With National Signing Day now within an "hours" countdown, things are starting to solidify within K-State's 2015 recruiting class. And with all lists of things, there comes a time when we can rank them by importance. So lets take a look the Top 5 recruits for the Wildcats in 2015.
Barnes may not be even the most talented RB/DB recruited in 2015, which speaks to the talent coming to Manhattan next fall. But he is already on campus for the spring semester, meaning he gets a huge head-start learning the playbook, getting his body D1 ready, getting used to school without the pressure of gamedays, and gets to participate in the spring practices that Hall-of-Fame HC Bill Snyder views so highly. Likely Barnes will end up on defense for the Wildcats, but he'll get an extra shot to see if he will be able to find a spot in a loaded RB corps. He's Top 5 for that talent/early arrival combo, plus being a huge in-state recruiting victory.
Zuber was the only purpose-recruited WR in the class, making him the first piece in the rebuilding process required on the outside for the Wildcats after the departures of Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton. Isaiah is only listed at 5'11" but appears to play bigger than his size, with good hands and some decent route-running. He won't win any speed battles, but he has the potential to see early playing time in the 4-deep rotation at WR making him a Top 5 recruit for K-State.
In a class full of steals and recruiting victories, this may be the biggest feather in the cap. While Darreyl is only ranked as a consensus 3-star, his importance is more about who the coaches stole him from than how he is rated by the services. And to be fair, his Hudl highlights show a young man who has the size and speed to step right in to a safety/nickle corner role or on offense at wide receiver. But Darreyl is an extra sweet recruitng victory because the coaching staff won a battle with Oklahoma, led by Mike Stoops, for his services. It's not every year that the OU coaches let a solid in-state prospect leave to a non-blue blood program (that's not related to said program, ala Tyler Lockett). So in Patterson not only do we get a solid player with lots of talent and potential, but we also get to rub it in Bobby and Mikey's face that we stole a kid they wanted. Win-Win, Top 5.
Delton is the only QB in this class, and was also the first commitment for the 2015 class. He has the look of a Snyder 1.0-type dual-threat QB, with blazing speed to burn defenders who over-pursue, and a decent arm that can get a ball deep down-field with some touch. He endured a coaching change in HS his senior year, thus deflating his stats, but he was an early hot-commodity on the recruiting map. Delton is another early-enrollee, and with the current status of the K-State QB corps could thrust himself into the back-up discussion with a productive spring (because you all know Hubes. will be starting, and no-way would Snyder let a freshman QB start). It was also no secret that the staff really wanted two QB's in this class, making Delton extra important in the depth chart. Top 5, because duh.
It's going to be very hard for the Wildcat fanbase to avoid putting this kid on a pedestal. He may not even play his true-freshman year because he needs to bulk up for D1 play. But Duke is a 4-star recruit for a reason, with blazing speed, high football IQ, and a lethal combination of coverage skills and tackling ability. He's the highest rated recruit for K-State by every service. He made the biggest news for K-State when he committed, and is leading a talented bunch of Georgians to Manhattan. And even if he doesn't play in 2015, he's going to be making a name for himself in the Lynch Mob secondary for several years to come. Think David Garrett, but bigger and faster (yikes). Yeah, Top 5, #1.
It's obviously going to be hard to judge the quality of what these young men will bring the Kansas State, and we are by no means fortune-tellers. But as far as this recruiting class is concerned, what it means to K-State right now, what it means for K-State in the future we can make a good judgment now. And all the young men who sign their NLI's tomorrow are going to be important for K-State, these five have the potential to mean the most in the future while meaning the most right now too.