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Kansas recruiting class to honor Andre Maloney with #PlayforDre hashtag

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The Kansas class of 2014 will honor the late Andre Maloney (USA Today Sports)

National signing day is a day of celebration for college programs as the National Letters of Intent roll in, but for Kansas, there was one missing.

Cornerback Andre Maloney of Shawnee Mission West High School committed to the Jayhawks last June, but tragically passed away in October after suffering a stroke and collapsing on the field after scoring a long touchdown in a game.

Several of the class of 2014 signees will honor Maloney with a #PlayForDre slogan that will motivate the team for years to come.

“That’ll be a big motivation point for us,” linebacker Kyron Watson told KUSports.com. “We’ll use the PlayForDre hashtag and No. 29. That’s gonna be the thing for our class for sure.”

Defensive back Joe Dineen – the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year -- has reached out to head coach Charlie Weis with the hope of wearing Maloney’s No. 29 when he suits up for the Jayhawks.

“When I went into a meeting with coach Weis, he originally had me as No. 17, but I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to represent Andre in some way,” Dineen said. “He would’ve been a huge addition to the recruiting class on defense. And I wanted to memorialize him in some day.”

Dineen uses the memory of Maloney as inspiration whenever times get tough.

“Whenever I think things are getting touch, I just think what he would do to be in my shoes one more day. That’s enough motivation to get you through anything,” Dineen said.

Weis spoke about the 2014 class to the media on Thursday and said that a framed Kansas football jersey with Maloney’s name and No.29 will be given to Maloney’s family.

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