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Jayhawk Football Recruiting Near Top of the Big 12 for 2024

NCAA Football: Kansas at Houston

The Kansas Jayhawks and head coach Lance Leipold continue building a football program with the hopes to keep it stable and sustainable for years to come. As the “dead period” for college football begins, a time when coaches aren’t allowed official in-person contact or on campus visits with recruits, Kansas is currently in the top 40 nationally and has the third-best 2024 recruiting class in the Big 12 behind only Texas Tech and West Virginia That’s a good start for next year’s class and the momentum continues to grow for Kansas football.

With the addition of the transfer portal, it’s going to be important for Leipold and the Jayhawks to find a balance between the portal and traditional recruiting. Leipold has been able to add a few plug-and-play starters during his time as head coach at Kansas, but the ability to recruit young players and build this team from the ground up seems like the best place to start while giving the program more stability as well.

 

It starts with bringing back a good foundation for the 2023 season. Kansas will return 91% of their offensive production, which is second-best nationally. 80% of their defensive production is returning, good enough for 10th best in the nation. In total, as long as everyone stays healthy between now and the beginning of the season, Kansas will return 17 starters on both offense and defense. This team is ready to make more noise in 2023 and continue to push the envelope in 2024 and beyond. That starts with this recruiting class and here is where the Jayhawks are at currently.

  • Quarterback: Isaiah Marshall, Michigan, three-star, committed February 2.
  • Running Backs: Red Martel, Oklahoma, three-star, committed November 8.
  • Harry Stewart III, Texas, three-star, committed June 13
  • Tight Ends: Carson Bruhn, Iowa, three-star, committed April 20.
  • Offensive Line: Kene Anene, Minnesota, unrated, committed June 18.
  • Carter Lavrusky, Arizona, three-star, committed June 26:
  • Harrison Utley, Oklahoma, three-star, committed June 11.
  • Linebackers: Jonathan Kamara, Arizona, three-star, committed May 28.
  • Jacorey Stewart, Georgia, three-star, committed June 11.
  • Defensive backs: Austin Alexander, Illinois, three-star, committed June 12.
  • Aundre Gibson, Arizona, three-star, committed March 5.
  • Damani Maxson, Texas, four-star, committed June 18.
  • Jalen Todd, Michigan, four-star, committed June 14.
 

However, the Jayhawks won’t finish there. KU’s top targets in the 2024 class are expected to make verbal commitments over the next month during this dead period. Some are going to make announcements as early as this week: linebacker Temerrick Johnson on Friday, Desert Edge (Ariz.) edge rusher Deshawn Warner on Saturday. Marsh, the wide receiver and potential top player of this KU class, is expected to make his decision on July 6th.

When a team like Kansas gets early recruits, that can help build momentum and potentially bring in other young recruits. We’ve already seen Leipold get high school teammates from Arizona and Michigan to commit to this class. There’s always an underlying recruiting within the high school ranks where players will talk to each other via social media or text messaging, and getting players on board early will only boost the chances of getting other higher-profile recruits along the way.

It’s always good to remember that no verbal commitment is set in stone until Signing Day. So the fact is anyone verbally committing in this class can be subject to change over the course of the next year. That being said, Kansas is in a great spot heading into the 2023-2024 season and beyond with the way Leipold is building this program. Between the highest recruiting class in over a decade, and returning players for this year’s Kansas team, the program now, and in the future, looks to be in good hands going forward.

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