August 2nd

Rchardson not yet a Buff

Former UCLA recruit Paul Richardson had a great visit last week, according to a report on BuffaloSportsNews.net …

… but he left Boulder without a scholarship offer.

“I had a nice visit,” Richardson said. “It’s definitely out there in terms as far as the air and the culture, but overall it was an alright trip.”

The hangup? Apparently the theft charge, which led to Richardson’s dismissal from the Bruins, has not been resolved, which led to the Buffs not offering a scholarship at this time.

With time of the essence (fall camp opens Wednesday), the Buffs may not be able to sign Richardson. The four-star recruit from the 2010 class indicated that he may take the fall off, re-open his recruitment, and enroll at the school of his choice in January.

The matter of Richardson coming to Boulder is not completely closed. Richardson could still become a Buff if he is offered a scholarshp and is enrolled in fall classes by the end of August. However, if the theft case remains unresolved, the chances of Colorado obtaining Richardson’s services appear to be remote.

July 30th

Player updates

Nothing new to report on UCLA wide receiver Paul Richardson. After the report came out that Richardson was visiting Boulder on Tuesday, there has been no new information. I will be around this weekend, though, so if anything is confirmed, I’ll post it as soon as possible …

Buffs healthy overall … There were a number of players who were injured during spring practice, or sat out the spring entirely, who are all on the mend. Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins reported that defensive lineman Nate Bonsu, wide receiver Scotty McKnight, kicker Aric Goodman, along with offensive linemen Maxwell Tuioti-Mariner, Ryan Miller, and Matt Bahr, are all healthy and available for the start of fall camp …

The most recent recruit of the 2010 class, defensive tackle Dakota Poole, is slated to get his first look on defense, but may be ultimately switched to offensive tackle. Poole, who has more rugby than football experience, “can really run”, according to Hawkins. Poole is 6’5″, 250-pounds, and comes to Boulder from British Columbia.

Incoming freshman tight end Harold Mobley has been cleared by the NCAA, and will be in camp. That leaves only two players, tight end Justin Favors and wide receiver Donnie Duncan, from the list of names read off last February who will not be in Boulder August 4th for the start of fall practices. (Duncan hopes to be a grey-shirt, and join the team in January).

Offensive lineman recruit Shaun Simon still wants to be a Buff … Shaun Simon failed to qualify academically in 2009, and has been at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas trying to become eligible for the 2011 class. A solid Colorado commit, Simon was quoted last month that he was re-opening his recruitment after rumors of Dan Hawkins’ shaky future made it to Kansas. Still, it sounds as if Simon wants to be a Buff. “Even if a coaching change were to happen, CU would still be number one on my list,” Simon told BuffStampede.com this week, “but I need to keep an open ear and have a backup plan just in case”. Fair enough. Simon took 18 credits last fall (he did not play football), 18 credits this spring, an intercession class in May, and is enrolled in summer school. He is now on pace, with just a normal course load this spring, to be eligible to graduate and transfer in January. “It’s going real good for me right now,” said Simon. “It really can’t get any better.”

July 29th

Patterson: “It’s going to be a big year for me and a great year”

Former USC wide receiver Travon Patterson has spent all of seven days in the state of Colorado – in his life.

The senior transfer has been staying with fellow senior Scotty McKnight since arriving in Boulder last week. Next Wednesday, August 4th, Patterson will take the field as a Colorado Buffalo, and he sounds excited about his opportunity. “I want to be a part of the team, go out there and play my game and help Colorado win,” Patterson told BuffStampede.com. “I most definitely plan to be one of the starting three receivers this year.”

It turns out Patterson did have a connection to Boulder before deciding to transfer – Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau. Five years ago, when Patterson was at Long Beach Poly, he was recruited by then Cal coach Eric Kiesau. “When I was in high school, I was recruited by Coach Kiesau, and he made a strong impression on me.”

