News and notes from around the local colleges…
JOEL EMBIID FEATURED BY JASON KING
Jason King, now of Bleacher Report, has a really good feature of Kansas center Joel Embiid. Many of you already know that the Cameroon native didn’t start playing basketball until he was 16, and arrived in the United States only two years ago to start developing his game. What some of you may not know is the story of how he ended up in Kansas, his early struggles with Bill Self, or the time he may or may not have fought a lion.
He’s developed a fondness for chicken and can often be found at KFC or Jefferson’s, a popular Lawrence eatery where he orders the “atomic, double-dipped” chicken wings. A chocolate lover, Embiid has also discovered Nutella. It’s not unusual for Embiid to buy a bag of croissants, slice them in half and make Nutella sandwiches.
“I’ve seen him eat six in one sitting,” [Norm] Roberts said. “And he once ate 21 brownies with ice cream. I’ve never seen anyone eat like that.”
JUCO RECRUITING ENDS WITH KEY SIGNINGS
Kansas and Kansas State each landed three junior college signees during signing day this past week. Some of them were surprise last second commits.
The Wildcats have put together a very strong early recruiting-season class that includes some of the best high school players from around the Kansas City metro area. But as always, Bill Snyder has a few junior college guys sprinkled in. The first is three-star offensive tackle Luke Hayes, who committed to K-State back in October. He made his commitment official on Tuesday.
Defensive back Danzel McDaniel, a three-star kid from Dodge City, Kansas, visited campus in November and committed one month to the day later. He should add some depth to a secondary that is losing a lot of starters to graduation. McDaniel is also a December graduate, so he should be on campus for Spring practices.
Andre Davis visited campus last week and enjoyed it enough to sign with the Wildcats five days later. Davis is a speedy wide receiver from Santa Rosa, California, who is listed as 6-foot-1. It seems like it has been a while since K-State had a wide receiver who could run a 4.4 but was taller than 5-foot-10. Davis should be an impressive weapon for Snyder.
Kansas had a few surprise signings of their own, including one player who never visited Lawrence. Anthony Smithson, a three-star defensive back, never visited KU before he committed to the Jayhawks. Davis was set on going to Utah, which is where is brother played, before a coaching change by the Utes re-opened his recruitment. Connections with his juco coaches with KU and some conversations with Charlie Weis on the phone was enough to get Smithson to commit.
In addition to the Smithson commitment, Kansas landed another defensive back, Ronnie Davis, who also did not visit Lawrence officially. He committed two days before signing day.
For now, Davis is listed as a cornerback, but he and Smithson could be more useful to Kansas at safety where the Jayhawks were very leaky this past season. There’s a good amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball now for KU if they can find a way to limit big plays in the passing game.
KU also added two-star offensive lineman Keyon Haughton from Georgia Military academy. He visited after Thanksgiving and committed three days laster.