Stowers all in with Kansas

It's no great secret the Kansas football program is in immediate need of help at defensive tackle. In mid-December, the position got a big boost when Milledgeville (GA) Georgia Military College prospect Keon Stowers committed to Head Coach Charlie Weis.

When Kansas head coach Charlie Weis visited Keon Stowers at his home in Georgia on Dec. 15, he didn't talk about football.

Well, At least not at first. Instead, before he uttered a word about the sport, he spent time talking with the big defensive tackle from Milledgeville (GA) Georgia Military College about things like character and education.

For Stowers, that pretty much sealed the deal.

"That just blew me away," he said. "I'm at a military school right now, and education and character is what we breathe. That's the type of coach I want to play for."

Stowers was originally recruited by the previous regime under former head coach Turner Gill. On the hunt for immediate help at defensive tackle, Gill and lead recruiter Reggie Mitchell worked him hard, and had him leaning toward the Jayhawks over offers from Indiana, Troy and others.

When Gill was let go following a season-ending loss to Missouri in late November, however, it shook things up a bit. The naming of Mitchell as interim head coach restored his confidence enough to take an official visit during the first weekend of December - and he was impressed by what he found in Lawrence, Kan.

"Lawrence is no different than the town I'm staying in right now," Stowers said. "It's not too big, not too small. The people there were great."

After Weis was named head coach Dec. 8, he had a very brief window in which to hit the recruiting trail before the start of another dead period. One of his first in-home visits was to Stowers.

That significance of that visit wasn't lost on him. Though he had gathered additional offers from Louisville and South Florida, with interest continuing to flood in, Weis was the only head coach to make the trip.

"That was a big statement, him coming to my house," Stowers said. "They only had a couple of days to actually go out and do it, and (Weis and Mitchell) actually coming in and making me one of their stops was real big for me."

He committed shortly thereafter, and is eager to get a jump on the next chapter of his collegiate career upon graduation in May. At 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, Stowers said Weis believed he would have no trouble gaining 15-20 pounds which, when combined with his speed and quickness, would make him an ideal three-technique on the defensive line.

Stowers will have three years of eligibility remaining.

"Once I give a coach my word, I ain't going back on it," he said. "I'm here to stay. I'm a Jayhawk now."


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