The 2014 recruiting season is underway in football and soon will be in basketball, as well. Here is a one stop recap of the latest recruiting information we have on the three major colleges in the area.
Kansas football got off to a great start when they were able to land four star running back Traevohn Wrench. The Gardner, Kansas product gives Jayhawk fans some initial hope that Charlie Weis is beginning to turn around the program by recruiting well regarded high school athletes. Not often in the history of Kansas football have they been able to land prospect of Wrench’s caliber this early in the recruiting season.
The hope now becomes Weis can build on the momentum of the Wrench commitment with more quality high school signings. Some were skeptical about Weis’ decision to go junior college heavy with his 2013 class, a method that has proven unsustainable for most programs who are looking to be perennial bowl teams. But Kansas still is only a few months removed from a 1-11 season, and the Big 12 will be strong once again in 2013. There is still a lot of work to be done but the Wrench commitment is a good start.
Bill Self hopes to hear good news March 20, the day second ranked overall prospect Julius Randle is expected to make his announcement on which school he will attend. Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina State are KU’s competition.
Andrew Wiggins, who made an official visit to Kansas on Monday, has not set a day for when he will announce. Kentucky and Florida State have offered Wiggins.
The Wildcats had their own highly regarded running back commit to them this week. Blue Springs running back Dalvin Warmack, who led his high school team to a state title this past season, has given his verbal commitment to Kansas State. Warmack became the second junior in Kansas City history to win the Simone Award, an award given to the metro area’s high school player of the year.
Warmack is sometimes compared to former K-State great Darren Sproles because of his height, speed, and production. Warmack is listed as 5-9, 180 pounds (Sproles was listed at 5-7, 170 out of high schoool) but possesses excellent speed and strength. He scored 45 touchdowns in the last two years with Blue Springs.
Missouri has landed three recruits for the 2014 season already. The most notable is Darnell Green-Beckham, the younger brother of Dorial Green-Beckham. DGB the Younger is listed at 6-5, 175 and was said to have similar measurable to his older brother before being diagnosed with leukemia. He is healthy now and starting to produce for Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Missouri. This could end up being a huge get for Missouri if he can stay healthy – something we all hope happens.
The Tigers also got a commitment from Columbia native and Grant Jones. Jones is listed as an athlete. St. Louis running back Markel Smith has also said he will attend Missouri.
Gary Pinkel needs as much talent as he can get this season after bringing in one of the worst ranked recruiting classes in the SEC. How well those rankings reflect the actual talent hauled in by Pinkel is yet to be seen, but it does show the uphill battle Missouri has recruiting against other schools in the SEC.