This week should be an exciting time for the Kansas State Wildcats football program with the first-ever early signing period for football kicking off this Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 and closing on Friday, December 22nd, 2017 (you can read a full primer from Alex Kirshner at the mothership for more details on the new period).
The Wildcats don’t have a full class yet, currently sitting with 13 verbal commitments (plus a few greyshirts from 2017’s recruiting class that will count this year), and there doesn’t appear to be much expectation that Bill Snyder and his staff will attempt to try to have all their scholarship slots filled for the early period.
Some Big 12 schools, like West Virginia and Texas Tech, have full or nearly-full classes already, but both Kansas schools are sitting at the bottom of the Big 12 in total number. The next closest in number is Iowa State, and and the Cyclones are nearing in on the 20-man mark while the Wildcats only have a baker’s dozen to-date.
So let’s take a quick look at who has pledged for the Wildcats prior to the early signing period.
- Ekow Boye-Dow - 6’0” 170lb DB/ATH, Lawrence, KS (Lawrence) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Shane Cherry - 6’5” 300lb OL, Grandview, MO (Grandview) - 2-star (Rivals)/NR (247, ESPN)
- Cartez Crook-Jones - 6’4” 230lb DE, Grandview, MO (Grandview) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Christian Duffie - 6’4” 305lb OL, Houston, TX (Summer Creek) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- John Holcombe - 6’4” 230lb QB, Humble, TX (Summer Creek) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Wayne Jones III - 6’0” 190lb DB, Owasso, OK (Owasso) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- JaQuavious Lane - 5’11” 170lb WR, Loganville, GA (Grayson) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Kaitori Leveston - 6’5” 290lb OL, Waco, TX (Midway) - 3-star (247, ESPN)/2-star (Rivals)
- Darreyl Patterson - 6’1” 185lb DB, Lawton, OK (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC) - 3-star (Rivals, 247)/NR (ESPN)
- Jaylen Pickle - 6’5” 260lb DT, Cimarron, KS (Cimarron) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Lance Robinson - 5’10” 180lb DB, New Orleans, LA (De La Salle) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- E.J. Thomas - 6’1” 170lb DB, Atlanta, GA (Carver) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- Spencer Trussell - 6’3” 215lb DE, Arlington, TX (Martin) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
- EJ Turner - 6’0” 180lb WR/ATH, Cartersville, GA (Catersville) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
The recruiting lists don’t include guys like Sammy Wheeler and Aidan Mills, who were announced as part of the 2017 class, but “greyshirted” and will sign as part of the 2018 class.
We have two sets of high school teammates headed to Manhattan, as Summer Creek HS in Houston, TX and Grandview HS in Grandview, MO are each sending a pair to become Wildcats. The pair from Houston also includes the Wildcats current overall top-rated recruit, Christian Duffie, who grade puts him first or second on K-State’s list from every recruiting service.
So far, the 2018 class only includes one junior college transfer, defensive back Darreyl Patterson, who originally committed to K-State out of high school in 2015 (he’ll have two years to play two seasons).
As it breaks down right now, K-State has: five DB recruits (three CB’s and two safeties, according to the services); three OL recruits; three DL recruits (one DT and two DE’s); one wide receiver, and one QB.
Update: EJ Turner announced his commitment to K-State minutes after this initial story posted and has now been updated to reflect that announcement.
Some other names to watch out for:
Justin Birdsong - 5’11” 175lb DB, Stone Mountain, GA (Stephenson) - 3-star (Rivals, 247)/NR (ESPN)
Birdsong has held a K-State offer since last spring, but has not made any movement on commitment to any school that has offered. He may be a recruit that waits until the “regular” period opens in February to sign with any school.
Dayven Coleman - 6’2” 200lb LB, Mesquite, TX (West Mesquite) - 3-Star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
Coleman holds offers from K-State, Arizona, Illinois, and Colorado, among many others, and has visited all four in the last month and a half. K-State shot up his list after his early December visit, but K-State will still have a tough fight to pull him away from Illinois or Arizona.
Vernon Dasher - 6’3” 215lb LB, Coffeyville CC - NR (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
The Wildcat coaching staff is in a tight recruiting battle over Dasher with Ole Miss. Dasher visited K-State two weekends ago, coming away impressed, and visited Ole Miss last weekend (with similar results). He was named Jayhawk League Defensive Player of the Year this season. He’ll be a signing-day decision and he’ll have 3 years to play two seasons.
Will Honas - 6’2” 225lb LB, Butler County CC - 4-star (ESPN)/3-star (Rivals, 247)
Honas, a Wichita native, visited K-State at the beginning of December, but has since also visited Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa appears to be the favorite at the moment, but K-State has been on Honas for a while (one of very few schools to recruit him out of high school) and his brother is already a student at K-State. Honas is the #1 rated JUCO linebacker by ESPN, and would easily be the overall highest-rated recruit for K-State. He’ll have 3 years to play two seasons.
Derick Newton - 6’1” 265lb DE, Douglas, GA (Coffee) - NR (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
Newton took an official visit to Manhattan last weekend. K-State is the highest-profile school to offer him, and the Wildcats appear to be very high on his list.
Jacoby Simpson - 6’1” 225lb LB, Houston, TX (Aldine MacArthur) - 3-star (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
Simpson was originally committed to Arizona State, but after visiting K-State earlier this month, and getting an in-home visit from K-State LB’s coach Blake Seiler, Simpson officially de-committed from Arizona State and re-opened his recruitment. He also holds offers from Arkansas and Louisville, among several others.
Cooper Smith - 6’6” 320lb OL, Oklahoma City, OK (Putnam City West) - 2-star (Rivals)/NR (247, ESPN)
Smith has held a K-State offer since last spring, but, according to the services, hasn’t gotten a second offer from anywhere else, though he has received interest from some other regional schools. Smith seems like a perfect greyshirt candidate.
Luke Sowa - 6’3” 245lb FB/TE, Butler County CC - NR (Rivals, 247, ESPN)
Sowa became a UConn Huskie out of high school, but after two seasons playing linebacker (including a redshirt campaign), he left and headed west to El Dorado, KS for a year at Butler County where he moved to offense. He was originally committed in this cycle to Bowling Green, but re-opened his recruitment after visiting K-State last weekend and is said to be very high on the Cats. Interestingly, his late addition to the recruiting rolls may indicate that All-Big 12 FB Winston Dimel may be headed out of Manhattan (either to turn pro, or join his dad in El Paso). He’ll have 2 years to play two seasons.
As always, there could be more, or different, names added (or, we hope not, removed) in the next few days, or over the course of the next two months between the close of the early period and the opening of the regular period.