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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Kansas Football Announces Additions of Eight Newcomers

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Head Coach Lance Leipold announced the addition of six scholarship players to the Kansas Football program on Wednesday and eight total newcomers to the squad.

The Jayhawks added a pair of offensive linemen in Joey Baker (Southlake, Texas) and James Livingston (Dexter, Mich.), quarterback Ethan Vasko (Chesapeake, Va.), tight end Tevita Noa (Salt Lake City, Utah), and safeties Kaleb Purdy (St. Louis, Mo.) and Mason Ellis (Mulvane, Kan.).

Leipold also announced the additions of offensive lineman Kael Farkes (Lenexa, Kan.) and placekicker Grant Glasgow (Lawrence, Kan.) to the program.

Wednesday’s additions to the 2022 signing class are the first of a group that will expand in the coming months, as there is also a NCAA signing period in February.

Here is a closer look at the newest group of Jayhawks:


Joey Baker

Offensive Line

6’4” / 250 lbs. / Freshman / Southlake, Texas / Southlake Carroll HS

High School: A 247 Sports and Rivals.com 3-star recruit…Played his high school ball at Southlake Carroll High School for Coach Riley Dodge…Helped lead team to a 14-1 record as a senior and an appearance in the 6A D1 State semifinals…First-team all-district 4-6A by the Dallas Morning News as a junior…Helped Southlake Carroll reach state championship game as a junior.

Personal: Son of Joe and Jill Baker.


Mason Ellis

Safety

6’2” / 188 lbs. / Freshman / Mulvane, Kansas / Mulvane HS

High School: A 247 Sports 3-star recruit…Rated as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com…Prepped at Mulvane High School for Coach Daniel Myears…Sports in Kansas first-team all-state as a senior…First-team all-conference and county as a senior…As a senior, totaled 37.5 tackles, 12 pass breakups and four interceptions…Also played quarterback for Mulvane and threw for 1,569 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,152 yards and 21 touchdowns on 183 carries.

Personal: Son of Jeff and Shannon Ellis.


James Livingston

Offensive Line

6’7” / 275 lbs. / Freshman / Dexter, Mich. / Dexter HS

High School: A 247 Sports 3-star recruit…Ranked as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com…Prepped at Dexter High School for Coach Phil Jacobs…First-team all-state selection by the Detroit News as a senior…Named first-team all-state Division 2 by the Detroit Free-Press as a senior…First-team All-State, Associated Press as a senior…Two-time first-team Ann Arbor Dream Team selection…First-team all-region and honorable mention All-Southeastern Conference White honors as a junior.

Personal: Son of Drew and Kathy Livingston


Tevita Noa

Tight end

6’3” / 250 lbs. / Junior / Salt Lake City, Utah / Snow College

Prior to Kansas: A 247 Sports 3-star recruit…Rated as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com…Played at Snow College after a standout high school career at Highland HS…Caught nine passes for 159 yards and four touchdowns in seven games for Snow College during the Spring 2021 season…Helped lead team to an NJCAA national runner-up finish…A 2017 graduate of Highland High School in Salt Lake City…Played mostly defense at Highland and totaled 29 tackles and three sacks as a senior.

Personal: Son of Ofa Noa and Sita Noa.


Kaleb Purdy

Safety

5’10” / 170 lbs. / Freshman / St. Peters, Mo. / DeSmet Jesuit HS

High School: A 247 Sports and Rivals.com 3-star recruit…Played for DeSmet Jesuit High School in the St. Louis area for Coach Carl Reed…Helped team to an 8-3 record as a senior…Posted 59 tackles and three interceptions as a senior…Four-year starter for DeSmet…Posted 52 tackles and team-best three interceptions as a junior in 2020…Part of state championship team in 2019 as a sophomore…Class 6 media second-team all-state selection as a junior…Participated in track and field for DeSmet.

Personal: Son of Dyami Purdy and Aneca Luss.


Ethan Vasko

Quarterback

6’3” / 180 lbs. / Freshman / Chesapeake, Va. / Oscar F. Smith HS

High School: A 247 Sports 3-star recruit…Ranked as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com…Led Oscar Smith High School to three state championship games and back-to-back state championships…Broke Virginia High School record with 10 touchdowns in a single game…Tied state record with nine touchdown passes in a single game…Totaled a 35-3 record as a starting quarterback with 9,203 total yards and 134 total touchdowns…Two-time all-region offensive player of the year and three-time first-team all-region quarterback…I-64 Sports first-team quarterback…Abe Goldblatt All-Tidewater Player of the Year.

Personal: Son of Richard and Jennifer Vasko.


Kael Farkes

Offensive Line

6’3” / 240 lbs. / Freshman / Lenexa, Kan. / Shawnee Mission Northwest HS

High School: Prepped at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School for Coach Bo Black and helped lead team to an 8-4 record…On top of playing center on the offensive line, totaled 64 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and three sacks as a defensive end as a senior…Totaled 104 tackles in his career and 16 tackles-for-loss…Named second-team All-Sunflower League Offensive Line in 2020 as a junior…Earned 2020 Wichita Eagle all-state honorable mention.

Personal: Son of Chris and Leanne Farkes.


Grant Glasgow

Placekicker

6’1” / 180 lbs. / Freshman / Lawrence, Kan. / Lawrence HS

High School: Prepped at Lawrence High School for Coach Clint Bowen, helping team to a 9-3 record…Went 8-for-9 on field goals as a senior, with a long of 48 yards…Came through with game-winning kick in the final seconds of his team’s win at Olathe North…Converted on 48 of 50 extra point attempts…Averaged 67 yards per kickoff as a senior.

Personal: Son of Jeff and Kerry Glasgow.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
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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