Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Nation's No. 2 center talks KU pledge
By Damon Sayles
The Kansas football team has been prime example of quality over quantity with recruiting. The Jayhawks entered Wednesday with only three commitments, but one is ESPN 300 linebacker in Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis), and another is a four-star dynamo in running back Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner-Edgerton).
Wednesday afternoon, the Jayhawks added another major piece to its small-but-statuesque recruiting class, as ESPN 300 offensive lineman Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches) gave his verbal pledge. Bragg committed while visiting the campus and taking in all that Lawrence, Kan., had to offer.
“When I got here, I wasn’t planning to commit. I just wanted to soak it all in,” Bragg said. “I just fell in love with the place. I don’t think I could have found a better place to go to school. My parents are comfortable with it, and I was comfortable.
“The time was right. I’m now ready to be a Jayhawk.”
A 6-foot-4, 314-pound interior lineman, Bragg starts at center for Nacogdoches and said the Jayhawks want him to anchor their offensive line as well. He was recruited by Kansas recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello, one of several coaches on staff who made the decision relatively easy for Bragg to make.
Bragg, ranked No. 257 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 2 center nationally, is a fan of Kansas’ coaching pedigree, led by head coach Charlie Weis. Among Weis, defensive coordinator Dave Campo and offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, Bragg will receive tutelage from coaches with more than five decades of NFL experience and six Super Bowl titles.
“That was one of the reasons why I picked them,” Bragg said. “Coach Grunhard played [center] and was in the NFL for 10, 11 years. I couldn’t ask for a better offensive line coach. It’s a rare opportunity, and I’m blessed to have it.
“If I wanted to prolong my career, they know so many people and can be good references. They know what it takes to make it in the NFL. It’ll be great being with a staff that knows so much about the game.”
The Kansas commitment just adds to an already outstanding spring for Bragg. After being named the offensive lineman MVP at the Nike Football Training Camp in Allen, Texas, he was invited to The Opening, which kicks off next week in Oregon.
After that, Bragg was named co-offensive lineman MVP at the East Texas Sports Network Combine in Tyler, Texas. Additionally, Bragg has been invited to play in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game in January.
“It’s been a crazy couple of months,” he said. “It’s awesome; I don’t know how to describe it all. Getting The Opening was crazy. I’ve just got to prepare my body and my mind and show out.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done. I’ve got to keep grinding and not be satisfied or complacent.”