Kansas State Football Recruiting: 2011 Class Bodes Ill For Bright Future

This report on Kansas State football recruiting brought to you by Ahearn Alley and our friends at FanTake.com. Follow them on Twitter at @AhearnAlley.

Overall Class Rating – D – Rivals rated KSU's 2011 haul the worst class in the revamped Big 12 alongside Iowa State, and with good reason. There’s not much there, with nothing better than a three-star, although ESPN says KSU picked up a four-star this weekend (see below).
 
Top 5
 
Meshak Williams/DE/6-3/230/Hutchinson CC (KS) — #37 Juco per Rivals

 Williams originally signed with K-State out of high school in Georgia but didn’t meet academic requirements. He can get off the edge quickly and should be a big boost to K-State’s pass rush.
 
Ian Seau/DE/6-3/235/La Costa HS (CA) — #18 DE per ESPN
Junior’s nephew probably would have followed in his footsteps at USC if not for the mess Pete Carroll left. Instead, the undersized end with good speed and quickness committed to K-State this weekend. It’s probably a good thing he came before this week’s blizzard.

Kip Daily/DB/6-0/181/Blinn College CC (TX) — no rating available
The best of three juco cornerbacks Snyder brought in, Daily hails from the same school that produced Michael Bishop and Cam Newton.

Lamonte Clark/DT/6-4/310/Ballou Senior HS (D.C.) — DT #39 per ESPN
This mammoth of an 18-year-old has a good wingspan to help him break up passes, and could be the only good thing D.C. natives Chris and Billy Cosh have provided to the program in two years.
 
Sam Harvill/DT/6-0/254/Shiloh Christian HS (AR) — DT #46 per ESPN
Harvill set a world record by bench pressing 505 pounds……when he was 15. Today he benches 585 and he put up some impressive high school stats but most schools took a pass on him because they say he’s too short and doesn’t have enough bulk.
 
Most Likely Early Contributor(s)
To go along with Daily, Seau and Williams:
 
Justin Tuggle — Dual threat quarterback from Blinn probably isn’t the next Bishop or Newton, but then again, neither is his competition at K-State.
 
Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone — Two shutdown corners from City College of San Francisco.
 
Angelo Pease — The Hutchinson CC standout is listed as an athlete, although K-State plans to bring him in as a running back. That’s what he played last season after spending his freshman year as the quarterback. He’s another guy who would have been with K-State two years ago if he had done better in school or on standardized tests.
 
Dillon Wilson — If Anthony Cantele struggles like he did at the beginning of his sophomore season, this kicker from Midlothian High School in Texas could be ready to fill in.
 
Top Class Sleeper(s)
Daniel Sams was being recruited by several big time schools before he got expelled from Salmon HS in the New Orleans metro area for undisclosed reasons six games into his junior year. Many of those schools rescinded their offers, although he still turned down offers with Miami and Oklahoma. More offers came during his senior year after he was restated and averaged 11.5 yards per play as a quarterback, running back and wide receiver, amassing at least 600 yards and 7 touchdowns at each position.
 
The One That Got Away
Marcus Kennard committed to KSU early and would have been the crown jewel of this class had he not changed his mind and decided to go to Texas Tech, where I suppose he will see the ball more. The 6-4 four-star juco receiver would have immediately provided K-State with an impact player who could have been its tallest receiver and a much-needed downfield threat. Instead, the ‘Cats will have to settle for 6-4 Jade Cathey, who won’t be nearly as good as Kennard this year, if ever. But Cathey did break Liberal’s receiving yards record during his junior season — which is impressive if you’re familiar with Kansas football — and judging by the second comment under this highlight package, he has a very supportive mother.

Hey, Jealousy
Even at the peak of the Bill Snyder era it’s hard to imagine why a superstud touted by some as "the best athlete in Kansas history" would want to go to school in Manhattan, Kansas, but today Starling probably didn’t even read the first line of his scholarship offer from Kansas State. Instead, the dual-threat quarterback from little Gardner-Edgerton was told by Nebraska he could be the next Eric Crouch, and he took the bait. Sort of. Even if he signs to play at Nebraska on Wednesday, it’s unlikely Starling will ever step foot on a football field or in a classroom in Lincoln, or anywhere else. Unless you think his agent, Scott Boras, is going to let Baseball America’s top prospect play a sport where people are trying hard to tackle him. Oh by the way, Starling could probably find a spot on Frank Martin’s team, too.
 
I'm From Mizzourah
It’s hard to imagine a guy who leads off his YouTube highlight package with the fact that he got a 17 on his ACT is going to have an outstanding college career. Honestly, nothing else really stuck out about Danté Barnett, who played wide receiver in high school with another K-State 2011 recruit. Sometimes that means one is riding the coattails of the other, and since I’m not going to bet against Tyler Lockett (Kevin’s son, Aaron’s nephew), that leaves Mr. Barrett with the short end of the stick.
 
Strongest Position Group
You may have noticed that four of the top five recruits are defensive linemen.
 
Weakest Position Group
Other than Arthur Brown, K-State does not have a single linebacker, which seemed like something of an urgent need as opposing offenses opened up holes as large as a double-wide pickup for most of this season. Get on it, coaches.
 
Narrative
Short-term bandaid. The best case scenario for this class is that it allows Snyder to keep it together this year, develop some of the younger players, and maybe provide some reason for future recruits to come to Manhattan and help him build up the program again. That’s more or less what Daniel Thomas was able to do the last two years, and hopefully Bryce Brown can live up to the hype he had when he graduated high school in 2009 and someone like Tuggle can exceed the relatively small expectations. Snyder has always been good at finding talent out of nothing, as former walk-ons like Jon McGraw (Kansas City Chiefs), Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) and Rock Cartwright (Oakland Raiders) can attest. The Wildcats still probably need and will get more jucos to round out the class (particularly on defense and the offensive line, but the overall quality is not going to get any better.
 
Did class address need? 
As far as bringing in guys who can immediately shore up the defense and fill the gaping hole at running back left by Daniel Thomas and William Powell, the class could potentially do the job. But that’s expecting a lot, and certainly other than the stained Brown brothers, there’s no one who looks like an All-Conference type player.
 
Closing Thoughts
It’s never a good sign when some of the best things you can say about a class are that the recruits had relatives who were really good at football, or even worse, they come from schools that produced college stars at their positions. But that seems to be the case here. Coach Snyder, I hope you’ve got some magic tricks left in the bag.

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