Kansas adds 15 to 2018 roster during early signing period
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football added 15 players to its roster for the 2018 campaign as the new December signing period has come to a close. The 15 players are composed of five high school players, one graduate transfer and nine players who spent time at a junior college before becoming Jayhawks.
“I am very pleased with the type of players we were able to add to our Jayhawk family,” said head coach David Beaty. “Our staff has been relentless out on the recruiting trail and it has paid some dividends. We still have some work to do to complete our class, but I am looking forward to getting some of these guys on campus in the spring and getting right to work.”
While addressing some immediate needs and also establishing depth at other positions, Beaty and his staff were able to secure the program’s highest-rated recruit dating as far back as 1999 in cornerback Corione Harris, who was ranked No. 97 in the Rivals.com Top 100, and held off some of the nation’s top programs late for ESPN.com four-star rated running back Pooka Williams.
Additionally, KU will welcome a mix of players in all classes as five freshmen, two sophomores, seven juniors and one senior will join the program—with the majority of those non-freshman being qualifiers out of high school and having an available redshirt year.
“I am not just excited about the quality of football players we are adding to our team,” said Beaty. “But I am pleased about who they are as people. We have done our homework across the board and think these are young men who can come in and help us improve on the field and will also represent us well in the classroom and in the community. We are ecstatic that despite their many options, they chose to become Jayhawks.”
Charles “Codey” Cole
Jr. // Defensive Tackle // 6-3 // 280
Ypsilanti, Mich. // Belleville HS // Butler CC
Butler CC (2017): Rated a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com … Collected 19 total tackles, including 3.0 tackles-for-loss, and a pass breakup during the 2017 campaign … Earned Honorable Mention All-KJCCC honors in 2017 … Played for head coach Tim Schaffner at BCC.
Tiffin University (2016): Registered 22 tackles, including 5.0 TFLs, during his one season with the Dragons … Also recorded 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup … Played under head coach Gary Goff at Tiffin.
High School: Earned three letters at Belleville HS playing for head coach Matt Davenport … Helped lead BHS to a WAC conference title as a senior … Posted a career-high 15 tackles against Thurston HS … Named all-conference as a senior … Also lettered in basketball and baseball at BHS.
Personal: Son of Victoria and Charles Cole … Plans to major in sports management … Selected Kansas over offers from Fresno State, Memphis and UNLV, among others.
Fr. // Offensive Lineman // 6-4 // 245
Wichita, Kan. // Wichita Collegiate HS
High School: Earned four letters playing for head coach Mike Gehrer at Wichita Collegiate HS … Helped lead Collegiate to a Kansas Class 3A state runner up finish in 2015 … During his time with the Spartans, WCHS was a one-time sub-state champion, three-time district champion, three-time regional champion and a one-time league champion … Earned all-league honors in 2015, 2016 and 2017 … Picked up all-state honors for three-straight years 2015-17 … Named to the Wichita Eagle All-Metro Team in 2017 … A four-year member of the WCHS honor roll.
Personal: Son of Kelli and David Copeland … Has two brothers, Mitch and Myles … Mitch currently plays football at K-State and Myles was on the Wildcat roster from 2012-15 … Plans to major in business management.
Jr. // Defensive End // 6-4 // 250
Los Angeles, Calif. // Fairfax HS // West Los Angeles CC
West Los Angeles Community College (2017): Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … Posted 39 tackles and 9.5 tackles-for-loss and three pass breakups … Named a first team all-conference selection.
UTEP (2015-16): Played in six contests … Tallied two tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss (four yards) … Saw first collegiate action at No. 11 Texas … Registered first career tackle at UTSA … Recorded a tackle and 0.5 tackle for loss against Old Dominion … Also saw playing time against Houston Baptist, at Florida Atlantic and versus North Texas … Redshirted his first year at UTEP.
High School: Played eight games for the Lions as a defensive end and tight end during the 2014 season … Tallied 30 solo tackles, 10 sacks, eight tackles-for-loss, four blocked field goals, one fumble returned for a touchdown and one blocked punt … Opened the season with a career-best four sacks and added seven tackles against Carson HS … Saw action on special teams and blocked a career-high three field goals against Hamilton HS … As a junior registered a career-high 11 tackles in a victory over Palisades HS … Compiled 50 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles and one touchdown in 2013 … Named 2014 Defensive Lineman of the Year and to the All-City team … Coached by Shane Cox at Fairfax HS … Also a member Fairfax’s undefeated basketball squad.
