LAWRENCE — Just last month, Kansas coach Charlie Weis was still putting the finishing touches on a surprisingly deep 2013 recruiting class. On Saturday, Weis received news that could signal more recruiting hope in 2014.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
Traevohn Wrench, a standout junior running back at Gardner Edgerton, offered his oral commitment to Kansas on Saturday while taking an unofficial visit to campus.
Wrench, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, is a four-star recruit with the potential to get even better, according to his high school coach, Marvin Diener. After two monster seasons at Gardner Edgerton, Wrench received scholarship offers from Missouri, Kansas State, Nebraska and Iowa, according to Rivals.com. But Wrench, who developed a strong relationship with Kansas running backs coach Reggie Mitchell and the Jayhawks’ main Kansas City area recruiter, Tim Grunhard, was ready to say yes before taking in a KU basketball game on Saturday.
“(The Jayhawks) were one of the very first (to offer),” Diener said. “They were in the lead the whole time.”
Wrench can’t officially sign until next year. So that leaves plenty of time for more schools to swoop in and make their pitch. Still, Kansas can offer Wrench something no one else can — a chance to play his home games just 35 miles from his hometown. And if Kansas can hold on, as is expected, the Jayhawks would gain one of the more promising running backs to come out of the area in the last five to 10 years.
Wrench had 2,269 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior after rushing for more than 2,400 yards as a sophomore.
“I think his potential is still huge,” said Diener, who coached former KU running back Jake Sharp at Salina Central and had former Simone Award-winning quarterback Bubba Starling at Gardner Edgerton.
Diener said Wrench’s speed was comparable to that of Sharp and Starling. And Wrench possesses the frame that should allow him to play at 210 or 215 pounds in a couple of years.
“He will still be fast for the game when he plays on Saturday afternoon,” Diener said. “And unless you’re Saturday-fast, you have no chance, but he is. And along with that, he has the ability of reading blocks.
“And he’ll get to play in his own backyard.”