Three-star kicker Liam Jones said picking Kansas was a pretty easy decision.
“My head coach at my school at coach (David) Beaty are good friends. They run at satellite camp at my schools. Kansas partnered with some other schools,” he said. “There were only two-or-three kickers, so I got some training with coach DeForest. He was out there helping with the camp, so I got to kick with him.”
As it turns out, Jones heard from DeForest shortly after that camp.
“About two-to-three weeks later, I was on vacation with my family in Florida and coach DeForest called with the scholarship offer,” he said. “I was already super-amped about that. It was awesome. I wanted to make sure it was the right decision, so I thought about it a few weeks, spoke with my parents and family. Me and my dad drove up there. As I was getting on campus, I could feel it in my heart.
“They showed me around campus, showed me the academics and facilities. I fell in love and committed when I was there on that visit.”
He hasn’t taken an official visit to Lawrence, but has taken an unofficial
“I’ve toured a lot of campuses, but there’s nothing like the tradition at Kansas. I love the feel of the campus,” Jones said. “Being the kicker, you’re not at the top of the totem pole for attention or respect, but every coach is shaking my hand and looking me in the eyes. They tell me they can’t wait to have me on campus. Having a coach like coach DeForest, who has some pretty good experience.”
DeForest made a huge impact in Jones’ decision.
“He coached Dan Bailey, who is probably my hero,” Jones said. “He knows what he’s talking about. He looks forward to training me, and that’s important to me.”
Jones knows there will be a chance to earn playing time right off for the Jayhawks.
“Coach DeForest has told me the situation. There’s a guy who was the backup last year, and a walk on, so there will be two other guys in a competition,” he said. “He told me there will be two other kickers, but as long as I get better on the field every day I’ll be fine.
“He’s just going to let it be a competition. The best field goal kicker will do field goals. The best kick off guy will do kick offs. I’ll just do my best and go from there.”
Jones was 8-for-12 on field goals last season, with a long of 45 yards. Two of his misses were from 50+ yards. He led Oklahoma the last two years in kickoff yardage.
“I’m not the biggest guy on the field, but I’m pretty consistent,” Jones said. “I’ve always focused on putting points on the board. As I’ve gotten stronger the last two years, my kickoffs have gotten better.”
June can’t get here fast enough, Jones said.
“I’m just excited to get to work. I’m focused and ready,” he said. “I can’t wait to be a part of the program. This is what I’ve had in my head the last five years through all the hard work.”