Personal: Son of Greg Dixson and Sarah Jennings … Plans to major in business administration … Chose Kansas over offers from Colorado State and UConn.
So. // Safety // 5-10 // 190
Baltimore, Md. // St. Vincent Pallotti HS // Hartnell College
Hartnell College (2017): Rated a two-star recruit by Rivals.com … Collected 55 total tackles, including 41 solo hits … Recorded two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown … Also posted two fumble recoveries … Averaged 9.6 yards per punt return to lead the region … Posted seven kick returns for 182 yards, an average of 26.0 yards per return … Played for head coach Matt Collins at Hartnell.
High School: Helped lead St. Vincent Pallotti Panthers to a 10-2 record and a MIAA Conference title in 2016 … Played under head coach Ian Thomas at St. Vincent Pallotti HS … Forced seven turnovers from his free safety position in 2016.
Personal: Son of Lachelle Redd and Damon Ferguson … Has two brothers: Damon Ferguson Jr., and Deonte Ferguson … Also has two sisters: Lache Dabney and Layah Redd … Father, Damon, lettered in track at Central State … Plans to major in sport management … Chose Kansas over San Diego State.
Fr. // Cornerback // 6-1 // 170
Marrero, La. // Landry-Walker HS
High School: Touted as a four-star recruit, the 13th best cornerback and the sixth best player in the state of Louisiana according to Rivals.com … Also rated a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … Played for head coach Emanuel Powell at Landry-Walker HS … Led LWHS to a 13-2 record and the Louisiana Class 5A state championship in 2016 … Helped guide the Charging Bucs to the playoffs again in 2017 and an 8-4 overall mark, playing both quarterback and cornerback.
Personal: Son of Dwanne Kent … Has one sister, Dwannta Kent … Plans to major in communications … Played at the same high school as current KU safety Mike Lee … Chose Kansas over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa State, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
Elmore Hempstead Jr.
Jr. // Cornerback // 5-11 // 175
Smackover Ark. // Smackover HS // Fort Scott CC
Fort Scott CC: Team All-KJCCC in 2017 … Tallied 18 tackles and two interceptions as a sophomore … Also had five pass breakups and one tackle-for-loss … As a freshman, recorded 47 tackles, five interceptions, seven pass breakups and 1.5 TFLs … Picked up Honorable Mention All-KJCCC honors in 2016.
High School: Earned four letters in football playing for head coach Brian Strickland at Smackover HS … Helped lead SHS to a 26-7 record over his final three seasons … Earned all-state and all-conference honors in football … Also lettered in basketball and track and field … Named all-region and all-conference in basketball … An all-district honoree in track and field.
Personal: Son of Laprino Hempstead and Herbert Rayford … Has three sisters, Whitney Moore and Chelsea and Jillian Hempstead … Plans to major in sports medicine … Chose Kansas over offers from Arizona State, Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Central Florida and UNLV.
Jr. // Cornerback // 6-1 // 175
Cape Coral, Fla. // North Fort Myers HS // Ellsworth CC
Ellsworth Community College (2016-17): Rated a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com … Collected 19 tackles and four interceptions during his sophomore season at Ellsworth CC … Named Iowa Community College Athletic Association (ICCAC) Defensive Athlete of the Week on Sept. 13, 2017 after helping lead the Panthers to a 35-28 win over Iowa Central … Recorded the game saving interception and had two interceptions, two pass breakups and two tackles in the win … Credited with 11 tackles and three interceptions as a freshman in 2016 … Played for head coach Jesse Montalto at ECC.
High School: Recorded 18 total tackles, including 14 solo hits, as a senior at North Fort Myers HS … Posted one interception, which he returned 60 yards … Also credited with a fumble recovery … Coached by Earnest Graham at NFMHS.
Personal: Son of Collin and Monica Jones … Has two sisters, Cynthia and Samaria … Plans to major in business.
Jr. // Defensive End // 6-4 // 225
Glendale, Ariz. // Central HS // Arizona Western CC
Arizona Western College (2016-17): Collected 30 total tackles, including a team-leading 15.5 tackles-for-loss in 2017 … Recorded 12.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, a pass breakup and a blocked kick in helping lead Arizona Western to the NJCAA national title game … Posted 45 total tackles, 13.5 TFLs and eight sacks in 2016 … Also had four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, while playing for head coach Tom Minnick at AWC.
