Last Saturday was pure insanity for Kansas football recruiting. A Junior Day loaded with well over a dozen talented recruits from across the nation descended upon Lawrence for what became a magical night for the program.
They finished the night with six big-time commits, but added a couple more in the days following.
Grandview Senior (Grandview, Missouri) High School defensive end Cartez Crook-Jones was the most recent to join what’s being referred to as “JayCrew18” Thursday.
“It was a big week,” Crook-Jones said. “I figured I was going to commit when they extended coach (David) Beaty’s contract, because I like coach Beaty a lot. I like the entire coaching staff.”
Crook-Jones said the Junior Day and subsequent mid-week visit was everything he could hope for.
“It just felt like home. You know how you go somewhere, and it just feels like you’re supposed to be there?” he asked. “It was that feeling.”
Though there was a ton of momentum and positive vibes as Junior Day came to a close last Saturday, Crook-Jones still had one last box to check off before he gave him commitment to the Jayhawks.
“My biggest thing was I couldn’t commit that night because I had to have my mom’s blessing over all of it,” he said.
So they took a trip Thursday to Lawrence together.
“She loves it, loves coach Beaty and all the staff and the university,” Crook-Jones said.
He said the KU staff loves his athleticism on the defensive line.
“They love that I’m an athletic pass rusher and I can get after the quarterback,” Crook-Jones said. “They compare me to the Dorance Armstrong.”
Crook-Jones picked the Jayhawks over offers and interest from the likes of Arkansas, Missouri, Florida State and Iowa State.
He is expecting to play both sides of the ball (defensive end and tight end) during his senior season at Grandview.
“I feel like I can anything on the field,” he said, adding that he likes playing defense more. “I like getting after the quarterback.”
He finished his junior campaign with 14.5 sacks.
“It helps being one of the fastest kids on the field,” Crook-Jones said. “It’s a natural feel.”
In addition to eating a few quarterbacks, Crook-Jones has a couple other senior-season goals.
“My goal is to put on some muscle weight so I can’t be bullied by the big dudes in the Big 12,” he said.