Patterson, who figures to also be in the rotation for kick returns, had 11 receptions for 170 yards and a touchdown in three scrimmages for USC this spring, runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. “Speed is my best attribute, but I can bring other assets to the game, too,” said Patterson. He’s also made an impression on McKnight, himself on pace to own most of Colorado’s all-time receiving records. “We’ve done some running,” said McKnight. “He can really move. But he’s still getting acclimated to the elevation. He’s getting bloody noses. I told him, ‘You’ll be okay. You’ll get over it.’ ”

Patterson has just over a month to do just that …

July 28th

Paul Richardson on campus

Kyle Ringo posted on BuffaloSportsNews that he had spoken with wide receiver recruit Paul Ricardson’s father, and that the former UCLA signee flew into Colorado on Tuesday.

No update, though, as to the resolution of Richardson’s theft charges, but it would be safe to assume that Richardson would not be visiting the Buffs if there was no possibility of him joining the team this fall. We do know that no felony charges were to be filed, but it was to be determined this week if misdemeanor theft charges would be entered, or if charges would be dropped …

July 26th

Richardson one step closer to Boulder?

One insurmountable hurdle for former UCLA wide receiver prospect Paul Richardson, if he every hoped to enroll at the University of Colorado, would be a felony charge. Colorado simply would not accept Richardson with a felony charge pending.

At least for now, that first hurdle appears to have been cleared. According to the Orange County Register (http://www.ocregister.com/sports/three-258657-case-ucla.html – Thanks, Mike, for the link!), the District Attorney’s office last week declined to prosecute the theft case as a felony, referring the case to the City Attorney’s office in order to determine if misdemeanor charges were warranted.

Richardson was supposed to make a Court appearance on Monday, but, as of yet, I haven’t seen anything to indicate a resolution of Richardson’s legal status.

There was one interesting note in the Colorado “Summer Notes”, prepared for the Big 12 media days. Far from discussing Paul Richardson, the notes did not even mention USC transfer Travon Patterson or late 2010 signee Dakota Poole. The entire text in the CU Notes: “As of press time for these notes, there were internet reports of a potential transfer headed CU’s way as well as a possible late member in the 2010 recruiting class. However, nothing was official as of July 23rd; Hawkins will address in person if one and/or the other do in fact become Buffaloes.”

So, as of last Friday, Colorado was not – officially – welcoming Travon Patterson and Dakota Poole …

… so the Paul Richardson saga may last until camp opens. Or even beyond …

July 23rd

Four-star UCLA wide receiver recruit to transfer to Colorado?

First Travon Patterson from USC, now Paul Richardson from UCLA?

Paul Richardson, a 6’2″, 185-pound freshman wide receiver recruit, was arrested last month for participating with two other freshmen recruits in the theft of a purse (see July 18th update, below). UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel dismissed all three players from the team, nullifying their letters of intent. One of the three, defensive end Josh Shirley, has already signed on with Washington. Now Richardson is considering Colorado.

Richardson’s recruitment hinges upon a favorable resolution of his court appearance on Monday. If the felony charges are reduced or dismissed, Richardson could be on his way to Boulder for a visit as early as Tuesday.

“All the schools involved have that information, and that’s where it’s leading,” said Richardson’s father, Paul Richardson, Sr., “and that’s why these kids are in a position to get that second opportunity and learn from this situation.”

Paul Richardson, Jr., was considered a four-star recruit this past February (Scout rated him as the 22nd-best wide receiver in the nation; the 38th-best receiver by Rivals). Richardson was a high school teammate of quarterback Clark Evans, a 2009 Colorado recruit (who has since moved to tight end). Richardson was recruited by Darian Hagan, and had offers from Colorado, Nebraska, as well as from most teams in the Pac-10.

The third player arrested, wide receiver Shaquille Richardson, is considering Arizona and Arizona State. The two Richardson’s are cousins, and Paul Richardson did have offers from both the Wildcats and the Sun Devils.

First things first – will the charges be reduced or dropped?

From what has been reported, the felony charges for theft stem from the three allegedly stealing a female student’s backpack with contents worth about $1,200.00. It is the value of the backpack’s contents which make the charge a felony. If the contents had a lower value, the charge would have been a misdemeanor. It would not be an unusual plea agreement – assuming the defendant did not otherwise have a criminal record – to have the charges reduced in exchange for a guilty plea.

If that occurs, a four-star wide freshman wide receiver could be on his way to visit come Tuesday.

