Kansas signing day spells improvement for defense

Kansas coach Charlie Weis went into signing day with 11 guaranteed commits and gained 14 more on Wednesday. The Jayhawks have 25 signees and one walk-on, giving them a total of 26 recruits.

Weis will work with his 18 junior college transfers, and he’s excited to see the players work together. With two defensive linemen and four defensive backs graduating from the 2012 squad, several starting spots on defense will be up for grabs. Kansas may see some of its junior college transfers start and have an effect on the team right away.

“You could have a whole bunch of starters coming out of that group,” Weis said. “I think that so many of those guys on defense are going to be playing. Personnel wise, the overall on defense is going to be dramatic. I think it’s going to be solid for years.”

Among the 26 recruits, defensive lineman Marquel Combs is the biggest name. Coming out of Pierce College, Combs is the No. 1 rated junior college prospect in the country by ESPN. Kansas also recruited defensive lineman Chris Martin from City College of San Francisco. Both Combs and Martin are tabbed as four-star players, according to Rivals.com and ESPN.

Although Weis is thrilled to have two high-rated players in Combs and Martin, player ratings are the last thing on his mind. He’s more eager to see all 26 of his recruits put on pads and helmets with a Jayhawk uniform on top.

“There’s so many of them,” Weis said. “It really wouldn’t do justice to single out anyone. Each and every one of these kids right here, I’m happy we have.”

The five defensive linemen and four defensive backs recruited are all junior college transfers. One of those includes returning junior cornerback Dexter McDonald, who played last year with Butler Community College. Weis sees McDonald’s second stint as a Jayhawk being a more memorable one with plenty of opportunities for him in 2013.

“I think he’s been humbled some,” Weis said. “He has a greater appreciation for where the program is right now and really believes that he can contribute both on and off the field.”

Weis said with this recruiting class, it allows the defense to work with quarter and dime packages after being limited last year with the defensive backs. Overall, Weis is hopeful that this recruiting class can improve the defense and help Kansas move into the right direction after winning only one game last season.

Kansas opens up its 15-practice spring schedule on March 5. The annual Spring Game will take place on April 13.

  • Updated Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:28 am
  • Edited by Kyle Crane