Kansas Lands In-State QB

Three-star quarterback Ryan Willis announced his decision to stay in-state and play for the Jayhawks on Friday. Scout discusses his choice and why it is was important for Charlie Weis and Kansas.

Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege quarterback Ryan Willis is rated as the fourth best player in the Sunflower State for the class of 2015. He's also listed on Scout as the country's 37th best signal caller and a three-star prospect.

Willis was one of the top performers at the Elite 11 quarterback competition in Chicago, along with fellow signal callers Tommy Stevens of Indianapolis and Drew Lock of Lee's Summit of the Kansas City area.

The Kansas star had offers from Illinois, Kansas State, Tulsa, and one from the Jayhawks. He was bound to land even more scholarships from a handful of FBS programs but chose to end his recruitment on Friday to announce his commitment to Charlie Weis and Kansas.

"Just verbally committed to play football at the University of Kansas," Willis tweeted Friday afternoon.

It's quite a coup for the Jayhawk coaching staff to keep the top five player in the state at home and land one of the best quarterback prospects in the Midlands. It may be one of the more important verbal pledges Charlie Weis has received since taking over in Lawrence.

The commitment of Willis is key in that he will be the cornerstone of the class and a very recognizable name that could pay dividends in the search for many other prospects, especially at the skill position.

It was also pivotal for the Jayhawks to keep Willis away from the in-state Wildcats, who had also offered and could be a springboard for Kansas to do more damage on the recruiting trail in the Sunflower State.

Two of the top three prospects in the state of Kansas have already committed elsewhere. Offensive lineman A.J. Harris gave his verbal pledge to Missouri, while Baldwin offensive lineman Christian Gaylord came off the board early for Nebraska.

The other recruit in the top three is tight end Josh Moore of Olathe who has hit the national scene and has his eye on several prominent programs such as Ohio State, Florida State, and Auburn.

With the top three prospects in Kansas headed elsewhere, it was readily apparent that the Jayhawks had to find a way to leave their mark on the state. Landing quarterback Ryan Willis does just that and now they will focus attention on other instate prospects like running back Alex Barnes, safety Darreon Jackson, and cornerback Denzel Goolsby.

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