Kansas Football Signs 20

Feb. 6, 2008

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Seven linemen, the national junior college offensive player of the year and a highly-touted Kansas quarterback highlight the 2008 Kansas football recruiting class announced by KU Head Coach Mark Mangino Wednesday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“We are pleased with our class overall,” Mangino said. “We have been able to meet some immediate needs and some long-range needs.”

Kansas signed 16 high school players, three junior college transfers and one major college transfer.

“We feel strongly about our transfer players, who should make an impact very soon,” Mangino said.

Among those transfers is Jocques Crawford, who led the National Junior College Athletic Association in rushing with 1,935 yards and was that division’s offensive player of the year as a sophomore last season. Crawford ran for 19 touchdowns while playing at Cisco (Texas) Junior College.

The signing class includes seven players from the state of Texas, four from Kansas and two from Missouri. KU signed one player each from the states of Nebraska, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and Oklahoma, along with a native Australian.

The four players from the state of Kansas include McPherson tight end Tanner Hawkinson, Wichita North defensive tackle Darius Parish, Dodge City quarterback Kale Pick, and Rossville defensive end Duane Zlatnik.

Kansas signed four offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

“We have been able to sign offensive and defensive linemen in this class who possess not only size and power, but great quickness and athleticism,” Mangino said.

Four of the players are already on campus – junior college transfers Nathan D’Cunha and Rod Harris, and high school players Pick and Nick Plato.

2008 Kansas Football Signees

Name Pos Ht Wt Yr Exp Hometown (Previous School)

Tim Biere TE 6-4 240 Fr. HS Omaha, Neb. (Westside HS)

Greg Brown DB 5-11 164 Fr. HS Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)

Jocques Crawford RB 6-1 230 Jr. JC Memphis, Tenn. (Cordova HS/Cisco JC)

Nathan D’Cunha OL 6-6 307 Jr. JC Campbelltown, NSW, Australia

(St. Gregory’s/Santa Barbara CC)

Rod Harris, Jr. WR 6-2 200 So. JC Bryan, Texas (Bryan HS/Blinn JC)

Tanner Hawkinson TE 6-6 245 Fr. HS McPherson, Kan. (McPherson HS)

Ben Lueken OL 6-6 300 Fr. HS St. Louis, Mo. (Chaminade HS)

Trevor Marrongelli OL 6-4 285 Fr. HS Rolling Rock, Texas (Westwood HS)

D.J. Marshall DE 6-4 230 Fr. HS Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite HS)

Darius Parish DT 6-4 325 Fr. HS Wichita, Kan. (North HS)

Daymond Patterson WR 5-9 175 Fr. HS Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)

Kale Pick QB 6-2 200 Fr. HS Dodge City, Kan. (Dodge City HS)

Nick Plato TE 6-6 228 Fr. HS Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville HS)

Corrigan Powell DB 5-10 161 Fr. HS Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS)

Sean Ransburg Ath. 6-1 195 Fr. HS Harrisonville, Mo. (Harrisonville HS)

Josh Richardson OLB 6-4 200 Fr. HS Dublin, Ohio (Scioto HS)

Alonso Rojas P 6-3 220 So. TR Miami, Fla. (Killian HS/Bowling Green)

Lubbock Smith DB 5-11 190 Fr. HS Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)

John Williams OL 6-4 335 Fr. HS Tulsa, Okla. (Washington HS)

Duane Zlatnik DE 6-4 260 Fr. HS Rossville, Kan. (Rossville HS)

Pronunciation Guide

Tim Biere Beer-ee

Jocques Crawford Jock

Nathan D’Cunha Deh-coon-uh

Ben Lueken Loo-kin

Trevor Marrongelli Mare-in-jelly

Darius Parish Dare-e-us

2008 Kansas Football Signees Bios

Tim Biere

TE, 6-4, 240, Fr., HS

Omaha, Neb. (Westside HS)

Last name is pronounced beer-ee… Was a first-team all-Super State selection in 2007… Was an All-State defensive back by the Omaha World Herald… Also earned All-Metro honors… Was a Nike CampMVP… As a senior he was second on the team in tackles with 96… Had three interceptions on defense… On the offensive side of the ball, he had 21 catches, including four for touchdowns… As a junior he had 29 catches for 456 yards and nine touchdowns and recorded 70 tackles, including 16 for loss… For his career, he pulled in 50 passes for 759 yards and 13 touchdowns… Defensively, he had 166 tackles and three interceptions… Also lettered in basketball and baseball… Earned second-team All-State honors in baseball as a junior… Football team was state runner-up his junior year… Baseball team won state title in 2006.

Greg Brown

DB, 5-11, 164, Fr., HS

Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)

Was an All-District First-Team cornerback as a senior… A Rivals.com Texas top 100 player… Recorded 35 tackles, three interceptions and 19 passes broken up… As a junior he had 28 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up… Team won the state championship… Also competes in track.

