February 16, 2012

Several recruits at The Rock

Any college recruiter will admit one of the first stops in Kansas City, if not the first, is Rockhurst High School. Once again Tony Severino will have several prospects to show off in the 2013 class.

Hannon passes the eyeball test

On a normal morning you walk into the Rockhurst gym and there are several games of basketball going on. Just three steps in the door it doesn't take long to recognize Zach Hannon among the 50 students playing basketball.

Hannon, 6-foot-5, 295 pounds stands out in a group. And that's if he's playing on the court furthest from the door.

Last weekend Hannon took unofficial visits to Missouri and Arkansas and came away with offers from both schools.

"I was excited to get both offers," Hannon said. "They are both good football programs that play good football in the SEC. My parents are both went to school at Missouri so they were glad I got the offer."

Hannon's father was an equipment manager for the Tigers.

This spring Hannon will play lacrosse for Rockhurst. He admitted there aren't many players on the field that can match his size.

"Physically he has a lot of upside," Severino said. "I think he will play inside as a center or guard. Everybody likes his size."

Hannon said he will visit Kansas on February 25.

Willis comes off the edge

Jordan Willis comes across as a laid-back, mild mannered young man. That is until he starts chasing the quarterback.

"He's what every college coach looks for in a pass rusher," Severino said. "He'll get after the passer as well as anybody we've had here in a long time. He is as fast as any quarterback we will see, and he's stronger than any tackle. He's learning to become good against the run. He has a great motor."

At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds Willis impressed the Kansas State coaches last summer. After getting an offer Willis confirmed he is committed to the Wildcats.

He said he will visit Manhattan on March 25.

Gibson has future at center

Last weekend was a busy one for Joe Gibson. He played in a basketball game and attended junior day events at Kansas and Missouri. Gibson, 6-foot-4, 260 pounds has helped the Rockhurst basketball team to a 19-5 record.

"He's the most athletic lineman we have," Severino said. "At the next level he will probably be a center."

On Saturday Gibson took in part of the Kansas junior day because he had a basketball game.

"I talked to coach Weis and he talked a lot about the importance of academics which I really liked," Gibson said. "He also really stressed the importance of character and commitment to working hard."

On Sunday he made the trip to Columbia with some of his teammates to check out Missouri. Gibson said he had a good time talking with the Missouri coaches and it was a smaller setting.

The sleeper could be Nix

Jason Nix might be the best recruit in Kansas City nobody is talking about. Last year he suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for most of the year. He returned late but there hasn't been a lot of film to send out.

Severino jokes it is hard for players to get an offer from junior varsity film. However the clips from Nix might be a different story. He is so dominant the left tackle starts running for cover in the clips.

"He might have the most upside of any player in our program," Severino said. "We can play him at fullback, tailback, outside linebacker, and tight end. He has freakish strength, ability, and speed. There is no limit to his ability. He has no clue how gifted he is."

Nix, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds could be the tailback next fall. Last week he dead-lifted 600 pounds and Severino has seen him dunk a basketball standing flat-footed. He will likely be a starter at defensive end opposite of Willis.

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