EZ Mortgages

The Colorado Daily

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November 4th

So, how is recruiting coming along?

One of the first thoughts many Buff fans had when the Darrell Scott defection was announced: “how much worse will this make our 2010 recruiting class?” – we’ll, let’s find out.

Colorado either has five or seven commitments for signing day next February (Rivals and Scout agree on five, with two players, running back Mister Jones, from Littleton, Colorado, and defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe, from Corona, California, being considered “soft verbals” by Scout.com). Even with the seven commitments, Colorado ranks dead last in the Big 12 in verbal commitments. At present, the Buffs are only within shouting distance of Nebraska, which has 11 commitments. Five Big 12 rivals (Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech) have over 20 known commitments.

At first blush, this is not alarming. Colorado under Dan Hawkins has consistently trailed other schools during the regular season. Part of the Buffs’ recruiting philosophy has been to allow players to take their time to make their decisions, hoping that the lack of pressure will be attractive to high school seniors who are being contacted on an hourly basis by numerous schools.  Last season at this time, for instance, Colorado only had four verbal commitments.

The problem, of course, is that there is great uncertainty as to whether this coaching staff will be around to coach the recruits of 2010. This reality has certainly been a factor along the recruiting trails this fall, and the loss of Darrell Scott will only add fuel to the fire. The Buffs have lost a number of players to defection during the Hawkins’ tenure, a fact not lost on other teams’ coaches.

This past weekend, Colorado had its biggest recruiting weekend of the fall. Homecoming, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, Halloween weekend. Seemed like a good idea … Of course, Boulder was dumped on, tail-gating was cancelled, it was cold, and – by the way – the home team fell behind 33-0 and played the second half in front of a half-filled stadium.  

No fewer than 11 recruits made their official visits. Amongst them were known commitments Jones, Uzo-Diribe, and quarterback Nick Hirschman. In terms of quality, the Buffs hosted one four-star recruit, five three-star recruits, one two-star recruit, and four one-star recruits (Scout). The four-star recruit was defensive back Demetrius Wright, a teammate of Uzo-Diribe from Corona, California. Wright had a good time in Boulder, according to BuffStampede.com, but don’t look for his signature in February. USC is still Wright’s first pick – “USC is just my dream school”, said Wright, who also has taken official visits to Washington and Tennessee.

The other two three-star recruits in town last weekend not already commited to Colorado are linebacker Evan Palelei from Las Vegas, and wide receiver Tyler Slavin from Corona, California (but not the same school as Uzo-Diribe and Wright). Palelei has offers from Stanford and UNLV, while Slavin has offers from a number of schools, including Nebraska, Arizona, and Washington.

For those looking for any good news out of the debacle from last weekend, as witnessed by 11 potential Buffs, I give you this …

The weekend of October 7, 2007, the Buffs lost to Baylor in three overtimes, 34-31. The heart-breaking loss, played before 47,065, gave Colorado, under first-year head coach Dan Hawkins, an 0-6 record. Amongst those on hand that weekend was one of the best offensive linemen recruits in the country. He had his choice of schools, and was being heavily recruited by Notre Dame. Instead, despite witnessing a winless team fall for a sixth time in 2006 (and 10th-straight loss overall), Ryan Miller still came to Boulder.

We’ll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out …

November 3rd

Darrell Scott to transfer

In a move which is hardly surprising – yet still hard to take – it was announced Tuesday that Darrell Scott will transfer. Scott, one of the most highly touted recruits in Colorado history, is leaving for “personal reasons”, and may transfer to UCLA, where his uncle, Josh Smith, transferred to this past spring.

Scott had only 95 yards rushing on the season, including 85 against Toledo. In the game against the Rockets, Scott set a school record for the most kickoff return yards in a game, posting 204 yards on eight returns. Last season, Scott played in 11 games, totaling 343 yards. His career total of 438 yards puts him only up to 96th on the Colorado career charts – and less than half the yards of his fellow 2008 recruit, Rodney Stewart.

While no one can be completely surprised by the announcement (the rumor of Scott’s transfer has been commonplace on the internet since his uncle, Josh Smith, announced his intention to leave Colorado this past spring, it is a disappointment. I had held out hope that Scott would hang around until the end of the 2008 season, if for no other reason than to see who the new head coach was going to be. It would have been a boost for the new staff, and would have given Scott a fresh start.

