Daily Archives: Jan. 25, 2008

Simi Kuli

Spoke Friday to El Camino (Calif.) Community College coach John Featherstone – great guy, by the way – about his star defensive end Simi (SEE-me) Kuli (KOO-lee).

Kuli decided to take his fifth visit, after all. As of Friday, he was either in or headed to Arizona, where several El Camino alums currently play. It’s the same story at Oregon State, another of the schools Simi is considering besides Kansas State.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Kuli is rated as the No. 1 junior college prospect in the country. He was named Mission Conference co-defensive player of the year. According to Featherstone, who has implored the defensive end to make a decision as soon as possible, a decision could be forthcoming Tuesday, once Kuli returns from Arizona and sits down with his parents for consultation.

“We know K-State is going after players to fill where they have holes and needs,” Featherstone said. “… But a big part of this is familiarity. A lot of times, this is the first time these guys are leaving home.”

Featherstone also said Bo Pelini has tried to get Nebraska back involved. Kuli originally committed to the Corn, but after Bill Callahan was dismissed, he re-opened his recruitment. But when Kuli took an official to LSU on Oct. 5, Pelini was the defensive coordinator and the two apparently got along well. The new NU coach has been in touch and Featherstone said “there is still a slim chance” Kuli could end up there.

The coach also said Kuli had a great time on his official visit last weekend to Manhattan, his fourth such trip. He was hosted by Moses Manu, an El Camino alum who “has enjoyed the experience,” according to Featherstone.

Two of Kuli’s El Camino teammates, defensive end Josh Berard and defensive lineman John Finau, are headed to K-State. Here’s what Featherstone had to say about them:

“Josh isn’t a big guy (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) but he has a good motor. He turned down Colorado to go to K-State. And Finau is a tough nut inside.”

Sean Kilpatrick

Spoke Friday with the 6-foot-5 shooting guard’s coach at White Plains (N.Y.) High, Spencer Mayfield.

He said a “couple” of Kansas State coaches have been in to see Kilpatrick, who is averaging 27 points. According to Rivals.com, K-State has offered Kilpatrick a scholarship.

“He’s a slasher,” Mayfield said. “He’s great in the open court. He can shoot it from deep. He can get up and down the floor.”

Mayfield mentioned St. John’s, Cincinnati, Virginia and Seton Hall in connection with Kilpatrick, who apparently is a big Red Storm fan.

“He’s a New Yorker, but he’s wide open,” Mayfield said. “He’s not opposed to going away for school.”

The coach said Kilpatrick still has work left to do to reach the required core grade-point average and necessary ACT score, although Kilpatrick is taking the latter test again Saturday.

So, here’s my theory:

I think Frank and Co. have to pursue kids who are going to sign late simply because they have no idea what their roster is going to look like next year. For certain, Blake Young and Clent Stewart are gone. That’s two available scholarships, but we also know that Jamar Samuels is getting one. So, that leaves one open for sure. We have to wait and see on David Hoskins, but it seems plausible he’ll try to come back. It’s a business decision for Mike Beasley, so there’s two scholarships. If Bill leaves, there’s three.That’s it, and that’s not even definite. Due to the uncertain nature of the roster, maybe the staff feels better chasing kids who plan to decide late anyway. They can afford to wait on kids who might be questionable in the classroom (like Ocala, Fla., guard Freddie Riley). Expect a junior college commitment or two as well. But it’s probably not going to be an expansive class.

Housekeeping, 01/25

A couple of little things:

1. I’m going to be doing another live chat with the Lawrence Journal-World on Tuesday, some time in the afternoon in advance of Wednesday’s big game. Hopefully all of you will clear some time and make your presence felt.

2. My efforts to glean precious 2008 basketball recruiting info are coming up dry. More phone calls have been made, and I’m waiting for responses.

3. “I Got Five On It” is coming back strong – hopefully. I’m going to try to get Tim Weiser – keep your fingers crossed on that one – and yes, Curtis Malone. Thing is, I need questions for both. I’ve talked to both men, and I don’t have anything urgent – at least not until signing day in Weiser’s case – to ask. So, if you want these done, come with the questions.

4. The good folks at nfldraftscout.com have provided a little information about Jordy Nelson down at the Senior Bowl. He is currently listed as a rising third- or fourth-rounder, and this was yesterday’s update: “Eventually teams are going to run out of excuses not to like this guy. He’s not quick in and out of breaks but his big body and solid hands are hard to ignore. Nelson also beat corners deep this week, as he did occasionally at KSU, despite not having elite speed. That was an eye opener for scouts and team execs who had not seen him much this season. One of the key guys to watch at Indy next month.” I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it now – if Jordy runs a sub-4.5 at the Combine, he’s a second-round selection at worst.