EZ Mortgages

Colorado Recruiting Class of 2009

// Jan 25 - 2009

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Colorado Recruiting Class of 2009

Posted below: A review of the Class of 2009, looking at the Class by postion.

Which players will have an immediate impact on the fall roster? I have posted the class in order of likelihood of seeing playing time. Nick Kasa is the easy choice for #1. I have ranked tight end prospect DaVaughn Thornton at #19. What do you think? Click on the “Entire Update” for a first look at the fall depth chart.  …. (the 2009 recruiting bios and Hawkins’ quotes about each player can still be found by just scrolling down this main page) ….

Read The Entire Update…

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INTRODUCING THE COLORADO RECRUITING CLASS OF 2009

 

Notes from the Recruiting Luncheon …

Coach Mac – Former CU head coach Bill McCartney was his old self at the Recruiting luncheon on February 5th. Leading the crowd in a chant of  “Good. Better. Best. Never letter it rest. ‘Till you ‘good’ is your ‘better’, and your ‘better’ is your ‘best’ “, McCartney again encouraged those in attendance to make the spring game a happening. Last season, the Buffs set a record of 18,000 for the spring game, but Coach Mac wants more.

Coach Hawk – One of the more interesting points raised during Dan Hawkins’ talk at the luncheon was that Colorado would have more returning starters than almost every other team on the 2009 schedule (Wyoming and Iowa State, two of the weaker teams on the schedule, were exceptions). As young as the Buffs have been over the past few seasons, it only make sense that the 2009 team would have a “veteran” flavor, but it is still hard to fathom that CU is finally going to be putting a more experienced product on the field than the opposition.

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Getting to know your new Buffs a little better (tidbits courtesy of Dave Plati and the CU Media Relations Office)….

Dan Hawkins’ Press Conference quotes (overall): Coach Hawkins opened talking about “trying to build a culture” at CU, with a “quality balance of life” and that the 2009 class fit that profile. Hawkins pointed out that over 3/4 of the recruits played on playoff teams, and are players who “expect to win”. Hawkins also noted that 3/4 of the recruits were honor roll students, and a number were team captains. When asked if having honor roll students would make a difference in the fall, when his team would be graded on wins and losses, Hawkins replied, “Good things happen to good people”. Coach Hawkins also noted that a number of players from this class were very athletic, playing a number of different sports, and pointedly, “can play a number of different positions”. As the Class of 2009 will be regarded by many as a need-filling class, having versatile talent will be a plus for the depth chart over the next few seasons.Quotes from the Dan Hawkins’ Press conference pertaining to individual players can be found with their profiles:

LETTERS OF INTENT RECEIVED:

DaVaughn Thornton – two-star tight end – Denver, Colorado. Thornton is 6′5″, and is not only an all-state football player, but an all-state basketball player as well, currently averaging 19 points and nine rebounds per game. Something to keep in the back of your mind: Thornton has been the long-snapper for fellow recruit Zach Grossnickle for the past two seasons. The Buffs  have been blessed with a scholarship snapper for the past three seasons in Justin Drescher. Drescher will be a senior in 2009. Perhaps starting in 2010 East High teammates Thornton and Grossnickle will be teamed up once again. Dan Hawkins marveled that Thornton was “extremely athletic”, and is a “skinny 220″ pounds who will bulk up considerably in the next few years. Thornton, according to Hawkins, “can already do some awesome things”, and that his potential contributions are limitless.

Clark Evans – three-star quarterback – Los Alamitos, California. Evans is listed as the #28 quarterback in the nation by Scout.com; #31 by Rivals.com. Evans led his team to a 22-10 overall record in three seasons at starting quarterback. Want versatility? Evans, who is 6′5″, is playing center for his high school basketball team, a team which currently has a 20-1 record! During his senior year, Evans threw for 2,173 yards and 25 touchdowns (10 interceptions), rushing for another 840 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hawkins called Evans “a big bruising guy” who is “very competitive”.

Edward Nuckols – four-star defensive tackle – San Marcos, California. If not for the fact that Nick Kasa switched his commitment from Florida to Colorado on the same day, the verbal commitment of Edward Nuckols a few weeks ago would have been greeted with great fanfare by the Buff Nation. Nuckols is 6′3″, 295 pounds, and is versatile enough that he scored seven touchdowns as a fullback in his junior year, five more as a senior. Nuckols is rated as the #1 defensive tackle prospect out of the State of California by Rivals.com, and the #23 defensive tackle in the nation. Fighting through double teams his entire senior year, Nuckols still had 81 tackles his senior year (44 solo). Of Nuckols, Hawkins said at his press conference, “he is extremely explosive”, and that Nuckolds “knocks people off the ball … and is extremely hard to block.”

Liloa Nobriga – three-star linebacker – Las Vegas, Nevada. Nobriga was tabbed by Rivals as the #87 outside linebacker in the nation; Scout has him as the #74 weakside linebacker prospect. In his senior year, Nobriga had more tackles (185) than any other prep player in the State of Nevada, and his high school team gave up only 11.4 points per game on its way to a 14-1 record (losing only in the state championship game). The 6′3″, 235 pounder was also all-league as a punter his senior season. Nobriga grew up on Oahu in the town of Kailua, the same hometown as associate head coach and linebackers coach Brian Cabral. At the press conference, Hawkins told the story of how he and coach Cabral watched Nobriga at a basketball game, marveling at how this linebacker brought the ball up the court. “A very smooth athlete”, was Hawkins’ description.

Parker Orms – three-star defensive back – Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Of the early commits this past fall, Orms was my favorite. Recruited as a safety, Orms is an all-around great player. All he did in the state championship game was score five touchdowns, including the game-winner on a 56-yard run with less than a minute to play. Orms was tabbed by different publications as an all-state player at both safety and running back. As a senior, Orms led the state in rushing (2,813 yards – averaging over 10 yards per carry), and had 32 touchdowns. At safety, Orms had 102 tackles his senior year, returning two of his four interceptions on the year for touchdowns. Orms was a three-year starter on both offense and defense, and, his last two seasons, was also the team punter. (If you were with me all day, you know that my above opinion was posted before the press conference) …. At the press conference, Dan Hawkins said of Orms, “he’s got something to him”. Noting that while Orms is not particularly large or fast, he has been a state champion in three sports, and that Orms has that look about him that says, “I’m ready to go right now.”

