National Signing Day Takeaways: Kansas State


National Signing Day has come to a close, and Alabama has already claimed the next four national championships. They will be playing another SEC team during each of those four games. And K-State will be among the bottom half of the teams in country. This includes last place finishes in the Big 12. It must be true; I read it on ESPN. The truth is, K-State could have fared better today. It could have secured some better recruits in the days leading up to February sixth. But every year we’re subjected to listening about how this team plugged a couple holes with mediocre junior college players and didn’t get any good high school players. It’s recruiting class is ranked in the 60th range. Then we watch the Wildcats climb the rankings and visit exotic locations thanks to prestigious bowl selections. So stop listening to David Ubben and let The Jug give you the meat of today’s events:

The Good

This league demands good linebacker play. It’s crucial for teams to possess players capable of rushing quarterbacks, dropping into coverage, and stopping running backs that get to the second level. This team shined at the position, highlighted by Nick Ramirez from Lee’s Summit, MO. Although more likely to play at ILB, he can do either, and chose K-State over offers from Missouri, Nebraska, Purdue, Colorado, and several other programs.

Additionally, the team found an excellent player to push Daniel Sams at the quarterback position. JUCO transfer Jake Waters had already been signed before today, and looks to be among the best QBs coming out of the community college ranks and could make an immediate impact. Overall, the team takes on six junior college transfers and 26 high school athletes, including nine walk-ons. This is a departure from the typical mix of high schoolers and JUCO players, and will allow the team to develop these players for four years while getting immediate playing time out of them. And as noted on our Facebook page earlier, K-State hauled in the State’s 1-2A, 3A, 4A, and 6A defensive players of the year. Not that Kansas is the recruiting hotbed that is Texas, but that’s a pretty impressive stat.

The Bad

The team claimed 16 three star players and one four star according to ESPN. This is okay, but certainly overshadowed by TCU, Oklahoma, and even Kansas. Overall, the count was 12 defensive players and six offensive recruits. Aside from the quarterback position, there wasn’t much else to trumpet in the skill positions. WR LeAndrew Gordon runs a smoking 4.30 40, and a couple other receivers come to the team. Not a single running back. Lots of tight ends that will probably be featured in various roles. The team is more than set at RB for 2013 with John Hubert, but will need to make a push to fill this need next year.

The Ugly

Three recruits became personas non gratas on campus today. The first two were standout recruits that committed to K-State but inexplicably switched today. OLB De’Vondre Campbell was a likely starter from Hutchinson Community College that committed to K-State last summer, but when his LOI of intent went through the fax machine, it came out at the University of Minnesota. DB Melvinson Hartfield was a promising recruit out of Texas that announced a surprise visit to Fayetteville this past weekend after seeming to be in the bag for K-State. Something scared him from the team, and Hartfield will be attending Arkansas in the fall.

Additionally, the team’s highest rated recruit was an embarrassment. DE Jamone Boyd, who ESPN rated the number 298th player in the nation, was a four star prospect. Yet Boyd himself in yesterday and is being charged with five counts of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Boyd was already set to carry some heavy baggage, having been charged with resisting arrest and possessing marijuana after getting into a confrontation with a school resource officer in November. During the confrontation, a taser was deployed but did not penetrate Boyd’s heavy jacket. He fled, and the taser was used a second time once the officer caught up with him a second time. Boyd was also suspended for a game earlier in the season for undisclosed reasons. Missouri’s fourth best player originally planned to sign with K-State but recently opted to attend Butler Community College to get his grades up. However, the prospect of Boyd using his freshman year to improve his person before transferring to Manhattan has encountered a serious wrench.

The Takeaway

First of all, don’t listen to anyone trying to predict K-State’s future based on recruiting rankings. It’s important for Alabama, Florida, and LSU to get the most five-star players in the nation. Snyder has never recruited these players – who needs prima donas – but his teams have been pretty successful over the past twenty years. His targeting of large, tight end-type players has been interesting. It’s obvious he wants old school football players – good athletes that like to hit. Special teams at this school will remain outstanding. Quarterback play will stay among the best in the nation. There’s good size coming to the line on both sides and you can’t argue with the focus on defense. This recruiting class isn’t going to produce a lot of kids drafted in the NFL, but they’re system players that should rack up a lot of wins in their four years with K-State.