Sports in KS: 25 Under the Radar FB Recruits for 2016

Christian Jegen of Mill Valley still hasn't picked up an FBS offer. (photo: Keith Boaz)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen
Dec 15, 2015

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We have listed 25 recruits, plus several more that we think are under the radar recruits in the state of Kansas for the class of 2016. Our criteria was guys with one or less FBS offers to be listed. Players with two or more FBS offers werent elgible and are listed at the bottom of this list. 

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Alex Blake, Blue Valley North – Wide Receiver – 6-3 210

Blake is a big bodied wide receiver that had a huge senior season with over 900 yards receiving. Blake also had 15 touchdown receptions to help North into the 6A playoffs.

Anthony Brown, Mill Valley – Defensive Line - 6-2 270

Brown is one of the strongest players in Kansas. He has a 600 squat, 375 bench and was one of the best defensive lineman in the state for 2015 football season. Brown also shows some quickness running a 40 under 5.0. Mill Valley was known for its athletes on offense this year, but Coach Applebee credits the defense for stepping up big in 2015 for the 5A state title, Brown was a huge reason for controlling the line of scrimmage. He is being recruiting by the Kansas jucos and Division II. Don’t know if it’s the height that is his knock, but there are a lot of successful defensive tackles right at his size, Brown is physically strong enough to play early for a college.

Jordan Birch, Andover Central – Athlete 6-2 210

Birch isn’t necessarily a sleeper in the recruiting game, having already committed to a very good FCS program at running back in Illinois State, but maybe to some extent what he can do as an athlete. Many coaches think Birch could line up on the defensive side of the ball. He has been able to maintain his speed as he has put on weight. He is one of the states fastest players and has won the last two state titles in the 110 meter hurdles. He could very well be one of those guys that keeps 4.5 speed weighing 230 pounds and playing linebacker.

Dawson Downing, Bishop Miege – Athlete – 6-0 205

Downing, who had two all-state seasons at running back for back-to-back state champions Miege, is one of the more explosive players in Kansas. When it comes to college, coaches don’t know exactly where they will play him. He has shown the ability to run and catch the football out of the backfield. He has a walk-on offer from Mizzou and offers at the FCS level. Although he didn’t have to play defense in high school, you may think he could transition on that side of the ball with his size and quickness. His dad also was a defensive back at Mizzou, so it’s in his genes. Downing is also one of the states best discus throwers going nearly 170 feet last year. Also keep in mind, by age, Downing is only a junior in high school as he won’t be 18 until next fall football season, but will graduate this spring. Coach Jon Holmes knows someone is going to get a good player at the next level.

Trey Georgie, Lawrence – Lineman – 6-5 265

Georgie doesn’t get a lot of the spotlight at LHS with Amani Bledsoe getting all the hype with over 40 division one offers. However, Georgie does have multiple FCS offers and one offer at the FBS level which gets him on the list. Many seem to think Georgie looked better on the offensive side of the football than he did on the defensive side. You could see him playing either side of the football at the next level. If he were to use a Kansas junior college he may have a handfull of FBS offers in a couple years. 

Harley Hazlett, Abilene – Athlete – 6-4 195

Hazlett, an all-state quarterback, is a great athlete and proved that in 2015 for the Cowboys as they made the 4A-I state playoffs. Coaches like him at either quarterback or receiver at the collegiate level. He has seen some interest from in-state FBS programs but no offers, and heavily looked at by FCS, Division II and Kansas Jucos.

Luke Heisdorffer, SM East - Defensive End - 6-5 245 

Heisdorffer was just 195 pounds during the 2014 season at linebacker for SM East. He bulked up in the weight room in the off-season and has ranged from 235-250 pounds over the course of the season. He is fairly unknown because of his position change and missing some time in 2015. He has shown the ability to keep on speed with added weight. Coach Delaney feels like he is division one material and he knows all about that as he sent Kyle Ball to Kansas State last season. 

