ūüŹą Kansas Football Announces 2024 Early Signing Class

LAWRENCE, Kan. ‚Äď Kansas Football head coach Lance Leipold announced the addition of 18 student-athletes who signed to join the Jayhawks on the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday.

The signing class is a consensus top 50 class by the recruiting services and ranked as high as No. 42 in the country by ESPN. Four of KU’s high school signees are rated as four-star prospects by Rivals, while 13 are rated as three-stars. The 17 prep players have an average rating of 87.29 on 247Sports, which is the highest ranking per player for a Kansas signing class since the service began.

Included in the early signing class are 17 high school signees and one four-year transfer in DeShawn Hanika, a Topeka, Kansas, native who played most recently at Iowa State. Kansas welcomes players from 10 different states, including four individuals from Arizona and Texas and two each from Michigan and Oklahoma. The Jayhawks also signed one player from California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.

The class is split with nine players on offense and nine on defense. The largest group of signees is at offensive line, where the Jayhawks added four newcomers. KU signed three players apiece at cornerback and defensive line, two each at tight end, running back and linebacker, and one quarterback and safety.

NamePositionHeightWeightHigh SchoolHometown
David AbajianOL6-5285Chaminade College PreparatoryWest Hills, Calif.
Austin AlexanderCB6-0170Marian Catholic HSHazel Crest, Ill.
Kene AneneOL6-5275East Ridge HSCottage Grove, Minn.
Dakyus BrinkleyDL6-3220Katy HSKaty, Texas
Carson BruhnTE6-6240Sioux Center HSSioux Center, Iowa
Dre GibsonCB5-10180Desert Edge HSGoodyear, Ariz.
Greydon GrimesDE6-6230China Spring HSChina Spring, Texas
DeShawn HanikaTE6-6240Hayden HS / Butler CC / Iowa StateTopeka, Kan.
Jon Jon KamaraLB6-3205Desert Edge HSGoodyear, Ariz.
Carter LavruskyOL6-6275Horizon HSScottsdale, Ariz.
Isaiah MarshallQB6-0205Southfield A&T HSSouthfield, Mich.
Red MartelRB5-9205Beggs HSBeggs, Okla.
Damani MaxsonS6-1180Clear Lake HSHouston, Texas
Harry Stewart IIIRB5-9215Centennial HSFrisco, Texas
JaCorey StewartLB6-0215Milton HSAtlanta, Ga.
Jalen ToddCB6-1180Southfield A&T HSSouthfield, Mich.
Harrison UtleyOL6-3290Norman HSNorman, Okla.
DJ WarnerDE6-3215Desert Edge HSBuckeye, Ariz.

"‚ÄúWe are very excited about this class. I really appreciate the efforts of everyone associated in the recruiting process for us. It‚Äôs probably as good of a class as I‚Äôve been a part of as a head coach. We have some guys playing on some very successful teams in their own states. That‚Äôs exciting when we have those types of competitors and guys that have been in those winning cultures coming to our program.‚ÄĚ"

Head Coach Lance Leipold

 

David Abajian
OL, 6-5, 285
West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade College Preparatory)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Was the most improved player on his team in 2021…Holds a 3.8 GPA…Coached by David Machuca at Chaminade College Prep…Also throws shot put for his high school track & field team.

Personal: Son of Lena & Joseph Abajian…Has two siblings, a twin older brother and sister…Chose Kansas over offers from Oregon State, Washington State, Cal, Nebraska and others.


Austin Alexander
CB, 6-0, 170
Hazel Crest, Ill. (Marian Catholic HS)

High School: Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN…Has a 5.8 rating from Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 11 prospect in Illinois and the No. 37 cornerback in the country…Named to the 5A Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) All-State Team…Had 70 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions as a senior…Also contributed offensively with one rushing touchdown…Has a 3.6 GPA…Played for coach Nick Lopez at Marian Catholic HS.

Personal: Son of Ashira & Chris Alexander…Chose Kansas over offers from Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and others.


Kene Anene
OL, 6-5, 275
Cottage Grove, Minn. (East Ridge HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in Minnesota by Rivals…Scored a rushing touchdown in a game during his senior season…Holds a 3.7 GPA.

Personal: Son of Chukwudumebi & Ositadinma Anene…Has two brothers, Chin and Troy…Also competes in track & field…Chose Kansas over offers from Army, Colorado State, North Dakota State and others.


Dakyus Brinkley
DL, 6-3, 220
Katy, Texas (Katy HS)

High School: Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Ranked No. 249 on the ESPN300 with a scout grade of 81…Has a 5.8 rating from Rivals, which rates him as the No. 54 prospect in Texas and the No. 24 outside linebacker in the country…Has been invited to play in the 2023 U.S. Army All-American Bowl…Selected to the All-Greater Houston Preseason Team…Named to the final ballot for the 2023 Whataburger Super Team…Also competes in track and plays basketball…Coached by Gary Joseph at Katy HS.

