How Is Kansas' JUCO/Transfer-Heavy Recruiting Class Working Out?

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterOctober 18, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 21:  Head Coach Charlie Weis of the Kansas Jayhawks coaches from the sidelines during the game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No Big 12 program needed a quick fix like Kansas, so head coach Charlie Weis invested heavily in junior college and Division 1 transfers for the 2013 season. 

Weis brought in more than 20 players who would be able to play in '13. But how many of them have actually panned out?

Through the first half of the season, 14 have seen at least some playing time with a handful being key contributors. A few have already left the program while others are redshirting for various reasons. 

Below is a closer look at how each transfer is performing for the Jayhawks. 

(All recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.) 

Andrew Bolton, DE (Hinds College)

Bolton, recovering from a knee injury, is redshirting this season and will battle for a starting job in 2014.

Rodriguez Coleman, WR (Garden City College) 

A 3-star JUCO prospect, Coleman was brought in to boost the Jayhawks' struggling passing game. He has three receptions for 39 yards on the season. 

Marquel Combs, DT (Pierce College)

Combs was the prize 4-star recruit in Weis' 2013 class and played an instrumental role in bringing other JUCO players to Lawrence. However, he never cracked the starting lineup and didn't travel to the Sept. 14 game against Rice. He transferred from Kansas less than two weeks later and has since landed at Southeastern Louisiana

Samson Faifili, LB (American River College) 

Faifili started the first four games of the season at weak side linebacker for Kansas. He has eight tackles. 

Zach Fondal, OL (Navarro College)

Fondal was a 3-star lineman who has played as a backup at left tackle this season.

Ahongalu Fusimalohi, OL (City College of San Francisco) 

A 2013 member of the Big 12 All-Name Team, Fusimalohi has started all five games at left guard for Kansas this season. 

WR Nick Harwell at Miami (OH)
WR Nick Harwell at Miami (OH)Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Harwell, WR (Miami)

Harwell joined the Jayhawks after an impressive career at Miami (OH). However, he was dismissed from Miami last spring for an off-the-field incident and thus was not able to complete the mandatory coursework to transfer with immediate eligibility. 

Jake Heaps, QB (BYU)

Heaps is the starting quarterback for Kansas after sitting out the 2012 season. The passing game has yet to fully take off with Heaps; the junior has thrown for 887 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions through five games. 

Brandon Holloman, DB (Pierce College) 

Holloman has appeared in two games with five tackles as a backup corner this season.

Marcus Jenkins-Moore, LB (Pierce College) 

Jenkins-Moore was closely tied to Combs in the '13 class having also come from Pierce College. However, a knee injury over the summer ended the season for Jenkins-Moore. 

Isaiah Johnson, DB (Iowa Western College) 

Johnson has been one of the best additions for Kansas in 2013. A starter in all five games, Johnson is second on the team with 40 tackles. He's also tied for first on the team with two interceptions. 

Oct 12, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs receiver David Porter (14) is defended by Kansas Jayhawks safety Isaiah Johnson (5) at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tedarian Johnson, DT (Hinds College) 

Johnson provided depth at the defensive tackle spot for Kansas and has five tackles on the season as well as a sack.

Chris Martin, DE (City College of San Francisco)

Martin was one of the most talented members of Kansas' 2013 class, but came to the Jayhawks with plenty of baggage. He signed with Cal in 2010, but transferred to Florida five months later. However, he later left the Gators program after being arrested for marijuana possession. 

In May, Martin was arrested in connection to an armed robbery and was dismissed from the team in June

Dexter McDonald, DB (Butler College) 

McDonald actually began his career with the Jayhawks under former coach Turner Gill. He appeared in seven games as a redshirt freshman in 2011 before academic problems cost him a spot on KU's roster. He has had a lot of success since returning to KU with 12 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception. 

Justin McCay, WR (Oklahoma)

McCay was an unproven, but highly regarded, wide receiver transfer who sat out the 2012 season. He began the 2013 season with two receptions and a touchdown against South Dakota, but has not caught a pass since. 

WR Justin McCay
WR Justin McCayJohn Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


Ty McKinney, DT (Trinity Valley College) 

McKinney was slated to enroll at Kansas early, but his arrival was delayed into the start of the season while waiting on an exam to fulfill his JUCO requirements. He's contributed since, however, with six tackles. 

T.J. Millweard, QB (UCLA)

Millweard, a redshirt freshman, transferred to Kansas from UCLA prior to the start of the 2013 season in order to be closer to home. He must sit out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. 

Trevor Pardula, P (De Anza College)

Pardula is in charge of kickoff and punting duties for Kansas. He has 13 touchbacks on 20 kickoffs and averages 47 yards a punt. 


Cassius Sendish, DB (Arizona Western College) 

Sendish has had an immediate impact for Kansas, having played in all five games. His 25 tackles are good for fifth-best on the team. A 3-star prospect, Sendish previously played at Arizona Western and College of the Canyons. 

Kevin Short, DB (For Scott College) 

Short was a highly regarded 3-star prospect who was expected to compete for a starting job. However, he was ruled academically ineligible last month. He will spend the 2013 season redshirting and concentrating on school work. He'll have two years of eligibility remaining. 

Pearce Slater, OL (El Camino College) 

Slater is one of the more intriguing JUCO players to sign with the Jayhawks. He enrolled at Kansas in July, but  left shortly before the start of the season to attend to what was reported to be a family medical emergency.” Around that time, rumors emerged that Slater was set to join Oklahoma's roster, but the Oklahoman later debunked that rumor. He is no longer on the Jayhawks' online roster. 

Mike Smithburg, OL (Iowa Western College) 

Smithburg has made an immediate impact for the Jayhawks at right guard. The junior from Fairfield, Iowa, will start his sixth straight game for Kansas against Oklahoma. 

Mark Thomas, WR (Nassau College) 

Thomas was a 3-star JUCO recruit, but couldn't crack the two-deep. He is redshirting the 2013 season.

Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval. 


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