David Bakhtiari – two-star offensive lineman – San Mateo, California. Bakhtiari did not start until his senior season, only taking up football as a junior (his game is lacrosse). At 6′4″, 270 pounds, Bakhtiari (pronounced bock-t-are-e) is seen has having a tremendous upside. As eveidence, coaches point to his game against USC recruit Kevin Greene, when Bakhtiari held Greene to no sacks and only a pair of tackles. His oldest brother, Eric, plays for the San Diego Chargers.

Terdema Ussery – three-star wide receiver – Dallas, Texas. Ussery had long been considered a solid possibility for Colorado, but there were always questions about whether Ussery would stick. In the end, it came down to CU and Stanford, and the 6′3″ prospect (who just happens to run a 4.47 40) is now officially a Buff. Rivals has Ussery pegged as the #82 wide receiver prospect in the nation, despite the fact that Ussery played only five games his senior season (mostly for precautionary reasons due to a concussion). In those five games, Ussery caught 46 passes for 615 yards and eight touchdowns (you do the math on how that projects out for a season!). Ussery will go for a fourth letter in track this spring (as a decathlete!). Ussery has been on the honor roll in high school since his freshman year. His father is the long-time President and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. When asked about Ussery, Hawkins noted that Ussery was “a great kid”, and that he was “very, very explosive” off the ball.

Nick Kasa – four-star defensive lineman – Broomfield, Colorado. Where to start with the accolades? Okay, deep breath …. Rivals ranks Kasa as the best defensive end in the country against the run; third on its list of strong-side defensive ends; and its #42 player overall in the nation. Scout has Kasa listed as the 4th-best defensive end in the country. Kasa was the consensus choice as the Defensive Player of the Year in the state of Colorado (Parker Orms was the Offensive Player of the Year). A four-year starter in high school, Kasa had 59 tackles (including 10 sacks) his senior year. Kasa also started on the offensive line, where he did not allow a sack and did not incur a penalty.  Despite his size, 6′7″, 250 pounds, Kasa is a three-year letterman in track (going for a fourth this spring) – as a sprinter! When asked about Kasa, Coach Hawkins said that one of his favorite things about his star recruit is that Kasa “finds the adulation embarassing”; that Kasa is just a “great kid” who wants to play. Hawkins went on to say that Kasa can become a “dominating factor”, and “can be as great as he wants to be.”

Jack Harris – four-star offensive lineman – Parker, Colorado. Perhaps the most under-rated, or at least under-publicized, get for the Buffs so far this cycle. Harris could be a four-year starter on the offensive line. Rivals tabbed Harris as the #19 offensive tackle in the nation, and the tackle from Parker is the consensus #2 player from the State of Colorado this year (behind only Kasa). A three-year lettermen, Harris recorded 16 pancake blocks in one game during his senior season. Harris is listed 6′6″, 260 pounds.

J. Forrest West – two-star defensive end – Salisbury, Connecticut. Splitting time between linebacker and defensive end during his senior season, West registered 70 tackles, including six sacks and six forced fumbles. Playing on special teams, West blocked two punts. West is 6′2″, 230 pounds, and also plays on his high school’s basketball team. West has been on the honor roll at school the last two years.

Zach Grossnickle – three-star kicker – Denver, Colorado. Scout has Grossnickle as the #10 kicker in the nation, while Rivals has the East High product listed as the #21 kicker overall. According to Ray Guy’s prokicker.com, Grossnickle is the #2 kicker in the nation (and the #2 punter/kicker combined). Grossnickle was true on 12-of-13 kicks his senior season, with his only miss coming on a 58-yard attempt. His season long make was from 53 yards (overall average on successful kicks – 41.7 yards out). Grossnickle also averaged over 40 yards per punt (on 39 kicks). Playing football and soccer simultaneously last fall, Grossnickle led his team to the state title in soccer, scoring 13 goals. Dan Hawkins deflected questions about whether Grossnickle would be playing this fall, conceding only that every player would be evaluated, and that it was always good to have starters looking over their shoulders at the guys behind them.

Shaun Simon – two-star center – Tulsa, Oklahoma. Simon did not start until his senior year, but there were some good players on those teams. Simon’s high school team played for the state championship in both his junior and senior season’s, winning it all last fall. For his efforts, Simon was named all-state his senior year. Lest you believe this 6′2″, 305 pound player is not Big 12 worthy – Simon didn’t concentrate on football until his junior year – he was too busy with his other love: steer wrestling! Coach Hawkins also praised Simon’s football sense, despite the lineman’s relative lack of experience. “One of the smartest (football) guys we’ve had,” said Hawkins.

Josh Moten – three-star quarterback/athlete – Harbor City, California. While the Buffs missed out on Moten’s teammate, Byron Moore (below), Colorado did pick up an exceptional athlete in Moten. Moten is 6′0″, 177 pounds, and runs a 4.6 in the 40. Last fall, Moten threw for 2,741 yards and 26 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He also rushed for over 500 yards on the season. Scout sees Moten as the #95 quarterback in the nation, though speculation has always been that this athlete may be seen in other capacities once he hits Boulder. At his press conference, Dan Hawkins was asked about whether Moten’s first crack will be at quarterback. “Yes it will”, responded Hawkins, going on to note that if Moten or any other player is to be moved to another position, it will be by mutual agreement.

Gus Handler – two-star offensive lineman – Barrington, Illinois. Handler is considered the #52 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN, though Handler, at 6′4″, 280 pounds, is projected as a center in college. Handler was named first-team all-state his senior season, playing every snap during the year. Getting qualified for CU should not be a problem for Handler, he has been on the honor roll every semester since his freshman year.

Andre Simmons – four-star wide receiver – Independence, Kansas (JC) – the first pleasant surprise of the morning. Simmons had taken an official visit to Kansas State this past weekend, and had all but committed during his trip. Now Simmons is a Buff. The only junior college signee by the Buffs this season, Simmons was seen by Rivals as the #35 overall player coming out of the junior college ranks, and the #6 overall wide receiver. While eligibility is always an issue for junior college players coming to Boulder, if admitted Simmons will have three years to play two for the Buffs.  When asked about Simmons qualifying, Dan Hawkins said simply, “he really wants to be here”, going on to talk about how straight he (Hawkins) was with players, and that they knew what to expect when they came to play at CU.

Jarrod Darden – three-star wide receiver – Keller, Texas. How great is the upside for this recruit? Despite not playing a down his senior season due to injury, Darden was ranked as the #71 wide receiver prospect in the nation by Scout (#74 by Rivals). Darden sustained an ankle injury the week before the first game of his senior season. After surgery, Darden immediately began his rehabilitation. While doctors have not yet cleared Darden for next fall, he is already jogging and hopes to run routes this spring in anticipation of being cleared to participate in fall camp. Darden is 6′5″, 210 pounds, and so the first verbal commit of the 2009 class (Darden committed last June), is likely to become a CU fan favorite in the very near future. When asked about his wide receiver recruits, and the fact that they are 6′3″, 6′4″, and 6′5″, Dan Hawkins just smiled ….