Jocques Crawford

RB, 6-1, 230, Jr., JC

Memphis, Tenn. (Cordova HS/Cisco JC)

First name is pronounced Jock… Named junior college offensive player of the year by the NJCAA as a sophomore in 2007… Was a NJCAA and JC Gridwire First-Team All-American… Rushed for a national junior college-leading 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns on 283 attempts as a sophomore… His 19 touchdowns were second in the nation and his 118 points were third… His 1,935 yards were the most by a NJCAA running back since 2000… Rushed for 328 yards and three touchdowns against TrinityValley… Had five 200-yard rushing games as a sophomore… Had 1,069 yards and eight touchdowns on 225 carries as a freshman… Earned All-Conference First-Team honors as a freshman… Rushed for 1,381 yards and 19 touchdowns as a prep junior… Lettered in track, basketball and football in high school.

Nathan D’Cunha

OL, 6-6, 307, Jr., JC

Campbelltown, NSW, Australia (St. Gregory’s/Santa Barbara CC)

Last name is pronounced deh-coon-uh… Enrolled at Kansas in January… Was an All-Conference Second-Team selection as a freshman… Also served as a team captain… Was a member of the 2005 Australian national team… Played basketball in high school as well.

Rod Harris, Jr.

WR, 6-2, 200, So., JC

Bryan, Texas (Bryan HS/Blinn JC)

Spent just one season in junior college… Recorded 23 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns in 2007… Was an All-Valley and All-District selection as both a high school junior and senior… One of Dave Campbell’s top 25 wide receivers in the state of Texas… Also lettered in track in high school… Was a state qualifier in the high jump… Father Rod, Sr., played football at Texas A&M and then in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as well as in the Canadian Football League… Uncle Darren Lewis played at Texas A&M and then with the Chicago Bears.

Tanner Hawkinson

TE, 6-6, 245, Fr., HS

McPherson, Kan. (McPherson HS)

Was an all-state selection as a defensive lineman his senior year… Earned All-State First-Team honors as a tight end as a junior… Selected to the Kansas Shrine Bowl team after his senior year… Was named the conference offensive MVP his senior year… Recorded 30 catches for 500 yards and five touchdowns as a senior… As a prep junior he had 24 receptions for 363 yards and nine touchdowns… Defensively, he made 30 tackles, including two sacks… Also plays basketball and was an All-League Second-Team selection as a junior… Grandfather, mother, two brothers and one sister attended Kansas.

Ben Lueken

OL, 6-6, 300, Fr., HS

St. Louis, Mo. (Chaminade HS)

Last name is pronounced Loo-kin… Named All-State First-Team as a senior… Was an All-Conference selection for three straight years… Earned All-Metro First-Team recognition as a senior… Was an All-Metro Second-Team selection as a junior… Was All-Metro Honorable Mention as a sophomore… Served as a team captain his senior year.

Trevor Marrongelli

OL, 6-4, 285, Fr., HS

Rolling Rock, Texas (Westwood HS)

Last name is pronounced Mare-in-jelly… Selected to the All-Centex team as one of the best players in central Texas… An All-District First-Team selection as a junior and as a senior… Was a second-team pick as a sophomore… Earned District Lineman of the Year accolades as a senior… Named his team’s Offensive MVP… Earned All-County honors as a senior… Selected to play in the Lone Star Arena Football Classic… Did not allow a sack his senior year… Was also an Academic All-District and All-State selection… Was a team captain… Competed in the shot put in track and field.

D.J. Marshall

DE, 6-4, 230, Fr., HS

Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite HS)

Played in the Max Emfinger All-American game… A Rivals.com Texas Top 100 selection… Played in six games as a senior, missing five contests… Had 29 tackles, including three for loss… Was credited with eight quarterback hurries and one forced fumble… As a junior he was credited with 70 tackles, including seven sacks… Also competed in power lifting and wrestling in high school… Father played college football, as did a couple of cousins

Darius Parish

DT, 6-4, 325, Fr., HS

Wichita, Kan. (North HS)

First name is pronounced Dare-e-us… Earned All-City recognition as a junior and as a senior… Recorded 32 tackles, including 1.5 sacks as a senior… Also recovered a fumble… Listed as the 58th best defensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com… Also competes in track and was fifth in the state in the shot put as a junior.

Daymond Patterson

WR, 5-9, 175, Fr., HS

Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)

An All-State First-Team selection as well as an All-District pick as a senior… Named All-State First Team as a kick returner… Played in the Max Emfinger All-American game… A Rivals.com Texas top 100 selection… Earned Academic All-State Honorable Mention honors… Had 69 receptions for 826 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior… Returned kickoffs and punts as a senior with a 29.3 kickoff return average and a 21.6 punt return average… Had two kickoff returns for scores and one punt return for a touchdown… As a junior he recorded 40 catches for 493 yards and four scores… Also lettered in track… Set two school records, in the triple jump and in the 4×200 Relay.

