Late Signee at Linebacker

The Jayhawk football squad added an impact middle linebacker to their 2004 recruiting class this past weekend. Heralded Joe Mortenson will come to Kansas as a true freshmen this Summer and immediately compete for playing time at the already solid middle linebacker position.

The Concord, California product is confident he made the right decision in signing late with Kansas. "I feel real good about it." Mortenson verbally committed to Nebraska when former head coach Frank Solich was leading the program.

The story takes a negative turn here. The 6'2" 235 pounder was supposed to sign with the Huskers on national signing day. However, the new Nebraska coaching staff informed Mortenson on signing day that they did not have room for his services.

"I'm over it. I might have red shirted at Nebraska. At Kansas, I'll have a chance to play right away and make contributions for four years."

The 235 pound middle linebacker has great speed for his size, he runs the 40 yard dash in 4.58 seconds. Mortenson describes what he does best on the field.

"My speed laterally is good. I'm quick from side to side, but I know how to catch people from behind." Mortenson recorded a school record 171 tackles and 13 sacks during his senior season on the gridiron.

Give credit to KU linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Dave Doeren for luring Mortenson to KU.

"I really clicked with Coach Doeren."

Mortenson took a visit to Lawrence this past weekend at liked what he saw in more ways than one.

"It was nice. The campus is beautiful and the stadium is awesome. It's a huge college town, and the university is prestigious." The Kansas coaches discovered on signing day that linebacker Brouce Mompremier changed his mind after orally committing to KU. The talented Miami native elected to stay close to home and play for South Florida. The addition of Mortenson to Mark Mangino's squad eliminates the disappointment of losing Mompremier. Top Stories