Derrick Webb – three-star linebacker – Memphis, Tennessee. The Buffs may have gotten away with a good one here. Webb is rated as the top linebacker from the State of Tennessee this season, and is listed by Scout as the #23 outside linebacker prospect in the nation. Webb tallied 130 tackles as a senior, including 25 tackles for loss and three sacks. Webb is the cousin of former San Francisco 49er great Roger Craig, and had another cousin and an uncle who played in the NFL. Dan Hawkins remarked that Webb may be one of those who came in “under the radar”. Webb “can run and hit”, said Hawkins, and that the Tennessee linebacker was “very athletic”.

Nate Bonsu – three-star defensive tackle –  Allen, Texas. The #63 defensive tackle in the nation according to Rivals, Bonsu is 6′2″, 280 pounds. His high school team won the 5A Texas State championship his senior season (and, for any of you who read Friday Night Lights, you know that is no small feat in Texas). In his final two seasons when he was a starter, Bonsu’s high school team went 25-2. Last season, Bonsu had 80 tackles (47 solo) and four sacks. Bonsu throws discus for the track team, and is a participant in the school’s power lifting team. Being a team captain of a state champion impressed Coach Hawkins, likening Bonsu to George Hypolite in both personality and talent.

Deji Olatoye – three-star defensive back – Dublin, Ohio. A three-year letterman, Olatoye did not start playing football until his sophomore year. Last season, Olatoye had 49 tackles, 21 solo, while contributing eight catches on offense.  Olatoye, who is 6′2″ and who has run a 4.52 40, is an accomplished athlete. A state champion in soccer before he discovered football, Olatoye, is also the starting power forward on his high school’s basketball team, set a state high school high jump record, and ran the third leg in the 4×400 relay.

Disappointment list

Emory Blake, three-star wide receiver prospect from Austin, Texas, has reportedly sent in his letter of intent to Auburn. Blake had been a Texas Tech commit, and had narrowed his choices down to Texas Tech, Colorado, and Auburn.

Byron Moore, four-star safety prospect from Harbor City, California, announced that he is staying with his commitment to USC. Moore, who had first committed to UCLA, switched to USC last summer, then re-opened his recruitment a few weeks ago. USC, Notre Dame, and Colorado were his final choices. Diante Jackson, the four-star wide receiver prospect from Walnut Creek, California, has apparently ended his soap opera ride through the recruiting cycle, and signed with Oregon. Originally an Oregon commit, Jackson took his official visit to Boulder in November, then switched his commitment to CU on January 1st. The well-circulated story is that Jackson wanted to come to Colorado, but his family wanted him to sign with Oregon. Now Jackson is a Duck.

Chris Freeman, a three-star offensive lineman from Trotwood, Ohio, has signed on to play for Missouri. Colorado was in the running for Freeman’s services for the past month, after his January visit to Boulder. Freeman was also looking at Tennessee and Wisconsin before taking his  official visit to Missouri this past weekend.

Rating the Buffs’ recruiting class v. the rest of the Big 12

Colorado’s 2009 recruiting class was ranked 58th by Scout.com; 48th by Rivals. com. Both of these rankings are down significantly from 2008. How did CU’s rivals in the Big 12 fare? Oklahoma and Texas are consistently in or near the top ten nationally every year, including this one. What about everyone else? Take a look at which teams other than CU made strides compared to their sixyear average, and which teams did not measure up to their normal rankings  ….

Read The Entire Review…

What does history tell us? A look back at the recruiting classes of 2003 and 2004

The Colorado recruiting class of 2004 was ranked 49th by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. As a group, they do not rank highly in the annals of CU football history. Still, when viewed in light of what they went through to be Buffs, this is truly an extraordinary class ….. Also,

The Colorado recruiting class of 2003 was ranked 19th by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. What players lived up to their hype? Which names of players were on the lips of every Buff fan five years ago, but would stump most of us today? Lessons we can learn from the class of Mason Crosby and and Terrence Wheatley, which was also the class of Dominique Brooks and Travis Berry …

Read the History ….

“Fuzzy Math: Applying the 85 Scholarship Rule”

Teams are allowed up to 25 new scholarship players each season, and a total of 85 scholarship overall. Still, it seems that it takes a graduate degree in mathematics (or, at least, a friend in the compliance office) to figure out how many scholarships a team has available.

Below is a look at the Colorado scholarship status. How many are available on signing day? How many will the Buffs use? Is it true that the Buffs were 20 men down when they took the field in Lincoln last Thanksgiving weekend?

Read On…

 

Comments, questions and concerns …..


A first look at a CU at the Game preview:

What we are looking for – Offensive Line

Player Lost – Daniel Sanders

Lettermen Returning – Nate Solder (Jr.); Devin Head (Sr.); Matthew Bahr (So.); Ryan Miller (So.); Maxwell Tuioti-Mariner (Fr.); Shawn Daniels (So.); and Blake Behrens (So.)

Others Returning in 2009: Bryce Givens (Fr.); Mike Iltis (So.); Ryan Dannewitz (Fr.); Ethan Adkins (So.) David Clark (So.); Sione Tau (So.); Evan Eastburn (Jr.); and Keenan Stevens (Jr.)

New in 2009: Jack Harris (Fr.); David Bakhtiari (Fr.); Gus Handler (Fr.); Shaun Simon (Fr.)

Spring Expectations – First, let’s look at the starting lineup for the entire second half of the 2008 season:

LT-Nate Solder; LG-Blake Behrens; C-Daniel Sanders; RG-Devin Head; RT-Matthew Bahr. With only Sanders lost, to the non-Buff fan it might appear as if the new offensive line coach, Denver Johnson, would only have one replacement to find. Buff fans, though, know better, which is why the offensive line will be one area of focus for many this spring.

There are some players listed above who will have to wait until August to make their case to be in the starting lineup (including the three incoming freshmen listed above). Maxwell Tuioti-Mariner (MTM), suffered his third ACL in three seasons on March 4th, and will not be available until at least fall practice. The following will also be on limited duty this spring: Blake Behrens (off-season shoulder surgery); Devin Head (off-season shoulder surgery); and Mike Iltis (tore ACL last August). Ryan Miller, who broke his leg during the Florida State game last fall, is listed as a “Full Go” for spring practice.

