Jayhawk Dispatch

The lowdown on the Kansas football recruiting class

The documents and paperwork began arriving before 7 a.m. The Kansas football staff had gathered inside the Anderson Family Football Complex on early Wednesday morning, snacking on bagels, coffee and orange juice as another national signing day beckoned.

By just after 10 a.m., Kansas coach David Beaty had received official paperwork from 16 recruits, the nucleus of Beaty’s first recruiting class at Kansas. In all, Kansas currently has 24 players in the fold for its 2015 recruiting class, including seven junior college players who signed in December and one high school player (receiver Chase Harrell) who graduated early and will be on campus for spring ball.

The Jayhawks, though, appear to have lost at least one member of their class. Juco defensive back Michael Mathis is no longer listed in the 2015 class after signing in December. Beaty will discuss his first Kansas class with the media at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. In the meantime, here’s a first look at the new Kansas class:

Early signees

D’Andre Banks; OL; 6-3; 325; Trinity Valley (Texas) CC

David Beaty says: "Very versatile offensive lineman who can play all five positions. He has a terrific work ethic and a maturity that should allow him to be able to come in and help us quickly."

Bazie Bates; DB; 6-1; 190; Trinity Valley (Texas) CC

David Beaty says: “Bazie possesses great size and length which was a need for us at the safety position. He is very aggressive in run fits and has terrific ball skills. He has a high degree of football intelligence and has great instincts on the field."

Jackie Dezir; DT; 6-3; 305; College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)

David Beaty says: “Jacky is a high intensity player with a great motor. He plays with good gap control and leverage as a defensive lineman. He is a great citizen who we are happy to have join our program."

Chase Harrell; WR; 6-4; 200; Hargrave HS (Huffman, Texas)

KU receivers coach Klint Kubiak says: “Chase is an extremely large human. He is imposing and has great length. He is a very physical, tough blocker which is something that is very hard to find at that position. He has great ball skills. He was one of the better players in Houston and in my opinion we got a steal.”

Ke’aun Kinner; RB; 5-9; 185; Navarro JC (Corsicana, Texas)

David Beaty says: "Ke'aun is a highly productive running back out of Navarro Junior College. He has great speed and explosiveness. He finishes runs in the end zone and is blessed with great vision. He has been extremely productive on the field."

Jayson Rhodes; OL; 6-4; 310; Blinn (Texas) CC

David Beaty says: "Jayson is another versatile guy who can play all of the interior spots on the offensive line, but is also quick enough to line up at tackle and help us there."

Will Smith; OL; 6-4; 315; Butler County CC (El Dorado, Kan.)

David Beaty says: "Will is a big, strong interior lineman. He demonstrates great movement at the point of attack. He has great hands and feet and is a local product who we are thrilled to have joining our program."

Brandon Stewart; DB; 6-0; 170; Trinity Valley (Texas) CC

David Beaty says: "Brandon is a very explosive, ball-hawking cornerback. He has outstanding cover skills and has shown a tremendous ability to support the edge in the run game."

Players who signed Wednesday

Dorance Armstrong; DE; 6-4; 220; North Shore HS (Galena Park, Texas)

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen says: “Dorance is a young man who we are excited about in terms of what he brings, especially for our needs on our defense. He is a true athletic defensive end with a good pass rush and range. He will be a young man who can have a huge impact on the program once he reaches his full potential.”

Shola Ayinde; DB; 6-0; 168; George Ranch HS (Richmond, Texas)

Co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry says: “I had him in camp and had him on my radar. He is a great kid and very explosive. I think his upside is years to come. I think he is still learning how to play cornerback and is raw. He is real fast, a 4.4 40-yard dash kid.”

Jeremiah Booker; WR; 6-3; 187; College Station (Texas) HS

Receivers coach Klint Kubiak says: “Jeremiah Booker has great size. He runs very well for a 6-foot-3 player. He has excellent ball skills and more than anything he is under the radar. He is from College Station, Texas — which doesn’t get recruited a whole lot. He has competed against the best in the state of Texas and succeeded against the best. We are very lucky to have him.”

Denzel Feaster; ATH; 6-3; 190; Manor (Texas) HS

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen says: “Denzel Feaster is a tall, rangy guy. He is one of those full-speed strike guys. When he comes downhill to tackle he doesn’t hit the brakes at all, he sticks his nose in there. He is new to the position, but shows a lot of potential to be one of the better safeties in the Big 12.”

