Big 12: Vernon Brooks
Running back/linebacker Angus Quigley, linebacker Vernon Brooks and heralded running back Jocques Crawford maintain they would like to return to the Jayhawks' team.
Quigley is eligible for a sixth college season. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Quigley had no interest in returning before learning of Gill's hiring.
Brooks, a former junior college All-American, had little playing time with the Jayhawks in 2009 and left the team late in the season. But he also is interested in returning.
The biggest potential return could be Crawford, who was suspended by former coach Mark Mangino during spring practice and left the Kansas program prior to the season. He spent the 2009 season as a walk-on at Tennessee Tech where he hoped to earn a scholarship in his second semester with the Golden Eagles.
The potential return of all three players would be a significant talent infusion for Gill in his first season.
The return of Crawford could be huge if he ever fulfills the promise he showed at Cisco Junior College, where he was named the national junior-college offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2007.
Gill said earlier this week he would like to feature a spread offensive attack that would include some two-back elements at times. Sophomore-to-be Toben Opurum figures to be the Jayhawks' top returning rushing threat after rushing for 554 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
Crawford would be an ideal addition to provide depth to the Jayhawks' running game that ranked 102nd nationally and failed to produce 100 yards in any of the team's last seven games.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Kansas apparently has shored up its biggest weakness heading into preseason camp.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Vernon Brooks, a junior-college All-American linebacker from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, has decided to play for the Jayhawks. He would be available to join the Jayhawks immediately.
Brooks, a 6-foot, 228-pounder, will fill a hole where the Jayhawks lost three starters from last season. The departure of James Holt, Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen from last season's team has had coach Mark Mangino scrambling for answers for the last several months.
Mangino has been considering a 4-2-5 defense as his base as one way around the problem. And he's also moved former running back Angus Quigley to the position to bolster talent there.
But Brooks would provide an immediate upgrade in talent at the position. The Journal-World reported he visited Kansas last weekend and picked them over offers from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Auburn and Tulsa.
The Jayhawks will be hoping for better production from Brooks than from another junior-college All-American they recently attracted. Running back Jocques Crawford led the nation's junior college rushers in 2007 at Cisco (Texas) Junior College. After predicting before last season he would rush for 2,000 yards, Crawford struggled finding a niche and produced only 262 yards rushing for the Jayhawks.
Earlier this spring, Crawford was suspended from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. His future remains uncertain in the Kansas program.
Blinn College is noted for producing strong athletes like former Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop, former Texas running back Shon Mitchell and former Kansas State wide receiver Quincy Morgan. Brooks was coached there by Brad Franchione, son of former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione.
Brooks' arrival could be a critical personnel addition for the Jayhawks, who have higher expectations heading into the season than at any time in Big 12 history. Mangino has taken the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history. The Jayhawks are a fashionable pick to contend in the Big 12 North Division.
And adding a junior-college All-American -- even long after spring practice is over -- shouldn't hurt those hopes.