Want to take a stab at a starting lineup for September 5th? It might be as easier to pick the Final Four in your March Madness tournament pool. Best bets at this point would likely include returning starters Nate Solder (LT) and Devin Head (RG), joined by Ryan Miller (RT). At the other guard position, look for Blake Behrens to be challenged by Bryce Givens and Mike Iltis (and don’t completely count out MTM, who could be back this fall). At center, we may have to wait until August to see if Gus Handler or Shaun Simon can assume the duties as true freshmen. This spring, those listed at center on the roster (transfer Evan Eastburn and fellow junior Keenan Stevens) may have to battle for playing time with a guard (Mike Iltis?) who slides over from the guard position.

For my part, there would be a certain poetic justice to the following starting lineup on September 5th:

OT – Ryan Miller (Littleton)
OG – Bryce Givens (Mullen)
C – Evan Eastburn (Fairview)
OG – Jack Harris (Chaparrel)
OT – Nate Solder (Buena Vista)

You got it – An all-Colorado high school starting five! (Just in case the Ram fans happen to forget which school is the flagship school for the state of Colorado!).

The absolute best part about playing Offensive line bingo with all of this talent? Look again at the roster of players at the top. Look for the number of seniors who are listed. Yup. One. Devin Head. Plus, there are only a handful of juniors this year. The Colorado offensive line could be a force to be reckoned with, not only in 2009, but for years to come!

[A similar forecast for each unit on the team will be posted as part of CU at the Game’s Spring Practice Preview. The remainder of the offense will be previewed on Sunday, March 15th; the defense on Sunday, March 22nd. A special posting will be made on Sunday, March 29th, in anticipation of the start of spring practice on Tuesday, March 31st. Go Buffs!]

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Quarterbacks of the Recruiting Class of 2010.

Too early to worry about next year’s recruiting class? Perhaps. But consider this: Texas already has 19 verbal commitments for next February – 19! One area of interest for Buff fans as we look toward next February is the 2010 quarterback class, seen by those who are supposed to know as one of the best in the past few seasons. While there are some names which will receive much of the national publicity (including one Nick Montana, son of Joe), there are several quarterbacks Buff fans should monitor.

The first is Austin Hinder from Steamboat Springs. Hinder may be the best player in the state of Colorado this fall, so if Dan Hawkins is to maintain his record of securing the #1 player in the state for the fourth year running, he will need to land Hinder. Hinder is 6′4″, 185, and already has offers from over ten BCS schools, including Cal, Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama, and Nebraska. While some see CU as only having an outside shot at this prize recruit, Hinder did have nice things to say about the Buffs. “The last couple of years, I have gone to as many CU games as I could”, Hinder told HuskerIllustrated.com. “CU is another great program, and I talked to coach Hawk (this past week). He’s a fun guy to talk to, and they’re another school that I am high on.” Right now Cal, where Hinder’s grandfather, Jim Hanifan (former head coach of the St. Louis Rams) went to school, is seen as the leader for Hinder’s signature.

Another name to keep an ear out for is Jake Heaps, considered to be one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in the 2010 class. Heaps, at 6′2″, 185 pounds, from Sammamish, Washington, has offers from all over the country, including Georgia, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Cal, and UCLA. Heaps recently narrowed his choices down to his top ten, and Colorado was on that list. The front-runner is reportedly hometown Washington, with Pac-10 foes Cal and UCLA in the mix with BYU (Heaps is a Mormon). Ironically, the Buffs attempts to sign Austin Hinder, above, may be improving due to Cal’s desire to sign Heaps. Reportedly Hinder was looking to commit to Cal, but Cal is dragging its feet in its recruitment of Hinder in hopes of landing Heaps, thus opening the door for other schools to land Hinder.

One last name on the quarterback list of interest to Buff fans. Don’t be surprised if you hear the name of Blake Bell over the next few weeks and months. Bell, a 6′6″, 215-pound specimen from Wichita, Kansas, has already received over 15 scholarship offers, including ones from Georgia, LSU and Notre Dame, as well as offers from no fewer than five Big 12 schools, including North rivals Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Does CU have a chance at Bell? Well, no. Bell won’t be coming to Boulder, except in traveling whites. Then why mention him? It’s his ties to the Buffs’ weak sister to the north that has me concerned. Blake Bell’s father and uncle, Mark Bell and Mike Bell, both played in the NFL after successful runs at … Colorado State. Blake Bell could be an opening day pain for the Buffs for the next four years if family wins out in this scholarship race. Here’s hoping Bell goes elsewhere (Bell told IrishEyes.com “Since I’m Catholic and I go to Bishop Carroll, a private Catholic school, there’s a lot of Notre Dame fans in our school. Notre Dame’s a big time school and that’s why I’m so interested in them.” – Go Irish!).

Enough about 2010 for now. There’s plenty of 2009 stories to keep us busy over the next two months. Still, I’ll be keeping a look out for the next Buff quarterback – so you won’t have to!

 

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Recruting Class of 2009 –

Impact of the Class on the 2009 starting lineup

The 2009 recruiting class is seen as one which may be short on glamour, but is long on filling needs. Which of the 19 new Buffs are most likely to have an immediate impact?:

Offense

Quarterback

Colorado received two new commits at the quarterback position, Clark Evans, a 6′5″, 230-pound prospect from Los Alamitos, California, and Josh Moten, a 6′1″, 190-pound athlete from Harbor City, California. Evans, described by head coach Dan Hawkins as a “bruiser”, brings a new element to the quarterback battle. At 6′5″, he looks down at all the other CU quarterbacks, but is far from a statue in the pocket. Evans rushed for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and is sufficiently mobile to play center for his 20-1 high school basketball team. Moten is a wild card. While coach Hawkins clearly indicated when introducing Moten that the athletic quarterback would be given every shot at being a quarterback at CU, there is certainly the possibility that this gifted athlete, who runs a 4.6 40, will find another way to get on the playing field.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Unlikely. Junior Cody Hawkins has two full seasons under his belt, mostly at starter. His main challenger would appear to be sophomore Tyler Hansen, who started a pair of games last fall as a true freshman. Sophomore Matt Ballenger, seen as the main threat to Hawkins last spring, hasn’t gone anywhere, and will have another chance to impress coaches this spring. With all three players having time in the system, it would seem unlikely that either Evans or Moten would see time at quarterback as true freshmen. But then again, I said the same thing about Hansen last February – and we know how that turned out.