High School: Collected 106 total tackes, including 25.5 sacks during his senior season at Central HS in 2015 … Also caused four fumbles and recovered one … Earned first team all-conference on both offense and defense … Named to the All-USA Arizona High School football team following his senior season … Coached by Jon Clanton at CHS.
Personal: Son of Djaka Bility and Noah Sherrif … Has four sisters, Fatu and Amie Kamara and Mahawa and Makura Sherrif … Also has two brothers, Adam and Omar Sherrif … Undecided on a major … Selected Kansas over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa State, Louisville, Maryland, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee UCF, Utah and Washington State.
Fr. // Offensive Lineman // 6-4 // 309
Amarillo, Texas // Tascosa HS
High School: Attended Tascosa HS in Amarillo, Texas, playing for head coach Ken Plunk … Helped lead the Rebels to a bi-district title in 2015, 2016 and 2017 … Named first team all-district in 2016 and 2017 … Tabbed the top lineman in the 806 area code in 2017 … Also lettered for three years in track and field.
Personal: Son of Donita Woods and Charlie Lott … Has one brother, Gentry Lott, and a sister, Jenisha Woods … His father, Charlie, played football at Texas Tech … His uncle, Ronnie Lott, played football at USC and is a four-time Super Bowl Champion and a 14-year NFL veteran … Intends to major in mass communications … Chose Kansas over offers from Bowling Green, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Texas State and Tulsa.
Jr. // Safety // 6-0 // 205
Baltimore, Md. // Mount St. Joseph HS // Hartnell College
Hartnell College (2016-17): Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … Collected 36 total tackles, including 29 solo hits in 2017 … Recorded two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown … Also posted two fumble recoveries … Two-time first team all-conference … Named Hit Man of the Year both seasons at Hartnell … Played for head coach Matt Collins at Hartnell … Named to the Dean’s List for his effort in the classroom.
High School: Played on both sides of the ball at Mount St. Joseph HS under head coach Richard Holzer … Recorded 39 tackles on defense and also collected 479 receiving yards on 30 catches as a senior … Helped lead the Gaels to an 8-3 mark during his final season.
Personal: Son of Monica and Michael McCullough … Has two brothers, Michael and Ahmad McCullough and a sister, Georgia Johnson … Plans to major in communications … Chose Kansas over Fresno State, Toledo and Utah State.
So. // Wide Receiver // 5-10 // 170
Los Angeles, Calif. // Narbonne HS // El Camino College
El Camino College (2017): Played in 11 games for El Camino College and led the team in receiving with 62 receptions for 1,274 yards … Recorded eight touchdown receptions … Averaged 115.8 receiving yards per game … Had seven 100-yard receiving games … Longest reception was 81 yards against Long Beach City College … Recorded five kick returns for 46 yards … Became the all-time single-season receiving record holder for ECC by eclipsing Marcel Reese’s 2005 season when he totaled 49 catches for 1,128 yards.
High School: Played two years on varsity for Narbonne HS under head coach Manuel Douglas … Had 65 receptions for 1,304 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns as senior … Named First Team All-City and All-Marine League as a senior … Helped lead the Gauchos to a Division 1A state championship in 2015 … A member of the honor roll all four years at NHS.
Personal: Son of Cheryl Duncan and Stephon Robinson … Has three brothers: Chauncey Stevens, James Williams and Brandon Smith … Undecided on a major … Chose Kansas over Hawaii and Middle Tennessee.
