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Former UCF LB Eriq Gilyard announces commitment to KU football

Boise State wide receiver Khalil Shakir runs in front of UCF linebacker Eriq Gilyard during a game on Sept. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Lance Leipold’s Kansas football staff continued to hit the transfer portal hard on Tuesday, as former UCF linebacker Eriq Gilyard announced his commitment to the program.

Gilyard became the fifth transfer to pledge to the Jayhawks in the past five days, leading up to Wednesday’s early signing period.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds on the UCF roster in 2021, Gilyard was a few weeks into his senior season when he left the Knights.

He played in four games and started one. Because he only participated in four, he will be able to use 2021 as his redshirt season. Additionally, Gilyard can use the NCAA’s 2020 Covid waiver for an extra year of eligibility and join the Jayhawks with two years remaining, even though he was a senior entering the season at UCF.

In what would be his final year with the Knights, Gilyard made 23 total tackles. He had 11 of those in his one start, versus Navy, and made seven tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss against Louisville.

His time at UCF began in 2018, when he appeared in 11 games as a true freshman. He will arrive at KU having already appeared in 37 college football games, with 24 career starts.

For his career, Gilyard has 197 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

In early December, Gilyard visited KU to check out the program and meet the Jayhawks’ coaches and players in person. KU’s standout safety, Kenny Logan Jr., hosted Gilyard on his visit.

Gilyard told Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant Leipold and the KU coaches have a good reputation, and he enjoyed getting to know them better.

“It is not hard to see why Coach Leipold wins by the things he does,” Gilyard said. “And his way works. I believe everybody kind of follows that, just him being a great leader set in that role for everybody. Along with the assistant coaches, they are all really cohesive.”

A four-star high school prospect in Jacksonville, in the Class of 2018, Gilyard was a sought after defender due to his standout play at Trinity Christian. Before signing with UCF, he also had offers from Clemson, Michigan, LSU and many other programs.

Leipold and his staff already have landed five commitments from players in the portal this offseason, and the way they’re approaching their 2022 recruiting class, looking to add more experienced players, there’s likely more to come before the class if finalized in February.

KU football’s incoming transfer portal commitments

• Kalon Gervin, RS-jr. CB (Michigan State)

• Sevion Morrison, fr. RB (Nebraska)

• Craig Young, soph. LB/S (Ohio State)

• Nolan Gorczyca, fr. OL (Buffalo)

• Eriq Gilyard, sr. LB (Central Florida)

by Eriq Gilyard

Comments

Dale Rogers

Awesome pickup!

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Armen Kurdian

I don't think there is any question whatsoever that our win vs TX and our very close last couple of games have a lot to do with folks wanting to come and be a part of this program.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Matt Gauntt

Benton - have a question. How does the transfer protocol tie into the number of scholarships we can hand out every year? I know previously we were hurt in the number of players on the squad because we had loaded up with JUCO players. Does the Transfer Protocol have the same issues?

That question asked, looks like we are pulling in some great folks.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Matt Gauntt

Thanks

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Fletcher - Good reference. I wonder if anyone has a link for a follow up after the Oct ‘21 meetings?

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

A little more info on Craig Young who apparently was a linebacker/safety hybrid for tOSU. He started the season as the hybrid safety/linebacker, but was replaced by arguably the best playmaker on the defense.
He was beginning to carve out a spot at safety, but made his decison to head to KU with three years of eligibility left.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Some people were asking when Coach Leipold would start getting 4* recruits. Guessing most didn’t see this coming. It’s 3 of 5 in the transfers? That’s hopefully a nice preview of traditional recruiting.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andy Godwin

Enhancing the athletic ability at all positions is essential for this program going forward to be competitive next year and beyond. The linebacker position showed some improvement late last season and developing quality depth will be important. I don't care so much regarding a player's ranking out of high school, but clearly coach Leipold and his staff have a plan and are actively recruiting players who will best fit into their offensive and defensive schemes. In short, KU needs to get "Bigger, Stronger, and Faster" at every position. Welcome Mr. Gilyard. Rock Chalk.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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John Smith

Getting good defensive players is so important to the success of the team. I hope they get more recruits like this.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Joseph Bullock

Andy, I believe we were the youngest power 5 team in the Country this past season, so our team will be a lot bigger and stronger, next season!

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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John Strayer

I know I've been a complainer of the portal...but as long as KU can remain on the plus side of the ledger with respect to the portal, maybe it won't be as bad as my prior complaints.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Brian Skelly

It's getting guys who'll buy in to what Leipold is selling. It appears to be working.

Forget stars (2,3,4). We simply need guys who've played at a comparable (or better) level and won't feel outta place at all getting more playing time here.

It would appear that these guys coming in would provide that.

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andy Tweedy

Why is there a lion in that picture?

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gerry Butler

This staff is very solid. - Love it we finally found a Coach that gets it , his record speaks for it'self. No not at the p-5 level yet but have no doubt , he is going to get this turned around - -already showed signs of that.

You can tell he is a Coach that the players want to / love to play for. Be very interesting to see how the rest of the class plays out. - -Very nice QB out of Virginia, you get a chance to watch video of him you will like. - -Really nice arm , throws the ball really well on the run - has break away speed - -I'm stoked

9 months, 2 weeks ago

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