Set to bring in its best recruiting class since the 2011 season, expectations are high for Kansas football’s 2021 recruiting class.
And after signing 18 recruits on National Signing Day last month, some members of Kansas’ 2021 recruiting class have already moved to campus and are ready to join the team for the spring semester.
Kansas is adding a total of seven recruits from the class of 2021 for the spring semester, including quarterbacks Ben Easters and Conrad Hawley, safeties Omar "O.J." Burroughs and Jayson Gilliom, offensive tackles De’Kedrick Sterns and Larson Workman, and cornerback DeVonte Wilson.
Hawley, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound pro-style quarterback from Raymore-Peculiar High School in Peculiar, Missouri, is the No. 95-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.
“I think it will give me and the other guys a head start,” Hawley told the Kansan Monday. “Anytime you can get four months of classes, weight training, film, and football — nothing beats that. I think it’ll help me a lot for sure.”
Hawley said he’s excited to compete with Easters for the backup quarterback job.
“That’s why I’m here, to compete and be the guy,” Hawley said. “I feel I can improve every single part of my game.”
Wilson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound cornerback from Robert F. Munroe Day School in Quincy, Florida, is the No. 148 cornerback in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.
“By the freshmen coming in early, we can get a better relationship with our teammates and build better chemistry,” Wilson told the Kansan.
Kansas is also bringing in Notre Dame graduate transfer Colin Grunhard and class of 2020 signee JaCobee Bryant for the spring.
Kansas will also add three walk-on prospects in kicker/punter Gavin Gundaker, JUCO defensive back Kwinton Lassiter and transfer receiver Kevin Terry, who spent the last three seasons as a walk-on at Texas Tech.
“I feel I will be a step ahead to continue getting better on the field, stronger in the weight room, and smarter in the classroom,” Lassiter told the Kansan.
Lassiter, a 5-foot-11, 173-pound defensive back from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, is the younger brother of former Kansas wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II, who played for the Jayhawks from 2017-20.
“I’m a ball hawk,” Lassiter said. “Wherever the ball is I am. I’m not the tallest, not the strongest, but you’re going to feel me all game."
“I’m learning more to become a voice of the defense even from the “outside” position," he continued. "KU fans can expect a determined player ready to help the team out any way possible.”
Gundaker, a 5-foot-11, 179-pound punter and kicker from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, announced his commitment to Kansas on Jan. 11.
“I believe [enrolling early] will help me understand the team more, help with building chemistry, and help to already be prepared for the season,” Gundaker told the Kansan.
Kansas football shared a video of some of the new players moving in on Sunday.
Spring enrollees are expected to begin offseason strength and conditioning work with the team Monday.
Kansas football's 2021 early enrollees:
Quarterback - Ben Easters
Quarterback - Conrad Hawley
Safety - O.J. Burroughs
Safety - Jayson Gilliom
Offensive Tackle - De’Kedrick Sterns
Offensive Tackle - Larson Workman
Offensive Lineman (Notre Dame Transfer) - Colin Grunhard
Wide Receiver (Texas Tech transfer) - Kevin Terry
Cornerback - DeVonte Wilson
Wide Receiver (2020 signee) JaCobee Bryant
Kicker and Punter (Walk-On) - Gavin Gundaker
Defensive Back (Walk-On) - Kwinton Lassiter