Kansas Football Last Among New-Look Big 12 in Recruiting

Kansas Football Last Among New-Look Big 12 in Recruiting
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

There aren’t a lot of college football programs that have emerged from the depths of the sport quite like Kansas has since coach Lance Leipold arrived in Lawrence three years ago.

In three seasons, the Jayhawks have gone 17-21, including a 9-4 campaign that saw KU pick up its first bowl win in 15 years when the Jayhawks beat UNLV, 49-36, in the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix.

While Kansas is unlikely to win a national title anytime soon — oddsmakers from ESPN BET Kansas list KU at +25000 to do so in 2024 — there’s no denying Leipold has resurrected what was a moribund program.

The Jayhawks’ on-field success hasn’t translated into recruiting wins, by and large, however, with KU posting the worst 247 Sports average recruiting class ranking among the 2024 version of the Big 12 over the last half-decade at 70.6.

Still, KU fans and Kansas sports betting enthusiasts will likely trade a lower level class in exchange for the on-field success the Jayhawks have experienced.

Here’s where the Jayhawks stack up on the recruiting trail, compared to the 16-team Big 12 Conference that’ll begin this fall.

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Big 12 Average Recruiting Ranking Since 2020

Team Average
West Virginia41.2
Oklahoma State42.4
Texas Tech43.0
Iowa State48.2
Kansas State52.6
Arizona State55.4

Kansas sports betting apps sites list Georgia as the favorite for next year’s national championship at +360.

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Jayhawks Struggling on Recruiting Trail

Kansas’ lack of success between 2008 and 2021, with two winless seasons (2015 and 2020) and zero bowl berths, forced Leipold and his staff to start anew when they arrived in Lawrence back in 2021.

That’s largely why KU’s average recruiting class ranking of 70.6 between 2020 and 2024 is so far behind the next closest Big 12 school (Houston, 67.4), despite the Jayhawks posting more wins (17) between 2021 and 2024 than three other Big 12 programs — Arizona (16), Arizona State (14) and Colorado (nine).

For Leipold and his staff, 2024 presents the Jayhawks a golden opportunity, with veteran quarterback Jalon Daniels back in full health and running back Devin Neal returning after consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The season begins Aug. 29 against FCS program Lindenwood at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., due to renovations taking place at Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks will play Big 12 home games against TCU (Sept. 28), Houston (Oct. 19), Iowa State (Nov. 9) and Colorado (Nov. 23) at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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