Miles, Klieman welcome new signees as early signing period starts

(WIBW) - Les Miles and Chris Klieman haven't had time to waste.

The new coaches at Kansas and Kansas State have had to recruit fast and hard with the early signing period beginning on Wednesday. Kansas signed 10 new recruits while Kansas State signed 15.

Kansas State

Just a week after he was introduced and while leading North Dakota State to an FCS national title game, Chris Klieman was in Manhattan on Wednesday to discuss the newest Wildcats. He said he's had to get recruits to trust in the school after a coaching search while he adjusts quickly to his new job in a tight schedule.

"Gaining trust in myself and my vision with help from all of these guys that Kansas State is a great place, it does not matter who is in the front of the room," Klieman said. "The institution is a phenomenal institution."

"I was just selling the fact that we have a great AD and he is going to find the perfect fit," director of recruiting Taylor Braet said. "Obviously, he did."

The Wildcats were able to snag two Lawrence Free State signees from KU in Jax Dineen, younger brother of former Jayhawk linebacker Joe Dineen, and Keenan Garber. That pumped up Braet.

"I was going crazy over that one," Braet said. "They want us to be successful and they are Kansas kids that believe in the state and that is a major punctuation mark of, 'We have got this going.'"

They also flipped a North Dakota State commit in quarterback Jaren Lewis. After Alex Delton announced he was transferring, Klieman said getting a recruit from his soon-to-be former school was key.

"It fit another need for us," Klieman said. "I have been a part of programs where, if you lose a guy at the quarterback position and you do not have a backup, it does not matter how good you are in other places, you are going to struggle."

The list of all 15 K-State early signees can be found below:

Cooper Beebe, DT, 6-3, 329, Kansas City, Kan. (Piper HS)

Jax Dineen, FB, 5-11, 230, Lawrence, Kan. (Free State HS)

Khalid Duke, LB, 6-4, 225, Atlanta, Ga. (Riverside Military Academy)

Joe Ervin, RB, 5-10, 190, Rock Hill, S.C. (South Pointe HS)

Konner Fox, TE, 6-5, 225, San Antonio, Texas (Reagan HS)

Keenan Garber, WR, 6-0, 175, Lawrence, Kan. (Free State HS)

Chris Herron, QB, 6-1, 194, Houston, Texas (Langham Creek HS)

William Jones II, DB, 5-11, 170, Mansfield, Texas (Summit)

Jaren Lewis, QB, 6-3, 215, Columbia, Mo. (Battle HS)

Taylor Poitier, OL, 6-3, 250, Shawnee, Kan. (Bishop Miege HS)

Trevor Stange, OL, 6-4, 272, Coppell, Texas (Coppell HS)

Logan Wilson, DB, 5-11, 170, Dallas, Texas (Bishop Dunne HS)

Ty Zentner, P/K, 6-2, 185, Topeka, Kan. (Butler CC)

James Gilbert, RB, 5-9, 198, Indianapolis, Ind. (Ball State)

Marcus Hayes, DB, 6-0, 192, Rockford, Ill. (New Mexico)


Les Miles had more time than Klieman, but still had to try and sell early signees on a Jayhawk program that's been struggling for years.

Still, he pulled in 10 early signees and harped on the importance of recruiting in-state. Two of the Jayhawks' early signees hail from Kansas in Mason Fairchild (Andale High School) and Jayden Russell (St. Thomas Aquinas).

"There are some really talented guys right here in Kansas and they want to stay home," Miles said in a release. "This is a great education. This is the place where the number one basketball team is playing. Athletics happen here. Quality academics happen here. It is an easy place to want to represent."

The former LSU head coach wanted to address his quarterback depth and add bigger receivers as well.

"We ended up with a great junior college quarterback, arguably the best pocket-mobile quarterback there was, in Thomas MacVittie," Miles said. "We have really good receivers here at Kansas, but not necessarily the tall guys you are used to seeing in the SEC.

"We went after some 6-4, 6-3 guys and put them in our class in Ezra Naylor and Andrew Parchment, and that will certainly make that quarterback position that much more effective with a nice tall place to look to throw the football."

Miles was also pleased with additions KU made on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary and trenches.

"We signed two corners in Valerian Agbaw and Justin Ford," Miles said. "Those guys are really good and will have the ability, should we want to step up on and play off hand jam and challenge that quarterback. We also have a really good safety in Jayden Russell.

"We also went to the defensive line. We signed guys who will be very significant in our development as we go forward. This is a small class that does not have the full numbers. It is the hand that we are dealt in terms of numbers, but in my opinion we put a great class together."

The list of all 10 Kansas early signees can be found below:

Valerian Agbaw, CB, Fr., Powder Springs, Ga. (McEachern HS)

Mason Fairchild, TE, Fr., Andale, Kan. (Andale HS)

Justin Ford, CB, Jr., Concord, N.C. (Cox Mill HS, Golden West College)

Malcolm Lee, DL, So., Omaha, Neb. (Bellevue West HS, Iowa Western CC)

Torry Locklin, QB, Fr., Rockdale, Texas (Rockdale HS)

Thomas MacVittie, QB, Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio (Moeller HS, Mesa CC/Pittsburgh)

Ezra Naylor Jr., WR, Jr., Atlanta, Ga. (North Atlanta HS, Iowa Central CC/Kennesaw State)

Andrew Parchment, WR, Jr., (Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Cypress Bay HS Iowa Central CC/Northern Illinois)

Jayden Russell, S, Fr., (Shawnee, Kan., St. Thomas Aquinas HS)

Caleb Sampson, DL, So., Covington, La. (Northlake Christian HS, Coahoma CC/Missouri)