Mangino's recruiting class ranked 33rd nationally
After only two wins in his initial season as KU's head football
coach, Mark Mangino signed 26 players on Feb. 5. Of the 26
signees, 14 are junior-college transfers.
"We felt like we needed some junior-college talent,
and we were successful in that area," Mangino said.
Nine junior-college newcomers are defensive players, in keeping
with one of Mangino's key priorities: bolster KU's defense.
The Jayhawks surrendered 42.2 points per game in the 2002
"We feel with the young men that we brought in on defense,
coupled with the kids that we have here in the program, we've
got a chance to build our defense and be able to stop some
people," Mangino said.
The most highly touted transfers are Iowa Central linebacker
Gabe Toomey (6-4, 235 pounds) and Arizona Western College
defensive end Monroe Weekley (6-4, 256).
Jon Kirby of rivals.com said KU's junior-college class might
be the best in the country.
Rivals 100.com ranked the incoming class for the Jayhawks
Among high school players signed, running back John Randle
highlights the list. Randle, an all-state player from Wichita
Southeast, chose the Jayhawks over Colorado, Michigan St.,
Missouri and Kansas State.
"We don't take anybody from anybody," Mangino said
when asked about Randle's choice of KU over rival Kansas State.
"Recruiting is recruiting. It was hard work, just like
it is every other kid. There's no attacking any opponents.
We don't do that. We think we have a pretty good thing to
Randle played defensive back and running back while at Wichita
Southeast but came to KU to be a running back.
"He told us that his true love was playing running back,"
Mangino said, "and that's what we're going to have him
Randle is excited to be a Jayhawk and thinks that a winning
KU football program is on the horizon.
"I know they're not the best right now," he said,
"but I have faith they're going to come up and win some
games. I want to be a part of that."
more about the 2003 Kansas Football signees
quotes from the recruits
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE