MANHATTAN — On decision day for football players to have their first opportunity to sign a college letter of intent, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder hasn’t decided what he thinks of the new early signing period.
Snyder and his staff signed 17 players Wednesday, splitting their time between recruiting and preparing the Wildcats to play UCLA in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26.
“It’s hard,” Snyder said. “Both of them are full-time jobs. It means you had to do a lot more because of the signing date coming up right in the (bowl) preparation time so you had to do a lot more in that last week in order to solidify commitments. We’re still in the process because there are a lot of young people who may or may not sign in the two-day window.
“The part of it I’m not enamored with is that you really are focused on a bowl preparation and you have to split your time two ways. It makes it a little harder.”
K-State went heavy on defensive players in this group with six defensive backs and four defensive linemen.
Two of the defensive backs are junior college teammates, cornerbacks Darreyl Patterson and Kevion McGee from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Patterson is a longtime commitment, but McGee was offered and signed Wednesday.
The Wildcats landed a third juco transfer with fullback Luke Sowa from Butler Community College. The former UConn walk-on made a campus visit last weekend and de-committed from Bowling Green.
K-State signed four players from Georgia with the addition of Derick Newton, a defensive end who had offers from Virginia, Georgia Southern and Georgia State.
Two in-state signees are cornerback Ekow Boye-Doe from Lawrence and defensive tackle Jaylen Pickle from Cimarron.
Top prospects include quarterback John Holcombe, safety Wayne Jones, offensive tackle Kaitori Leveston, safety Lance Robinson and wide receiver E.J. Turner.
“As far as the quality and capabilities on the football field, that will be determined after they’ve been here a couple of years and you have a chance to really assess what they can do at this level,” Snyder said.
Recruiting will continue for the February signing date, but Snyder is still assessing the impact of the early period.
“When all the dust settles we’ll get some heavy thought to it,” he said. “There will be some legislation coming up here in early January to address that. I don’t know. Nothing has come up that has made it into something that concerns me a great deal, but I haven’t thought about it so much other than just being able to do what we have to do to make sure we can get some commitments and some signees. I haven’t thought about the pluses and minuses heavily, yet.”
KANSAS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNINGS
Ekow Boye-Doe, CB, 6-0, 165, Lawrence (Lawrence HS)
x-Shane Cherry, OT, 6-5, 300, Grandview, Mo.
Cartez Crook-Jones, DE, 6-4, 230, Grandview, Mo.
Christian Duffie, OG, 6-4, 305, Houston, Texas (Summer Creek)
John Holcombe, QB, 6-5, 235, Humble, Texas (Summer Creek)
Wayne Jones, S, 6-0, 190, Owasso, Okla.
Jacquavius Lane, WR, 5-11, 172, Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)
Kaitori Leveston, OT, 6-5, 290, Waco, Texas (Midway)
Derick Newton, DE, 6-3, 270, Douglas, Ga.(Coffee)
Jaylen Pickle, DT, 6-5, 260, Cimarron
Lance Robinson, S, 5-11, 178, Marrero, La. (De La Salle)
E.J. Thomas, CB, 6-1, 170, Atlanta, Ga. (Carver)
Spencer Trussell, DE, 6-4, 225, Arlington, Texas (Martin)
E.J. Turner, WR, 6-1, 175, Cartersville, Ga.
Kevion McGee, CB, 5-10, 185, Ardmore, Okla. (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M)
Darreyl Patterson, CB, 5-11, 175, Lawton, Okla. (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M)
Luke Sowa, FB, 6-3, 245, Millstone Township, N.J. (Butler CC)
Contact Ken Corbitt at (785) 295-1123 or @KenCorbitt on Twitter.