Shortly after Kansas State’s football season ended with a humbling 69-31 loss against Texas last December, coach Chris Klieman pointed out the biggest difference he saw between the Wildcats and the Longhorns.
“We have to get bigger,” Klieman said back then. “We have to get stronger. We have to get heavier. We have to do all those things, because we were mismatched today.”
Another option: K-State could recruit a few Texas players who decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal after the Longhorns closed out their year with a victory at the Alamo Bowl.
Several months later, it appears that possibility could become reality. Juwan Mitchell, a 6-foot-1 and 230-pound junior linebacker who led the Longhorns in tackles last season, is considering K-State as a potential transfer destination. Mitchell told Gopowercat.com that he spent the weekend in Manhattan visiting K-State kicker Ty Zentner and that he holds a scholarship offer from the Wildcats.
Linebacker is a position of need for K-State as the Wildcats look to replace long-time starters Justin Hughes and Elijah Sullivan.
K-State emerged from spring practice with good depth at the position. Klieman had good things to say about Daniel Green, Cody Fletcher, Eric Munoz, Wayne Jones and other players that line up in the middle of the defense. But the Wildcats could benefit from adding an impact transfer to the mix.
Klieman said last week that he is open to adding transfers at any position where it makes sense to do so.
Mitchell will bring valuable experience wherever he ends up after he started eight of 10 games and made 62 tackles last season at Texas.
He is originally from Newark, New Jersey but he has a connection to the Sunflower State. Mitchell played one season at Butler Community College, where he was teammates with Zentner. Overall, four players on K-State’s current roster once played at Butler.
It is unclear how many other teams are recruiting Mitchell, but he told Gopowercat that he also holds an offer from Tennessee.
Mitchell has experienced some winding recruitment stories over the years. Before landing at Texas, he signed with Rutgers and orally committed to Minnesota. He also put his name in the transfer portal last year and decided to remain with the Longhorns.
Bruce Weber eyes Wake Forest transfer
K-State men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber has expressed reservations about filling the team’s final scholarship spot this spring, because it will be difficult for him to keep an unprecedented 14 scholarship players happy next season.
But he is willing to add another recruit if he can find one who seems like a perfect fit.
Could Wake Forest transfer Ismael Massoud match that description?
Massoud is a 6-8 sophomore power forward who averaged 8.3 points and 3.4 rebounds last season. He decided to transfer after one year with new coach Steve Forbes, and it appears that K-State has emerged as a potential landing spot.
There hasn’t been much news surrounding his recruitment, but Massoud has met virtually with K-State coaches and those Zoom calls have gone well, according to K-State Online. Massoud is originally from Harlem, New York, and he has a good relationship with K-State assistant coach Shane Southwell.
Southwell is also from New York and recently helped K-State land another Harlem native in Arkansas-Little Rock transfer Marqkuis Nowell.
Massoud could help fill the rebounding void left by departing transfers Antonio Gordon and DaJuan Gordon. Though his overall numbers at Wake Forest were on the low side, Massoud flashed his potential by scoring 31 points in a game against Pittsburgh.
He has good range for a big man and is looking to show off that part of his game more next season at a new school.
“This year I had to play a lot of big down low at the five,” Massoud told 247sports last month. “Vut I feel like my natural position where I can be the most effective is more as a wing or a stretch four so I’m looking at that as well.”
Another basketball option
There is also a chance Weber will recruit a high school player with his final scholarship spot this spring.
One name to keep an eye on in that area is Wesley Cardet. The four-star wing played alongside K-State guard Selton Miguel last season at West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Florida and now holds a scholarship offer from the Wildcats.
Cardet posted a message on social media that he plans to announce his college decision on Thursday.
K-State seems like an unlikely landing spot, given that he holds 17 scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa State, Maryland, Miami and USC ... but you never know.
The return of football visits
In a sign that recruiting might soon get back to normal with thinks like officials visits and summer camps, a handful of K-State football target have publicly shared their intentions to visit Manhattan in June.
That is when the NCAA’s recruiting dead period, which has been ongoing during the pandemic, is expected to end.
“We’re excited to be able to welcome some (recruits) back to campus,” Klieman said last week. “I think everybody’s ready for that. I think it’s important for all of us, whether it’s the student-athlete to us as coaches to the communities that they’re going into, I think we’re all excited to be able to have kids come and visit your campus.”