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K-State Dominates Kansas in Recruiting the Sunflower State

There is no doubt that Lance Leipold has the Kansas Jayhawks on the right path from the basement they had lived in for over a decade. Meanwhile, Chris Klieman has their rivals 80 miles to the west playing in bowl games and winning the Big 12 Conference. While both FBS schools in Kansas are playing a high level of football currently, there is one huge difference.

Kansas State has recruited the Sunflower State way better than its rival. Since 2022, Leipold's first season at Kansas, in-state high-school kids that stayed home went to Kansas State at a rate of 16-to-3 (not including walk-ons) according to

2022 Recruits

The 2022 recruiting cycle had Kansas prospects going to Kansas State at a rate of 5-to-1. Overall that offseason had the top six players leave the state to play elsewhere. Kansas State cornerback Jacob Parrish and linebacker Tobi Osunsanmi are the only players from the state in this recruiting cycle that have seen substantial playing time for either team.

2023 Recruits

Kansas State got six players from the state in this recruiting cycle while Kansas got two players to commit. This class included some nationally known, top-tier talent including Elite 11 QB Avery Johnson from Maize and others. Johnson is the only one from this class to see any playing time so far including scoring 5 rushing touchdowns against Texas Tech and a Pop-Tarts Bowl MVP award. This also included running back Dylan Edwards transferring back to the Wildcats from Colorado. He was not included in these numbers with him originally committing to the Buffaloes and Deion Sanders.

K-State recruiting
© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

2024 Recruits

This recruiting class joined the teams in January for spring practices or will be stepping on campus this summer. Kansas State got five commits from the state, including the No. 1 offensive lineman recruit in Gus Hawkins. Kansas was unable to secure any players from this cycle.

2025 Recruits

The Sunflower State is not normally known as a hotbed for recruits around the country. But the 2025 recruiting class in Kansas is shaping up to possibly be one of the best classes in the state's high school football history. Five-star offensive tackle Andrew Babalola and four-star tight end Linkon Cure, who is right on the edge of five-star status himself according to, lead this class with another four players at the four-star status.

K-State Holds Control

To be the flagship university of your state on the football field you should be drawing your home-state kids. Of course, there are plenty of players across the country, but this leads to why Kansas has lost to K-State 15 years in a row. Klieman and his staff have built relationships all across the state and will continue to put a priority on keeping players at home.

Kansas currently has 22 players from the state rostered while Kansas State has 44. In the new age an active transfer portal during every period having players that are close to home, it should work in your favor more often than not to keep players in your program.

Both programs have picked up a few in the portal who were looking to play closer to home at a higher level like tight end DeShawn Hanika, who transferred from Iowa State to Kansas as well as Edwards, as mentioned above. Preferred walk-ons were not included in the recruiting numbers here because almost every one of those players is local to the university.

Thanks its recruiting dominance in their own backyard, the Wildcats have held a sizable advantage over the Jayhawks and will look to keep doing so in the near future because of their home-grown talent.

3 Kommentare

Good on KState for getting local talent, how do they do nationally though? The State of Kansas has about 3 million people, and is not known as a high school football powerhouse. A rational observer would strongly think that bringing recruits from all over the country would increase the schools on-field ability and national presence. The Kansas Jayhawks have a national brand, and their 2024 recruiting class is ranked at 43rd nationally and 4th in the Big 12 (per 24/7 sports). Outshining KStates limited national brand and a 2024 recruiting class of 57th nationally and 11th in the Big 12 (per 24/7 sports). It seems like the Jayhawks embody the state motto of “Ad astra per aspera”.

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21. Mai
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What a crock of chicken sh_t that is. Look at all the K-State Kansas kids who have made All Bug 12 and played in the NFL. ku doesn’t even have a stadium and can’t raise enough money to even set a date when they will upgrade Port A Potty Stadium. Without State of Kansas tax payer dollars they wouldn’t have even broke ground. GAFC Chicken Nick.

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