Kansas football fans everywhere needed some hope. The type of hope that would give them a reason to show up on Saturdays.
So what was at the top of their Christmas wish list? A strong and loaded early signing day, even if everyone was telling them “your team will still only win 1 game next year.”
They got their wish, but will it be enough to make a splash next year? Let’s break it down.
• Charles Cole (6-3, 280; DT; Butler Community College)
• Foster Dixson (6-4, 250; DE; West Los Angeles C.C.)
• Elmore Hempstead Jr. (5-11, 175; CB; Fort Scott C.C.)
• Elijah Jones (6-1, 175; CB; Ellsworth C.C.)
• Azur Kamara (6-4, 225; DE; Arizona Western College)
• Jeremiah McCullough (6-0, 205; S; Hartnell College)
• Stephon Robinson (5-10, 170; WR; El Camino C.C.)
• Najee Stevens-McKenzie (6-3, 225; DE; ASA College)
• Davon Ferguson (5-10, 190; S; Hartnell College)
• Corione Harris (6-1, 170; CB; Landry-Walker High)
• Anthony “Pooka” Williams (5-10, 170; RB; Hahnville High)
• Nick Williams (6-8, 265; OL; Ritenour High)
• Mac Copeland (6-4, 245; OL; Wichita Collegiate)
• Jacobi Lott (6-4, 309; OL; Tascosa High)
• Mavin Saunders (6-5, 256; TE; Florida State)
At first glance, this is a nice looking class. And at second glance, it’s still a nice looking class.
We have a lot of help on the defensive end that can play immediately with the JUCO recruit additions and a 4 Star CB Coe Harris. How important is that? Well, our defense finished the season 129th in points against, 108th in defense efficiency, and 127th in turnover margin.
Also, we landed a big time RB prospect in Pooka Williams who reminds me of Tony Pierson, but better. Yes, I said better.
Kansas finished 124th in rushing so Pooka will be making an immediate impact as well.
On top of those recruits, they picked up a few solid OL prospects that look to help them in the future.
Not too shabby, right?
I have to be honest, I’m unexpectedly impressed.
But before I drag your unwilling minds back into the reality of Kansas football, let’s soak this all in, because what I have for you next will not be as encouraging.
Here we go….
So, the question remains; Will KU still only win 1 game next year? Unfortunately, it still seems likely.
But with such a good early signing day, how is this possible?
I’ll tell you how.
Kansas is returning most of their starters that earned them a 1-11 season, good enough for last in the Big 12 and darn near last in FBS. Even more, they finished near last in every statistical category except for punt attempts per game, where they finished 1st.
Many people would argue that returning your starters is always a good thing and will lead to a better year. Those people also aren’t KU fans.
All but one of KU’s opponents next year have beat them in the last 5 years and by double digits. And all of those teams will have returned a large amount of their starters, just as Kansas.
Also, Nicholls State, their lone FCS opponent is returning most of their starters, including most of their defensive and offensive production from an 8-4 season.
When people say “Kansas will still only win 1 game next year” I’m asking, “where’s that one game?”.
And if we dig a little deeper into the future, 9 of the 15 early 2018 signees are JUCO recruits. One of them has three years of eligibility while the other 8 have two years. This means our 2019 senior class is going to be rather large. By my estimate, 25-30. Not good for the future.
So, this bright class doesn’t seem to bring a bright future for KU football does it?
My message to KU fans everywhere, be careful what you wish for. And even more important, be careful with your expectations.
You may want a BB gun, but you may shoot your eye out with it.
Just as Beaty could have the number one class in the nation and still finish last in the Big 12.