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This Week in K-State Recruiting: Wildcats face competition for top football targets

·3 min read

There is a new transfer target at the top of Kansas State’s recruiting board.

If Wildcats football coach Chris Klieman could add any veteran player to the K-State roster before summer workouts begin in June, there’s a good bet he would choose Tulsa defensive back transfer Akaylen Evans.

K-State was the first school to offer Evans a scholarship after he entered the NCAA transfer portal last week, and he seems like a good fit for the Wildcats on defense. During his four seasons at Tulsa, the 6-foot-2 and 188-pound cornerback made 79 tackles to go along with one sack and a forced fumble.

The Wildcats could use extra playmakers in their secondary, and Evans seems capable of making an impact during his final two seasons of college football.

But several other teams like him, too. A small army of schools have offered Evans since K-State got the ball rolling. Evans now boasts scholarship offers from Nebraska, Washington State, Minnesota, TCU, SMU, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Oregon State, Louisville, Texas Tech. He also announced that Deion Sanders offered him an opportunity to play at Jackson State University.

That means K-State will have to win a recruiting battle for Evans if it is serious about landing him as a graduate transfer.

The Wildcats were unable to do that with Southeast Missouri State transfer Bydarrius Knighten, who expressed early interest in K-State but eventually chose Auburn over K-State, Oregon State, Mississippi State, Purdue, Washington State, Utah and Louisville.

Another transfer option on defense could be Brandon Turnage, but there is also competition for the former Alabama defensive back. He has received recruiting interest from K-State, UCF, Minnesota, Illinois, TCU, Oregon State and Washington State, according to Rivals.

New suitors for Jaren Kanak

Hays athlete Jaren Kanek is going to have college football opportunities all across the country.

The top-rated 2022 football recruit in the Sunflower State, per 247sports, added scholarship offers from Penn State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Arizona and Kentucky over the past few days, bringing his total up to 22.

K-State and KU were among the first schools to express interest in Kanak, but they are now finding it difficult to schedule an official visit with him because of all the new interest he is receiving from out-of-state schools. Kanak previously planned to visit both the Wildcats and Jayhawks in June, but he is now focusing on other options during that time.

He is expected to visit Clemson on an unofficial visit in June. It will be interesting to see how an offer from the Tigers might impact his recruitment. From there, he then plans to visit Nebraska, Washington State and possibly a few other out-of-state campuses.

It’s easy to see why so many schools like Kanak, who projects to play linebacker or running back in college. He ran 100 meters in 10.37 seconds at a recent track and field meet.

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Basketball transfers find new homes

The majority of K-State basketball players who decided to leave the Wildcats and finish their college careers elsewhere earlier this spring have found new homes.

The latest, from the K-State women’s team, is Christianna Carr. She announced last week that she will play at Syracuse next season. Carr averaged 15.2 points and 4.9 rebounds for Jeff Mittie as a junior.

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On the men’s side, three of K-State’s four departing transfers have signed with new schools.

Antonio Gordon is now at Southeastern Louisiana, Rudi Williams is now with Coastal Carolina, and DaJuan Gordon is now playing for Missouri.

Former walk-on Joe Petrakis is still evaluating his options, but he recently told recruiting reporter Jake Lieberman that he is receiving interest from San Jose State and Cal State Bakersfield.