January 31st

Harlos changes commitment!!

Three-star linebacker Will Harlos has been committed to Wake Forest since March.

He has now been committed to Colorado since Monday.

Harlos, a 6’4″, 195-pound prospect from Somerset, Texas, has decided to forego his commitment to the Demon Deacons, and will instead follow teammated Stevie Dorman to Boulder. The deicision was obviously not an easy one for Harlos. “It is incredibly stressful right now,” Harlos told BuffStampede.com earlier Monday. “It is going to be up to me in the end, but I am going to go home and talk about it with my family … I don’t know what is going to ultimately help me make this decision, but I hope I know soon.”

Harlos played linebacker for Somerset, and was the unanimous selection for his district’s defensive player of the year. As a senior, he played primarily as rush end, but as Harlos fills out his 6’4″ frame, he may play at safety for the Buffs.

Much more on Harlos’ commitment has been posted under “CU 2011 Verbal Commitments” .

Welcome, Will, to the Buff Nation!!

Buffs back in the hunt for Asiata?

Can Colorado make it three out of the “Hawai’i Four”?

Greg Biggins, an ESPN blogger, is reporting that Paul Asiata, a three-star offensive guard, is considering de-committing from Washington and committing to Colorado.

Asiata, rated by Rivals to be the best overall prospect from the state of Hawai’i this year, is reportedly interested in staying with his teammate, defensive end Juda Parker, who is a likely Colorado commit. Parker was not offered a scholarship by Washington, so, if the two St. Louis high prospects are to play together, they would have to do so in Boulder.

One concern about Asiata that has been circulated is that he might be an eligibility risk, but if Asiata and Parker want to play together, and want to commit to Colorado, Asiata would have the spring (and potentially even the summer) to work out his grade issues with the CU admissions office. Unless there is no chance for Asiata to gain enrollment, you would have to say that this is a risk worth taking.

Again, this is just a rumor, but it is an ESPN rumor, and the Seattle Times thought there was enough meat to it to run it on their website, so …

 Lucien to make everyone wait until late afternoon Wednesday

Colorado head coaches have traditionally held press conferences around 3:00 p.m. on signing day to go over the new recruiting class. Letters of Intent start to arrive at 8:00 a.m., and usually by noon on signing day, the members of the new class are fairly well known.

Devin Lucien might change the Buffs’ schedule.

The four-star wide receiver from Encino, California, told Scout.com that he will not announce his choice of schools until 3:00 PST. The translation is that Jon Embree might not know until 4:00 Wednesday whether Devin Lucien has decided to become a Buff (or, perhaps, a Bruin).

Signing day is shaping up to be a long day …

UPDATE: Top Colorado high school prospect Leilon Willingham will announce his decision at 7:30 a.m. MT on Wednesday. So the day will be the story of bookends for Buff fans … one top recruit early; one late.

Harlos might commit as early as today

Somerset, Texas, linebacker Will Harlos thought he was done with the recruiting process long before it got into full swing. A Wake Forest commit since last March, Harlos now has a choice to make. “It was really great”, Harlos told BuffStampede.com about his trip to Boulder. “The coaching staff is really, really great. They are coming down from the pros and creating a family atmosphere. I like the environment out there.”

Which leaves Harlos in a quandry. Before this weekend, Harlos was with the Demon Deacons. “I’m committed, definitely,” Harlos said last week.

And now?

“I dont’ know,” said Harlos. “It is going to be a really, really hard decision … It is incredibly stressful right now. I don’t know what is ultimately going to help me make this decision, but I hope to know soon.”

Harlos will not wait until signing day to decide.  We may hear from Harlos as early as tonight.

Creer also to make Buff fans wait

 The good news: three-star running back recruit Malcolm Creer did not take an official visit to Washington last weekend.

The bad news: he still isn’t ready to commit to Colorado.

“I’m still weighing my options. I am still talking it over with my mom,” Creer told BuffStampede.com. “I am going to announce my decision on  national signing day, so all my fellow classmates can come and watch me sign.”

Washington and Nebraska showed interest in Creer, but neither school offered him a scholarship. The only other known offers for Creer are from Eastern Washington, Idaho State, and South Dakota.

A no-brainer, right?

