Kansas football: Signing day approaches for impressive 2024 recruiting class

Missouri State v Kansas
Missouri State v Kansas / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

The future of Kansas football has never been brighter.

The team has improved its win total each year under head coach Lance Leipold, they are one week away from appearing in their second consecutive bowl game for the first time since 2008, and they a great crop of talent returning next year to help compete for the program’s first Big 12 championship.

Adding to that exciting future is the bevy of high school prospects in the incoming 2024 recruiting class – many of whom can make their commitments official this week by signing their national letters of intent (NLI) during the NCAA’s Early Signing Period which occurs Wednesday, Dec. 20, through Friday, Dec. 22.

KU has a talented group of incoming freshmen set to join the program with a class currently ranked No. 50 in the country, according to Rivals.

Headlining this year’s class is a quartet of talented, four-star prospects in defensive back Austin Alexander, defensive back Jalen Todd, defensive end Deshawn Warner, and linebacker Dakyus Brinkley – all of whom held offers from some of the best programs in the country.

This year’s recruiting class also features talented, dual-threat quarterback Isaiah Marshall, teammate of Jalen Todd.

Rated as a three-star prospect out of Southfield, Michigan, Marshall recently led his team to a state championship over Belleville – which was on a 38-game winning streak and has the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the 2025 class in quarterback Bryce Underwood. He had 280 passing yards, 130 rushing yards, and 3 total touchdowns in the win.

Marshall looks like the perfect understudy to quarterback Jalon Daniels, who has already announced his plans to return to Kansas next year. And once Daniels moves on from Lawrence, Marshall should be ready to step in as signal caller and as the leader of this team.

Surprisingly, the Jayhawks have zero commitments from any of the top-ranked players in Kansas .

That marks the second time under Leipold that KU has failed to secure any of the top-ranked players in the sunflower state – something that should change as the staff builds more connections with local high schools and as the program continues to show improvement.

KU’s 2024 recruiting class currently has 16 high school prospects committed to play next season. That number could change between now and the spring as current KU players decide whether to test the NFL waters or perhaps transfer after the team’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl game on Dec. 26.

The NCAA’s NLI Regular Signing Period opens Feb. 7 through April 1, 2024, during which KU could add to their 2024 class if needed. It’s possible that KU could also add more players through the transfer portal – depending on what the roster number looks like heading into next year.

It’s unclear how many of the 16 committed prospects plan to sign during the early period this week, but the staff deserves credit for retaining the commitments of this talented group up until this point, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t secure their commitments by getting the majority of them (if not all) to sign their NLIs this week.

Recruiting is a year-long battle, and with NIL and the transfer portal playing a bigger role than ever, it’s become an even more challenging one for coaching staffs across the country.

Leipold and his assistants have done a great job of retaining talent from this year’s team and securing a talented group of high school prospects to keep the program competitive for years to come.