Dare to dream …!

 

Josh Ford in the fold

Former Mullen star Josh Ford has been accepted to enroll at the University of Colorado.

While at Mullen high in Denver in 2008, running back Josh Ford rushed for 1,321 yards and 17 touchdowns in helping Mullen to the state 5A championship. Despite his numbers on the field, Ford was not highly recruited due to academic concerns. Western State wanted him, but Ford instead chose to go to Kansas State as a preferred walk-on. Last summer, during 7-on-7 drills, Ford broke his wrist, keeping him out of practice last fall.

The Wildcats wanted Ford to stay on and grey-shirt this season, but instead Ford decided to come home and cast his lot with the Buffs.

“I am excited. I worked hard and now I have a second chance,” Ford told BuffStampede.com. “I kind of messed up, and didn’t have my priorities straight. But this door opened for me so it is like a dream come true.”

Ford will practice with the scout team this fall, and try to earn a scholarship for 2011. “I just want to keep my grades up and stay on top of everything,” said Ford. “I just want to come in and help the team.”

Welcome, Mr. Ford. We’ll hope to see you on the field in 2011!

July 22nd

Patterson to become a Buff!

Josh Smith – Boulder to LA; Travon Patterson – LA to Boulder …

Might not turn out to be a bad trade.

USCFootball.com, a part of the Rivals network, has been told by Travon Patterson that the senior wide receiver will be transferring to Colorado. With the USC program under NCAA sanctions, Patterson will be eligible to play immediately.

In his career at Southern Cal, Patterson did not post significant numbers, with only ten catches for 96 yards in three seasons, but more was expected of Patterson this fall. With all-everything wide receiver Damian Williams off to ply his trade for the Tennessee Titans, Patterson was given at least a shot at being a starter his final season (in The Sporting News preseason magazine, Patterson was projected to start this fall). This spring, Patterson collected 11 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown in three scrimmages.

Patterson, who has 4.4 speed, may also be utilized as a kick returner for the Buffs. At 5’9″, 170-pounds, “Peanut”, as he is known, was also a sprinter for USC.

It would be difficult to find a downside here.

Patterson will be a senior, so his eligibility will not affect Colorado’s APR. Nor will it hurt next spring’s recruiting class numbers, as his scholarship would have gone unused until February, anyway. Colorado, with the loss of several receiving options over the past few seasons, could use additional depth and experience at the wide receiver position. And, with Colorado ranked 117th in the nation last year in punt returns, having a speedster back to field punts can only be seen as a bonus.

Welcome, Mr. Patterson! Buff fans hope you enjoy your six months in Boulder!

All Big-12 team announced

Speaking of transfer wide receivers …

Michigan transfer Toney Clemons was projected to be the “Newcomer of the Year” in the Big 12 by media representatives who cover the conference. Clemons, who sat out last season after transferring to Colorado from Ann Arbor, was a four-star prospect out of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, in 2007, and has two years of eligibility remaining. In his report on the announcement, ESPN.com blogger David Ubben called the pick of Clemons as the Newcomer of the Year, “a home run selection”.

Noting that Clemons was the first player picked when the Buff captains divided up the roster for the spring game, Ubben wrote, “An action like that by the players speaks pretty loudly.”

The All-Big 12 conference team has two Buff offensive linemen on it, senior Nate Solder and junior Ryan Miller. Overall, only ten of the 29 players placed on the All-Big 12 team were from the Big 12 North (the team included two kick returners, an extra offensive lineman, four defensive linemen, four linebackers, and five defensive backs, accounting for the odd total number of players selected).

Overall, Oklahoma had seven players selected, with six Texas Longhorns also making the team. From the North, there were four from Nebraska, two each from Colorado and Missouri, and one from Kansas and Kansas State. Iowa State, along with Oklahoma State from the Big 12 South, were shut out of the voting.

Congratulations, Toney Clemons, Nate Solder, and Ryan Miller.

July 21st

Buffs picked fifth in Big 12 North

A 3-9 season … four straight losing seasons … still unresolved quarterback issues …

… ain’t gonna buy much credibility.