Sr. // Tight End // 6-5 // 256
Bimini, Bahamas // The Kindkaid School // Florida State
Florida State (2014-17): Saw action in 10 games in 2017, but did not record any statistics … Named to the prestigious 2017 All-State AFCA Good Works Team … Finished the 2016 season with 10 catches for 182 yards in 12 games … Made three starts in 2016 against USF, No. 3 Clemson and Boston College … Had a career day against No. 23 North Carolina, finishing with three catches for 74 yards, including a long of 33 yards … Had two catches against Syracuse and one against USF, No. 10 Miami, No. 3 Clemson, Boston College and No. 13 Florida … Against the Hurricanes, his diving 11-yard catch on third down in the third quarter kept FSU’s go-ahead drive alive in the 13-point comeback win on the road … Combined with Ryan Izzo for seven receptions at North Carolina – the most receptions in a game by the position since 2014 … Appeared in eight games making two starts during his redshirt freshman campaign in 2015 … Named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll … Earned his first career start at tight end at Boston College … Also recorded a start against in-state rival Miami … Finished his first full season with six receptions for 52 yards … Tallied three catches for 26 yards in a win over the Hurricanes … Recorded one reception against Texas State, Boston College and Louisville … Longest reception of the season came on a 21-yard passing play from Everett Golson in the first quarter against the Cardinals … Appeared in one game (Wake Forest) before receiving a medical redshirt in 2014.
High School: Rated a four-star prospect in the 2014 class by 247Sports, ESPN and Scout, and a three-star recruit by Rivals … Ranked the No. 3 tight end in the country and No. 23 player in Texas (No. 187 player overall) by 247Sports … Rated the No. 7 tight end and No. 45 player in Texas by ESPN … Ranked the No. 14 tight end and No. 32 player in Texas by Rivals … Scout’s No. 9 tight end prospect … PrepStar Magazine All-Midlands Region … Came to the United States from Bimini, Bahamas, and first played football his junior season of high school … Helped lead Kincaid to an 11-0 record and the Southwest Preparatory Conference title by totaling 35 receptions for 468 yards and eight touchdowns … Had 40 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns as a junior to lead the Falcons to an 8-3 mark and the SPC large-school title game V Also starred in basketball for Kincaid where he held averages of 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds following his junior season … Received college basketball offers from Connecticut and Oklahoma, among others.
Personal: Graduated from Florida State with a bachelor’s degree in criminology.
Jr. // Defensive End // 6-3 // 225
Cleveland, Ohio // Bedford HS // ASA College
ASA College (2016-17): Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … Earned First Team All-Northeast Conference in 2017 … Credited with 33 total tackles, including a team-best 12.5 tackles-for-loss … Also registered 9.5 sacks and a blocked kick on the season … Helped lead the Avengers to a 9-1 overall record and a win in the Valley of the Sun Bowl as a sophomore … Suited up for head coach Joe Osovet at ASA.
Fort Scott CC (2015): Spent the season as a redshirt.
High School: Helped lead Bedford HS to the a regional and conference title in 2014 … Had 67 tackles, 10 TFLs, eight sacks and nine quarterback hurries during the 2014 season … Received special mention all-district … Posted a career-best six sacks in one game … Played for head coach Sean Williams at BHS … Also lettered three years in basketball and track and field.
Personal: Son of MaeEllenn McKenzie … Has one sister, Lily … Plans to major in criminal justice … Chose Kansas over offers from Iowa State, Maryland, Missouri, Pittsburgh, UCF, Bowling Green and Toledo.
Anthony “Pooka” Williams Jr.
Fr. // Running Back // 5-10 // 170
Boutte, La. // Hahnville HS
High School: Touted as a four-star recruit and the 15th best player in the state of Louisiana according to ESPN.com … Rated a three-star recruit, the 11th-best all-purpose back in the country and the 16th rated player in the state of Louisiana by Rivals.com … Also a three-star player according to 247Sports.com … Played for head coach Dominic Saltaformaggio at Hahnville HS … Led HHS to the Louisiana Class 5A state title game, rushing for 210 yards and a touchdown, against Zachary HS … Registered 3,118 rushing yards with 37 touchdowns as a senior … Collected nearly 1,400 yards and 14 scores in Hahnville’s five-game playoff run … Named New Orleans Metro Player of the Year by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club.
Personal: Chose Kansas over offers from LSU, Mississippi State, Memphis, Nebraska, TCU, UCLA, Tulane and Louisiana Tech.
Fr. // Offensive Lineman // 6-8 // 265
Overland, Mo. // Ritenour HS
High School: Rated a three-star recruit and the 11th-best prospect in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com … Touted as a three-star recruit and the 12th-best player in the state of Missouri according to 247Sports.com … Played for head coach Hoyt Gregory at Ritenour HS … Earned second team all-state honors in 2017 … Also earned three letters in basketball.
Personal: Son of Dianne Bell and Rodney Williams … Plans to major in business management … Chose Kansas over offers from Central Florida, Illinois and Minnesota.