Kansas Recruiting Corner: Sims, Beachum, and Other Tid-Bits

C.W. O'BrienCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 24:  Quarterback Todd Reesing #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks gets the crowd fired up during team introductions prior to the start game against the Missouri Tigers at Arrowhead Stadium November 24, 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I posted a recruiting update on Monday because I honestly anticipated a bit of a slow week in recruiting.

Kansas University had not received a commitment in the last week, the guys I thought were going to commit over the weekend didn't, so I figured it was time to start going through some of the prospects and give some updates.

That was Monday morning. This is today. There have been some significant strides made on the recruiting trail in the last few days.

James Sims Commits

On Monday afternoon James Sims became KU’s eighth official commitment for the recruiting class of 2010. The 6'0", 205-lb. back is from Irving, Texas and is the sixth Texas prospect to commit to KU.

As of now, the versatile back has not been rated by Rivals, but has a three-star rating by Scout (#73 RB) and a 77 rating from ESPN.

Sims also had offers from Arkansas, Pudue, Iowa State, Utah, North Texas, Tulsa, and UTEP.

The Macarthur High School product has D-I size to go with excellent speed (4.5-4.55 forty) and his lower body strength is amazing (600-pound squat).

He is a between the tackles runner with soft hands. He caught 21 passes as a junior and 12 passes as a sophomore for seven touchdowns; one TD for every 4.5 receptions.

He isn’t considered explosive, but he has the ability to power through tackles on the interior and burst once he gets into open space.

Jatashun Beachum Update

Beachum or Big Tex, as he is better known, has an unofficial visit coming in the next week or so. Beachum’s recruitment has adjusted slightly over the last few weeks, more so than originally thought on the last update.

KU has reportedly moved to the top of his list, with Oregon and Oklahoma close behind. This has been confirmed by Beachum’s high school football coach, as well as Bryan Cisler at Rivals.

Florida has backed off of him drastically and there is some debate over whether or not Oregon has actually offered him a scholarship. This is good news for the Jayhawks.

Ja’Ney Jackson has developed a good relationship with Beachum, and as of now, KU is recruiting the beast of a man at running back. As of now, the relationship with Jackson and the ability to play running back appear to be the key selling points for KU.

Anthony Gatti Update

Parkway North (St. Louis, MO) offensive tackle Anthony Gatti has narrowed down his list to three. His current top three are Ole Miss, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Earlier this summer, it was reported that Gatti wanted to select a school before his season started, but as of now it doesn’t look like that will happen.

Gatti, who attended KU’s Junior Days earlier this year, was leaning towards KU and MU at the start of the summer. All signs pointed to him holding out for a Missouri offer, but the Tigers held out their offer until mid-June.

When he didn’t instantly commit to the Tigers, his recruitment opened up drastically. Since then Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and Wake Forrest have all turned the heat up.

While he has narrowed down his list to three potential suitors, KU has not backed off of his recruitment. Ed Warinner is personally handling Gatti’s recruitment. While he appears to be solid with those three schools, the longer KU can stay on the edge, the better.

If he visits the three schools and doesn’t like what he sees or hears, the Jayhawks would be in the right position to pick up this talented offensive tackle.

Mystery In The Making

In recent weeks there have been a few weird adjustments on the recruiting trail with regards to players that are committing. Isaac Umesi, Carey Fortson, and Corey Jones have all allegedly given verbals to KU, however those verbals disappeared from Scout and Rivals almost as quickly as they appeared.

Umesi had an offer from KU for quite a while. Apparently he voiced his commitment in an interview with Scout. It was placed on their site and then quickly taken down. Scout no longer has him listed as having an offer. On Rivals, KU is listed as high and everyone else is listed as a medium.

Fortson has had an offer in place for about the last six weeks or so. It has been reported that he loves KU and has since before he started high school. He was expected to come to Lawrence on an unofficial visit last weekend. Now he is no longer listed as having an offer on either site.

Jones is a mystery in his own way. He is from Memphis, TN, which is far from being a recruiting pipeline for KU. The DE/LB reportedly received an offer in the mail about a week ago and made the decision that he wanted to go to KU.

I don’t know if this was a question of guys jumping the gun on conditional offers or if the kids all had offers and said, “I really want to go to KU,” and their statements were just construed as verbals. I honestly don’t have a clue what is going on. If anyone has any insight, let me know.

Other Recruiting News

Rumors are circulating out of Wichita that, while Joe Randle’s recruitment is expected to slow down, his top two schools are currently KU and Oklahoma State. While I have been able to find nothing to confirm those rumors, Wichita Southeast’s football coach, Gary Guzman, has indicated that Randle wants to play in the Big 12 and he also wants to stay close to home.

Happy Trails

The following players have committed elsewhere in recent days. It is a shame to see Jolly and Fuller off the board. I think Bibbins saw the writing on the wall with Smiley and started looking elsewhere. It is the nature of the beast.

• Wide Receiver Jordan Jolly from Midwest City, TX, has committed to Houston.
• Tight End Kenneth Bibbins from Sugar Land, TX, has committed to Houston.
• JuCo Weak Side Defensive End Adam Davis from Folkston, GA (Hutchinson CC), has committed to K-State.
• Cornerback Kyle Fuller from Baltimore, MD, has committed to Virginia Tech.
• Safety Alton Demby from Galena Park, TX, has committed to Houston.


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