Jayhawks ink 10 on first day of December signing period


Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football added 10 players to its roster for the 2019 campaign as the December signing period opened Wednesday. The 10 players are composed of four high school players and six players who spent time at a junior college before becoming Jayhawks.

“We came into the recruiting season and had to hire a staff,” said Kansas head coach Les Miles. “As the staff came on board, we came up with goals of people we must have. We assembled needs and I am really proud of how they have done and all of the hard work they have put in. They have done a great job of assembling a small class, but one that is talented and addresses some very specific needs.”

As they looked to address the needs they identified, Miles and his staff will welcome a mix of players in classes as four freshman, two sophomores and four juniors will join the program.

“One need we addressed was quarterbacks,” said Miles. “We ended up with a great junior college quarterback, arguably the best pocket-mobile quarterback there was, in Thomas MacVittie.

“We have really good receivers here at Kansas, but not necessarily the tall guys you are used to seeing in the SEC. We went after some 6-4, 6-3 guys and put them in our class in Ezra Naylor Jr. and Andrew Parchment, and that will certainly make that quarterback position that much more effective with a nice tall place to look to throw the football.

“We signed a quality defensive back class. We signed two corners in Valerian Agbaw and Justin Ford. Those guys are really good and will have the ability, should we want to step up on and play off hand jam and challenge that quarterback. We also have a really good safety in Jayden Russell.

“We also went to the defensive line. We signed guys who will be very significant in our development as we go forward. This is a small class that does not have the full numbers. It is the hand that we are dealt in terms of numbers, but in my opinion we put a great class together.

Another element to the class that was important to Miles was getting some local talent to choose the University of Kansas for their collegiate careers.

“We want to recruit first and foremost in the 500 mile footprint,” said Miles. “We want to recruit Kansas. We took two high school kids from Kansas in Mason Fairchild and Jayden Russell, who are good players and are going to have great careers. There are some really talented guys right here in Kansas and they want to stay home. This is a great education. This is the place where the number one basketball team is playing. Athletics happen here. Quality academics happen here. It is an easy place to want to represent.”

2019 Kansas Football Signees

Name Position Year Hometown High School Previous School
Valerian Agbaw CB Fr. Powder Springs, Ga. McEachern HS
Mason Fairchild TE Fr. Andale, Kan. Andale HS
Justin Ford CB Jr. Concord, N.C. Cox Mill HS Golden West College
Malcolm Lee DL So. Omaha, Neb. Bellevue West HS Iowa Western CC
Torry Locklin QB Fr. Rockdale, Texas Rockdale HS
Thomas MacVittie QB Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio Moeller HS Mesa CC/Pittsburgh
Ezra Naylor Jr. WR Jr. Atlanta, Ga. North Atlanta HS Iowa Central CC/Kennesaw State
Andrew Parchment WR Jr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Cypress Bay HS Iowa Central CC/Northern Illinois
Jayden Russell S Fr. Shawnee, Kan. St. Thomas Aquinas HS
Caleb Sampson DL So. Covington, La. Northlake Christian HS Coahoma CC/Missouri
Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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