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Bender leaves official visit a Jayhawk

The word on the street was David Beaty would only take a quarterback in this class if it was the perfect fit. Well, it looks like Beaty found someone to meet those standards.

This weekend Peyton Bender who is currently at Itawamba Community College took an official visit to Kansas and left a Jayhawk.

“It is official and I have committed to be a Jayhawk,” Bender said. “I’m just really excited for the opportunity and it is a good fit for me. I think I can go in and compete and hope for some playing time. I think it is a good fit overall and I can go in there and hopefully have an impact.”

Before Bender arrived at Itawamba he was competing for the starting job last spring at Washington State. In 2015 he played in five games for the Cougars. Beaty runs the Air Raid system which is the same offense Mike Leach recruited him for at Washington State.

“I know a lot of the concepts as far as the language and terminology it is a little different,” Bender said. “But that is always going to be different from offense to offense. But there are similarities to what I ran at Washington State. I ran another form of air raid in junior college. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of it and what I will be coming into at Kansas.”

Beaty has already been to Mississippi to visit Bender. The two have been talking for a while and built a good relationship. The visit gave him a chance to be around Beaty and learn more about the Kansas program.

“He’s a great guy,” Bender said. “He’s enthusiastic and is always going 100 miles an hour. He’s a player’s coach. He’s a guy you want to go out there in win games for. As a player you can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Bender committed to the Jayhawks and will be at Kansas for spring football
Bender committed to the Jayhawks and will be at Kansas for spring football

Bender took the official visit with a good friend of his and teammate Octavius Matthews, who is currently committed to Auburn. Bender’s family was also on the visit. He was impressed with the surroundings in Lawrence.

“I just really like the town in general,” he said. “I had a really good feel and the atmosphere was great all weekend. I like the layout of the campus and all of the facilities were really nice. The locker room was pretty sweet. I don’t know how many others in the nation can compare to it. I was really impressed by it. It is a good spot to hang out in and build team chemistry.”

Bender was rated the nation’s 25th ranked quarterback out of Cardinal Gibbons High in Florida. After leaving Washington State he went the junior college route in hopes of finding a new home. The door was open to return to Washington State but he was looking for a fresh start.

“There was a point where I was going from Washington State to junior college and not knowing where I would end up next,” he said. “But it feels good to have a place I can call home now. I think I can learn from my past experience and use that to benefit me at my next stop. I know the things I need to do differently.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason and everything I had to go through will mean something when it is all said and done. I think I have an opportunity up there in Lawrence to do some special things.”

He got a chance to see the game-day atmosphere and watch the Jayhawks pull of the biggest upset of the weekend in a win over Texas.

“It capped off a great weekend,” Bender said. “It was a great atmosphere and getting the win was an awesome way to go out.”