LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas men’s golf landed the top-ranked golfer in the state of Kansas as part of a three-man recruiting class announced by the team Thursday.
Chase Hanna, the No. 1 ranked boys’ player in Kansas according to Golfweek, signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) along with Jacques Wilson from Minnetonka, Minn., and Danny Summers from Mission Hills, Kan.
A native of Leawood, Kan., Hanna participated in three American Junior Golfers’ Association events in 2011 and placed in the top three in two of them. The Shawnee Mission East Lancer also claimed an eighth-place showing at the 2011 6A High School State Championship before posting another top-20 performance as a junior last spring.
“Chase is the whole deal,” said Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel. “He hits it hard. He has great upside just because physically he’s a big kid. He’s a two-sport athlete, so he’s very athletic. (There’s) a lot of KU tradition in the family, so I think he was the cornerstone of our recruiting class. We’re going to build this program around Chase. I think he has that type of potential. He’s a local kid, huge KU fan and a lot of people know him around the state.”
Like Hanna, Wilson has established himself as one of the better players in his state. Wilson has won eight tournaments on the Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Tour over the past two years, including the Players’ Tour Tournament of Champions in August where he shot a two-round total of 2-under 142 to claim the trophy by nine strokes. Wilson also helped lead Minnetonka High School to a runner-up finish in class 3A at the 2012 Minnesota State Championship.
“We went up to Minnesota and got a kid that I think kind of flew under the radar,” said Bermel. “(Jacques is) a big kid who hits it hard and has a lot of upside to him. Hopefully in a couple years people will be asking, ‘Where did you find that guy? Who recruited this kid?’ He’s a winner. He’s won a lot in the state of Minnesota, but hasn’t really played a lot nationally.”
Rounding out the 2013 signing class, Summers placed in the top 10 of half of the events he participated in during the 2011 junior circuit. He also represented Rockhurst High School at the 2012 Champions Tournament in Palm Springs, Calif., before helping the Hawklets claim the class 4A state title with a top-15 individual finish.
“I think we needed to make a statement in Kansas,” said Bermel, who is in his first season leading the Jayhawks. “I think we got the best player in Kansas in Chase Hanna. Danny Summers I think can help us as well, so those two were big. We tried to look for a couple guys who could play right away and possibly a guy who could help us down the road. We have three seniors, so we certainly wanted to replace those guys. I think we did what we needed to do and accomplished some good things with the three guys that we signed.”
Bermel looks forward to seeing the recruiting class challenge to make the five-man squad next fall.
“We wanted guys who can come and challenge what we have on the team right away,” said Bermel. “I think these guys can. There are no guarantees. They’re going to have to come in and prove themselves. I told all three of them that hopefully they’ll be better players on August 15 as compared to right now, so they need to get better. Our team needs to get better, but I think they can push the guys that we have on the team right now.”