What Bai Jobe committing to Kansas football means for the Jayhawks next season

Michigan State linebacker Bai Jobe runs a drill during the opening day of MSU's football fall camp
Michigan State linebacker Bai Jobe runs a drill during the opening day of MSU's football fall camp / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Kansas football endured very few losses in the transfer portal cycle this offseason. Lance Leipold has made it known that the program is prioritizing player retention, and his coaching staff has managed to return several stars and key contributors. The portal has typically worked in favor of KU.

The Jayhawks avoided scares from Cobee Bryant and others, who were in the mix to transfer during the spring window. In the meantime, they grabbed several impressive talents, including former Michigan State EDGE Bai Jobe. He could be the most impactful addition to the team once he develops, and it will definitely mean a lot for Kansas in the long run.

Bai Jobe could replace Austin Booker as top Kansas football edge rusher

The Senegal native was ranked a consensus top-75 recruit in the Class of 2024. Jobe might not have played much during his freshman year, but he was someone highly regarded by recruiting analysts around the country. He still has four years of eligibility remaining after redshirting and will be key for the future.

Kansas had to fill a massive void when Austin Booker departed for the NFL Draft this year. Booker recorded eight sacks and earned All-Big 12 First Team honors in Lawrence. The coaching staff expects Jobe to help bridge that gap. He is another athletic freak off the edge with explosive pass-rushing moves and the tools to be a star player.  

Rushing the quarterback at a high level will be paramount this year. KU's defense often struggled to cover the pass in the high-flying Big 12 in 2023, but it was at its best when Booker was forcing ill-advised throws and disrupting action in the backfield. Jobe could realistically be as effective as Booker over time.

There are several potential replacements for Booker and Hayden Hatcher in KU's system. Additionally, Jereme Robinson, a DE who will graduate after this upcoming season, only has one year remaining. Auburn transfer Dylan Brooks will receive more snaps this year, and Youngstown State transfer Dylan Wudke should see work on early downs. Now, adding Jobe adds another dimension to the Jayhawks' pass rush moving forward.