"KU was awesome"

Travis Bodenstein

Not his first trip to Lawrence, but OT prospect Travis Bodenstein seemed to like what he saw on his recent visit for KU's Spring Game. More, inside.

Travis Bodenstein had seen the University of Kansas campus before.

Sure, he was there for Junior Day in February, when Head Coach Turner Gill personally offered the 6-foot-5, 295 pound offensive tackle prospect a football scholarship. So he knew his way around.

But to hear him tell it, he hadn't really seen the campus. At least not until last weekend, when he made a return trip with members of his family for the KU Spring Game.

"I'd been there in February when I got offered, but it was kind of rainy that day," the Shiloh Christian (AR) High School product said. "I got to go up there last weekend and see the campus and I thought it was beautiful, to see it all bloomed out and stuff. I really liked it."

Bodenstein currently owns a handful of Division One scholarship offers in addition to the one from Kansas. East Carolina, Memphis and Tulsa have all extended formal offers as well, with the likes of Auburn and Arkansas showing interest of their own.

That he has long held the Jayhawks in high esteem is in part due to the relationship Bodenstein has forged with first-year offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, his lead recruiter.

He and Grimes keep in touch frequently, he said. And in fact, Bodenstein has been impressed with everything he's seen from the new coaching regime thus far.

"I think they're all great coaches and from what I've heard, from what Coach Gill has done in the past and what Coach Grimes has done in the past, they're pretty successful coaches,"  he said. "And they show (themselves) to be godly men with good morals, and that connects with me a lot."

Under the guidance of Head Coach Josh Floyd, Shiloh Christian employs a spread offense to great effect – and the cornerstone of their offensive line is Bodenstein. In addition to his natural size and strength, Floyd noted it was his outstanding versatility that made him such an asset in the trenches.

"Obviously, he's a big guy," Floyd explained. "I think what makes him special is he's very mobile for his size. He's a very good pass blocker. We run a spread offense, and he's a guy out there making blocks on corners and safeties."

As for the Kansas offense, Bodenstein liked what he saw from offensive coordinator Chuck Long's unit during last weekend's Spring Game.

"I think I'd fit in great from the style of offense they run," he said. "They run a mix of everything. They'll get in the shotgun but they get down and run the ball too. It's a good offense, and I think I'd fit in fine."

The coming weeks may see an end to the junior's recruitment, who hopes to make his college decision sooner rather than later. Spring football opens at the high school level in Arkansas May 17, and runs for two weeks. Though he's still gathering information from schools, Bodenstein anticipates a decision will come by mid-June.

That being the case, the Jayhawks appear to be in a good position with the sizable talent from the Natural State.

"KU was awesome," Bodenstein said, of last weekend's unofficial visit. "I loved it. It's probably one of my favorite schools."

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