University of Kansas

Kansas football hopes 20-man recruiting class helps fill many needs

Jayhawks head coach David Beaty welcomes a 20-man recruiting class after a 0-12 season.
Jayhawks head coach David Beaty welcomes a 20-man recruiting class after a 0-12 season. skeyser@kcstar.com

Before Kansas can turn the corner on its football program it has to reach the corner, see it in the distance.

David Beaty believes it’s in sight as he introduced the Jayhawks’ 2016 football recruiting class.

“You can accept the way things are or you can work to change them, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Beaty said. “Everybody is making sure we stay on the beaten path to get right where we need to be.”

That begins with a victory. Kansas didn’t get one last year, finishing 0-12. The class unveiled on Wednesday includes players who will help the Jayhawks immediately.

Beaty ran down the profiles of 20 newcomers, including several who are have already enrolled as transfers. A pair of defensive tackles stands out.

Isi Holani, originally from Hawaii, transferred from Riverside (Calif.) Community College. Beaty said former Kansas standout Chris Maumalanga helped steer Holani to Kansas.

DeeIsaac Davis, a Wichita product, arrived from Highland Community College.

“(Holani) and DeeIsaac have been fun to watch,” Beaty said. “You usually don’t see guys come in in shape and do what they’ve done. I’ve been impressed with these guys.”

Freshmen and Texans make up the bulk of the class, with 12 from the Lone Star State listed in the class. The highest rated by Rivals.com are three-star prospects Chris Hughes, an offensive lineman from Harker Heights, Texas, and Maciah Long, a linebacker from Houston.

The Jayhawks have to replenish the roster. They played with a scholarship count in the low 60s last season, mostly the product of a failed junior-college approach by former coach Charlie Weis.

“We had a lot of needs coming into this class,” Beaty said. “We continue to address those needs even when we have some challenging issues with the numbers that we have presented to us.”

The Jayhawks announced two quarterback signees, Tyriek Starks of New Orleans and Dagan Haehn of Corinth, Texas. Ryan Willis and Montell Cozart, who combined to make 11 of 12 starters, return, but Beaty said the competition is on.

“We are going to be in a continual evaluation phase here,” Beaty said. “The good news is, I mean, those guys, most of those guys, are athletic to do anything they can. If they're good enough players to help us, they're not going to be standing by me.”

The Jayhawks didn’t have much luck in state, signing two from Kansas. Besides Davis, defensive back Bryce Torneden of Free State High in Lawrence joined the program.

“It wasn’t for lack of trying,” Beaty said. “We worked our tails off at it with a bunch of guys in state. You know what, didn't work out. I'll tell you this, we were in it with a lot of guys. I think we made guys take pause and think that probably normally wouldn't have. That's a step forward. Particularly given the challenges that we had last year.”

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

Kansas’ 2016 football signings

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

School (hometown)

Shola Ayinde

CB

6-0

175

George Ranch HS (Richmond, Texas)

Isaiah Bean

DE

6-5

210

Summer Creek HS (Humble, Texas)

Keegan Brewer

WR

5-11

175

Lake Dallas HS (Corinth, Texas)

Julian Chandler

CB

6-0

170

Fort Bend Hightower HS (Fresno, Texas)

Deelsaac Davis

DT

6-3

290

Highland CC (Wichita)

Cam Durley

OL

6-6

275

Houston Christian HS (Sugar Land, Texas)

Evan Fairs

WR

6-3

182

Foster HS (Fulshear, Texas)

Antione Frazier

OL

6-5

250

Hargrave HS (Huffman, Texas)

Dagan Haehn

QB

6-2

210

Lake Dallas HS (Corinth, Texas)

Hunter Harris

OL

6-2

260

Aledo (Texas) HS

Khalil Herbert

RB

5-10

190

American Heritage HS (Tamarac, Fla.)

Isi Holani

DT

6-3

300

Riverside CC (Hilo, Hawaii)

Chris Hughes

OL

6-5

260

Harker Heights (Texas) HS

Lucas Jacobs

OL

6-2

295

Cabell Midland HS (Huntington, W.Va.)

Maciah Long

LB

6-2

245

North Shore HS (Houston)

Kyle Mayberry

CB

5-11

175

Booker T. Washington HS (Sperry, Okla.)

Ian Peterson

CB

5-11

180

Cedar Ridge HS (Round Rock, Texas)

Stephan Robinson

CB

5-11

173

NE Oklahoma A&M (Old, Okla.)

Tyriek Starks

QB

6-2

188

Warren Eastern Senior HS (New Orleans)

Bryce Torneden

S

5-10

190

Lawrence Free State HS

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