Personal: Son of Jasper and Kellie Brinkley…Father Jasper played linebacker at South Carolina and later in the NFL for seven seasons, spending time with the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants…Step mom Kellie Wells Brinkley won the bronze medal in 110 meter hurdles in the 2012 Olympics…Has six siblings…Chose Kansas over offers from Oklahoma, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Kansas State and others.


Carson Bruhn
TE, 6-6, 240
Sioux Center, Iowa (Sioux Center HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN‚ĶRated as the No. 5 prospect in Iowa by Rivals‚ĶFirst Team All-State Class 3A selection‚ĶFirst Team All-District and All-District Defensive Line MVP‚ĶAlso participated in baseball, basketball and track & field, competing in the 400 meter dash, 4×400 meter relay and 400 meter hurdles‚ĶRecorded 18 receptions for 223 yards and three touchdowns while adding 21 tackles and 6.0 tackles for loss on defense‚ĶNamed Homecoming King‚ĶHonor Roll and National Honors Society member‚ĶMaintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school‚ĶAll-State singer in the choir‚ĶCoached by Tim VanRegenmorter at Sioux Center HS.

Personal: Son of Dan & Gretchen Bruhn…Has four siblings…Chose Kansas over offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Minnesota and others.


Dre Gibson
CB, 5-10, 180
Goodyear, Ariz. (Desert Edge HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…One of three 2024 Kansas signees from Desert Edge HS, joined by Jon Jon Kamara and DJ Warner…Finished his senior season with 32 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1 interception and 13 passes defended…Also contributed offensively with 26 carries for 124 yards and three touchdowns…Had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in his final game…Played against fellow Kansas signee Carter Lavrusky in the state semifinals…Competes on the track & field team at Desert Edge, running the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes…Coached by Mark and Marcus Carter at Desert Edge.

Personal: Son of Rea Matthews…Has two siblings, Antzanaya and Ahmir…Chose Kansas over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Iowa State, Oregon and others.


Greydon Grimes
DE, 6-6, 230
China Spring, Texas (China Spring HS)

High School: Three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Played both at tight end and defensive end for China Spring…Helped China Spring to back-to-back Class 4A D-1 State Championships in 2021 and 2022…Posted marks of 45-feet in the shot put and 105-feet, 6-inches in discus during the spring 2023 season…Played at Pleasant Grove (Utah) as a freshman.

Personal: Son of Jeff & Sheri Grimes…Father, Jeff, serves as KU’s Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator…Has three siblings, Bailey, Jada and Garrison…Chose Kansas over offers from Baylor, UTSA and North Texas.


DeShawn Hanika
TE, 6-6, 240
Topeka, Kan. (Hayden HS/Butler CC/Iowa State)

Notes: Two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team (2021-22) selection and named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in four semesters…Played at Iowa State from 2020-23, appearing in 36 games in his first three seasons at ISU…Played in 12 games in 2022, leading Cyclone tight ends with 17 receptions for 244 yards…Finished the season with four touchdown receptions…Saw action in 13 games in 2021 and nine in 2022, primarily on special teams…Redshirted at Butler CC in 2019…Earned All-State and All-City honors while playing at Hayden HS in Topeka…Led his team to the Class 4A-II semifinals as a senior…Recorded over 1,000 receiving yards and 60 receptions with 18 touchdowns as a senior…Invited to the Kansas Shrine Bowl…Also an all-state basketball player, helping his team win the state title as a senior…Averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game in his senior season…Coached by Bill Arnold at Hayden HS.

Personal: Son of Kim and Brad Hanika…Has one sibling, Connor Brogan…Has earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies.


Jon Jon Kamara
LB, 6-3, 205
Goodyear, Ariz. (Desert Edge HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…One of three 2024 Kansas signees from Desert Edge HS, joined by Dre Gibson and DJ Warner…During his senior season, totaled 50 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and five pass deflections…Also a member of the track team, competing in long jump, high jump and the 100 meter dash…Coached by Mark and Marcus Carter at Desert Edge.

Personal: Was born in Liberia and grew up in Arizona, Philadelphia and Florida…Parents still live in Liberia, so he lives with his uncle John Bernard in Arizona…Has one sister, Jasmine…Has a 3.51 GPA…Chose Kansas over offers from Arizona State, Kansas State, Texas, Washington and others.


Carter Lavrusky
OL, 6-6, 275
Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Named District Offensive Player of the Year…First Team All-Region selection and one of seven finalists for offensive lineman of the year…First Team All-District selection in track & field…Also plays basketball…Coached by Andy Litten at Horizon HS.

Personal: Son of Laura Halliday & John Michael Lavrusky…Has two brothers, Logan and Ethan…Chose Kansas over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State and others.


