LAWRENCE (TNS) — When David Beaty was introduced as Kansas’ new football coach on Dec. 8, he promised that his recruiting efforts would be focused on two specific areas: The home turf of Kansas and the fertile lands of Texas.
On Wednesday, the day midyear junior-college players could officially sign with college programs, Beaty landed players from both areas, with an added emphasis on Texas. The Jayhawks signed seven junior-college players, including a handful of players who had previously committed to former Kansas coach Charlie Weis.
Butler County offensive lineman Will Smith, a graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest, was the lone local product to sign on Wednesday, while running back Ke’aun Kinner of Navarro Junior College (Corsicana, Texas) led a group of five junior-college players from the state of Texas. The Jayhawks also signed defensive lineman Jacky Dezir of the College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn, Ill. Dezir was among the former Weis recruits.
Beaty and his staff also received official paperwork from D’Andre Banks, an offensive lineman from Trinity Valley Community College, and his junior-college teammate Bazie Bates IV, a defensive back.
Defensive back Michael Mathis of Kilgore (Texas) Junior College and Jayson Rhodes, an interior offensive lineman from Blinn College (Brenham, Texas) rounded out the seven-man class.
Kinner, who committed to Kansas earlier this week, rushed for 1,696 yards with 22 touchdowns in 2014. A 5-foot-9, 185-pound back, Kinner told Rivals.com that he also received offers from Oklahoma State and Georgia Southern and took an official visit to Iowa.
All seven players will be on campus in Lawrence for the second semester and will be able to participate in spring practice. The Jayhawks also have an additional 12 players who have verbally committed for the 2015 class. The official national signing day for high school players is Feb. 4.
Earlier in the week, KU also received a verbal commitment from Chase Harrell, a two-star receiver from Huffman, Texas.
Harrell, a 6-foot-4 receiver, also drew interest from Houston and Kentucky, according to Rivals.