Tucker Horak, Rossville – Athlete – 5-10 180

Horak was the first player in Kansas history to rush for over 2,000 and pass for over 2,000 in the same football season. He led the Bulldawgs to back-to-back state championships in 3A with a 28 game winning streak. He may have had the best career in Kansas high school history but that didn’t help in the offer department. His biggest knock has been size and speed. Horak who runs in the 4.6-4.7 range sure doesn’t play like it. He is one of those guys that makes people miss and always seem to come out of the pile. Coaches also tell us they don’t know what position to play him at in college. We say “give him the ball”. Division II and jucos are all over this Kansas star. If he can show the ability to play slot receiver in college, he is going to make someone a nice player. That is the question right now that we don’t know because he has played quarterback in high school. Sometimes we get caught up in combine numbers and forget kids can play football. Regardless of what he does in college, what a career he had. Definitely a player that can make your program better in multiple ways. Every program in Kansas should be recruiting this kid. Kansas may have had a rough year in the Big 12 but former 3A/2A players Ryan Schadler and Michael Glatzack were contributors, who is to say Horak can't at least be that type of player? 

Will Honas, Bishop Carroll – Linebacker – 6-2 220

Honas didn’t get to prove what he could do on the football field in 2015 because of injury but there was no question he was going to be one of the states best linebackers if he was healthy. Honas has speed in the 4.6-4.7 range and very nice size for a linebacker coming out of high school. Bishop Carroll still made the state title game without Chris Dugan and Honas, who were favorites to be all-state selections before injuries. Can you imagine how nice that defense would have looked with those two playing? Honas also gets it done in the classroom with a 28 score on the ACT.

Christian Jegen, Mill Valley – Athlete – 6-2 200

Jegen, who earned the states player of the year honor from Gatorade, is one of the most athletic and versatile receivers we have seen in Kansas in quite some time. He holds offers at the FCS level, but still hasn’t generated an FBS offer outside of programs wanting him to walk on. Although his best position suited is definitely receiver, Jegen looked just as comfortable at running back, returner and safety. He is arguably the best player in Kansas without an FBS offer. If he doesn’t end up with an FBS offer, you could see him being a major contributor at an FCS program early.

Noah Johnson, Bishop Carroll – Offensive Line – 6-2 275

Johnson doesn’t have the size that college recruiters drool over, but the way he plays on the field speaks otherwise. Coach Alan Schuckman told us he is one of if not the best lineman he’s ever coached while at Carroll. He does have an FBS offer from Air Force and an FCS offer from Liberty, but this is a guy that can contribute to a Division I program if given a chance. The City League has sent two lineman to Butler the past two years that had zero FBS out of high school and now have multiple (Ben Powers – Kapaun, Zach Befort – Carroll). Johnson could be that type of player.

Will Jones, Washburn Rural – Linebacker - 6-2 220

Jones had a huge senior year with over 100 tackles from his outside backer position for the Junior Blues. He is receiving interest from the FCS level and holds an offer from Drake. He also has offers at the Division II level and junior colleges in Kansas. If a bigger offer doesn’t generate you may see Jones try and go the Kansas juco route to get an FBS offer. Jones has a 40 time in the 4.6-4.7 range and has a bench press of 275 pounds.

Trace Kochevar, Salina South – Tight End - 6-7 225

Sam Sellers told us Kochevar is one of the better blockers he has ever coached and he has had some good ones at South. Kochevar has multiple FCS offers and is starting to generate some major looks at the FBS level. He wasn’t utilized in the passing game, but was one of the better blocking tight ends in the state this season. Have to think with his size and blocking ability that something will happen soon for this 2016 Kansas prospect.

Jeremy Luck, Maize South – Offensive Line – 6-5 305

Luck is one of the biggest players in the state and also one of the best lineman in Kansas, earning all-state honors the past two years. His speed has been his knock by major programs, but Luck is worth taking a look at out of the Wichita area. Luck has a 5.5 40 time and 305 bench. He has offers from pretty much every program in the MIAA at the Division II level. Luck helped pave the way for the heavily recruited Korie Frausto who holds several FCS offers and offers from Air Force and Army.

Jace McDown, Columbus – Linebacker – 6-0 220

McDown, who led the state of Kansas this year in rushing with over 2,600 yards from the running back position, earned nearly every postseason honor you can get in 2015. His days of running back may be over unless he transitions over to be a fullback at the next level. College coaches like him at the linebacker position, where he had over 120 tackles this season. His weight room numbers are off the charts for a senior in high school as he benches 340, squats 500 and should be the favorite to win 4A state powerlifting this winter. When he used to wrestle he won a state title in 4A as a sophomore. His biggest knock has been speed, but has improved his time to running in the 4.6 range this fall. He is seeing interest from Kansas junior colleges, Division II, and FCS.