Running back

For the first time in recent memory, the Buffs did not recruit a running back. (In looking back at the recruiting classes of this decade, I couldn’t find a year in which the Buffs did not sign at least two running backs). As close as this year’s class comes to a running back are quarterback/athlete Josh Moten and safety Parker Orms (who led the state of Colorado in rushing last fall).

Impact on the 2009 roster: Easy call – none. Still, there are few, if any, in the Buff Nation who are concerned. Colorado is loaded with young talent at the running back position. Let’s start with the class of 2008. Coach Hawkins indicated at the recruiting luncheon that both Darrell Scott and Rodney Stewart, injured during the season, are making full recoveries. Ray Polk, who red-shirted last season, will also be in the mix for playing time. Throw in senior Kevin Moyd, juniors Demetrius Sumler, Corey Nabors and Brian Lockridge, and sophomore Arthur Jaffee, and you have the makings of a dominating rushing force. (Senior Jake Behrens and senior transfer Matt Burgner will return at the fullback position, though fullbacks have largely given way to the tight end / H-back position in the CU offense).

Wide Receiver

The wideout position was perhaps the most closely watched as signing day approached, and the Buffs landed three wide receiver prospects in 2009. Andre Simmons, a junior with three seasons to play two, comes to Boulder by way of Independence Community College in Kansas). Simmons is 6′3″, and originally hails from Blackville, South Carolina. Joining Simmons are a pair of Texans. Jared Darden, from Keller, Texas, was the first verbal for the Buffs, committing back in June. Darden, though, did not have the opportunity to play last fall, injuring his ankle before the season started. According to Darden, his rehabilitation is progressing well, and he should be ready for fall practice. The third new member in the receiving corps is Terdema Ussery from Dallas. Ussery played only five games last season, though, being held out for precautionary reasons due to a concussion he suffered in mid-season.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Should be immediate – but may not be. Each of the three recruits has question marks which may affect their ability to suit up this fall. Simmons, coming from a junior college, still must qualify for admission to Colorado, a factor which cannot be overlooked given the Buffs’ difficulty in the past in getting JC players on the field. Both Darden and Ussery missed playing time their senior seasons, so the likelihood that they will be able to step in as true freshmen and play in the Big 12 is not guaranteed.

While the new trio may not be able to deliver the immediate impact Buff fans were hoping for, it does not mean that the Colorado passing game will not improve in 2009. The Buffs lose Patrick Williams and Cody Crawford, but plenty of talent returns. Scotty McKnight, who has led the Buffs in receiving each of his two seasons in Boulder, returns alongside fellow junior Josh Smith. Joining the starting two will be no fewer than four wideouts who have yet to have the chance to make their impact felt. Tops on this list is sophomore Markques Simas, who was ineligible last season (academics), but is reportedly on pace to be a factor this fall. Joining Simas on the field for the first time will be redshirt-freshman Chance Blackmon, the three-star recruit from the class of 2008. Other players who will be given the opportunity to crack the starting lineup are sophomore Jason Espinoza (injured for much of 2008), and sophomore transfer Ryan Maxwell.

Tight end

The Buffs picked up one new tight end in this recruiting cycle, DaVaughn Thornton from Denver East High. Thornton is a “skinny” 220 pounds, according to Dan Hawkins, with plenty of opportunity to expand on his 6′5″ frame. Thornton is also an accomplished basketball player, currently leading his team with 19 points and nine rebounds per game.

Impact on 2009 roster: Not likely. While Thornton was a valuable pickup this recruiting cycle, it would be a surprise if he was not a red-shirt candidate this fall. In addition to the need to put some bulk on his significant frame, there is the added element that the Buffs are top-heavy with tight ends. There will be six other tight ends on the roster this fall, including four seniors. Riar Geer and Patrick Devenny will likely see the most playing time, with sophomores Ryan Deehan and Ryan Wallace the primary backups. (Senior Luke Walters is also available, having sat out last season with a leg injury).

Offensive line

The Buffs picked up four more offensive lineman this fall. Tops on the list is tackle Jack Harris from Parker. The #2 player in the state of Colorado in 2008, Harris is 6′6″, 270. Joining Harris are three other large young men: David Bakhtiari (6′4″, 270); Gus Handler (6′4″, 280), and Shaun Simon (6′2″, 305). Handler and Simon are potential centers for the Buffs, while Bakhtiari projects out as a tackle.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Possible, but not likely. Seen two years ago as a major liability for the Buffs, the offensive line is now a position of strength. Only center Daniel Sanders was lost from the two-deep roster, and there are any number of players who were not on the field last November who could be in the starting lineup in September. Let’s start with tackle Ryan Miller and guard Max Tuioti-Mariner, starting on the line in the first three games last fall before being injured in week four. Both were granted medical red-shirt seasons by the NCAA, so Miller will return for his sophomore season, and MTM will again play as a freshman. Two other excellent players did not see a down last fall, but will be in the mix now. Mike Iltis was injured during fall practice, and will compete for both a guard – and possibly center – positions. Bryce Givens was a four-star recruit in 2008, and is prepared to compete for playing time this fall as a red-shirt freshman. Ryan Dannewitz is another 2008 recruit who will be a factor this fall, as will be Sione Tau (academically ineligible in 2008).

All that talent! Who did I forget? Oh yeah – how about the starting lineup for much of last season!

In addition to Sanders, the lineup for the second half of 2008 included Nate Solder and Matthew Bahr at tackle (Solder will be a junior in 2009; Bahr a sophomore), senior-to-be Devin Head and sophomore-to-be Blake Behrens at guard. In addition there are a host of backups who will be back, including two players who compete to replace Sanders at center, junior Keenan Stevens and junior transfer Evan Eastburn.

Hard to get through all of those names in one breath. Coach Hawkins has stated that he will start the best five players, so look for some great position battles during spring and fall practices!

Overall – Offense

Of the 19 recruits signed in 2009, ten were from the offensive side of the ball. The three wide receiver recruits will receive the most attention, as the wideout position was seen as the one in greatest need of upgrading this spring. The three recruits coming in have a good opportunity to play this fall, but do not be surprised if the incumbents hold on to their starting jobs.

Overall, the depth added to the offense is the most impressive aspect of these ten players. The two quarterback recruits, Josh Moten and Clark Evans, are intriguing. The new tight end, DaVaughn Thornton, along with the three offensive line recruits, provide welcome depth, with the best chance for cracking the lineup being for one of the center recruits.