Aaron Garza; OL; 6-2; 287; Sherman (Texas) HS

Offensive line coach Zach Yenser says: “He is a tough-nosed kid. He is a road-grader type of guy. He is big and strong. He loves the game. He has completely changed his body. He has lost a bunch of weight because it means something to him. He is smart, tough kid who just wants to get better. He is everything you look for in an offensive lineman.”

Taylor Martin; RB; 5-9; 187; Dunbar HS (Fort Worth, Texas)

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell says: “Taylor stands out because he has great breakaway speed. He has good vision and a lot of natural running ability. We are really looking forward to him joining our program.”

Clyde McCauley; OL; 6-5; 275; Bowie HS (Arlington, Texas)

Offensive line coach Zach Yenser says: “Clyde’s ceiling is so high. He is long and athletic. He has more of a tackle body. He is a tough kid and that is what we are looking for to play on the edge. We think he can do that with his athletic ability and physicality. He is tough and can get out and play in space.”

Tyrone Miller; DB; 6-0; 178; Saline HS (Saline, Mich.)

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell: “Tyrone is a very versatile athlete. He can play corner or safety. He has good cover skills and is an outstanding performer on special teams.”

Emmanuel Moore; WR; 6-0; 190; Northwest HS (Justin, Texas)

Receivers coach Klint Kubiak says: “He is a 6-foot-0, 200-pound wide receiver who runs like a running back after he catches the ball. He is a slot receiver who also does kick returns. He has the most strength of anyone in our class as far as the skill positions go. He is a very powerful guy and we are lucky to have him.”

Osaze Ogbebor; LB; 6-1; 215; Heritage HS (Frisco, Texas)

Defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux says: “Osaze is a 210-pound kid who runs the 100-meter dash in track. He doesn’t only run it, but he runs it well. He has great speed and plays with a physical toughness about him. He is a good tackler and a smart young man that has great upside to him. He is a perfect fit for the Big 12.”

Marnez Ogletree; DB; 5-10; 190; Fullerton College (Lawrenceville, Ga.)

Co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry says: “He is going to be the total package from a return guy to a defensive back. He was a junior college kid and already has a leg up on a lot of these guys and has played against a lot of athletic kids out in California. He has great speed and comes from a program in Atlanta that has put out some real good corners. He is a physical kid and knows how to tackle. He is already at 200-lbs and is real fast.”

Shaquille Richmond; DB; 6-0; 180; Timberview HS (Richmond, Texas)

Co-defensive coordinator Kenny Perry says: “He comes from a good program in Mansfield Timberview. He is a rangy corner and his upside is unbelievable. Right now he is about six-foot tall and 185-lbs. He is a physical kid with good ball-playing skills. I think he is going to be a contributor early for us on defense.”

Steven Sims; WR; 5-10; 165; Travis HS (Richmond, Texas)

Receivers coach Klint Kubiak says: “Steven Sims is a slot receiver who has probably the best shiftiness of any of the players in the city of Houston. He was a runner up for offensive player of the year in the city and there is a reason for that. He has great athletic ability and ball skills and you can’t tackle him in a phone booth.”

Carter Stanley; QB; 6-2; 188; Vero Beach High School (Fla.)

KU linebackers coach Kevin Kane says: “Carter is a great kid, who comes from a great family. He is very competitive and is kind of a late bloomer of sorts in terms of the starting quarterback role. He paid his dues and when he got the reins, he took it. We are very excited for what he can do to our offense. He is a big, tall kid, thick, and can run. He throws the ball well and will be able to create a lot of mismatches for defenses.”

Jace Sternberger; DE; 6-4; 225; Kingfisher (Okla.) HS

Special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Gary Hyman says: “He is 6-4, 220 pounds and very athletic. We want to get him the ball in space so that when he is flexed out away from the formation he creates a very tough match up for defenses in that he is bigger and more physical than a secondary player and he faster and more athletic than an outside backer. That, offensively, is very intriguing and we are excited to find ways to get him the ball. He is very physical so in the backfield when he is attached to the formation he is physical enough to kick out or seal in the run game which again creates an advantage for the offense.”

Ryan Willis; QB; 6-4; 201; Bishop Miege HS

KU offensive coordinator Rob Likens says: “Ryan is a very smart quarterback. I love the way he manages a game. I love the way he gets the ball out of his hand. He finds his matchups down the field and finds his open receivers. He knows where he is going to go with the ball before the ball is snapped. He is a good enough athlete to get himself out of trouble with his feet. I was very impressed with his ability to get the ball out of his hand to his best players as fast as possible.”

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rustindodd.

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