If there’s a rush to lock up talent early in the NCAA, you can count on an equally strong push to rank that talent. And with a total of five verbal commits in its 2014 recruiting class, K-State’s haul is currently ranked 26th in the nation following the decision of DE C.J. Reese earlier this week. A brief look at these five:
Robert Castaneda (OT), 6’5″ & 318 lbs out of of Round Rock, TX: Castaneda is a big junior, and will be a bigger senior. A three star recruit, he could anchor the left tackle spot for multiple years in Manhattan.
Elijah Lee (DE), 6’3″ & 210 lbs out of Blue Springs, MO: Lee was actually the second player from Blue Springs to commit to K-State after his teammate Dalvin Warmack. He is the #23 DE in the nation.
C.J. Reese (DE), 6’4″ & 260 lbs out of San Ant0nio, TX: Reese was the Wildcats’ latest get and has shown great strength with a bench press of 365. Read more about his decision here.
Dalton Risner (OG), 6’4″ & 285 lbs out of Wiggins, CO: Risner is the #12 guard in the country and had a wealth of offers including Arizona St., Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming. A three star, he is considered a strong candidate to earn an even higher ranking his senior season.
Dalvin Warmack (RB), 5’9″ & 180 lbs out of Blue Springs, MO: The first to commit to K-State from Blue Springs, Rivals ranks him the #9 all-purpose back in the country.
Reese is a two star player, while the other four are all three star athletes. What’s impressive here is not merely the value of players, but the critical needs being met. DE is one of the team’s biggest questions going into 2013, but Lee and Reese promise to bring some long-term stability to the position. Part of the reason for Klein and Hubert combining for such a devastating rushing attack is what I considered the best offensive line in the Big 12. With Castaneda and Risner, the team is targeting two more athletes to help control the trenches. And Warmack looks to be the next breakout scatback following in the footsteps of Darren Sproles and Hubert.
As expected, Texas is the highest ranked team in the Big 12 and is the early #1 in the nation with 15 early commitments. Oklahoma is #18 and TCU is #20. Trailing K-State are #33 Baylor, #37 Texas Tech, #44 Iowa State, #45 Oklahoma State, #54 Kansas, and #57 West Virginia. No verbal commitment is binding, a lot of time is still on the table, and players can always surprise (both good and bad ways) their senior years. However, K-State was considered extremely late to the recruiting party this year and it’s nice to see some early work being done for the next class.
So readers – what’s the next position Bill Snyder needs to fill for the class of 2014?