Defense

Defensive Line

With three seniors leaving the defensive line, and a junior, Jason Brace, leaving football due to repeated concussions, the defensive line was a clear area of need for the Colorado program in 2009. Four new players were added to the CU lineup to address this concern, led by all-everything defensive end Nick Kasa. By now, you know the story well. The #1 player in the state of Colorado, and one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation, Kasa plied his trade just nine miles down the turnpike in Broomfield. Sought after by any number of schools, Kasa first committed to play for Florida, but two days after the Gators won the national championship, Kasa de-committed and threw his lot with the Buffs.

Equally important to the future of the program, but coming in with less fanfare, are: Nate Bonsu, a 6′2″, 280-pound tackle from Allen, Texas; Edward Nuckols, a 6′3″, 295-pound tackle from San Marcos, California; and Forrest West, a 6′2″, 230-pound end from Canton, Connecticut.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Immediate, but not as dramatic as many believe. Yes, it is likely that two or more of the above recruits (most likely Kasa and Nuckols) will see action in 2009. However, it may be a good thing if we do not see much playing time from this quartet. Remember, for as much hype as there is surrounding the signing of Nick Kasa, he will still be just a freshman. Junior Marquez Herrod returns as starter, but there are others who have logged significant playing time. Sophomores Conrad Obi, Eugene Goree, and Curtis Cunningham will have much to say about who starts on September 5th against CSU, as will senior Taj Kaynor. At the recruiting luncheon February 5th, Dan Hawkins made the remarked that this group, after some serious weight training so far this off-season, had “gone up a shirt size”. Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pittman reported at the luncheon that the previous two weeks had been the best he had seen in terms of weight training production in his four years in Boulder.

Colorado fans are, justifiably, excited about the defensive line recruits of 2009. In order for the team to be successful in 2009, however, it will largely come via the efforts of those already in the lineup.

Linebacker

Two new linebackers joined the Buffs this February. Liloa Nobriga is a 6′3″, 235-pound physical marvel out of Las Vegas, who is dominant not only on the football field but on the basketball court. Joining Nobriga in donning the black and gold is Derrick Webb from Memphis. Webb, checking in at 6′, 230 pounds, was rated the best linebacker prospect in the state of Tennessee for 2008.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Unlikely, and, once again, that is a good thing. The Buffs should be loaded at linebacker this fall. Colorado was primed to have a dominating linebacking corps in 2008, before injuries and suspensions decimated the group. Only Brad Jones was lost from a unit which includes starters Jeff Smart and Shaun Mohler (both seniors in 2009). Other linebackers who logged significant time in ‘08 were upcoming juniors Michael Sipili and B.J. Beatty, along with senior Marcus Burton and sophomore Josh Hartigan.

Also new to the lineup in 2009 will be 2008 recruits Jon Major and Lynn Katoa. Major, the highest rated player in the state of Colorado in 2008, was injured in August, and never played a down. Also out of action last fall, but returning in 2009, was highly recruited prospect Lynn Katoa. Katoa was suspended last spring, but should be eligible for the fall. “We are spending a lot of time mentoring him as a person and a student,” said Dan Hawkins of Katoa, “but we expect him back on the field.”

With so much talent on the depth chart, it would be a surprise (actually, a disappointment), if either Nobriga or Webb had to burn their red-shirt season this fall.

Defensive back

Seen as a liability in the Colorado roster for much of the decade, the defensive backfield actually had a better year than most of the rest of the team in 2008. While certainly not much to brag about, the CU pass defense, though ranked in the 70’s nationally, did muster out as the best unit in the Big 12 last season. Joining the group this fall are cornerback Deji Olatoye and safety Parker Orms. Olatoye hails from Dublin, Ohio, while Orms, from Wheat Ridge, was the Colorado state offensive player of the year (leading the state in rushing).

Impact on the 2009 roster: Unlikely. Defensive back was not a great priority for the Buffs in 2009, despite losing three starters, including both safeties. The reason for the lack of panic is that there is considerable young talent ready to put on the field this fall. Sophomores Patrick Mahnke and Anthony Perkins filled in for injured Ryan Walters and D.J. Dykes the last two games of 2008, and will be favored to earn starts this fall. Two Browns, Cha’pelle, who will be a senior, and Jalil, who will be a junior, are good bets to start at cornerback (along with junior Jimmy Smith and sophomores Jonathan Hawkins and Anthony Wright).

Olatoye and Orms may have to wait their turn in the defensive backfield, but Orms may see time as a freshman in other capacities. As mentioned, he led the state of Colorado in rushing last season, and is also a noted kick returner. He reminds me a great deal of Ryan Walters, who he is, in essence, replacing. Walters was also a two-way star (coming to Boulder as the 23rd-rated quarterback recruit in the country). Walters was a leader on the field, a student of the game, and a team captain. I see a similar fate for Parker Orms.

Punter/Kicker

The Buffs got a great two-for-one deal in kicker/punter Zach Grossnickle. Grossnickle, listed as the #10 kicker prospect in the country by Scout, made 12-of-13 field goal attempts in 2008, with his only miss coming from 58 yards out. In addition, Grossnickle averaged 40 yards per punt for East High in Denver.

Impact on the 2009 roster: Immediate. While Grossnickle has indicated that he would be willing to red-shirt in 2009, look for a great deal of attention to be paid to the practice fields in Boulder this August. Dan Hawkins has all but indicated that the jobs of kickers Aric Goodman and Jameson Davis, along with that of punter Matt DiLallo, are open for competition. It will be interesting to see how the spring, sans Grossnickle, unfolds. It would be beneficial for the team’s psyche to know that a quality kicking option exists long before August drills open. If no clear cut winner is settled between Davis and Goodman this spring, look for a number of articles this fall documenting each placekicker’s statistics on the practice fields.

Defense – Overall

There will be much written about the development of Nick Kasa this August, and indeed he is a quality recruit at the position of greatest need in the Colorado defense. Still, if Kasa’s development – as well as that of his fellow defensive recruits in 2009 – can be nutured instead of forced, it will bode better for the team overall. Yes, it would be great if these players helped the Buffs to more victories in 2009.

It would be even better if Colorado could win without them this year!

The impact of the Class of 2009 might not be felt in 2009, but it is certainly a quality class!

2009 Impact – Who is likely to be the first on the field from the Class of 2009:

1. Nick Kasa. DE. Pretty obvious choice here. The highest rated player in the class, in a position of need for the Buffs.

2. Andre Simmons. WR. Ditto. If Simmons qualifies, he has the greatest chance of the three receiver recruits of playing early.

3. Edward Nuckols. DT. The Buffs really don’t want to have to true freshmen on the defensive line when Big 12 play begins, but they may have no choice.