Perhaps. It certainly sounds like Creer will be a Buff. “I can really see myself going to Colorado, but I am still deciding where I want to go.”

I can’t see Creer going anywhere else, unless Nebraska or Washington come in with last minute offers (unlikely at this point, as the dead period began today). For now, let’s just chalk this up to a young man who wants to have his moment in the sun in front of his high school teammates and classmates. Can’t blame him for that.

I’d want to do that, too …

January 30th

Juda Parker a Buff?

Three-star defensive end prospect Juda Parker, from Honolulu, was almost a commit to Colorado when he came for a visit last weekend. Parker then said he wanted to take the week, during a school retreat, to finalize his decision. Now, Parker wants to wait until signing day to announce his decision.

But …

Jake Worthen, the northwest recruiting analyst for Scout.com, has stated that Colorado is the “heavy favorite” for Parker’s services. Meanwhile, Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Parker is telling other schools that have been recruiting him that he going to sign with the Buffs. “I am confident that I chose the right college,” said Parker. “I told all the other schools that I am not going to their school, so I will only have one hat on signing day. I will just pull it out of my pocket.” Parker will join other Hawai’i athletes for a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Honolulu at 7:00 a.m. local time (10:00 a.m. MT).

So, no verbal commitment from Parker, but nothing is official until Wednesday, anyway. It certainly sounds good that Colorado will wind up with two of the “Hawai’i Four”?

Lucien still undecided

“I fell in love with the school,” said four-star wide receiver recruit Devin Lucien of his official visit to Miami this weekend. “It’s a big jump, but I’d have a chance to play. They only have two receivers coming in, and they are losing two receivers.”

Lucien took the trip with his father, with his mother staying home. Lucien told Scout.com that the distance from his home in Southern California was the only downside to committing to Miami.

Lucien said he remains undecided, and will announce on Signing day his choice, narrowed down to: Colorado; Miami; UCLA: Arizona State; and Utah.

Harlos torn

Wake Forest v. Colorado? Linebacker/safety Will Harlos has been committed to Wake Forest since last March, but when Harlos’ Somerset (Texas) teammate Stevie Dorman committed to Colorado, and convinced Harlos to take an official visit to Boulder, things may have changed.

Harlos is reportedly at least giving Colorado a hard look after enjoying his visit to Boulder this past weekend.

Projected as a safety to start, then perhaps an outside linebacker after he has put some weight onto his 6’4″, 195-pound frame, Harlos is not expecting to wait until Wednesday to make his final choice. He could announce as early as Monday.

Kyle Washington commits

Perhaps the easiest call of the final weekend, cornerback Kyle Washington committed to play for Colorado after meeting with coaches on Sunday morning. Washington, a two-star cornerback prospect from Florence, Arizona, had a number of other offers (Hawai’i, New Mexico State, Air Force, Utah State, North Dakota State), but the offer he received from Colorado was his first from a BCS school.

Washington is considered to be a two-star prospect, but he could be a versatile contributor to the Buffs. He had four kick returns for touchdowns this past season, and earned All-Arizona honors as a wide receiver this past season. On defense, he had 29 tackles, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions.

Washington’s full biography has been posted under “CU 2011 Verbal Commitments”.

January 28th

How many scholarships will Colorado extend, and who is still out there interested in the Buffs?

The number of prospects without a verbal commitment is dwindling, and the number of scholarships available for the Colorado coaching staff to offer has been reduced to a small number as well.

So, where do we stand?

Colorado has 13 verbal commitments to date, with 14 scholarships being extended when you count grey-shirt offensive tackle Alex Lewis.

Running back Malcolm Creer seems likely to become a Colorado commitment, and, of the visitors in Boulder this weekend, Kyle Washington sounds eager to become a Buff.

That would make 16 scholarships, when Colorado only had 13 to extend …

However, with attrition (e.g., wide receiver Kendrick Celestine did not have his scholarship renewed), the consensus appears to be that Colorado has about 18 scholarships to extend this cycle, and may go as high as 20 or 21 if all of the players who the Buffs covet agree to wear the black-and-gold.

Highest on the list of “wants” are the following players: wide receiver Devin Lucien; defensive end Juda Parker; offensive guard Marcus Martin; linebacker Leilon Willingham; and running back Malcolm Creer.