The Big 12 media days are getting underway next week, and the Big 12 media preseason poll is always a topic of conversation. For 2010, the media pick Colorado to finish 5th in the Big 12 North, ahead of only Iowa State. Nebraska was a unanimous pick to win the division in the Cornhuskers’ final year in the conference, followed by Missouri, Kansas State, Kansas, Colorado, and Iowa State.

In the South, Oklahoma is the favorite to win the division, followed by defending champion Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.

Does the Big 12 media preseason poll mean anything?

Well, the media has correctly picked the division champions five of the last seven seasons (including last year), and has picked the division winners correctly 21-of-28 times overall.

In 2009, the picks went as follows: Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State.

The results: Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas.

It is not hard to understand why Nebraska is the unanimous choice to win the division – there are too many question marks concerning all of the other contenders. Translation: if you are an optimist, 2nd place in the division is there for the taking for Colorado. If you are a pessimist, then a fall to the basement  is only a few tough losses away from being a reality.

Let’s get this party started!

USC wide receiver transferring to Colorado?

Kyle Ringo from the Daily Camera/Scout.com is reporting that Colorado may be in line to pick up a four-star wide receiver.

Travon Patterson is a senior at USC, and, with the Trojans under NCAA sanctions, is part of a group of players being allowed to transfer to another school without having to sit out a transfer season. Patterson was a four-star prospect in 2006, considered by Scout to be the 26th-best wide receiver prospect in the nation. Patterson, who is 5’10”, 175-pounds, has played in 33 games in his career, but has not blossomed into a star, catching only ten passes for 96 yards overall.

Patterson, if he came to Boulder for the 2010 season, would bring speed to the Buffs – he ran the lead leg of the 400-meter relay for the USC track and field team in 2008 – and could return punts as well as stretch opposing defenses.

At this point, all Ringo is saying is that he has confirmed from CU sources that the Buffs are talking with Patterson.

More to come …? 

 

July 18th

Buff opponents losing players as well

2010 Colorado wide receiver recruit Donnie Duncan (below) is a grey-shirt candidate; wide receiver Markques Simas is now a memory.

Colorado opponents, both in the near and not-to-distant future, however, have also been losing players who might have lined up against the Buffs.

One of the more significant losses was suffered by Kansas, where junior offensive tackle Jeff Spikes injured his Achilles tendon during a non-contact, non-football accident, and will be lost for the 2010 season. Spikes started 35 games over the past three seasons, and will likely be awarded a medical redshirt, giving Spikes two more years of eligibility.

But he won’t be available on November 6th, when Colorado faces Kansas for what could be the last matchup between the schools for some time.

Also out for their team’s battle with Colorado is running back Dontavius Jackson of Georgia. The sophomore running back was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident earlier this month. Bulldog coach Mark Richt had suspended Jackson for six games, but instead of serving out his sentence, Jackson will transfer to another school. Jackson was just a backup last season, but, with Georgia breaking in a new quarterback this fall, was being counted on to provide depth for what Bulldog fans hope will be an improved rushing attack.

Looking ahead … Two schools the Buffs will be facing in the near future took hits to their recruiting classes recently. Three players from the 2010 recruiting class at UCLA had their letters of intent ruled null and void. Wide receiver Paul Richardson, defensive back Shaquille Richardson, and linebacker Joshua Shirley could face felony charges for allegedly stealing a female student’s backpack with contents worth about $1,200.00. The three are out of school for the summer and fall, and the decision as to whether any of the three could enroll after their legal issues have been resolved will be “determined at a later date”, according to head coach Rick Neuheisel.

The three recruits were part of what was considered by Rivals to be the 8th-best recruiting class in the nation in 2010. Paul Richardson and Joshua Shirley were considered four star recruits, while Shquille Richardson rated three stars.

While not as big a hit as that which UCLA is absorbing, Arizona State also lost 2010 recruits recently. The school confirmed this week that defensive tackle Calvin Tonga and athlete Damien Williams did not qualify, and would be enrolling in Arizona Western College in Yuma. Williams was rated as a three-star running back prospect, the 12th-rated running back out of California last year. Tonga, meanwhile, was only rated as a two-star prospect, but, at 6’4″, 320-pounds, was being counted on to provide depth along the defensive line for Arizona State.

