KU #1, KSU #2?

RB/FS Gary Chandler and Wichita Heights are off to a great start. The season's not over yet, and neither is the race between KU, KSU and some other big programs for Chandler's services next year.

It’s been a great early season for Gary Chandler and his new Wichita Heights teammates.  The running back and free safety has enjoyed a 5-0 start with his new school after playing for Wichita East last year.  It didn’t take long for Chandler to mesh with his new team and with the way they’ve played so far, Heights has turned into a really confident group.

“The confidence level of our team is very high right now,” Chandler boasted.  “We’re playing with a lot of intensity and working real hard.”

While Chandler’s main focus this fall has been keeping his Wichita Heights team undefeated, the senior star has also been keeping an eye on his favorite college teams.  The Kansas Jayhawks remain Chandler’s top choice, and this fall he has really liked what he’s seen of Mark Mangino’s team.

 “The team is doing good,” Chandler said. “Mangino is doing a lot of good things with the team that I like.  Defensively, I like their defense a lot.  I mean, they held Nebraska to just 14 points.  I think they’ve been getting better every game.  In 1995 they were real good and I think they’re getting back to that level.”

Regardless of how many wins Kansas racks up this year, Chandler says he’ll be a big fan. The Jayhawks believe in him enough to offer a scholarship, so Chandler is a big believer in KU. 

“Since they were the first one to offer, I really liked them for that,” admitted Chandler. “Plus, with the team doing good right now, it’s been fun to watch them.  No matter what their record is or anything, I’m going to like them though. They’re my number one.”

After the Jayhawks, Chandler also likes Kansas State, Florida and ArkansasTulsa appears to have dropped off his primary list.

“It did include Tulsa for a minute, but it’s probably just those first four now,” said Chandler.

So far, Kansas is still the only school to offer Chandler a scholarship, but he still thinks highly of his other contending schools.

“Kansas State is my number two.  They’re a great program and they’ve got a lot of television exposure.  Florida is a great school and a real good team and Arkansas is sort of like Kansas, in that they’re really starting to click.”

As far as visits go, Chandler has already been to Kansas on an unofficial trip, and plans to travel to Manhattan for another unofficial visit during the Kansas State / Oklahoma game.  Chandler’s trip to Lawrence set the bar pretty high after he had a blast taking in KU’s win over Tulsa.

“I went to a KU game, but I didn’t get to see the campus,” Chandler said.  “I went to the Tulsa game and loved it.  They played real good that game and put on a good show. I liked the field, the stadium, everything.  The whole atmosphere was great.”

As much as he’d love to come back to Lawrence this weekend, Chandler will likely have to listen to Saturday’s “Sunflower Showdown” game back home in Wichita.  The Wichita star did offer up a prediction on the game’s outcome, though.

“I’ve got a feeling that KU is going to pull it off.  I think they’re gonna sneak one in this year.”

As for Chandler’s upcoming matchup, Heights will battle Wichita South this week and Gary expects a good game.

”They’re a pretty good ball club,” Chandler explained.  “We should be in for a good game.  We just have to play hard and put the whole game – all four quarters – together and we should be able to pull out the win.”

Check back for more on this two-way talent from Wichita who expects to make his decision at season’s end.

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