National Signing Day: Kansas State


National Signing Day is here, and we capitalize every word because Jug of Snyder realizes it’s become a national holiday as important to the American conscience as Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl. Be sure to check back with us at noon and regularly after that as this page will be providing live updates on K-State’s recruiting progress.

Just as an update, the following verbal commits have signed with other schools, and will be watching K-State play in BCS bowls through their dorm room televisions: LB De’Vondre Campbell (switch to Minnesota); DB Melvinson Hartfield (switch to Arkansas). Additionally, the team’s highest rated recruit – Jamone Boyd – turned himself in and is being charged with armed robbery stemming from a January incident wherein Boyd allegedly forced himself into an apartment and stole money from five occupants. Jug of Snyder will be providing more information regarding these and other stories as they become available.

Letters of intent that are signed, sealed, and delivered so far:

Chris Brown is a transfer from Scottsdale CC. He originally committed to Washington State but chose to sit out 2012 season due to coaching change (Mike Leach). While at Scottsdale his sophomore season he recorded 68 tackles – 13 for loss – and six sacks. Brown is a huge recruit (literally – he’s 6’4″ and weighs 345 pounds). This is exactly what K-State’s DT position needed.

Isaiah Williams comes to Kansas State from Dallas, TX as (yet another!) ILB – the #41 ranked in the country at the position. He selected the Wildcats over offers from SMU, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas State. Williams just recently completed his official visit on January 20, although he committed to the program in August of 2012. Williams is a little short for the position at 6’1”, but his 225 pound frame is a tackling machine. Williams also brings Arthur Brown’s ability to diagnose offenses and anticipate rather than react – allowing him to be exactly where he needs to be as the play unfolds.

Chance Allen is an offensive lineman from Klein Collins, TX, and figures to make a big impact at K-State – literally. The 6’5”, 300 pound player chose the Wildcats over offers from Kansas and Lamar, and is not ranked nationally. Although recruited to play, Allen’s lack of finesse in the footwork department may lead to a move inside at the guard position once he arrives on campus.

Ajhane Brager is a defensive tackle out of Magnolia, TX. Brager tips the scales at 280 pounds and measures 6’4”. He is ranked 127 nationwide at his position and is 249 of all Texas football recruits by ESPN.

Jesse Ertz is a traditional pocket passer out of Mediapolis, IA. ESPN ranks him as the 58 best quarterback in the nation. A knee injury kept the 6’2”, 171 pound Ertz out of the state championship game his senior year, but he should be healthy and ready to play his freshman year at K-State (although with the presence of Daniel Sams and Jake Waters, Ertz is extremely likely to don a redshirt his first year on campus). Ertz attended a small program (Mediapolis High School has about 300 students and plays in Iowa’s 2A division), and may need time to adjust to a faster tempo. However, he spent his high school career torching secondaries around the State and displayed tremendous accuracy throwing to the talent he was provided.

LeAndrew Gordon continues a trend of small, quick wide receivers to enter Bill Snyder’s system. Gordon is only 5’7” and 160 pounds, but ran a 4.3 40 yard dash his senior year of high school. Gordon attended Pantego Christian Academy in Arlington, TX, and selected Kansas State over an offer from Yale. ESPN’s recruiting service acknowledges tremendous yards after catch potential from the number 174 receiver in the nation.

Matthew McCrane is an important recruit, ranked as the number 43 kicker by ESPN. McCrane hails from Brownwood, TX, and selected K-State after watching the Wildcats beat Texas last fall. The Wildcats are in desperate need of a replacement for departing kicker Anthony Cantele, and have hopefully found their man who selected the Wildcats over Air Force, Arkansas State, Northwestern, and Oklahoma State.

Cre Moore was a highly recruited defensive back out of Broken Arrow, OK. The number ten player to come out of Oklahoma this year, Moore combines a 6’0”, 170 pound frame with a 4.51 40 time. He is an excellent zone coverage player with good drive and closing burst, and ESPN has denoted him as one of the most instinctual DBs in this year’s class. Moore is the number 63 ranked DB in the nation.

Sean Newlan is one of the most impressive athletes graduating in the State of Kansas this year, and comes to K-State by way of Phillipsburg. The 6’3”, 205 pound dual threat quarterback runs a rapid 4.5 second 40, but will need to improve his throwing ability if he hopes to assume a starting role in a couple years. Although Newlan missed half his senior year, he still managed to finish with eight rushing and seven passing touchdowns. A do-everything player, Newlan also handled punts, returned a kickoff and a punt, and had two interceptions his senior year. Newlan returned the two interceptions 70 yards, and one for a touchdown. Although he prefers to play the quarterback position, he could find himself another one of Snyder’s long line of players recruited to play quarterback but becoming stars at other (particularly defensive) positions.

Nick Ramirez was a big get from Lee’s Summit after initially committing elsewhere but switching to K-State last fall. At 6’2” and 235 pounds, Ramirez committed to Missouri over offers from Nebraska, Purdue, Colorado, and several other programs last spring but later decommitted. His December decision means K-State will welcome Missouri’s number three football recruit and number 11 inside linebacker in the nation, according to ESPN has identified excellent inside run support (shedding, strength at poing of attack) and outside run support (range, speed) abilities. It’s rare for ESPN to identify both traits in a linebacker, highlighting the combination of strength and speed that Ramirez brings to the position.

