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Kansas State Football: 2023 Recruiting Update - Mid April

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Big things coming out of Wichita for the Wildcats.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 04 TaxAct Texas Bowl - Kansas State v LSU Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Recruiting is heating up again, and I’ve got some fun stuff to talk about. Before I moved to Manhattan, I only knew Wichita as the home of Jack Straw and tough linemen in need of a vacation. Then I learned that it’s also a place that Kansas State struggles to recruit football players, which is much less fun. That seems to changing under Chris Kleiman.

Note: Kleiman et al. snagged 4* LB Tobi Osunsanmi from Wichita’s East High School in the 2022 class, but that’s not much of a recruiting update.

Will Anciaux

First and foremost I want to apologize to Will. I’m going to misspell his last name a few dozen times over the next few years, 4 vowels in a row is brutal. Nothing personal Will.

Anciaux is a 6’6”, 225 pound 3* (5.6) tight end out of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School. Rivals considers him the 7th best player in Kansas for the 2023 class (I will be using Rivals instead of 24/7 for K-State from now on for...reasons). He plays both ways at Mt. Carmel, lining up at defensive end and tight end. He also plays basketball because sure, why not, just star in all the sports Will.

The Wildcats beat out perennial under-achieving programs like Iowa State and Nebraska for his services. He also had offers from Michigan State, Memphis, Minnesota, and Cal. It’s rumored that another team in Kansas offered him a scholarship, but I’m still trying to verify if they are currently considered a varsity college football team and this isn’t some sort of club football situation.

Highlights

The first highlight alone is worth a scholarship offer. If you’re wondering about the direction of the tight end position at K-State, it appears to involve more one handed catches and less run blocking. The K-State tight end of the (near) future is going to look less like an offensive lineman on a diet and more like a small forward. Anciaux and 2022 signees Brayden Loftin and Garrett Oakley, are all long, lanky athletes capable of winning 50/50 balls in the red zone and splitting 2-deep safeties for 6. They are basically big receivers that can chip edge rushers on occasion.

Recruiting Implications

This is a big pick up for the Wildcats. They want to do a better job of locking up talent in Kansas, and Anciaux is a talent. The new staff has cultivated some long standing in-state relationships, and those are starting to pay dividends. They’ve missed out on the the “elite” (at least according to the recruiting services) in-state prospects, but that might change this season.

After taking two tight ends in the last class, this should be a one tight end class. Arkansas nabbed the slightly higher rated Jaden Hamm out of Eudora, KS. K-State scooped up Anciaux who is by no means a conciliation prize. Great work by the coaching staff.


Wesley Fair

Fair, a much easier name to spell, is a 6’2”, 185 pound safety out of Collegiate High School in Wichita, KS. He is currently ranked as a 3* (5.5) prospect by rivals and the 12th best player in the state of Kansas. He’s a tough prospect to rate because he plays both quarterback and safety in high school. It will be interesting to see what happens, in terms of development, when he only has to focus on one side of the ball. Much like Will, he’s also a killer on the hardwood, and some guys have obviously cornered the market on talent while the rest of us shuffle along.

The Wildcats once again beat out the underperforming Iowa State Dust Storms, in addition to edging out football programs like Colorado State and Harvard. Kansas also offered Fair, but “football program” is a bit of stretch.

Highlights

It’s hard to get much actual “evaluation” out of a highlight reel, it’s especially when most of the clips of Wesley involve him playing quarterback. Personally, I like safeties with experience playing quarterback. Purdue did this a good bit under Joe Tiller and found good success (I’m sure other teams do this as well, but it’s the first example that came to mind). Knowing what the opposing quarterback is seeing has to be a benefit.

He’s a run-first quarterback (103 carries for 632 yards as a Jr.) and runs hard, shakes off tackles, and passes the Power 5 eye test in terms of athleticism. He’s the best athlete on his high school team and putting the ball in his hands on every play makes sense. It might take him a season or two to fully transition from offense to defense in college, but he’s clearly a developmental prospect with great raw skills to mold.

Recruiting Implications

He’s another high upside Kansas kid. You can’t get enough of those if you’re Chris Klieman. In terms of recruiting numbers, I don’t think an athlete like Fair changes the math in terms of safety recruiting. I would be surprised if they don’t go after at least one, if not two more safeties in this class. The coaching staff has made a living in the transfer portal recruiting defensive backs, but eventually (guessing here) they’ll want to put a few in-house developed kids in the back end of the defense.


Moving Forward

Dylan Edwards, a 3* all-purpose back out of Derby, KS is a top priority of K-State. He’s a pretty high priority of a bunch of programs, including Oklahoma. He has 21 offers, and will be cutting those down and making a decision soon. The Sooners appear to the competition, and that might be hard to overcome. He’s the type of highly sought after in-state recruit that Klieman has yet to land in his time in Manhattan. The Wildcats have plenty to sell to Edwards in terms of fit, but will that be enough to keep him away for a (self proclaimed) blue blood?

I hope so.

The other big priority is Avery Johnson, a 4* dual-threat quarterback out of Maize, KS. Again, he’s a pretty high priority for a lot of programs, with 21 offers from P5 teams across the country. K-State is in strong contention, but Arkansas has been a leader in his clubhouse, and he’s shown interest in Washington, Virginia, and even Oregon and Wisconsin. He seems content with taking his time in the recruiting process, but he’s a prospect that the K-State staff will be willing to be patient for.