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Iowa State Transfer DeShawn Hanika Commits to Kansas


By Michael Swain


Lawrence, Kan. ( – Kansas football is on the board in the transfer portal. On Monday morning, DeShawn Hanika announced his commitment to KU. The Iowa State tight end transfer was on campus for a visit on Saturday and didn’t wait long to commit to the Jayhawks. Hanika picked the Jayhawks over 20+ other Division I offers, including Power 5 offers from Colorado, Houston and Vanderbilt.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end is ranked by 247Sports as one of the top players in the portal and one of the best tight ends in the portal. Hanika has a grade of an 89 and is ranked as the No. 78 player in the transfer portal. He is also ranked as the No. 6 tight end in the portal.

The Topeka native enrolled at Iowa State back in 2020 after spending time at Butler Community College. He was a contributor on special teams during his first two seasons in Ames before he had a breakout season in 2022. He caught 17 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns to lead all Cyclone tight ends during the season. Prior to the 2023 season, Hanika was one of several Iowa State players who were involved in an investigation into sports betting. Hanika was never indicted after the prosecution missed a deadline to do so.

Hanika initially went in the portal back in late November. As coaches were able to go out on the road to recruit, KU’s General Manager Rob Ianello did an in-home visit with Hanika in Topeka and extended an offer. In the time since, KU has hired Jeff Grimes to be the program’s offensive coordinator while working with the tight ends.

Hanika will join a veteran tight ends room at KU. The Jayhawks are on track to return three upperclassmen tight ends in Trevor Kardell, Jared Casey and Tevita Noa. KU lost one tight end to the transfer portal last week, as Will Huggins departed the program.

On Saturday, Lance Leipold said KU’s scholarship situation is to the point where KU can only add players if other players depart the program.