Brock Monty, Kapaun – Quarterback/Athlete – 6-2 195

Monty will walk-on at Kansas State despite receiving one offer from FBS level in that of Air Force. He also generated some Ivy League interest. Monty has the size and speed to play at the level it’s just a matter of what position he will play. He has shown the ability to be a very good high school quarterback and can get the job done with his legs.

Cole Morris, Mill Valley – Linebacker/Defensive End – 6-5 215

Morris was on one of the best defenses in Kansas for 2015 and really stood out with 90 tackles, nearly 30 of those tackles for loss, in 2015. Perhaps the best defensive end/oustside backer in the state, he is very under recruited. Morris has 40 speed in the 4.6 range and shows the ability to run. A college weight program will help him get bigger and add some strength and this kid has the frame to put it on. Kansas junior colleges think this guy is one of those guys that goes from zero FBS out of high school to multiple after a year or two in the JC ranks. He proved himself on the field in 2015 against the best competition in Kansas, can he do it at the next level?

Darraja Parnell, Andover Central – Wide Receiver – 6-3 195

Parnell may have the most upside out of anyone on this list and that’s because he is new to high school football. In only two years at Andover Central he had nearly 2,000 yards receiving and helped his squad to its first ever state runner-up finish, coming in 4A-II. Parnell, a Central Arkansas basketball commit, is one of the best basketball players in the state. He was offered at the FBS level by Toledo and that could change to what his future with basketball could be if he chooses football. If he was this good after two years, who knows where his ceiling is.

C.J. Perez, Aquinas – Tight End 6-3 240

Perez may be one of the best blocking tight ends in Kansas for the class of 2016. He didn’t put up any big stats, because Aquinas utilized him as one of their primary blockers in the flex bone attack. He is seeing interest from Division II and Kansas junior colleges.

Sherrick Rogers, Pittsburg – Athlete - 6-1 195

Rogers is a very versatile athlete after earning 8-man all-state WR as a junior at Chetopa and earning all-state RB at Pittsburg as a senior. He seems like he could be more of a receiver in college, but he’s also not afraid to come up and hit you playing defensive back. He wasn’t an Alex Barnes running back at Pittsburg High, but showed more versatility than just about anyone in 5A besides Jegen of Mill Valley. Rogers has speed in the 4.5-4.6 range.

Ian Rudzik, Ulysses – Linebacker 6-3 225

Rudzik is an explosive athlete that may be one of the most underrated players in Kansas. He has had two FBS programs offer him, but we still feel he is a bit underrated. His offers: KU offered last week and Wyoming, where he no longer has an offer at because of others commiting earlier this season. He stood out as a high school running back with over 7,000 career yards but his best days ahead of him may be on defense. Coaches like him at linebacker and defensive end. He has great speed and is a little raw on defense due to the focus of his career being on offense. Rudzik has a 57-foot throw in the shot to win 4A last year and also features a 100-meter dash time at 11.0, making the state finals last year at 225 pounds. There are not many Kansan’s that can run and throw like this in the past, the ones that have that ring a bell: Mark Simoneau, Lance Lewis, Monty Beisel. We all know how those guys turned out at the Division I level. Kid is worth a chance for an FBS scholarship.

Brady Rust, Derby – Quarterback 5-10 180

Rust, much like Horak, doesn’t have the size or speed that is bringing coaches to drool all over him. However that didn’t stop him from carrying his team to the 6A state title and arguably had the best year in Kansas at quarterback outside of what Horak did at the 3A level. Don’t know what level he will end up at but this has to be a guy that can make your team better as a winner.

Logan Weakley, Augusta – Defensive Back- 6-2 185

Weakley is a very athletic defensive back that isn’t afraid to hit and has great range. He has speed in the 4.5-4.6 range and has the size college coaches are looking for. Weakley also featured a 39-inch vertical leap. He shows great versatility as a return man. He had nearly 60 tackles and picked off two passes this past season. The all-state defensive back is seeing interest from junior colleges, FCS and Division II.