4. Terdema Ussery. WR. A quality receiver and a quality individual. Could soon become a fan favorite.

5. Zach Grossnickle. K/P. Mason Crosby set a freshman scoring record right out of high school. Crosby’s 2003 mark of 52 points could be in jeopardy in 2009.

6/7. Nate Bonsu / Forrest West. OL. See Edward Nuckols, above. Both of these players could use a year of seasoning, and a year in the weight room with Jeff Pitman. Circumstances, though, may keep this desire from becoming a reality.

8. Parker Orms. S/KR/RB. It will be hard to keep this talented player off the field. You may see him in the offensive backfield, or returning kicks, in addition to seeing time at safety.

9. Josh Moten. QB/Ath. Another talented athlete. Not likely to see playing time at quarterback, but may find his way onto the field nonetheless. Wildcat formation, anyone?

10/11. Shaun Simon / Gus Handler. C. Both are projected to play center, the one position lost (Daniel Sanders) from the 2008 lineup. While it is more likely that Mike Iltis, Keenan Stevens, or transfer Evan Eastburn will be given the assignment this fall, either or both of these players may see the field in 2009.

12. Jared Darden. WR. This 6′5″ receiver would be ranked higher if he hadn’t sat out his entire senior year with an ankle injury. Darden says he’ll be ready by August. We’ll see.

13. Liloa Nobriga. LB. Another talented player, but Nobriga is coming in at linebacker, where the Buffs are loaded. Best to save Nobriga for 2010.

14. Jack Harris. OT. The second-best player in the state of Colorado. Why is Harris ranked so low? Bryce Givens held the same title last season, and in 2008, despite all of the injuries to the offensive line, Givens was red-shirted.

15. Derrick Webb. LB. See Liloa Nobriga, above. Building depth at linebacker is never a bad idea.

16. Clark Evans. QB. I like what I have seen in Clark Evans, but if this 6′5″ specimen is on the field in 2009, it means that the Buffs have gone through four other options at quarterback. If Evans is playing, we may be looking at another losing season in 2009.

17. Deji Olatoye. CB. Colorado has young and talented cornerbacks. Olatoye brings height (6′2″) to the position, but not much experience.

18. David Bakhtiari. OL. The most likely offensive lineman to red-shirt. Bakhtiari does not have the reputation of Harris, and does not figure into the mix at center, the only position with immediate need of help.

19. DaVaughn Thornton. TE. Down on Thornton? Hardly. However, this “skinny 220-pounder”, as Dan Hawkins referred to Thornton, is looking up at a depth chart with three senior tight ends. He’ll play in Boulder – just not in 2009.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts ….

[Your comments… ]

How do the Buffs’ rate? A look at the 2009 classes in the Big 12

Signing Day – 2009 – Big 12

While Buff fans were focused on February 4th on who will be wearing black and gold for the next four to five years, CU’s rivals were also loading up for what they hope will be successful runs to Big 12 titles before the end of the decade. A breakdown of how the rest of the Big 12 fared on signing day:

Big 12 North

In 2008, three schools in the Big 12 North (Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado) posted their highest rated recruiting classes in five years. In 2009, however, the North returned to what those in the Big 12 South may consider to be their rightful place – well below the South. The four lowest ranked classes, at least according to Scout, all came from the North, while the four highest ranked classes in the Big 12 all came from the South.

Let’s take a look at see how our Big 12 brethren fared ….

Nebraska

Signing day rank: Scout.com – 33rd; Rivals.com – 28th

Highest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 10th (2005); Rivals.com 5th (2005)

Lowest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 38th (2004); Rivals.com – 30th (2008)

It always begins and ends with Nebraska, doesn’t it?

After all we have heard from our friends from Corn Country about how Bo Pelini has restored order in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers, under Pelini, have still come away with two classes rated lower than anything that Bill Calahan signed 28th in 2009, up only slightly from 30th in 2008).

The most talked about recruit from this cycle is quarterback Cody Green. Green, from Dayton, Texas, is seen as the seventh-best quarterback in this cycle. Green chose Nebraska over LSU, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. The only other four-star recruit signed by Nebraska was Jason Ankrah, a defensive end from Maryland.

While the ‘Husker fans may be bragging about their 9-4 record in 2008, the successs on the filed didn’t really carry over onto the recruiting trail in 2009.

Missouri

Signing day rank: Scout.com – 38th; Rivals.com – 41st

Highest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 36th (2004); Rivals.com – 29th (2004)

Lowest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 58th (2006); Rivals.com – 47th (2006)

For all of the success on the field of late (back-to-back Big 12 North titles), and the high rankings achieved (Missouri rose as high as 3rd last season before faltering), one would expect that Gary Pinkel to be reaping in a harvest of new recruits.

Not so much. Missouri did land a five-star defensive tackle in Sheldon Richardson from St. Louis, and, like Nebraska, picked up a highly rated quarterback (Blaine Dalton, also from Missouri). Otherwise, the class of 2009, which included 25 signees, was fairly lacking in highly regarded players, with 11 of the 25 recruits meriting only two stars from Scout.

Kansas

Signing day rank: Scout.com – 50th; Rivals.com – 31st

Highest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 47th (2006); Rivals.com – 31st (2009)

Lowest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 78th (2007); Rivals.com – 51th(2004)

There was quite a significant gap between what Rivals thought of the Jayhawks’ 2009 class, and what Scout saw – 31st to 50th is not particularly close. Scout saw only two four-star players in the class of 24; Rivals saw four (including defensive back Bradley McDougald, who visited Boulder last fall).

The main difference of opinion, though, came in how each service viewed the depth of each class. Rivals felt that there were only two two-star players in the ‘09 lineup, while Scout sees ten of 24 meriting no better than a two-star ranking.

Time will bear out whether this KU class is a boom or a bust.

Kansas State

Signing day rank: Scout.com 111th; Rivals.com 95th

Highest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 46th (2005); Rivals.com – 18th (2004)

Lowest ranked recruiting class (2004-’09): Scout.com – 111th (2009); Rivals.com – 95th (2009)

The sound you hear coming from out of the eastern plains is the sound of rationalization. Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, and a host of apologists from Manhattan, are trying to put a positive spin on a recruiting class which is off the charts bad. In the team rankings at Rivals (the higher ranking of the two), KSU is wedged in between Arkansas State and Tulane. Only Syracuse from the Big East saves the Wildcats from being the lowest ranked BCS school in recruiting this season.

The class is not small – 21, 23, or 27, depending on which list you look at, but almost devoid of highly recruited talent. Scout gives out only one three-star grade, to safety Thomas Ferguson, who had only one other offer – from Kansas.