So, as much as Buff fans like to believe Colorado is the only team snake-bitten by the loss of recruits, it remains a universal story …

 

July 11th

“Best summer/off-season ever” – for the 30th consecutive year …

Wednesday, August 4th, marks the official start of Colorado fall camp, 2010 … but the off-season conditioning has been going on since December.

Morning conditioning and twice-a-week 7-on-7 work is continuing, and will go on until the end of July. The Buff players will then get four days of rest before reporting for duty.

So, has the 2010 off-season been the “best ever” … again?

Senior linebacker B.J. Beatty on the subject: “It’s been good, the best I think since I’ve been here as far as attendance, effort, everything,” said Beatty. “I think I’ve learned a lot about my weaknesses, where I can improve as a player and a leader – mainly in effort and technique.”  Last season, Beatty played in ten games, recording 30 tackles, but is expected to be a starter this fall.

Senior quarterback Cody Hawkins, who has seen starts in all three of his previous years, agrees with Beatty about how the summer has gone. “It’s a lot more structured … we’ve got some things scripted that have helped us in individual group work,” said Hawkins. “Functionally, I think it’s gone a lot better. It’s been good, solid mental work.”

Most freshmen already in Boulder

Chip Marks, Colorado director of football administration, has indicated that all but four of Colorado’s incoming scholarship freshman are in Boulder. The four: linebacker Lowell Williams, Jr., from Missouri City, Texas; tight end Harold Mobley, from Corona, California; running back Justin Torres, from LaMirada, California; and wide receiver Donnie Duncan, from Cerritos, California.

Of the four, only one for certain will not be in camp come August. Wide receiver Donnie Duncan will have to grey-shirt this fall, as he is academically ineligible. “My ACT score is actually pretty good, I scored a 23”, said Duncan. “It was an issue with my grades. I graduated with a 2.0 (GPA), and I needed a 2.2 to qualify.” This fall, Duncan plans to take three classes at a local community college, and try to re-qualify for the spring semester. “I have to get all B’s, but I plan on getting all A’s”, said Duncan. “I can turn this into a positive situation. There is nothing I can do about it now.”

Other colleges will be allowed to recruit Duncan this fall, but the Los Angeles City Section Player-of-the-Year in 2009 says he is not interested. “I still want to be a Buff,” said Duncan.

[Note: there is a report on BuffStampede.com that tight end Harold Mobley has reported, and that Lowell Thomas and Justin Torres are expected to be on campus before the start of fall camp.]

Player Updates …

Labato gone

Seth Labato, a red-shirt freshman walk-on, has left the program. Labato, a quarterback from Eaton, Colorado, had requested a tryout at safety after spring drills.

Labato becomes the fifth quarterback to leave the position in the past two years. Scholarship recruit Matt Ballenger and walk-on Jerry Slota transferred, while two 2009 quarterback recruits are working at different positions – Clark Evans is currently listed as a tight end, while Josh Moten can be found under defensive backs on the roster.

The move by Labato leaves the Buffs with three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: senior Cody Hawkins; junior Tyler Hansen, and true freshman Nick Hirschman.

Justin Castor ready to start as a true freshman

Colorado has a long history of successful kickers – Barry Helton, Keith English, Tom Rouen, Neil Voskeritchian, Jeremy Flores, Mark Mariscal and Mason Crosby all won All-Conference and/or All-American honors over the past quarter century.

There has been little to brag about in the kicking game, however, since Crosby left for the Green Bay Packers after the 2005 season.

Incoming true freshman kicker Justin Castor wants to change all that.

“I’ve been training to start (against Colorado State September 4th) – that’s my goal,” said Castor. “I think if you train any other way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

Call it bravado on Castor’s part. Or perhaps he just checked out the Buffs’ returning roster.

