National Signing Day 2015: A Look at Five Top Jayhawk JUCO Recruits


Nov 30, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks helmets sit on the field before the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Memorial Stadium. Kansas State won the game 31-10. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

College football’s National Signing Day 2015 is Wednesday, and the Kansas Jayahwks are ready to begin the David Beaty era.

As of now, KU is still at the bottom of the Big 12 Conference when it comes to computer rankings, but they have moved up four spots overall the past few days, inching closer to the Kansas State Wildcats.

The table below from 247Sports shows where the Jayhawks stand as of February 3.

Beaty landed 10 commitments less than two weeks after being named head coach in December, using his high school connections in Texas.

The former Texas A&M wide receivers’ coach was instrumental in landing a prospect over the weekend.

According to, Tyrone Miller, a 6-foot, 178-pound safety from Saline (Michigan) High, was impressed with Beaty. The three-star cornerback, who had offers from Wyoming, Central Michigan, and others, is ready to win now.

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“I like his vision of the future and I just can’t see him as a losing coach,” Miller told

Miller was one of three committs over the weekend for KU.

They also received word offensive lineman Clyde McCauley, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle from Bowie High in Arlington, Texas, and Denzel Feaster, a 6-3, 190-pound safety from Manor (Texas) High, would be coming to Lawrence next year.

McCauley is a three-star, and Feaster a two-star recruit, according to 247Sports.

I like his vision of the future and I just can’t see him as a losing coach — Kansas recruit Tyrone Miller on KU Head Coach David Beaty

Here is a link to 247Sports’ rankings of all the Jayhawk commits to date.

Now, a breakdown of the top-five ranked Jayhawk commits, all of whom come from the junior college ranks.

Once National Signing Day is complete, we’ll fill you in on all you need to know about the newest Jayhawks.

 Top-5 KU Football recruits — (according to 247Sports)

Ke’aun Kinner — RB — Navarro College, Corsicana, TX —  3-star

JC Rankings — National: 74; Position: 6; State: 8

Notes: Kinner is no stranger to big games. During his senior season at Little Elm (TX) High School, he ran for 2,929 yards, 28 touchdowns, and even returned a kickoff for a score.

At Navarro, Kinner was named the NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,696 yards and 22 touchdowns. The JUCO transfer also had a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa.

L.B. Bates— S — Trinity Valley CC, Athens, TX —  3-star

JC Rankings — National: 128; Position: 16; State: 13

Notes: The 6-foot cornerback at out Trinity Valley committed to the Jayhawks after turning down offers from Tulsa and Iowa St.

Kevin Flaherty of said the talented defensive back played mostly conerback at Trinity, but impressed Kansas while playing some safety.

“Bates could play either position at Kansas, though he might project best as an athletic free safety who could immediately pair with strong safety Isaiah Johnson,” Flaherty wrote on his website.

Michael Mathis — CB — Kilgore JC, Kilgore, TX —  3-star

JC Rankings — National: 139; Position: 15; State: 14

Notes: It was thought last year Mathis would be heading to the SEC to play at the University of Kentucky, but the Jayhawks were eventually his top choice.

According to Flaherty he had 43 tackles in 2013 at Kilgore, and grabbed four interceptions.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound cornerback, could flip to safety at Kansas as well Flaherty said.

Will Smith — OG — Butler CC, El Dorado, KS —  3-star

JC Rankings — National: 192; Position: 3; State: 31

Notes: Smith, a Kansas kid, put on 60 pounds after playing on the defensive line in high school according to Flaherty. He wrote that Smith could turn out to be the best player in Kansas’ 2015 class.

“Smith is a freakishly strong guard who should have a chance to start from the moment he hits campus,” Flaherty wrote. “One of the strongest players in the Butler program, Smith has since added the technique to match.”

Jayson Rhodes — OG — Blinn College, Brenham, TX —  2-star

JC Rankings — National: 209; Position: 6; State: 23

Notes: Rhodes, another former defensive lineman, has three years of eligibility after redshirting one season at Blinn. Flaherty praised Rhodes after switching positions.

“At guard, his athleticism was evident, as he showed the ability to pull and pick up smaller defenders on the move,” Flhaerty wrote. “He played well enough to pick up second-team all-conference honors. 

Take a look at some of the impressive highlights from Rhodes during his lone season at Blinn.

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Catching Up With Nigel King

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