On the list of those uncommitted players who Colorado has offered, but from whom little has been heard of late, include: defensive end Ian Seau; safety Kevonte Richardson; defensive end Kody Kurz; defensive tackle David Moala; and wide receivers Mike Thomas, Kameron Doolittle, and Carzell Vickers.

There is still some time before signing day, there are still players out there who remain uncommitted, and there are still slots availble on the Colorado roster (not to mention the chance that one of the present Colorado commits might still defect).

It ain’t over ’till it’s over …

January 27th

So, who’s coming?

Trying to get a clear picture as to who is coming for an official visit to Boulder this weekend is kinda like nailing Jello to the wall …

What is agreed upon by Rivals and Scout: Kicker Will Oliver will be in town for his official visit, which is about as exciting for Buff fans as the news that Stevie Dorman was visiting last weekend, as Oliver is already a Colorado commit.

There is also consensus that three star offensive guard prospect Marcus Martin will be taking an official visit. The chances of Martin committing to Colorado, however are about as good as the chances of Oliver de-committing, which is to say very slight.

“I’m a solid verbal commit (to USC)”, Martin told SuperPrep.com. “I don’t want to rate it, but I’m solid at the moment … I just want to take advantage of this opportunity to get out of California for some visits. I wanted to get out there and get a new experience.” Martin has been a USC commit since June, but it appeared last week that Martin might be open to other offers. Martin took an official visit to Arizona last weekend, and will be in Boulder Friday.

Colorado has been recruiting Martin hard. “Defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo was recruiting me when he was at Arizona, and now he’s at Colorado,” said Martin. “I’ve got a pretty good relationship with him and most of the new coaches seem cool.”

So is there any chance Colorado can switch Martin’s commitment? “It’s not up to them now,” Martin said. “It’s all on me.”

We’ll see …

Another known visitor is cornerback Kyle Washington, from Florence, Arizona. Washington was an All-Arizona player at wide receiver this past season, but Colorado is recruiting the 6’1, 197-pound Washington as a cornerback. Washington has taken official visits to Hawai’i, Utah State, and New Mexico State. He also holds offers from North Dakota State and Air Force, but will choose between the four schools he will have visited.

There is a chance that Washington might even commit to Colorado this weekend. “If Colorado is really impressive to me, and I really feel like that is the place where I can thrive, then I will commit,” Washington told BuffStampede.com. ‘But if not, then I will come home and think about it more, and then make my decision from there.”

Colorado defensive coordinator Greg Brown is Washington’s primary recruiter, and did an in-home visit with Washington on Wednesday night. “I’m really excited to take this trip to Colorado …”, Washington told BuffaloSportsNews.net. What will it take to get a commitment? “Just being comfortable and feeling like I’ll be able to come in and play, or at least get a shot to play.”

Another potential visitor, at least according to Rivals, is Brandon Andrews, an athlete from El Centro, California. Andrews played both wide receiver and cornerback in high school, catching 48 passes for 783 yards and six touchdowns in 2009. He also recorded 58 tackles and three interceptions on defense. Andrews also played quarterback as a senior, earning first-team honors on offense and second-team all-league on defense.

Andrews is only showing an offer of scholarship from South Dakota State, but reportedly has interest from Arizona and New Mexico State.

More on all of the above will be posted on Friday, as “Stoppin’ by for a Visit – 1/29” is posted …

NOTE: There are other names of potential recruits coming to Boulder this weekend which are being thrown around out there. If there is anything close to confirmation on any of those names, I will get their information posted on Friday as well.

January 26th

Washington picks up a running back, which might clear the path for Creer to become a Buff

Until Tuesday night, four-star running back Bishop Shankey of Spokane, Washington, was a Washington State commit. Shankey took his official visit to Seattle this past weekend, however, and Shankey spurned the Cougars in favor of the Huskies.

What does this mean for Colorado?

Well, running back Malcolm Creer was in Boulder this past weekend, and had a great time.  “I like the new staff. I really like their vibe from the staff and seeing the other recruits that committed this year”, Creer told BuffaloSportsNews.com about his visit. “It was a good feeling and a good experience to encounter at this age.” Creer was still scheduled to take an official visit to Washington this weekend, and may still (he has been taken off the official visit list for Washington by Scout, but not by Rivals). However, now that Washington has landed its preferred running back prospect, interest in Creer may have waned.

