There has been a lot going on in the early stages of the 2014 recruiting season. Here is an update of what the local schools have accomplished to this point.
Gary Pinkel has already landed 10 verbal commitments to his 2014 recruiting class and none may be as heralded as potential future left tackle Paul Adams. Adams is just a three-star prospect according to many of the recruiting services but that does not mean he does not have a great deal of potential. The highly athletic Adams has proven on tape he can play at the next level, and if he can hit a small growth spurt and add some weight – his 6-6, 270 pound frame are considered generous measurements – he could end up being a huge steal for the Tiger program.
Adams represents a budding pipeline of Tennessee recruits for the Tigers. Three of Mizzou’s early commitments have come from the state, including wide receiver Thomas Richard of Nashville and defensive back Finis Stribling IV of Thompson’s Station.
Mizzou has yet to land a “marquee” recruit but this is already shaping up to be a Pinkel-patented recruiting class of low rated players with huge potential. Good coaching should help translate the athleticism that is on tape into high-end talent on the field. The question will still remain if this is a sustainable approach to win in the SEC, but it is good to see Pinkel playing to his strengths as opposed to being something that is out of character.
Who says Bill Snyder can’t recruit?
The national narrative about Kansas State is that Snyder finds these unknown prospects from the far corners of Kansas and turns them into great college players. While there is certainly truth in the story reporters like to tell, Snyder has also landed some very high end talent of late. Based on early indications that momentum isn’t going to slow down this year.
Snyder has already landed seven verbal commitments from players, four of whom are rated as a top 30 player at their position. Headliners include the third best offensive lineman, 13th best running back, and 20th ranked weakside defensive end.
Sam Sizelove, considered to be the 29th best inside linebacker in the country, is the most recent addition to the class. His 6-2, 230 pound frame makes the Argyle, Texas native a very intriguing future prospect of the Wildcats.
Don’t be surprised if in nine months we are talking about a top 20 recruiting class for the Wildcats.
I can count on one hand the amount of conference games Kansas has won over the last four years. In fact, I could have a serious accident that results in the loss of 50-percent of my fingers and I would still be able to count KU’s conference wins on one hand with a nub to spare.
Kansas is 2-32 in conference since 2009 and have lost 22 straight in conference. The last time Kansas won a game in the Big 12 (vs. Colorado) their coach was immediately fired. That tells you all you need to know about the state of KU football.
Which is why the early returns for KU’s recruiting class is quite intriguing. Kansas has landed two recruits so far in running back Treavohn Wrench and linebacker Kyron Watson, each of whom is ranked in the top 30 of their positions. Watson, who committed on the same day as some guy named “Andrew Wiggins,” spurned 10 other offers and canceled a visit to Michigan in order to commit to Kansas.
Why would a player choose a 2-32 team over Michigan and Missouri, you may ask? Who knows.
Charlie Weis was always considered a good recruiter even when his teams at Notre Dame were faltering. Kansas may not end up with a winning season any time soon but the chances of actually winning a conference game seem to be increasing by the day. This will be a very interesting class to follow as the recruiting season presses on.
In one last recruiting note, Kansas football has landed Miami (Ohio) transfer Nick Harwell. One of the top NFL wide receiver prospects for 2014, Harwell transfer to KU after getting into some trouble in Miami. No legal action is anticipated but it was enough for the team to allow him to leave. Kansas plans to file for a waiver for Harwell to be eligible for the 2013 season.
In his time at Miami (Ohio), Harwell caught 229 pass for 3,166 yards and 23 touchdowns. If he is declared eligible Harwell will pair with Oklahoma transfer Justin McCay as the two starting wide receivers.
Kansas wide receivers combined to catch zero touchdowns last season.