The latest in Kansas football and basketball recruiting news
By Nick Ratliff
First of all, the biggest and most important news to the Kansas basketball program is that soon-to-be four star center Joel Embiid from Gainesville, Fla. cut his list of schools down to three and the Jayhawks made the cut. Joining the Jayhawks on Embiid’s final list are the Florida Gators and Texas Longhorns. On Thursday, it was reported that coaches from all three finalists were going to visit Embiid at his school to check in. Joe Dooley is the representative for Kansas. All week the buzz around the recruiting rumor mill has shifted from the hometown Gators being the leader for “JoJo” to Kansas now being the frontrunner for the 7’0” center. This is believed to be the case because Embiid’s mentor, former UCLA and current Milwaukee Bucks player Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, is pushing Embiid towards Kansas because of the certainty of much more immediate playing time. Florida will be very crowded in the frontcourt next year, and with senior center Jeff Withey graduating after this season that leaves some minutes in the frontcourt for Embiid. Embiid is expected to make his announcement at a ceremony at his school on November 15th and will sign his National Letter of Intent to whichever school he picks immediately after.
Also on the basketball front, the string of class reclassifications continued, potentially to Kansas’ benefit. On Monday, previous class 2014 big man Dakari Johnson from Montverde, Fla. reclassified to the class of 2013. Johnson was a top ten ranked player in the class of 2014, and will certainly still be highly coveted in the class of 2013. Johnson is a traditional, old school back-to-the-basket post player and a tenacious rebounder at 6’10” and 265 lbs. Johnson’s strength and rebounding would certainly be highly coveted in Bill Self’s system if they happen to miss out on Joel Embiid.
Lastly, some football recruiting news. Head Coach Charlie Weis and his staff have scheduled two more official visits in the past week. Kansas will host a visit from Iowa Western Community College safety Isaiah Johnson, whom they also offered a scholarship this week, on Dec. 7. KU will also host defensive end Desmond Hollin from ASA College in Brooklyn, New York on January 18th. Kansas is up against the likes of Wyoming, UCLA and Arizona State for Johnson’s services and will recruit against Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Marshall, Purdue and others for Hollin.
That’s it for the Recruiting Trail this week. Check back next week for the Basketball Fall Signing Period wrap up blog.