Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 marks the start of the second year for the new early signing period for college football. So with that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to bring you all up to speed on what we think we know headed into the early signing period.
If you don’t remember, or want a refresher on what the knew early period allows, 247Sports has put together an info-piece for anyone curious. Basically, starting on Wednesday, prospective student-athletes in the 2019 class will have 72 hours (until Friday evening) to sign their National Letter of Intent. If they don’t sign during that period, they will have to wait until the “traditional” signing day in February.
Also new this year, at least for K-State fans: K-State Athletics has announced a Signing Day press conference for Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm, where Chris Klieman will address the media for approximately 15 minutes, and then (this is the big new part) Director of Football Recruiting Taylor Braet will be available for a breakout session from approximately 3:45pm to 4:00pm.
So, lets take a look at where we think we are with the early part of Kansas State’s 2019 football recruiting class.
These are all guys who are, as of right now, verbally committed to K-State. That doesn’t mean that all of them will sign with K-State in the next few days, or ever, but there is a strong likelihood that all will choose the Cats, and nearly all will sign in the next few days.
- Chris Herron, QB, Langham Creek, Houston, TX, 6’1”, 194lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/4)
- Cooper Beebe, DT, Piper, Kansas City, KS, 6’3”, 318lbs (R/2, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Gavin Potter, LB, Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow, OK, 6’2”, 205lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Joe Ervin, RB, South Pointe, Rock Hill, SC, 5’10”, 178lbs (R/2, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Keenan Garber, WR, Lawrence Free State, Lawrence, KS, 5’11”, 171lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/4)
- Khalid Duke, LB, Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, GA, 6’4”, 220lbs (R/NR, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Khalil McClain, WR, Hutchinson CC, Hutchinson, KS (Valdosta, GA), 6’4”, 220lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Konner Fox, TE, Reagan, San Antonio, TX, 6’5”, 215lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Logan Wilson, DB, Bishop Dunne, Dallas, TX, 5’11”, 170lbs (R/2, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Trevor Stange, OL, Coppell, Coppell, TX, 6’4”, 260lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
- Ty Zentner, K/P, Butler County CC, El Dorado, KS (Tecumseh, KS), 6’2”, 185lbs (R/2, 247/2, ESPN/3)
- Yahweh Jeudy, LB, Cardinal Gibbons, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 6’2”, 215lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
The biggest names in this class so far are: Chris Herron, who is the highest-rated recruit in the class and a member of the ESPN Top 300; Keenan Garber, second-highest rated recruit and a big steal out of Lawrence; and Khalil McClain, an ESPN Top 50 JUCO player.
Nearly all these players committed before or during the coaching change (presumably all scholarship offers were upheld by new head coach Chris Klieman), and because of that there’s been a bit of tension regarding a push by some other schools on several of these guys. Notably, KU has pushed hard for McClain, Garber, and Gavin Potter, and Iowa for Yahweh Jeudy, but all are believed to still be leaning towards K-State.
So far, just one transfer for this year, and he is not a grad transfer so he’ll have to sit out the 2019 due to NCAA transfer rules. Expect to see a few more transfers announce before the signing day in February.
- Marcus Hayes, DB/KR, New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (Rockford, IL), 6’0”, 199lbs (HS=R/3, 247/3, ESPN/NR)
Hayes announced his intent to transfer via social media earlier in the week. Hayes was a part of the Lobos 2017 class and redshirt the 2017 before playing this season. Notably, he returned the first punt for a TD by a New Mexico player since 2002. Based on my understanding of the transfer rules, Hayes should not count against the 25 “initial counter” scholarship limit.
These are guys that may be leaning K-State’s way, and were the focus of the late push from Coach Klieman and Taylor Braet during the final weekend of contact before the dead period* started on Sunday.
- Clyde Price, RB/LB, North Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, 6’1”, 215lbs (R/2, 247/2, ESPN/NR)
- Gregory Brooks, DB, West Jefferson, Marrero, LA, 5’11”, 175lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/4)
- Jax Dineen, FB/LB, Lawrence Free State, Lawrence, KS, 5’11”, 230lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/NR)
- Tyjae Spears, RB, Ponchatoula, Ponchatoula, LA, 5’10”, 175lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/NR)
- Tyrone Lewis, DB, Hammond, Hammod, LA, 5’10”, 170lbs (R/3, 247/3, ESPN/3)
Price was the first offer made by Chris Klieman after he officially started recruiting for K-State. Price is listed as a linebacker by the services, but also plays running back, which is a position of desperate need for K-State. There is rumor of concern that Price may have trouble qualifying academically, but may still sign on Wednesday.
Brooks is a big of a longshot here. He’s verbally committed to Mississippi St., but there seems to be a general thought that his top two are actually Arkansas and K-State, with the Razorbacks slightly ahead right now. Coaches Klieman and Seiler, and Braet, were in-home with Brooks on Saturday.
Dineen is part of a KU legacy family, and his older brother Joe Dineen just graduated after a 5-year career with the Jayhawks that culminated in multiple All-Big 12 and All-American honors to end the 2018 season. There is rumor that new KU coach Les Miles has pulled Dineen’s scholarship offer and asked him to walk-on this year, and that has soured the relationship between both Dineen and Garber with the Jayhawks. Also, Dineen holds an offer from North Dakota State, and is said to have enjoyed his visit with Klieman when he was still head coach of the Bison.
Spears is also a bit of a longshot, and is currently still verbally committed to Tulane. Like Brooks, coaches Klieman and Seiler, and Braet, were in-home with on Saturday. Spears just picked up his K-State scholarship offer on Monday, and may wait until February to sign with any school.
Lewis is a bit of an unknown, and the recruiting services don’t seem to have a good read on what exactly he is thinking, other than that he is high on K-State.
- QB - 1
- RB - 1
- WR - 2
- TE - 1
- OL - 1
- DL - 1
- LB - 3
- DB - 1 (2 inc. transfer)
- K/P - 1
Total: 12 (13). This number does not include the greyshirts from the 2018 recruiting class.
The biggest area of need is, and has been, running back and the position is very light on bodies right now. As it stands, there is only one player on the roster with a scholarship, Mike McCoy, and there is significant concern that he may never play football again. That leaves just walk-ons Cornelius Ruff, Harry Trotter, and Michael Warmack (Dalvin’s little brother) for spring practice. Expect to see a strong push to find a JUCO running back (or two) or a grad transfer that can enroll in January.
There may be more guys that surprise on Wednesday (and through Friday), but expect to see a relatively small number for K-State compared to other schools. With the status of Bill Snyder uncertain for so long (and his insistence on down-playing recruiting during the season), added to getting a new coach so close to the end of the early period, it is going to be a class that will grow during the period between the first of the year and the start of the “traditional” signing day in February. If Klieman can get all the current verbal commits signed it will be a good start, and if he can get all those plus the “possible” list it will be a great end to 2018.
*Just to be clear on what this means, during the “dead period” visits to schools are not allowed and in-person contact is not allowed (the coaches and the prospect cannot meet face-to-face in any way). However, coaches are still allowed to make phone calls and communicate electronically (texts, emails, social media, etc.), so there is still recruiting happening, coaches just cannot travel out to home visits or meet with recruits on campus in any way. The NCAA also defines a “video call” as a regular phone call and not as “contact”, so a coach can, for example, still Facetime a recruit during the dead period (and, conceivably, “walk” them around the facility).