going to motivate me, and that is going to motivate me more to keep working."

Stevens, who can also play fullback, is heading to Kansas as a defensive end, and he's anxious to get started.

"I fit into their defense to a ‘T,' " he said. "I have a chance to play early and all this played into my decision. I'm sure once I get out there I'm going to love it. Everything went well in my decision, and that's why I made it."

Stevens chose the Jayhawks over Boston College and Temple.

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