LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Charlie Weis had made it clear that he’s modeling his rebuilding job at Kansas in part on what Bill Snyder accomplished just down the road at rival Kansas State.
That means recruiting a heavy load of junior college and four-year transfers.
Weis announced a 25-member class on national signing day Wednesday that he hopes will be able to help immediately. Among them are eight junior college players and two transfers from four-year schools, quarterback T.J. Millweard from UCLA and tight end Kent Taylor from Florida.
Weis was scheduled to discuss his third recruiting class during an afternoon news conference, but it was postponed a day because of heavy snow. Weis said in a statement that the class addresses many of the Jayhawks’ biggest holes.
”I’m very pleased with this recruiting class,” Weis said. ”Our staff had to show good patience and through hard work we filled almost every pressing need.”
There were few surprises on signing day. Along with the four-year transfers, Weis had already announced the addition of cornerback Ronnie Davis from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, offensive lineman Keyon Haughton from Georgia Military Academy and safety Anthony Smithson from Hartnell College.
Traevohn Wrench, a record-setting running back from Gardner-Edgerton High School, may be the most noteworthy signing. He grew up in the shadows of the Kansas program, ran for more than 2,000 yards last season and could help ease the loss of James Sims to graduation.
Wrench won’t be without competition, though. The Jayhawks also signed running back Corey Avery from Carter High School in Dallas, who ran for more than 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
Other high-profile additions include offensive lineman Jacob Bragg from Nacogdoches, Texas, and linebacker Kyron Watson from East St. Louis, Ill.
Weis also chose to honor the memory of Andre Maloney, a wide receiver from Shawnee Mission West in suburban Kansas City, by including his name among the list of recruits. Maloney, who had committed to Kansas, suffered a stroke shortly after scoring a touchdown in a game last fall. He underwent surgery to remove the clot but died the following day.
After going 1-11 his first season in Lawrence, Weis went 3-9 a year ago while ending a 27-game Big 12 losing streak with a victory over West Virginia.
Kansas will return 16 starters when it opens spring practice March 4. The annual spring game is scheduled for April 12 with the season opener Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State.
National rankings (Rivals 53; Scout 62).
Best in class: Traevohn Wrench, rb, Gardner, Kan.
Best of the rest: Jacob Bragg, ol, Nacogdoches, Texas; Kyron Watson, lb, East St. Louis, Ill.; D.J. Williams, dl, Lufkin, Texas; Derrick Neal, wr, Dallas.
Late addition: Corey Avery, rb, Dallas, who picked Kansas this past week after visiting Nebraska and considering Ohio State, LSU and Texas.
One that got away: Austin Stevens, dl, Montclair, N.J., committed to Kansas in September and switched his pledge to Boston College in December.
NOTE: Kansas invested heavily in football hotbeds Texas (11 players) and Florida (four), while picking up three in-state recruits. But as evidence of the lengths Weis was going to secure talent, he also lured prospects from six other states and Canada.