Out of coaching when the NCAA first allowed college football staffs to make use of an early December signing period, Kansas head coach Les Miles got just a taste of the process a year ago, in a hurried fashion, with only a few weeks between the time of his hiring and the three-day window to try and line up recruits.
With the class of 2020, Miles got to fully appreciate the format, describing it as advantageous.
“You go to work to sign Dec. 18. Now whatever you didn't get, you now are looking to attract and go get. There are good players in the second signing period,” Miles said, pointing ahead to National Signing Day in early February. “What's happened is what used to be the first and only signing period is now the second signing period.”
The amount of players signed in December can vary greatly from program to program, even in the Big 12. Miles and his KU staff announced 19 signings this past week, leaving the coaches some wiggle room but also work to be done, as NCAA rules permit each program to sign and add a maximum of 25 scholarship players per recruiting class.
Miles didn’t provide an exact figure when asked this past week if he thinks there is an ideal number of signings to make during the early period. But he indicated his preference for having as many of the targets as possible officially on board.
“I’d like to have exactly who I wanted in December, every December, first of all,” Miles said. “But if there's an offensive tackle that's not necessarily signed, he's looking for a spot where they can get a great education and an opportunity at being coached by all our coaches, et cetera, then we'll certainly entertain that second (signing period).”
KU’s head coach went on to say he likes knowing where the program stands with most of its signing class in December instead of having to wait until February to make everything official.
“They're going to have opportunity to play. They're going to have the curriculum that they need to study. I think that they would much rather make that decision now than wait another (several) weeks,” Miles said.
With 19 class of 2020 players officially signed and six more at least verbally committed, the Jayhawks, as of Monday, ranked 37th nationally and fourth in the Big 12 according to Rivals’ recruiting rankings.
It’s important to note, though, that KU is benefitting from the presence of 25 prospects in its class, giving the Jayhawks more cracks at adding to their points total in Rivals’ formula. Kansas currently has four more recruits in its class than Iowa State, 10 more than TCU, six more than Oklahoma State, five more than Texas Tech and 10 more than Baylor.
Looking around the league at the average star rankings of each team’s recruits, KU comes in ninth, at 2.8, ahead of only Kansas State (2.75). Compared to the rest of the FBS teams’ average star rankings, per Rivals, KU ranks 60th. Only six Power Five teams are lower: Rutgers, K-State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
At 247Sports, KU sits at 47th nationally and eighth in the Big 12 in class of 2020 recruiting rankings. All 25 of KU’s recruits are rated as three-star prospects by 247.
KU football’s announced 2020 signees
(Rivals recruiting rankings listed)
√ Garrett Jones - 3-star OL from Michigan; 6-4, 285 pounds
√ Will Huggins - 3-star TE from Kansas; 6-7, 235 pounds
√ Daniel Hishaw Jr. - 2-star athlete from Oklahoma; 5-10, 200 pounds
√ Caleb Taylor - 3-star DE from Missouri; 6-2, 255 pounds
√ Trevor Kardell - 3-star TE from Lee’s Missouri; 6-5, 225 pounds
√ Krishawn Brown - 3-star LB from Oklahoma; 6-1, 200 pounds
√ Taiwan Berryhill - 3-star LB from Louisiana; 6-2, 200 pounds
√ Steven McBride - 3-star WR from Louisiana; 6-0, 160 pounds
√ Johnquai Lewis - 3-star CB from Florida; 6-0, 185 pounds
√ Tristan Golightly - 3-star WR/TE from Texas; 6-4, 200 pounds
√ Lawrence Arnold - 3-star WR from Texas; 6-3, 185 pounds
√ Armaj Adams-Reed - 2-star OL from Texas; 6-5, 350 pounds
√ Malik Johnson - 3-star WR from Texas; 5-9, 180 pounds
√ Nicholas Martinez - 3-star OL from California; 6-5, 285 pounds
√ Duece Mayberry - 3-star CB from Oklahoma; 6-0, 185 pounds
√ Karon Prunty - 2-star CB from Virginia; 6-1, 190 pounds
√ Jalon Daniels - 2-star QB from California; 6-0, 207 pounds
√ Alonso Person - 3-star LB from California; 6-3, 200 pounds
√ Luke Grimm - 3-star WR from Missouri; 6-0, 170 pounds
KU football 2020 unsigned commitments
• Brennon Scott - 4-star LB from Texas
• JaCobee Bryant - 3-star CB from Alabama
• Kenean Caldwell - 3-star DT from Louisiana
• Chris Jones - 3-star DE from Florida
• Da'Vonshai Harden Jr. - 2-star QB from Kansas
• Kyler Pearson - 2-star WR from Oklahoma (signing not yet announced by KU)