It was a big weekend of football in the Little Apple, as Kansas State won the Big 12 title in front of a number of recruits who were on official visits. Two of those visitors were big-time targets and teammates: defensive tackle Marquel Combs (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College) and outside linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College).
Combs holds offers from schools including Arkansas, Michigan State, Oregon State, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Utah. Jenkins-Moore, a Kansas verbal commitment, was sought by Arkansas, Purdue, Rutgers, San Diego State and Texas Tech, among others. Kansas State is putting together a strong push for both players, and the visits this weekend made a positive impression.
"The experience was good," Combs said. "It was a good atmosphere and the people were nice. It made me feel like part of the family. There were a lot of good things there."
Combs said the game atmosphere of the contest between Kansas State and Texas was crazy.
"It was great to be surrounded by all that purple," he said. "I like how supportive the fans and the student section were."
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle said he likes the defense and the depth chart Kansas State offers, as he said there are three graduating seniors that would open up an opportunity for immediate playing time on the defensive line.
He has now taken official visits to Kansas, Kansas State and Washington State. While a deadline of Jan. 19 looms for Combs, he said he isn't sure what he'll do with recruiting between now and then. He does know, however, that Kansas State will be in the mix when it comes time to make a decision.
"They're going to be in the top group," he said of the Wildcats. "I should know early this week if I want to go on a visit this weekend or what I want to do. Things are starting to get a little hectic with recruiting."
Jenkins-Moore is in a similar situation after the trip. He made a verbal commitment to Kansas following his first official visit, but Kansas State pushed back into the mix after this visit.
"It's really making me think about things," said Jenkins-Moore, who confirmed that he still considers himself committed to Kansas. "I was liking Kansas State earlier in the year, but when I took the visit to Kansas, I saw the love and what they had to offer. Now I took this visit and fell in love with the atmosphere."
Jenkins-Moore said his ultimate decision will come down to those two programs, and he feels he can't go wrong.
"Both schools have coaching staffs that get it done," he said. "This is Coach [Charlie] Weis' first year and it was a little bit of a rocky road, but I think those guys will get it done. At Kansas State, I liked how the whole team of guys were working together. I wouldn't mind being a part of what Kansas State and Coach Snyder has to offer."
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker said both schools plan to utilize him as a hybrid linebacker, capable of rushing off the edge or dropping back into coverage. He added that both schools offer the opportunity for early playing time, which doesn't make his decision any easier.
Jenkins-Moore plans to sign with a school Dec. 19.
"I don't have any choice but to do that," he said. "I'm not planning any more visits. I thought about it, but I'm going to just think about these two schools I have now."