Brought to you by Lawrence Photo Store

Juco LB Mike Smith joins KU football's 2022 recruiting class

Kansas University football recruiting

The first recruiting class for head coach Lance Leipold at the University of Kansas won’t be completely comprised of high school prospects. The Jayhawks got their first junior college addition to the Class of 2022 this past week, when Mike Smith committed.

A 6-foot-1, 225-pound sophomore linebacker at Gulf Coast Community College (Miss.), Smith averaged 10 tackles per game this year.

Currently unrated by Rivals, Smith had scholarship offers from 10 programs, including Arkansas State, Buffalo and UAB, but KU has been the only Power Five program to extend an offer.

In an interview with Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant, Smith said KU linebackers coach Chris Simpson recruited him.

“He loved the way that I can play in space and the way I can play in multiple positions and be very versatile,” Smith told Jayhawk Slant. “I don't have to come off the field much and he could put a lot on my plate, and I'll be able to handle it.”

Smith, who said he even played some free safety at GCCC this season, said he expects to enroll at KU in January.

As of now, Leipold and his staff have five high school seniors and one juco sophomore committed in KU’s upcoming recruiting class. All verbal commitments, of course, are nonbinding

In just a few weeks, the prospects have the option of making their commitments to KU official when the early singing period begins on Dec. 15.

It’s expected Leipold and his staff could use the transfer portal for many of the available spots in the recruiting class.

National Signing Day for the 2022 recruiting class will be Feb. 2.

KU football Class of 2022 commitments

(Rivals rankings)

• Nikki Taylor — 3-star Alabama athlete

• Anthony Davis — 3-star Texas CB

• Kaleb Purdy — 3-star Missouri S

• Joey Baker — 3-star Texas OT

• James Livingston — 2-star Michigan OT

• Mike Smith — Juco LB from Mississippi


Dale Rogers

Since these coaches have a track record of recognizing and developing overlooked, underrated talent it will be interesting to see how this class evolves over time.

1 year ago


Dirk Medema

JCs got a bad rep during the Weis demise because over half never contributed or even made it to campus. Beaty at least got the players to campus, and usually with 3 or more years of eligibility. Miles also showed that JCs can fill immediate holes (Parchment).

Strictly by the numbers, 4 x 25 = 100, so JCs could be added each year without jeopardizing roster balance. If 17 HS players and 8 JCs were added each year (17x4 + 8x2 = 84) the roster would work.

All that is complicated by the number of redshirts or players leaving the program early. As Dale says, this staff has shown they deserve the trust that they know what they are doing.

The current recruit sounds a lot like the LB that followed the staff from Buffalo; Miller.

1 year ago


Edward Daub

Rivals Rankings (# of Stars) must be taken with a "boulder of salt".

Our two Bigs who fled to the SEC were both 2 star recruits.

KU's two 4 star recruits (Parker and Wheeler) are currently Subs.

I sure hope he can perform at the Power 5 level. I Like Mike!

1 year ago


Dirk Medema

Ed - IIRC, Parker has both been injured and bounced around due to coaching/scheme changes. Fortunately, both he and Wheeler are still young and developing.

1 year ago


Joseph Bullock

I’m still confused about when we will have our full allotment of Scholarships! Can someone please help me out on that?

1 year ago


Commenting has been disabled for this item.