Jace Williams, Buhler – Athlete – 6-5 210

Williams is a multiple sport standout that could play multiple sports at the next level. The biggest thing we have heard from recruiters is knowing where they would play him, kind of a common thing said among a lot of these guys on the list that grade out as athletes. He seems to be more of an athlete than quarterback, but with his size you may think he would be able to play multiple positions. He has offers from the FCS, Juco and Division II levels.

J.D. Woods, Lawrence – Running Back – 5-7 170

Not to compare anyone to Darren Sproles because there is only one Sproles, but Woods features a lot of similarities to the former Olathe North star. Woods features great speed running a 10.73 in the 100 meter dash and a 40 time in the 4.4 range. His biggest knock has been size, standing just at 5-foot-7 and weighing 170 pounds. That doesn’t stop him from great numbers on the field with back-to-back seasons of 1,600+ and 1,900+ yards in the Sunflower League. He is also the all-time leading rusher in Lawrence history. Woods also gets in done in the weight room with a 260 bench and 500 squat. Woods, who currently has only D2 offers, is waiting on an ACT score that could change a lot for him with several FCS waiting to pull the trigger. Everyone knows about Bledsoe, Georgie and Morgan at LHS, but Woods also a legitimate D1 prospect.

Jason Zook, Chapman – Lineman – 6-4 275

Zook is a load on the offensive and defensive lines and a very nice athlete capturing the state title undefeated at 285 pounds last year in 4A. Kansas State has had some success bringing in former wrestlers into their grey shirt or walk-on programs. Zook, more known for what he has done in wrestling, is worth the look.

More Under the Radar: 

Jaden Abernathy, Buhler - OL/DL

Cole Baird, Silver Lake – ATH

Blake Beckett, Halstead - LB

Alex Bott - Wichita NW - WR

Dante Brooks, Topeka – ATH

Austin Cook, Fort Scott OL 

Joey Dolan, BV North - QB

Chris Diddle, Olathe NW - K 

Chris Dugan, Carroll – DE

Jared Green, SM West - OL

Riley England, Oswatomie ATH 

Kasey Feyh, Wamego - DL 

Austin Fletcher, Hutchinson TE/OL

Kevin Folson – Wichita NW - QB

Allen Fraire, Liberal - LB

Jeff Gurley, Blue Valley - DE

Cooper Griffith, Scott City – LB

Ben Hecht, Mill Valley – OL (North Dakota State commit)

Layke Hoffman, Winfield – TE/DE

Trevor Hudson, Derby - OL 

Peyton Huslig, Andover Central - QB

Tate Kaufman, Halstead TE/DE

Kaelin Key, Miege – DL

Nick Kirmer, Emporia - LB

Kash Larabee, Meade - LB

Coope Leach, Doniphan West - WR

Gavin Lively, Norton – ATH

Duron Lowe, Aquinas - DB

Colton McCumber, Blue Valley - ATH 

Jahron McPherson, Basehor Linwood - DB

Will Mengarelli, Pittsburg – LB

Rodney Murphy, Heights - RB

Christien Ozores, Junction City - DB

Brooks Peavler, Hayden - LB

Creighton Sanders, Heights – DB

Vinnie Shabazz, Olathe North - ATH

Chris Schilling, Aquinas - DB

Noah Schomacker, Cheney OL

Sam Skwarlo, Free State - LB

Brody Southwell, Fort Scott - K

Bryce Torneden, Free State – ATH (North Dakota State commit)

Nikolaia Tostado, Shawnee Heights DL

Caden Walters, Dodge City QB

Jake Watkins, Blue Valley SS

Duall Watson, Wichita NW DL

Dakota Williams, Topeka OL

Alex Wilson, Paola – TE

Raye Wilson, Junction City RB

To see Top 100 seniors list (not based on recruiting) click here

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Players in Kansas w/ at least 2 FBS Offers

Mason Barta, Holton LB

Amani Bledsoe, Lawrence DL

Korie Frausto, Maize South QB/ATH

Teven Jenkins, Topeka OL

Xavier Kelly, Wichita East DE

Mike McCoy, Topeka RB

Tom Killilea, Aquinas OL 

Isaiahh Loudermilk, West Elk OL/DL

Price Morgan, Lawrence LB

Isaiah Simmons, Olathe North DB

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This list was compiled by Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas with input from Ben Mitchum of SB Nation.