81 Days: Recapping the Kansas Football 2024 High School Recruiting Class

We take a look at the group of freshman trying to make an impact on the roster this season.
Kansas freshman quarterback Isaiah Marshall (8) breaks through the defense during Friday's Spring Preview at Rock Chalk Park.
Kansas freshman quarterback Isaiah Marshall (8) breaks through the defense during Friday's Spring Preview at Rock Chalk Park. / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA
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It seems like the Kansas Jayhawks always have that one guy in their high school recruiting class to get fans excited. Les Miles had a few, David Beatty had a few before him, and even Charlie Weis had some fans excited with individual players. But all too often, that excitement was rooted in what one individual player could potentially do for the team, without a similar excitement about the high school recruiting class as a whole.

Under Lance Leipold this season, the Jayhawks have a class that includes multiple guys that would have fans excited in pretty much every year, including two huge defensive line prospects that could provide the foundation for even more growth on the defense in the next phase of the Kansas program.

So let's dive into the high school recruiting class that is making their way to campus this season for the Jayhawks. We already looked at the 10 players in the transfer class earlier in the countdown, but you might be even more excited about the guys below:

Deshawn "DJ" Warner, EDGE

The highest-rated prospect for the Jayhawks in program history, Warner is a 4-star prospect out of Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, AZ. The 2nd-ranked player in the state, Warner comes in at a huge position of need and will make an immediate impact for the Jayhawks. He was an absolute force in his senior year of high school, with impressive sack and turnover numbers to lead his school to the state championship game. Warner committed to the Jayhawks during the early signing period, and his decision to stick with Kansas (plus recruiting several other players to the school) will pay huge dividends for Leipold and his staff.

Dakyus Brinkley, EDGE

Another four-star edge player, Brinkley comes to Lawrence from Katy High School in Katy, TX. The highly-recruited player (he had 12 total Power 5 offers) missed most of his senior season with a knee injury that required surgery, but he was an early enrollee and impressed the coaches during Spring Practices. He has an early leg up on Warner for playing time, and his talent level should give him a solid rotational piece at a minimum.

Isaiah Marshall, QB

The three-star Southfield High School prospect out of Southfield, MI is a huge piece of the plans for the future for the Jayhawks. He's behind Jalon Daniels in the depth chart, but he arrived on campus for the spring and was very impressive in his snaps with the team. He led his team to a state title last season, and he has been heralded for his awareness and running ability. He has a lot of the same tools that Daniels came to Kansas with, and it will be interesting to see how he can develop them.

Austin Alexander, CB

As a slightly undersized cornerback out of Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, IL, Alexander has a lot of the skills that you have come to expect from Kansas corners. He has a fantastic feel for the flow of the game and can anticipate what the offense is trying to do. He will fit in perfectly to the high-risk, high-reward defensive style that likes to jump routes and create big plays.

Carter Lavrusky, OT

Lavrusky is a two-sport athlete out of Horizon High School in Scottsdale, AZ, competing in the throw events in track and field. He received offers from multiple Power 5 programs but decided to stick with the Jayhawks. He will likely be key depth for the Jayhawks, looking to develop into a solid contributor in future seasons.

Jalen Todd, CB

The three-star prospect out of Southfield High School, who also runs track, had a slew of offers across the Power Five conferences, but looks to jump into a crowded cornerback room for the Jayhawks. But he gets a season to learn from some of the best players that Kansas has had at the position in a long time before stepping up into the hole being left with all the seniors exhausting their eligibility after this season.

Harry Stewart III, RB

Stewart is a small but powerful three-star prospect out of Centennial High School in Frisco, TX who stepped into a crowded running back room and turned a few heads in the spring session. He has a power that will serve him well in a change-of-pace role, but needs to get a bit better trusting his blocks. He featured at times in the Spring Showcase, and I expect him to have a bit of run this season, especially when Kansas has games in garbage time.

Damani Maxson, S

A three-star safety out of Clear Lake High School in Houston, TX, Maxson gives the Jayhawks a solid defender with a lot of upside, something that this defense has a huge need for. His coverage skills will allow him to push for some playing time this season, but I expect him to be another developmental guy that will get to plug some holes after the year. That's a huge sign considering he likely would have been a surefire starter just a couple years ago.

Dre Gibson, CB

If not for the recent All-American level play from guys like Cobee Bryant and Mello Dotson, Kansas fans might be talking about the potential for Gibson to be one of the better cornerbacks that Jayhawks have seen in years. The three-star prospect has a lot of fantastic tools, including the speed and anticipation that have made Kansas defensive backs successful recently. He also is skilled as a returner, which should give him another avenue to see the field early.

David Abajian, OT

A three-star prospect out of Chaminade High School, Abajian is expected to be solid depth for the Jayhawks on the offensive line. He picked Kansas over offers from 6 other Power Five schools, and he has the tools to be able to provide help if called upon.

Carson Bruhn, TE

A three-star prospect out of Sioux Center High School, the tight end joins an absolutely loaded room. But Kansas also likes to run 3 or 4 deep at the tight end position, and Bruhn has the size to be able to play the way the Kansas coaches like.

Jacorey Stewart, LB

A three-star guy out of Milton High School in Alpharetta, GA, Stewart will have a chance for an immediate impact. He has good vision and has shown both pass rushing ability and coverage ability, something that Kansas can never have enough of.

Jonathan Kamara, LB

A three-star prospect from Desert Edge High School, Kamara helps to fill an important need for the Jayhawks on the defense. He has built a solid relationship with linebacker coach Chris Simpson, but his self-admitted need to work on the mental aspect of the game could make it a bit harder for him to see the field early, especially since he was not an early enrollee.

Greydon Grimes, DL

Son of new Kansas offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, Greydon joins the Jayhawks at a position of need with the expectation of an opportunity to join the rotation. He has a great grasp of the mental side of the game, but will need to find his niche in a room that has a lot of bodies.

Harrison Utley, OT

The three-star prospect out of Norman, OK will join multiple other recruits in trying to make an impression in the offensive line room. There likely isn't room for him to get a lot of playing time this season, but he will be a good development piece for the next few seasons.

Kene Anene, IOL

The three-star prospect from East Ridge High School in Saint Paul, MN was a late addition to a lot of recruiting lists, letting the Jayhawks get in on his recruitment early in the process. They were the first Power Five school to offer the lineman, and he completed his official visit and committed to the program just seven days after that offer. He will provide much needed interior depth for Kansas this season, as those interior positions seem set coming into the summer program.


Overall, this is the type of class that you expect a rising program to be able to put together. The three 4-star recruits are a huge step forward for Kansas, and as more players are committing to the Jayhawks and sticking to those commitments, the talent base is slowly on the rise up. It will be interesting to see what these players are able to bring to the field, both now and in the future.

Andy Mitts


Andy Mitts is an alumnus of the University of Kansas, graduating in 2007. He previously covered the Jayhawks at Rock Chalk Talk and is now the editor-in-chief at Blue Wing Rising. He hosts the Kansas-themed Rock Chalk Podcast, and is VP of Membership of the Ten 12 Podcast Network. Follow him on Twitter @AndyMitts12.