Iowa State

Signing day rank: Scout.com – 79th; Rivals.com – 72nd

Highest ranked recruiting class: (2004-’09): Scout.com – 50th (2005); Rivals.com – 42th (2004)

Lowest ranked recruiting class: (2004-’09): Scout.com – 79th (2009); Rivals.com – 72nd (2009)

New Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads can largely be given a pass on his first recruiting class. No one saw Gene Chizik, he of the 5-19 record in two years in Ames, being lured away by Auburn. As a result, the Cyclones played catch-up for most of the recruiting season.

Only one player on the list received a four-star rating from either service, junior college quarterback/athlete Darius Reynolds (by Rivals). According to Scout’s tabulations, 15 members from the class of 23 players deserved no greater than a two-star ranking.

Overall – Big 12 North

So, while the Buff fell in the eyes of the recruiting services, the rest of the Big 12 North fared little better. Nebraska held steady, which doesn’t mean much because last year the excuse was that Pelini didn’t have time to build a full class. Missouri failed to cash in on its recent success, and Kansas, depending on who you listen to, is either rising, holding steady, or slipping. Kansas State and Iowa State, meanwhile, had their worst recruiting class rankings in years.

There. Feel better? A little, maybe, but not much …

Big 12 South

Oklahoma won its seventh Big 12 South title in 2008, and its sixth Big 12 championship overall. The Sooners’ recruiting class reflects OU’s status amongst the nation’s elite. Texas, despite not being able to dethrone Oklahoma the past few seasons, nonetheless continues to pile up the tens (ten win seasons; top ten rankings; top ten recruiting classes), or at least close to tens. The ugly step-sisters to the Sooners and Longhorns are Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Both are fine programs, but the two own only division titles between them (both by A&M; the last in 1998). The status of the Aggies and the Red Raiders is often reflected in their recruiting classes. Close to the second tier is Oklahoma State, with Baylor quickly gaining ground on the field.

Texas

Signing day rank: Scout.com – 6th; Rivals.com – 5th

Highest ranked recruiting class: (2004-’08): Scout.com – 3rd (2007); Rivals.com – 5th (2007)

Lowest ranked recruiting class: (2004-’08): Scout.com – 13th (2005); Rivals.com – 20th (2005)

Another year, another great recruiting haul for the Longhorns. Included in this year’s class are no fewer than five players rated by Scout to be in the top five in the nation at their position (Rivals has nine of the Texas recruits in the top ten nationally in their position). Amongst those considered in the top five are recruits at wide receiver, offensive tackle, defensive end, and middle linebacker.

The headliner from the 2009 class may be quarterback Garrett Gilbert, an Austin boy who stayed home to play for the Longhorns. Gilbert is rated as the fifth-best quarterback in the nation by Scout, the #2 quarterback prospect in the country

14 Responses to “Colorado Recruiting Class of 2009”

  1. Bill Hyder

    I’m so thankful there is someone that lives and sleeps Colorado Football. I grew up in Boulder in the 50’s and 60’s and moved back twice, only to end up in so cal. I attend every game on the west coast that C.U. plays.
    Thanks again for the informative chops.
    Known as Buffalobilly on the Daily Camera Buffzone page.

  2. Sounds great, Neil.
    Good ideas – it’ll be a long wait from April 25th to the start of fall practice!

  3. neil langland

    Stuart – thanks for your work here. a suggestion for a story or two, forgive me if this is a repeat.
    one, pick an ‘all-colorado’ team comprised of d1 players who prepped in colorado. i have a .pdf i can send of the last five years’ recruiting classes (rivals & scout), e.g., two lineman at usc, two at ou, one at nu, qb at okie state, te at csu, receiver at oregon, dt at ut, and so on. interested?
    two, a series on cu athletics economics. topics could include comparative budgets, histories, etc.
    either of these could help get through the summer.
    otherwise, keep up the good work.
    p.s. ochoa says ‘hey’. n

  4. BuffBroncFan

    I like the hire of Johnson. He’s overqualified, and he’s got experience recruiting. He’s got his work cut out for him after last year, but he should have a lot more depth than Grimes ever had to work with… Thanks for the fact about Illinois being the 4th best recruiting state. I wouldn’t have guessed it.

  5. Jay

    “The only other four-star recruit signed by Nebraska was Jason Ankrah.”
    Nebraska actually had 5, 4 star recruits.
    “While the

  6. Good point, Michael.
    Even after all of his surgeries in 2008, Ben Burney has been cleared as a “full go” for spring practce. Welcome back, Ben!

  7. Michael

    Re: the DB’s you left out Ben Burney who is returning from his multiple surgeries last year. Will be a lock at corner or safety. He can play both.

  8. BuffTime

    I think Parker Orms has a much greater shot to see the field in 2009 than his no. 8 place on the list predicts. Hawkins was gushing all over the kid. the kid will play almost right away. I think he will be in the mix seriously as a return guy or at safety. Most likely return though.

    I also think Jack Harris will RS but not for the same reason that Bryce Givens did. Givens needed to put on serious weight before he could compete well at the Big 12 level. Harris is bigger coming in. But he will be redshirted because of the depth we now have at the position. From what I’ve heard, Givens will likely be a starter and force Miller inside on the line. That is saying something.

    I also think that Shaun Simon has a higher chance of seeing playing time this season than Gus Handler does. Simon comes from an almost identical offense as CU uses and thus has a much lower learning curve than the other contenders for the O-line have. If Iltis remains healthy than Simon likely redshirts. Keenan Stevens already has a year as the primary back-up and will either win the starter spot of back-up Iltis. Having Eastburn in the mix as well only adds to the likelihood that both RS, but I wouldn’t put Handler and Simon on the same par as far as when they will play.

  9. MD –

    Good question!

    I believe that a player can red-shirt, and then red-shirt. On the CU roster, the Buffs are listing Paul Vigo as a 5/4 – he still has five years to play four.

  10. MDBuff

    Stuart– Thanks for putting all of this info together – your site rocks! Should be a wild week, and I hope we’ll be happy come signing day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope Hawk can work his magic so that Moten, Blake, Ussery, Freeman, McDougald and Moore will come to Boulder, or at least most of them!

  11. MDBuff

    Can a player be grayshirted, and then redshirted?

  12. Horizonbuff99

    I agree about the comment above about Rick Riley he is a complete buttdart and this is a great website thank you for all of the CU info

  13. BuffTime

    We need to have at least 4 quality WRs for this class. Let’s bring them in.


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