National Signing Day was today, and with that came a lot of 18-year-old kids making some of the biggest decisions of their lives. Where they want to play college football, to be precise. With each star they have these guys garnered more and more national attention, some even filling entire auditoriums and gymnasiums full of people excited to see where they will continue their careers. This year, there were plenty of standout players that made national headlines. Whether it be for controversial reasons or based off of pure play, plenty of news was made today. Let's have a look at the best signings for each local school, as well as their biggest transfer portal pickup. (KU, Missouri, K-State, feel free to add your school in the comments!) (via 247sports.com )
Overall 247 Sports Ranking: 67th
Composite Rank: 75th
Transfer Rank: 29th
Best '23 Signing: Jaden Hamm, 3-Star TE, Eudora, KS
Best Transfer: Logan Brown, 4-Star OT, Wisconsin
Kansas is coming off their best season since 2008, and with that Kansas has garnered at lot of recruiting attention that they really haven't seen since Les Miles first agreed to come on as head coach. Then, guys like Pooka Williams, JAMAAR CHASE, and others committed to play for KU, some actually coming on, others (like Chase...) choosing to either transfer or decommit before the signing period. This year however feels very different than that last "big name" class KU had. These guys want to play for Lance Leipold, and Lance Leipold has proven he's no snake oil salesman like Miles was. The players Leipold has secured over the recruiting and transfer period have been nothing short of perfect fits for each need KU has going into the '23 season, including 2 much needed kickers in Seth Keller and Charlie Weinrich. The biggest signings though, are 3-Star TE Jaden Hamm out of Eudora and Wisconsin transfer OT Logan Brown. Hamm was originally committed to Arkansas before Leipold and company persuaded him to stay home. A huge get for a TE-savvy offensive system, he'll make an immediate impact. As for Brown, he comes from one of the best programs in the country for offensive linemen. One of KU's highest starred players ever gotten, Brown will slot right in and protect Jalon Daniels as the Jayhawks offense only seems to be improving further and building upon this past year. A solid job and a solid group of players. They still have work to do in terms of getting that high school recruiting ranking up and continuing to build on local recruiting, but this is a solid class still.
Overall 247 Sports Ranking: 34th
Composite Rank: 32nd
Transfer Rank: 34th
Best '23 Signing: Brett Norfleet, 4-Star TE, St. Charles, MO
Best Transfer: Theo Wease, 4-Star WR, Oklahoma
Eli Drinkwitz is a better recruiter than I thought he was. He's brought in some high quality talent. 4, 4-star recruits is pretty impressive for a team coming off a 6-6 season, and it can definitely be said that these guys will make an impact when they hit the field. Missouri has filled their needs, but the key now is utilizing the talent you have on the roster. This is where Drinkwitz's actual coaching abilities will come into play. You can be a great recruiter, but if you're not a great coach (of which Drinkwitz has proven to be average so far) you're nothing more of a snake oil salesman such as KU Les Miles. This being said, I am genuinely excited to see how MU develops over the next couple of years. You have a lot of St. Louis talent on this list going to Mizzou, the only thing that it really lacks is the KC talent. That can come with time though, as said in previous articles, if Drinkwitz secures winning seasons. Let's look at the best gets though for MU. Brett Norfleet is a tall, talented TE that can make plays over the top. With the tall frame, it comes easy. Pair him with a good quarterback and Mizzou has a recipe for success. Same goes for Theo Wease, transfer from OU. The former 5-star recruit out of high school only needs some space to make plays, he's incredibly quick and will pair well with Luther Burden. Another solid outing in the recruiting process, get that KC connection though and it could be even better.
Overall Rank: 37th
Composite Rank: 29th
Transfer Rank: 85th
Best '23 Signing: Avery Johnson, 4-Star QB, Maize, KS
Best Transfer: Keagan Johnson, 4-Star WR, Iowa
As is tradition, Kansas State has had the most local success recruiting. Plenty of local talent here with the '23 class from all over Kansas. A tradition that Bill Snyder started, and Chris Klieman has continued with ease. The obvious glaring flaw here is the transfer ranking. K-State has two transfers thus far, and while it's not the end of the world they don't have a ton, in the everchanging world of college football the transfer portal is only getting more and more important. Many coaches recognize that, but Klieman is not biting for one reason or another. If it ain't broke, don't fix it I suppose, but here's to hoping they can remain on the right track and not get left in the dust. Kansas is starting to nip at the heels in terms of local recruiting, so that well could very well run dry depending on how these next couple of years go. Let's look at this year's class though, however. Avery Johnson is very similar to Adrian Martinez. A mobile quarterback that can show lots of trickeration and can throw bombs too if needed. Very much a K-State style QB, much in the same vein of Colin Klein (Who, funnily enough, runs K-State's offense) I am both excited and petrified as a KU fan to see how he pans out. As for Keagan Johnson, an under-utilized wide receiver in a bad offensive system like Iowa's will be hungry for reps. Except him to come out guns blazing once he sets foot in Manhattan. He's got quickness and catching ability, with the only flaw really being size at 6'1" 194, and to that point size is not nearly as big of a factor as it was before receivers such as Tyreek Hill hit the scene. It'll be fun to see where the KU/K-State rivalry goes over the next couple of years, and I'm sure these two will be key contributors on the K-State side along with a lot of other guys in this class.
Overall, local schools performed pretty well in the recruiting process this year. It's obviously not done yet considering transfers are still happening and there will be another signing period in February, but thus far all three local schools have solid classes. The future is bright here in the MoKan area, for both high school and college football.
Burn Notice: 10/10 2023: The year of #BurningItDown