Dayton Valentine is an athlete from Baldwin City, KS with no set position. Valentine has agreed to attempt K-State as a greyshirt to develop another year. Although he doesn’t bring blazing speed to the position, he’s 6’4” and a damn strong 240 pounds. How strong? Valentine was the 4A champion in the shot put and discus – a notable achievement in its own right. However, his throw of over 55 feet in the shot put him at second all-time in the state at any level.

Valentine played tight end and defensive end in high school. He hauled in 16 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown while recording 45 solo tackles, four sacks, five tipped passes, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries his senior year. He passed up scholarship offers from track programs at Kentucky, Nebraska, Stanford, and other nationally acclaimed programs around the nation for the chance to play football for the Wildcats. His lack of speed may limit his potential on defensive, and will likely assume the tight end or fullback position.

Jordan Willis is a DE out of Kansas City, MO. Willis has good height (6’5”), but lacks the size (220 lbs) to do damage against the run – but has tremendous speed and gets after the quarterback. The sack machine was well-recruited with offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Northwestern, and USC. He was a late commit to the school – January 25 – but brings some serious talent at Missouri’s #21 player overall. ESPN ranks him as the #111 overall DE. If he can bulk up over the next two years, Willis has the potential to be a terror at the DE position as an upper classman.

Tanner Wood is another solid ILB recruit coming to K-State from Conway Springs, KS. The 6’5”, 240 recruit provides prototypical size at the position and has always known he wanted to be a Wildcat – Wood committed to the program all the way back in June, 2011. He is the #34 ILB according to ESPN, and is one of the surest tacklers the team has signed in recent years. Arthur Brown and company brought honor back to a K-State’s linebacker reputation that was among the most feared in the nation a decade ago, and it appears that a fierce battle will be waged to start for the corps in 2013.

Blake Baird – LB out of Silver Lake, KS. 3A Defensive player of the year. Recorded 15 sacks during prep career.

Brogan Barry – DB (the team needs them – secondary recruiting has been spotty this year). Played for Hayden out of Topeka, KS. During his senior year was named to the Topeka Capital-Journal’s All-City first team, as well as being an all-league and all-state pick.

Austin Butterfield  – TE owning the best name of K-State’s recruiting class so far. Coming from Aurora, CO, Butterfield caught 10 passes for 96 yards as a senior.

Randy Friesen – DE from Meade, KS. Led team to state championships in both 2010 and 2012. Was a first team all-state pick for Kansas 1A football.

Will Geary – DL from Topeka, KS, was named the 6A defensive player of the year. Also a back-to-back 6A state wrestling champion in the heavyweight division (beast!). Only six foot, but weighs 290 pounds and should provide some pressure up the middle for a class that’s sorely lacking it.

Judah Jones – WR from Shreveport, LA who originally signed with K-State out of high school in 2012 but postponed enrollment. Most successful during his junior year with 1,000 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns. During senior year had 43 receptions, 728 receiving yards, and six touchdowns. Can be utilized on special teams too, having averaged 24.0 yards on eight kick returns in 2011. Decent height at 6’1″.

Kip Keely – LB from LaCrosse, KS. Was named the 2-1A Defensive Player of the Year and selected to play in state Shrine Bowl. Played varsity all four years of high school, being named a  three-time All-district and All-league linebacker in grades 10-12 plus recognition as an all-league second team at linebacker during freshman year. Also defending state champion in the javelin.

Reid Najvar – OL from Spring, TX. Projects to play guard with good size (6’4″, 290 lbs), but somewhat lacking footwork. Was a first-team all-district pick his senior year.

Drew Scott – LS. That’s right boys, we got ourselves a longsnapper. The Cedar Rapids, IA product was able to connect on 67 of 67 snaps during his junior and senior years.

Matt Seiwert – ATH. Another player originally signing with K-State out of high school in 2012, Seiwert was a 2011 MaxPreps All-American. He was part of a Conway Springs 2011 3A State Championship and recorded four tackles, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery.

Cody Small – TE. Another player from the Houston area along with Navjar, Small demonstrated a lot of potential early and was named a Rising Star” in 2010 by at defensive end. Was unable to find success going forward at the position, transitioning to tight end. Has excellent size (6’4″, 247) for the position. Earned All-Houston area honors as a senior.

Trent Tanking – LB out of Holton, KS was named the 4A defensive player of the year (noticing a pattern here?). Tanking started varsity for three years, and was an all-4A pick at linebacker in 2010 and 2011.

Logan Thompson – LB from Segwick, KS. Played quarterback and linebacker in high school, throwing for over 2,900 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior. Named all-league as a junior and all-state 4A first team at linebacker in 2012.

Vernon Vaughn –  WR from Kansas City, KS (Sumner Academy). A three year starter, Vaughn was a First Team All-Kansas selection sophomore and junior seasons. He had 58 catches for 865 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, and graduated with 94 catches for 1,517 yards and 24 touchdowns. These numbers average to 16.1 yards per catch and one touchdown for every three catches. Also helped Sumner Academy basketball team to two state championships.