February 5, 2010

Denison duo heading to Kansas

The coaching carousel that hit college football programs across the country this past off-season had an impact on Jimmay Mundine and Jaqwaylin Arps.

But the Denison standouts weren't adversely affected by a change in the coaching staff at Kansas and stood firm on their pre-season commitment as the duo signed with the Jayhawks on Wednesday morning.

"At first I was kind of hesitant," Arps said. "Pretty much what everybody had to offer was the same as everyone else. We saw how it was turning out and we decided to stick with it."

Kansas went 5-7 and head coach Mark Mangino resigned under pressure in early December. Turner Gill, the former standout Nebraska quarterback and Buffalo coach, was hired a few weeks later.

The change in coaching staff also led to a position switch for Mundine and in turn kept him interested in the Big 12 program.

"I probably wasn't going to stay if they weren't going to put me on offense," Mundine said. "You had to look into it. You couldn't just be whatever. That's my future."

Mundine was initially recruited by the Jayhawks as a linebacker and despite playing defensive end for the Jackets, Rivals.com ranks Mundine as a three-star recruit and the 79th best outside linebacker in the nation.

But the senior's biggest impact came on offense as he put together the greatest single-season receiving performance in school history. Mundine had 55 catches for 1,034 yards and 16 touchdowns -- all school marks -- and was an honorable mention all-state selection. He also holds the single-game record for touchdowns at four and his 191 yards is the second most by a Jacket in a game, five behind the current mark. And despite playing only one full season on offense, Mundine is in the top six all-time in school history in receiving yards and touchdowns and catches.

"When I saw that I had the ability to play it at that level, that's when I knew I wanted to do it," Mundine said.

When the coaching change occurred, several schools started showing interest in both players, meaning Mundine and Arps might go separate ways.

"I told him I was looking at Kentucky because of tight end and he told me to do what was the best thing for me," Mundine said.

The duo is part of two teammates to sign with Kansas -- Irving MacArthur's James Sims and Ray Mitchell are also included in their class.

"It's going to be easier for me, being there with some I know," Mundine said.

Arps, also a three-star recruit, switched his commitment to Kansas in August after verballing to Texas Tech in May. Tech was one of the several schools to change coaches in the last two months.

On offense at right tackle, Arps averaged 5.5 knockdowns per game and did not allow a sack for a unit that averaged 460 yards and 4A-leading 370 per game on the ground. He graded over 90 percent in nine of the team's 10 regular season games.

Arps, who was an honorable mention all-state selection as a junior, was a second-team all-state pick this past season at tackle after grading out at 94 percent and averaging five knockdowns per game without allowing a sack.

As a defensive lineman, the position he will play at Kansas, Arps totaled 68 tackles (43 solo) with 8.5 sacks, six hurries and two forced fumbles.

"I'm not even close to the size I'd need to be to be an offensive tackle," Arps said. "To me it's more fun tackling somebody than blocking."





 

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