Piper High School senior fullback and defensive lineman Colton Beebe had one reaction when he walked into AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, on Wednesday to attend USA Football’s National Signing Day Breakfast.
“It’s huge,” he said by phone, with a laugh. “It’s awesome.”
Beebe, who signed with Minnesota, was one of 50 players invited to the event, which serves as a precursor to the 2015 International Bowl. The U.S. Under-19 National Team will play Canada at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the University of Texas-Arlington.
Beebe scored 13 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown for the Pirates during the season and racked up 152 tackles. He was also a first-team all-league punter. During his four years, Piper won 34 games, including eight in the playoffs. They finished their most recent season as a Kansas Class 4A Division I substate runner-up, losing in the semifinal to eventual champion Bishop Miege.
Beebe, a two-star recruit on Rivals.com, ultimately chose Minnesota over offers from Kansas, Air Force and Army.
“When I took my visit, I fell in love with the place, the coaching staff and the players there,” Beebe said. “It is the best fit for me.”
Miege QB sticks with Jayhawks
Although he played for only two years at Bishop Miege, quarterback Ryan Willis certainly made his mark.
Willis led the Stags to a 20-2 record, including an undefeated run to the Kansas Class 4A Division I state title in November, and finished his two years at Miege with 5,986 passing yards and 65 touchdowns. As a senior, he threw for 3,003 yards and 35 touchdowns and was selected the Eastern Kansas League’s Offensive Player of the Year.
He took another big step in his career Wednesday afternoon, when he signed with Kansas. He did it at a ceremony after school, with his parents at his side.
“It’s a relief, big time,” Willis said.
Willis, the No. 3 recruit in Kansas according to Rivals.com, committed last May and stayed loyal to the Jayhawks despite two coaching changes in the fall. He said new Jayhawks head coach David Beaty and assistant Rob Likens have been in contact with him almost daily.
Top prospect in Kansas picks MU
The last 10 months have all led up to National Signing Day for Blue Valley High School offensive lineman AJ Harris.
After winning a Kansas Class 5A state championship with the Blue Valley Tigers in November 2013, Harris announced his commitment in April 2014 to become a Tiger of another sort and play at Missouri.
On Wednesday, Harris made it official.
“It’s like a final weight lifted off my shoulders,” Harris said. “I’ve known since last April, so it is great to have it signed and all over with.”
Harris is listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and ranked as the top prospect in Kansas. He was a three-year starter at Blue Valley and a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented to the Kansas City area’s best big-class lineman or linebacker at the Simone Awards ceremony.