Kale Pick

QB, 6-2, 200, Fr., HS

Dodge City, Kan. (Dodge City HS)

Played in two games as a senior completing 27 of 44 passes for 510 yards and six touchdowns… As a junior he was an All-State and All-Conference selection… Was his team’s offensive MVP… Led team to first winning record in 12 years… Threw for 1,779 yards and 19 touchdowns, while completing 55 percent of his attempts and throwing just six interceptions as a junior… Set 12 quarterback records at Dodge CityHigh School… Also played defensive back… Played point guard on the basketball team.

Nick Plato

TE, 6-6, 228, Fr., HS

Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville HS)

Earned Max Emfinger All-America honors… Was an All-Conference First-Team selection as a senior… Was a St. Louis area Super 30 selection… Also named to the All-Metro team… Earned All-Area Team honors from the Alton Telegraph in both 2005 and 2007… Was an All-Conference First-Team selection as a senior in 2007 and a second-team pick as a junior in 2005… Did not play in 2006 due to injuries suffered in a car accident… As a senior he recorded 10 catches for 221 yards on offense… Had 93 tackles, including seven sacks on defense… As a sophomore he had five catches for 125 yards and added 34 tackles, including five sacks… Also played basketball.

Corrigan Powell

DB, 5-10, 161, Fr., HS

Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS)

A three-time All-District selection and a two-time All-Garland pick… As a senior he registered 62 tackles, while breaking up eight passes and gaining four interceptions… As a junior he recorded 92 tackles and eight PBUs… The 92 tackles were a school defensive back record… Also had a school defensive back record 21 tackles in a single game… As a sophomore he recorded 55 tackles and one interception… Named his team’s defensive back of the year four times… Was the team’s freshman of the year as well… Also competed in track.

Sean Ransburg

Athlete, 6-1, 195, Fr., HS

Harrisonville, Mo. (Harrisonville HS)

An All-State quarterback pick… Was tabbed the Class 3 Player of the Year… Named the Kansas City Star All-Metro Player of the Year as a senior… Named the Offensive Player of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association… Completed 134 of 216 passes for 2,556 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior… Also rushed for 1,677 yards and 29 touchdowns… Named the All-Conference Second-Team punter as a senior… Led team to its third straight state championship… As a junior he passed for 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,281 yards and 24 scores… As a junior he was an All-State Second Team selection… He was named All-Metro Honorable Mention as a junior as well… Was a two-time Conference Player of the Year as well as a two-time All-Conference First-Team pick… As a sophomore he was an All-District Second-Team selection as a running back.

Josh Richardson

OLB, 6-4, 200, Fr., HS

Dublin, Ohio (Scioto HS)

Recorded 64 tackles during his senior season… Had five tackles for loss… Had one interception while breaking up three passes… Also recovered two fumbles and forced another… Earned his team’s most improved player award… Also competed in track and field… Holds school record in long jump and high jump… Brother Jay played at OhioState and is a starting defensive end for the Oakland Raiders.

Alonso Rojas

P, 6-3, 220, So., TR

Miami, Fla. (Killian HS/Bowling Green)

Sat out the 2007 season… Was Bowling Green’s punter in 2006… Punted 56 times for a 35.6 average… Had a long of 62 yards… Had five 50-plus yard punts… Landed 12 punts inside the 20-yard line on the season… Made two of three PATs and kicked off four times as well… Best punting game average was four punts for a 47.0 average at Florida International… In high school averaged 46 yards per punt with a long of 75… Was rated the nation’s top punting prospect by Scout.com.

Lubbock Smith

DB, 5-11, 190, Fr., HS

Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)

An All-State Third-Team selection… Earned All-District First-Team and All-Area honors as a high school senior… Recorded 119 tackles as a high school senior… Added three interceptions and three fumble recoveries… Returned one interception for a touchdown… Also played wide receiver… Earned a Dallas Morning News Player of the Week honor.

John Williams

OL, 6-4, 335, Fr., HS

Tulsa, Okla. (Washington HS)

A First-Team All-State selection by the Tulsa World and Rivals.com… Also named All-Metro after his senior year… Was a three-time All-District selection… Earned Rivals.com All-State honors as a junior and a senior… Ranked as top 10 players in the state of Oklahoma by Mark Rodgers’ Oklahoma Pigskin Preview… Also competed in track and field… Won a strongest man competition at his high school in 2007… Father played college basketball.

Duane Zlatnik

DE, 6-4, 260, Fr., HS

Rossville, Kan. (Rossville HS)

Earned All-State First-Team honors by the Topeka Capital Journal… Was a Class 3A All-State selection… As a junior he was a Class 3A First Team selection by the Wichita Eagle… Earned All-League honors as a sophomore… Selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl… Lettered in wrestling and track… Won state wrestling title as a sophomore and as a junior… Posted a 41-0 record as a junior and a 38-2 record as a sophomore… Father Alan played football and baseball at Washburn.