Here’s the breakdown of the 21 high-schoolers who became Kansas Jayhawks Wednesday:
Anthony Webb committed to Kansas early with teammate Xavier Rambo. Both started their early senior seasons looking for place to play football when their high school closed down. Once they enrolled at Dallas’ (Tex.) South Oak Cliff High School, Webb started where he left off as a junior, earning the school’s special teams player of the year award on his way to earning honorable mention all state honors. He was a first team all-state selection as a junior. Webb possesses all of the physical ability needed to play right away, from his size (6-foot, 175 pounds) to his quickness and agility. He excelled at both safety and cornerback at Wilmer Hutchins High School, but his hips and quick feet, along with Kansas’ need for cornerbacks, suggest that he will play the latter at Kansas.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT PLAYER
The first thing Mangino said about Tertavian Ingram was his size (6-0, 183). A minute later, he was talking about Ingram’s route-running skills. After that, it was on to his ability to make plays after the catch, and eventually his intelligence. In short, there’s not a whole lot not to like about the burner, who also runs a legitimate 4.4-second 40-yard dash. He originally committed to Purdue, and saw interest from West Virginia and Virginia, but Kansas will be his new home. It’s a good thing too - with a receiving corps that lost Mark Simmons and Charles Gordon - Ingram may be pressed into duty quickly.
Dakota Lewis may not be the most highly-rated of the class, but he brings all of the things a coach looks for in a future linebacker. He is a state champion power-lifter and ran a leg on the state’s best 4X100 team. In the classroom, he’s a National Honors Society student. Oh, and by the way, he’s actually a pretty good football player. He made a combined 487 tackles in three years on the Sulphur (Okla.) High School team, including 174 stops as a senior, when he earned all-state mention. So why wasn’t he more highly recruited? Lewis is listed at 6-1 and 205 pounds, and he may not be that big. Still, he makes up for it with his motor, and could be what James Holt was last year – a star special-teamer in the making as he puts on weight. Others such as Donte Bean and Ian Wolfe could have impacts after they redshirt, but are too highly-ranked to be considered sleepers.
Jeremy Terry was the closest thing to a surprise for Kansas on signing day, selecting the Jayhawks over several schools, including North Carolina State. The hard-hitting linebacker / safety from Belle Glade, Fla. also runs in the 4.6-second range, something the coaches hope he can keep as he’s bulked up into a linebacker. He’s currently 6-1, 190 pounds, and he may try to play at 210 to 220 pounds. He brings toughness and a nose for the ball to what could be a loaded linebacking corps in years to come.
THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY
Michael Crabtree, a star athlete out of powerhouse Dallas Carter High School, would have been a great fit in the Kansas offense with his quickness and dazzling ability in the open field. Instead, he’ll keep his game south, suiting up for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, another offense where he could thrive, turning short passes into highlight-reel big gains. Teammate Demarcus Love, a tall lineman with quick feet and a nasty streak, also would have been a nice addition.
OTHER PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR THIS YEAR
A couple of years ago, swiping Phillip Strozier from under Missouri would have been a huge recruiting coup. It’s lessened a bit with the addition of Anthony Webb, but make no mistake, Strozier is a player. He’s physical at the point of attack and has the burst necessary to make a good cornerback. With Kansas’ lack of depth at cornerback, it’s anybody’s guess who could play, and Strozier will get a shot.
The 5-11 Todd Reesing may not be tall, but he’s certainly garnered the attention of the Kansas coaching staff with his quick release, accuracy and poise. He also has the quick feet to avoid the rush, and Mangino said he would see his share of snaps in the spring. He accounted for more than 4,000 yards and 49 touchdowns as a senior. Also enrolling early was Olaitan Oguntodu, a versatile safety that could fit in either the free or strong safety spots. He’s a hard-hitter with 4.45 speed and could be utilized on special teams.
Tight end Bradley Dedeaux was one of the best tight ends in the Midwest and one of the top players in Oklahoma. He’ll bring his size (6-3, 240 pounds) and athleticism in a bid to play early. His best attributes are his non-stop motor and great hands.
Jake Sharp figures to see the field as a freshman, especially on special teams. Sharp put up Playstation numbers, setting a Kansas state record with 63 touchdowns as a senior, when he also earned EASports All-America honors. He has game-changing speed, and the toughness Mangino looks for in his running backs.
Jason Thompson has the long frame that Defensive Coordinator Bill Young covets at the defensive end position, and he carries 245 pounds with very little body fat. Strong, quick and alert, Thompson made 82 solo tackles while being named second team all state as a senior.