Isaiah Marshall
QB, 6-0, 205
Southfield, Mich. (Southfield A&T HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Ranked as the No. 14 prospect in Michigan and the No. 14 dual threat quarterback in the country by Rivals…One of two 2024 Kansas signees from Southfield A&T, joined by Jalen Todd…Named The D Zone 2023 Player of the Year after leading Southfield to the first state championship in school history…Finished his senior season with 3,114 passing yards and 39 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,507 yards and 16 touchdowns…Completed 20-of-31 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in the state championship game…Led an 80-yard game-winning drive with less than a minute to play in the state semifinals…Also plays basketball and runs track…Coached by Aaron Marshall at Southfield.

Personal: Son of Yolanda & Brian Marshall…Has two siblings, Christian and Maya…Chose Kansas over offers from Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Michigan and others.


Red Martel
RB, 5-9, 205
Beggs, Okla. (Beggs HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Was the first player to commit to Kansas in the Class of 2024…Ranked the No. 17 prospect in the state of Oklahoma by 247Sports…Rushed for over 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns, averaging 9.3 yards per attempt on the ground as a senior…Added four receiving touchdowns and 311 yards through the air…Member of National Honor Society and on the student council at his school…Coached by David Tenison at Beggs HS.

Personal: Son of Kimberly Martel and Joe G. Martel, Jr…Has two siblings, Casey and Joe…Chose Kansas over offers from Colorado and Stanford.


Damani Maxson
S, 6-1, 180
Houston, Texas (Clear Lake HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Totaled 30 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and one interception as a senior…Was selected to the Touchdown Club of Houston Preseason Team…Also competes in baseball and track & field, where he performs in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash and high jump…Coached by Donald Lawrence at Clear Lake HS.

Personal: Son of Shay Roach…Has one older brother…Chose Kansas over offers from LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Colorado, Arkansas and others.


Harry Stewart III
RB, 5-9, 215
Frisco, Texas (Centennial HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Ranked as the No. 43 running back in the country by Rivals…Rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior…Added 250 yards and two touchdowns receiving…Leading rusher in 5A-1 Region II District 6…Coached by Matt Webb at Centennial HS.

Personal: Son of Elizabeth Stewart-Willams and Harry Stewart II…Has three step-siblings…Chose Kansas over offers from BYU, Baylor, Michigan, Missouri, Texas A&M and others.


JaCorey Stewart
LB, 6-0, 215
Atlanta, Ga. (Milton HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Named Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Georgia State Championship game by Georgia Public Broadcasting…Had seven tackles, one sack and a pick-six with less than a minute to go to clinch the 7A State Championship…During his senior season, totaled 80 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, two pass deflections and a fumble recovery…Added one punt return for a touchdown on special teams…Also runs the 100 meter dash in track…Has a 3.31 GPA…Coached by Ben Reaves at Milton HS.

Personal: Son of Michelle Myles…Has 10 siblings…Chose Kansas over offers from Missouri, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and others.


Jalen Todd
CB, 6-1, 180
Southfield, Mich. (Southfield A&T HS)

High School: Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals…Holds a 5.8 rating from Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 10 prospect in Michigan and No. 35 cornerback in the country…One of two 2024 Kansas signees from Southfield A&T, joined by Isaiah Marshall…Helped guide Southfield to the first State Championship in program history…Also competes on the track & field team…Holds a 3.0 GPA… Coached by Aaron Marshall at Southfield.

Personal: Son of Onna & Maurice Todd…Has one sister, Tamyra, who runs track at Kentucky State…Chose Kansas over offers from Auburn, Boston College, Florida, Iowa, Penn State and others.


Harrison Utley
OL, 6-3, 290
Norman, Okla. (Norman HS)

High School: Rated a three-star prospect by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN…Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in Oklahoma by Rivals…Recorded more than 30 pancake blocks as a senior while allowing just one sack during the season…District 6A-I 1 Offensive Lineman of the Year…Received First Team All-State and First Team Big All-City honors…Earned varsity letters in football and baseball all throughout high school…Named Newcomer of the Year his first year on varsity…Has a 4.0 GPA…Coached by Justin Jones at Norman HS.

Personal: Son of Carrie & Terry Utley…Has two siblings, Garrison and Carlyn…Chose Kansas over offers from Oklahoma, Iowa State, Tulsa, UNLV and others.


DJ Warner
DE, 6-3, 215
Buckeye, Ariz. (Desert Edge HS)

High School: Rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports‚ĶHas a 5.8 rating from Rivals, which ranks him as the No. 12 prospect in Arizona and No. 19 weakside defensive end in the country‚ĶRated as the No. 148 recruit nationally by 247Sports‚ĶOne of three 2024 Kansas signees from Desert Edge HS, joined by Dre Gibson and Jon Jon Kamara‚ĶHas accepted an invitation to compete in the 2024 All-American Bowl‚ĶFirst Team All-Region selection and the All-Region Player of the Year‚ĶTotaled 66 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and two interceptions‚ĶAdded a blocked field goal and two offensive touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving)…Also competes in¬† high jump, discus and shot put for the Desert Edge track & field team‚ĶCoached by Mark and Marcus Carter at Desert Edge.

Personal: Chose Kansas over offers from Ohio State, Texas, Washington, Nebraska, Michigan and others.