Of course, the move also does not bode well for the future of Dan Hawkins. Scott was the only “trophy signing” for the program over the past four seasons. No other recruit has come close to the national prominence which Scott brought to the program on signing day, 2007.

If there is any consolation in Darrell Scott becoming the “Marcus Houston” of the Dan Hawkins’ era, it’s that it should assist Athletic Director Mike Bohn in his decision as to whether the present coaching staff should be retained …

Blue Out

There is a move about to wear blue to this weekend’s game against Texas A&M. The idea is to show support for the players and the team, but to indicate a lack of support for the present coaching staff. The Blue Out harkens back to the early 1980’s, when the Buffs, for three seasons, shifted to “Colorado sky blue” instead of the traditional black and gold.

The message – Colorado has sunk to a low not seen since the dark days of the Fairbanks’ era (which is actually true. Colorado, barring a five game winning streak – including a bowl win – will have a fourth straight losing season for only the second time in school history. The only other similar drought – six straight losing seasons between 1979-84).

I’ll be there this weekend. I dug out an old blue windbreaker from the hall closet – and it actually fits! I also have a blue CU hat, which has not survived the past quarter century as well, but I’ll have it on anyway!

CU this Saturday!

6 Responses to “The Colorado Daily”

  1. KO

    I like Mike Shanahan… RESPECTED by the Denver media and football fans. He is known throughtout the state and has the savvy to survive the politics of higher education and the state. I can only imagine recruits would LOVE to play for a revered former-NFL coach and perhaps Shanahan builds a bridge between the Buffs and the Broncos. Pat B. seems to love him and so do I!

  2. Joey Edmonds

    KT, I read an article today in the DC that pointed fingers at BOTH Hagan and D. Hawkins on the reason for Scott’s lack of playing time, which most likely resulted in him leaving. There’s no doubt Hagan loves CU, but Hagan may be part of the problem not the solution.

    I can remember Bienemy on the sidelines firing up C. Brown and B. Purify, jumping yelling and getting them ultimately ready to plow over anyone who stepped in front of them … but I haven’t seen that emotion with Hagan.

    No doubt he’s a great recruiter on some level, he was mostly responsible for getting Josh Smith to come to CU, BUT he may be partly to blame for Scott leaving as well.

    Just saying …

  3. Robin

    Very interesting, creative idea floated here by KT. As we have seen with Josh McDaniels, great coaches were often quarterbacks in their playing days. (Dan Hawkins was a fullback, although he garnered a stellar coaching career prior to CU – what happened to his magic is anyones guess???). I like the idea on first blush of elevating Darian Hagan to head coach – maybe on interim basis if Hawkins is canned. Don’t know if this is too wild an idea but it certainly is worth pursuing. Hagan’s bio includes a successful career in marketing and management as well as a deep connection to CU through the alumni association. He might be one of the best recruiters on the staff. Are you listening, Mike Bohn?

  4. KT

    Regarding a coaching change, I happened upon an interview with D. scotts position coach and it hit me. There is no other coach or former player with more love and devotion to CU than him. Many say Cabral deserves a chance and he does. But when its go time for a big time recriut who do we send? He would be very affordable and the players love him. Bienemy is a good choice but seems like he would be the perfect assistant, much like in their playing days together. He has all the tangibles. He can recruit, he can rally the troops when given the opportunity, and he loves this university like no other. Imagine the triple option coached by one of the best to ever run it. Add in Toney Clemons and Marques Simas, Cabral at d cordinator, and one Kordell Stewart coaching the qb’s. It would be a thing of beauty. I would throw my money behind those guys on the recruiting trail. So give it some thought, the right choice is right under our nose and within reach of our pocket books. DARIAN HAGAN!!!

  5. Tom

    How about hiring Eric Bienemy?? He’s got the recruiting ties, NFL, experience, and he would not command a huge salary.

  6. KSBuff

    I agree that D. Scott transferring is disappointing, because it never seemed like he got the opportunity to prove himself. During games he would come in for one series and then return to the sidelines for the remainder of the game. I hope this is a sign to Bohn that something needs to be done with the coaching staff. I think both Cabral and Hagan need to be retained because of their CU and recruiting ties, but everyone else can go.

    If Hawkins were to be fired, who would be a potential candidate? Knowing that the Athletic Department is on a “financial diet” this would eliminate any of the big names available.

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