LAWRENCE — Kansas football signee Traevohn Wrench, an Eagle Top 11 running back at Gardner-Edgerton High, is set to enroll at Butler Community College after failing to qualify academically, Gardner-Edgerton coach Marvin Diener said Saturday.
Wrench, a consensus four-star recruit, was perhaps KU’s top recruit in the class of 2014. He was rated as Rivals’ second-best prospect in Kansas after finishing a prolific career at Gardner-Edgerton.
Wrench is expected to play this season at Butler. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be able to transfer to a four-year school after one season, or whether he’ll have to stay two years at Butler.
“Best-case scenario,” Diener said, “it will be a one-year thing.”
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Wrench rushed for 2,091 yards and 30 touchdowns during his senior season, following up a junior campaign in which he racked up 2,269 yards. A blend of solid size and blazing speed, Wrench was the rare elite talent who decided to stay close to home and attend Kansas.
He committed to KU in March 2013, bypassing offers from Kansas State, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, among others.
“The first tape I watched, he rushed for about 400 yards in a high school game,” Kansas coach Charlie Weis said on signing day. “(He) touches the ball, goes for 20. (He) touches the ball, goes for 50, touches the ball, goes for 70, touches the ball, goes for nine. Nine’s a bad run for him.”
Weis added some insurance at the running back position in the spring, signing junior college standout De’Andre Mann. The Jayhawks also return senior Brandon Bourbon, the presumptive starter, and Taylor Cox, who was granted a medical redshirt last season. Weis has also discussed using senior receiver Tony Pierson at running back in certain packages.
When asked at Big 12 media day about the prospect of Wrench playing as a freshman, Weis pushed the focus toward his veterans.
“Let’s just talk about experience,” Weis said. “First of all, let’s not say I could never put Tony Pierson back there, either. The kid’s been a running back his whole career. Now you got Brandon Bourbon who’s been waiting in the wings you got Taylor Cox, who is probably the toughest running back we’ve got, and De’Andre Mann did not come here to sit. He came here to beat those guys out.”
STAFF DEPARTURE: Former KU receivers coach Rob Ianello has left the KU football staff for good, a KU official confirmed. Ianello, who also served as an assistant under Weis at Notre Dame, was re-assigned to the title of “director of research” in February. Ten days later, Weis hired former Washington assistant Eric Kiesau to coach receivers.