Who has Les Miles been recruiting?

As the 2019 recruiting season winds down, a lot of 2020 recruits are tweeting about receiving a KU offer.

A few weeks ago, Scott Chasen of 247Sports remarked to me on Twitter that rumors of Les Miles’ waning dedication to the recruiting trail were absolutely, positively false. While that seemed pretty obvious with the commitment of Jayden Russell out of Overland Park, I thought it might be an enlightening exercise to see who KU coaches have been talking to since Miles was hired on Nov 19.

First, if you love KU football and you aren’t following KU Recruiting News @KUHawkRecruit then you are missing out.

Now, the raw numbers. According to 247Sports, Kansas has 198 offers out for the class of 2019. This obviously includes a bunch of guys who signed with other schools in December. Additionally, there are currently 93 outstanding offers for the 2020 class, but a bunch of those were from the previous coaching staff. Meanwhile, the 2021 class reportedly has 13 offers already, again, most from the previous regime.

The 2019 Class

Kansas has 11 recruits inked for 2019 so far. The Jayhawks are expected to add three or four more players in the “traditional” signing period; the next signing day is February 6. Due to the way the previous staff counted scholarships, Les Miles is believed to be limited to 15 for this signing period.

Here are the recruits for the 2019 class who have publicly commented (on Twitter) that they have received an offer from KU. All of these Tweets were sent AFTER Les Miles was introduced as KU’s football coach:

Obviously the four-star guys really stand out on this list and would be huge additions to this year’s recruiting class.

Velton Gardner, La’Vontae Shenault, Steven Parker, and Keeyon Stewart were (I believe) being recruiting to Texas Tech by new KU receivers coach Emmett Jones, hence their sudden interest in Kansas. 247Sports even has Steven Parker as a KU lean at this point.

At 5’9”, Velton Gardner is being recruiting by most schools as a running back. He is still verbally committed to Texas Tech but will be taking a Kansas visit before February 6.

Dylan Jordan is the top-rated linebacker in Kansas. It would be nice to see him come to Lawrence over Nebraska and especially KSU. Back in October it seemed like K-State was the favorite, but now he is supposedly a Nebraska lean.

The 2020 Class

25 recruits have already tweeted about receiving a KU offer since Nov 19. They are:

This list is an interesting mix of three and four-star recruits. The first thing I noticed were the number of Kansas players (5). The second thing I noticed were the number of Texas players (11). 16 of the 25 offers are Kansas or Texas kids. The third thing I noticed was almost all of these kids have multiple P5 offers.

The new staff is clearly using its connections to try to draw recruits. The best example of this is probably QB Robby Ashford, who is from Alabama and being heavily recruited by Auburn. He’s a consensus top-200 recruit who now may be considering Kansas (even if ever so briefly) because his lead recruiter at Auburn is now KU’s offensive coordinator.

Local four-star offensive lineman Turner Corcoran is a consensus top-75 player at this point, and may end up being a five-star recruit by the time this class signs. Getting him to stay in Lawrence would be a massive coup.

EDIT: Instead of updating my table above, I’ll just tell you that four-star QB Ken Seals of Weatherford, TX, just tweeted this morning about an offer from Chip Lindsey and Kansas. He appears to be a Vanderbilt lean but also has offers from Minnesota, NC State, and several G5 schools.

Obviously if this were NCAA ‘14, KU would be able to sign all of the four-star players and still have time to pick up some three-stars for depth. Those were the days…

The 2021 Class

The new Kansas staff is even getting some legwork in on the 2021 class, although so far just one recruit has tweeted about a KU offer since Nov 19:

Again, this is the work of Chip Lindsey, who was no doubt recruiting this kid for Auburn just a few weeks ago.

Final Thoughts

I think it’s obvious that Les Miles knows that in order to have success here they are going to have to find a quarterback. After all, Peyton freaking Bender just had the best statistical season since Todd Reesing! And, coaches aren’t being shy about going out and trying to get a really good one.

The lists I’ve provided likely do not contain all of the offers that this staff has made; not everyone is active on Twitter and yadda yadda yadda. But, the one thing that really stands out to me about all of these guys is that almost every single one of the names you see above has multiple P5 offers. That’s a big change from kids picking KU over Rice, Western Kentucky, and New Mexico.

Additionally, the number of PWO (preferred walk-ons) that Miles and staff are offering is incredible. At least, it’s incredible to me, but then, I don’t know what a typical number would be. I just know that while researching this I saw a LOT of PWO tweets. As far as walk-ons go, the staff appears to be focusing mostly on Kansas and KC area kids who were all-state or all-district, but who aren’t getting P5 or even D1 offers.

The question still remains: Can Les Miles recruit to Kansas? I think its safe to say he won’t be pulling in the multiple five-stars he did at LSU, but if he’s even moderately successful with these guys, football recruiting is about to see a huge uptick. He did pull a few surprising visits within just a couple weeks of getting here, and while he didn’t get any signing day surprises, just getting guys like Donte Starks on campus and tweeting about KU is a huge positive for this program.

Needless to say, the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes will go a long way in determining how we look back on the Les Miles era at Kansas. Color me cautiously optimistic at this point.

Source: Rock Chalk Talk