Punter Matt DiLallo graduated, leaving no scholarship punters on the roster. Last year’s answer to the Buffs’ kicking woes, red-shirt freshman Zach Grossnickle, is being groomed to replace DiLallo at punter. The lone returning scholarship field goal kicker is Aric Goodman, and Goodman’s tales of woe are becoming stuff of Colorado legend. Over the past two seasons, Goodman has hit on only 15-of-32 field goal attempts, a success rate of 47%. During that same time period, Colorado opponents have been successful on 37-of-48 field goal tries, or 77%. Add to Goodman’s track record the fact that the senior-to-be underwent off-season hip surgery, and is only now beginning to get back into kicking, and you can see why Castor is getting ready to go from Arvada West home games to the Buffs’ starter at Invesco Field in one season.

“I’m pumped; I can’t wait,” said Castor. “Summer’s been long, classes have been long. I’m ready for everybody to get on campus, start the whole season and start enjoying it. It’s going to be a fun year.”

Kennan Canty doing his part to make Buff fans forget Munchie Legaux

True freshman Keenan Canty was seen by many as a “throw in” recruit last fall. Canty’s teammate at Edna Carr high school in New Orleans was quarterback Munchie Legaux. The two took their official visit together, and committed to play for Colorado shortly thereafter. Legaux was the prize; Canty was seen at the time as just an added bonus – perhaps an extra incentive for Legaux to come to Boulder.

The problem was … Legaux de-committed, ending up with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Canty, though, stayed with his commitment to Colorado.

And the Buff players are glad he did.

Canty is only 5’9″, 155-pounds, but his speed has impressed his teammates during 7-on-7 drills. “The guy is unbelievably fast and energized,” said senior linebacker B.J. Beatty. “He runs around guys,” said quarterback Cody Hawkins. “And he attacks the ball with his hands. I think he’s got a little chip on his shoulder; because of his size he wants to prove something.”

With the loss of Markques Simas (who left the team after being suspended for missing a court appearance), any help the Buffs can add to the receiver corps this fall will be welcome …

Additional player updates

Junior college transfer Evan Harrington has received positive reviews since finding his way to Boulder this summer. The 6’0″, 225-pound linebacker was the leading tackler at the College of the Canyons in California last season. “He’s been playing well,” said All-American candidate Nate Solder of Harrington. “I think he’ll definitely make a contribution” … True freshman safety Terrel Smith has impressed linebacker B.J. Beatty – “The guy just seems to want it,” said Beatty. “I don’t know if he ever gets tired. I haven’t seen many high school guys come in as ready as he is” … Incoming freshman defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe, meanwhile, has caught the eye of quarterback Cody Hawkins – “Pretty solid guy who moves well,” said Hawkins. “I’m anxious to see him in pads.”

6 Replies to “Countdown to Fall Camp”

  1. Travon Patterson will be welcomed to Boulder and needed too. How about some more info on ( The wait is over for Josh Ford. The former Denver (Colo.) Mullen running back finally received an acceptance letter from the University of Colorado. He plans to join the Buffaloes’ football program as a walk-on after classes start this fall. ) Of course I am to cheap to sign up for Rivals so I leave this one to you.

  2. Who else thinks this is going to be a tough road year for the Buffs in the Big XII (soon to be called something else)in terms of taunting, derision, and most importantly opponents putting just a little extra in their game? I don’t really care except that I wonder if we have the type of team and coaching staff with the, shall we say fortitude, to not be affected by that. I would think that the games at the old Big 8 campuses (Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas) could be interesting. Since Nebraska is also bolting probably nothing different there.

  3. Sorry man, wasn’t meant to be a complaint. Actually I met Blake Stanley and he had to have surgery (unrelated to football) on his arm just before the spring game, so he isn’t blaming anyone. He was at the spring game with a huge scar and fresh stitches and I asked him what happened.
    There wasn’t any more intention in my naming seven former recent QBs instead of five, except it was a trivia answer I happen to know.

  4. “Labato becomes the fifth quarterback to leave the position in the past two years. Scholarship recruit Matt Ballenger and walk-on Jerry Slota transferred, while two 2009 quarterback recruits are working at different positions – Clark Evans is currently listed as a tight end, while Josh Moten can be found under defensive backs on the roster.”

    Make that 7 quarterbacks to leave the position.
    — Also Blake Stanley QB, left the team.
    — Also Matt Johnson QB, left the team.
    Both were walk-ons.

    Stanley is still shown on the roster for the moment.

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