Kansas State Announces 2007 Recruiting Class

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Head football coach Ron Prince completed his second recruiting class at Kansas State Wednesday with the announcement of 29 National Letter of Intent signees.

“I am very pleased with the overall make up of this class and specifically the number of regional and local players,” Prince said. “I think our coaching staff did an excellent job of evaluating the talent in our region and finding players that fit our system. What’s really exciting is the number of players who had a major impact on the game from a combination of positions.”

Kansas State’s Class of 2007 includes 18 players who project to see playing time on the offensive side of the ball, 12 who are expected to see the field on defense and two specialists.

The group of 29 joins three players who signed national letters with K-State in December and includes a total of seven players (six junior college and one high school) considered to rank among the nation’s top 100 prospects in their respective classification.

Prince and his staff were able to address several needs in the class, specifically at offensive line and wide receiver, where the Wildcats added six players to each position group.

K-State’s offensive recruiting haul also includes three running backs, two tight ends and a quarterback.

On defense, the Wildcats were able to address needs across the board, adding four defensive linemen (two tackles and two ends), four linebackers and five defensive backs.

In addition to filling a number of needs at a variety of positions, K-State was also able to add a large dose of speed to its team. A total of seven signees have been clocked at sub-4.45 in the forty and 15 of the 32 new Wildcats have turned in forty times of 4.55 or faster. Outside of the 16 speedsters at skill positions, K-State also signed a number of linemen who are considered to possess excellent speed for their respective position groups.

“The overall speed in this class is excellent and I am very pleased with the number of fast players we were able to add, especially the ones from our own state,” Prince said. “We also added some excellent size to our program with this class and again a number of those players are local products.”

Unlike last year’s class, which was culled from 15 different states, Kansas State’s class of 2007 is represented by just eight plus one foreign country. Once again the state’s of Kansas (7) and Texas (7) are well represented and comprise 14 members of the class. Kansas State also fared extremely well in the states of Missouri (5), and Illinois (4).

The majority of the class - 24 of the 32 - are out of the high school ranks, while eight are junior-college transfers.

“I am excited about the kind of impact the junior college players will have on our roster, specifically at wide receiver, along the offensive line and across the entire defense,” Prince said. “That group has the potential to give us immediate fire power as well as a veteran presence.”

Noting K-State’s Class of 2007

Where They’re From
Kansas State’s 2007 recruiting class consists of players from eight states and one foreign country. The majority of the class hails from Kansas (7) and Texas (7), with Missouri (5) and Illinois (4) also producing a number of new Wildcats.

Homegrown Heroes
Head coach Ron Prince has placed an emphasis on locking down the best players in his own state and it appears that Kansas State did just that in the Class of 2007. The Wildcats signed a total of seven players from the Sunflower State. Six of the seven are rated among the top-20 players in the state of Kansas by Rivals.com, including (5) Jeremy Reed, (6) Tysyn Hartman, (7) Justin Woods and (9) Kevin Rohleder. No school in the country signed more top-20 Kansans than the Wildcats.

More “local” products
The Wildcats also did well in the neighboring state of Missouri, receiving pledges from five of the top 30 players from the Show-me State. Headlining the list is Rivals Top 100 performer Lamark Brown, who was tapped as the No. 3 player in Missouri by the recruiting service.

Getting Offensive
After concentrating on the defensive side of the ball in last year’s class, Kansas State set its sights on shoring up the offense in 2007. A total of 18 players in this year’s recruiting class project as offensive players, with the offensive line (6) and wide receiver (6) units gaining the most help.

Filling the Need
The Wildcats put a recruiting emphasis on offensive linemen, linebackers and wide receivers in this year’s class and Prince and company are extremely pleased with the results. K-State signed six offensive linemen, three of which are from junior colleges, six wide receivers, four of which are 6-0 or taller, and four speedy linebackers. Lamark Brown, perhaps the group’s most decorated prep star, and Brian Harris are both listed as athletes but project as a wide receiver and linebacker, respectively. The wide receiver group consists of Brown, speed merchants Richard Evans and Deon Murphy and

Instant Gratification
Few schools in the country proved to be as productive in recruiting the junior college ranks for the Class of 2007 as Kansas State. The Wildcats are expected to receive immediate help from eight junior college transfers, including Rivals Top 100 performers (5) Gary Chandler, (34) Chris Patterson, (67) Deon Murphy, (71) Alesana Alesana, (80) Ernie Pierce, (93) Eldridge Sims. As a result, no school in the nation inked more Rivals junior college top-100 selections than K-State’s six. The Wildcats also received NLIs from defensive tackle Mike Abana and offensive lineman Ben Liu, a pair of three-star rated performers who likely fell just outside the top 100.

Wildcat Again
For the second year in a row Kansas State has signed a junior college transfer it originally signed as a prep. Last year, Cedric Wilson inked with the Wildcats after spending two seasons at Garden City (Kan.) Community College. This year, Gary Chandler, the No. 5 junior college player in the country, re-pledged to K-State after spending the past two seasons at Coffeyville (Kan.) College.

Double-Dipping
Kansas State’s 2007 recruiting class includes four sets of teammates. From the high school ranks Colten Freeze and Payton Kirk both prepped at Liberty (Mo.) High School, Brian Harris and Jerrell McDaniel played together at East St. Louis (Ill.) High School and Dante Pinchback and Brandon Walls were teammates at Irving (Texas) High School. The Wildcats also nabbed a pair of teammates out of Coffeyville (Kan.) College in Gary Chandler and Deon Murphy. The recruiting class also includes four players who previously played with current Wildcats. Josh Cherry teamed up with Tony Purvis at McCook (Neb.) High School, Darhnaz Tigner was a schoolmate of Josh Moore at Ely (Fla.) High School, Clyde Aufner blocked for Carson Coffman at Ray-Pec (Mo.) High School and Chris Patterson was teammates with a number of current Wildcats at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

You Can’t Coach Speed
Head coach Ron Prince has emphasized the importance of being a fast team in his time at Kansas State and the Wildcats signed plenty of speed in its 2007 recruiting class. A total of seven signees have been clocked at sub-4.45 in the forty, including the two fastest of the signees, Justin Woods and Deon Murphy, who have both been clocked at 4.3. Sixteen of the 32 new Wildcats have turned in forty times of 4.55 or faster, which includes a fast group of linebackers in Brandon Walls, 4.49, Kevin Rohleder, 4.4, Chris Patterson, 4.5, and Brian Harris, 4.6. Outside of the 16 speedsters at skill positions, K-State also signed linemen who have been dubbed athletic and mobile at their positions with the likes of Alesana Alesana, Clyde Aufner, Ben Liu and Eldridge Sims on the offensive side of the trenches and Mike Abana, Raphael Guidry and Xzavier Stewart on the defensive side of the line.