Kansas Football 2018 Recruiting Class Overview

KU’s 2018 football recruiting class is really exciting. Despite the questionable results on the field, the coaching staff has worked really hard on the recruiting trail to improve the team.

The buzz surrounding this group is awesome. They even have their own hashtag, #JayCrew18. For those who don’t really know about this class, I’ll do a brief overview of the notable players in the class, the scouting report, and where I think they’ll end up signing. Before we get into it, I am not a recruiting expert. I’m just a KU football fan who likes to think that they know a lot about the game.

Miles Emery, DE

Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park, KS
6-5, 235 lbs
Rivals, ESPN, and Scout: 3 star

Emery was a huge get for the Jayhawks when he committed back in June. The second best recruit in the state, Emery had offers from Iowa State, Oklahoma, K-State, and Louisville as well as KU. His commitment was a sign that KU would be ready to take back recruiting in the state of Kansas from their midwest rivals. Emery should be a solid addition on the defensive front, and may very well be a day one starter and fill the void left by Dorance Armstrong Jr. when he will almost certainly declare for the NFL Draft. The thing that jumps out about Emery is his ability to use his hands to get separation from offensive tackles. At 6-5, he has the length to gain separation when extending his arms, and he uses his speed to get around lineman and get into the backfield. He has a similar physique to Armstrong, and having a player like Armstrong will certainly help out the Jayhawks next year.

Luc’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Kansas

I don’t see Emery decommitting from KU. He knows he’ll get a lot of snaps as a freshman, and he may even start. He is a solid recruit and one of the best recruits in the state, and there’s no reason for him to consider leaving the state. When you take into account that we have a young roster with room to improve, I can’t see him playing anywhere else next year.

Anthony Williams, RB

Hahnville High, Boutte, LA
5-9, 165 lbs
Rivals and Scout: 3 star
ESPN: 4 star

Two words describe Anthony Williams: SPEED DEMON. The guy has blazing speed. He returned kickoffs for his high school team, and countless times he ran straight through the middle and used his speed to outrun everyone. Williams has offers from UCLA, LSU, TCU, and Mississippi State among others. In his junior year, he had 2,220 yards and 35 touchdowns. He is a track star as well, and his reported 40 time was a ridiculous 4.54! With his game-breaking speed and his shiftiness as a runner, Williams is the definition of a home run threat. He isn’t just a speed back though, he has hands as well. At times during games for Hahnville, he lined up as a slot receiver. His ability to create mismatches in the passing game will really help him fit in with Doug Meacham’s air raid offense. Despite his small stature, Williams’ influence on a game is HUGE, and he has the potential to be the #1 back in the offense, and at the very least be a good big play running back on third down.

Luc’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Kansas

Most recruits, especially ones that aren’t high profile, don’t change their commitment. I don’t know a lot about the recruiting process for Williams, but the influence of Assistant Head Coach/RB Coach Tony Hull had a huge impact on his commitment in the first place. Hull has gone back to his old stomping grounds (he was a high school FB coach in Louisiana) and really put in work on the recruiting trail. Due to the familiarity with Hull, I can’t see Williams going anywhere else.

Corione Harris, CB

Landry-Walker High School, New Orleans, LA
6-0, 165 lbs
Rivals, ESPN, and Scout: 4 star

Normally, a guy like Corione Harris would be the big headline commit for a KU recruiting class. Unfortunately for Harris, JayCrew18 is a very talented group, and he’ll have to settle for being the second best player in this class (we’ll get to the best player next, don’t worry.), and I’m sure he’ll be just fine with that. Harris, along with most of the other recruits in the class so far, committed to the Jayhawks in February. Harris plays at Landry-Walker High School, and he is teammates with Josh Smith and Devonta Jason. Current KU standout Mike Lee graduated from Landry-Walker, and the success that Lee has had at KU no doubt influenced Harris’ decision to commit to Kansas. Harris is a big physical corner. He may not get the most interceptions, but he doesn’t allow touchdowns either. He’s able to play physical bump-and-run coverage and throw receivers off at the line of scrimmage. Another great attribute to Harris’ game is his closing speed. He’s able to cover a ton of ground when getting to the ball carrier. That helps when he’s able to shut down screen play in the backfield, or when he needs to close down on a running back crossing the line of scrimmage. Harris also has been deployed at safety at times, which shows his versatility and helps us out in a pinch if we ever have injury problems at the position. Pass defense has been a huge problem for the Jayhawks this season, and Harris could come in and help improve the team from day 1.

Luc’s Crystal Ball Prediction: LSU

It pains me to say this, it really does. But Corione Harris won’t be a Jayhawk when the next college football season starts. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said that he would sign with KU. But due to the recent stretch of poor results, and don’t forget the recent decommitment of QB prospect Clayton Tune, I don’t think he’ll want to stay and be a part of the losing. Sure, he’d be almost guaranteed a starting spot, but when you think about the lure that big, successful programs like LSU have to recruits, it will be too much for him to turn down.

Devonta Jason, WR

Landry-Walker High School, New Orleans, LA
6-3, 211 lbs
Rivals: 5 star
ESPN and Scout: 4 star

We saved the best for last. Devonta Jason is the crown jewel of this KU recruiting class so far. The fact that we were even able to get a recruit of his caliber to consider us is impressive, let alone to get him to verbally commit. That speaks volumes of how hard that Coach Beaty and his staff have worked on the recruiting trail, and it looks like a bright future is ahead for Kansas football, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. Anyways, back to the conversation about Devonta Jason. He is one of the best receivers in the country, and has offers from all of the big schools, like Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, TCU, and Oklahoma to name a few. The main reason that teams across the country are drooling over Jason is his ability to consistently win jump balls. Trying to guard Jason in the red zone is borderline impossible. His frame and his ability to keep possession of the ball in traffic makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs. He is a Quarterback’s best friend, because all you have to do is throw it up in the air near him, and he’ll come down with the ball. His body control and timing on those jump balls and red zone fade routes is picture perfect. Right now, we don’t really have a true red zone threat. Most of our receivers are quick, little, and shifty, but we need a change of pace receiver as well. Devonta Jason would give us that. He may not be that fastest receiver out there, but he consistently produces, and always seems to find the end zone. There just isn’t enough good things to say about him. Jason is by far the best recruit KU has had in a long time, and it will take everything and then some to keep a hold of him.

Luc’s Crystal Ball Prediction: LSU

Just like with Corione Harris, I don’t think that Devonta Jason will be playing in the Crimson and Blue next year. He has too many offers, and is visiting all sorts of schools. He knows he could pretty much walk into a starting spot at almost any team in the country. He actually just visited LSU when they played Auburn on October 14th. Obviously, since he is teammates with Corione Harris, there is some hope that those two will stay together with KU, but I see Jason staying in state with the Tigers. He’ll get more national exposure, work with a better coaching staff, and be in an amazing football environment. Memorial Stadium just doesn’t have the same atmosphere that Death Valley does. I think that Jason will ultimately be swayed heavily by the luster of playing for a large football program, and I think that next year, Devonta Jason will be playing in the Purple and Yellow of the LSU Tigers.

That was just a brief summary of some of the big recruits in the KU 2018 recruiting class so far. I obviously didn’t touch on all of the prospects, I just wanted to talk about the ones that I think will make the biggest impact for KU in the future. I’d love to hear your opinions on how the recruiting cycle will pan out. This recruiting class has the potential to change the dynamic of the entire KU football program that we’ve come to know in the last 7 or 8 years. The dark days of KU football may finally end in the next years.

Thanks for reading!
Luc Pourmirza, Future KU Student

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