Which opens the door wide open for Colorado. “I think he has made up his mind where he wants to go,” Creer’s high school coach, Perry Jones, told BuffStampede.com. “He was getting pursued early on by Idaho State. Washington has shown interest. I got a call from San Diego State about him, and Nebraska was interested in bringing him in on a visit (Creer cancelled his trip to Lincoln and went to Boulder instead last weekend because Colorado offered a scholarship, and Nebraska had yet to do so) … But I get the feeling that Colorado is the front runner.”


Buffs sign a kicker

Okay. Didn’t  see this one coming …

It is no secret that Colorado is in need of help in the kicking game. The signing of Zach Grossnickle and Justin Castor the past two seasons was supposed to help, but to date the results have been mediocre at best. Still, there were no great kickers on the Buffs’ radar this recruiting cycle … until now.

Colorado has received a verbal commitment from Will Oliver, a kicker from North Hollywood, California. Oliver is 5’10”, 190-pounds, and is considered to be the 12th-best kicker of the Class of 2011, according to kicking guru Chris Salier.

According to Sailer: “Will is a very talented kicker. He has a strong leg and makes kicks with great consistency. Also solid on kickoffs. A clutch perfomer that does his best when it counts the most. A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic. Has all the tools to be a great D1 kicker. Is a pleasure to work with. Nice fit for Colorado“.

 Oliver only had nine field goal attempts this past season, making six. A better stat: 85% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. Oliver he appears to be an excellent athlete overall, lettering in football, soccer, and lacrosse in his sophomore and junior seasons.

Much more  on Oliver tonight, as the newest Buff commit is added to the list of  “CU 2011 Verbal Commitments”.

January 25th

More on Lucien

Four-star wide receiver prospect Devin Lucien already gave one interview in which he had great things to say about his visit to Boulder last weekend (see January 24th update), and now has had even more to say.

“I loved Colorado,” Lucien told SuperPrep.com. “They want me to play right now. They want me to have an immediate impact … Colorado has one of the best coaching staffs I’ve ever had the pleasure of of meeting. They treated me really good. The people were great up there. They’re trying to build a program up to where they need to be. Two of their coaches played for a national championship, so they know what it takes to win.”

Lest you think it’s over, listen to Lucien’s schedule this week .. “Coach (Norm) Chow (Utah’s new offensive coordinator) is coming in on Tuesday,” said Lucien. “Then coach Kennedy and Bieniemy are coming this week. (Miami) coaches McDonald and Carroll are coming this week, and already (head coach Al) Golden has come out. Also, coach (Rick) Neuheisal is coming for home for a visit, and me and my mom are going to UCLA to meet the new offensive coordinator … and then Arizona State is coming … I have a lot of visits coming in.”

All this before Lucien takes his official visit to Miami this weekend …

There is a final five: Colorado; UCLA; Miami; Arizona State; and Utah. “I’m taking as much time as I can because it’s kind of a must to do,” said Lucien. “I’m blessed to have the choices. I just honestly have no idea where I’m going to go. No idea at all.”

The theory has been for the past few months that UCLA is the favorite. “I know my mom wants me somewhere close,” said Lucien of Encino, California (just down the road from the UCLA campus). “No matter where I go, my family will support me. But my mom wants me close.”

Sounded good … until that last paragraph …

Colorado not in McClure’s final five

Okay, so it has been a longshot for some time now …

but Stefan McClure, the four-star cornerback from Vista, California, has eliminated Colorado from his final five choices. McClure took his official visit to Colorado the weekend of the Georgia game, and, for awhile, spoke very highly of the Buffs. Now, however, McClure has announced that he will hold a press conference at his high school on Thursday the 27th to announce his choice. McClure’s five finalists are Michigan, Cal, UCLA, Boise State, and Oregon State. McClure took his final visit to Michigan last weekend, and the Wolverines are now considered to be the favorite.

Asiata opts for Washington

Three down; one to go …

Of the “Hawai’i four” the Buffs were trying to land, only one, linebacker K.T. Tuumalo, has said “yes” to Colorado. Linebacker Lake Koa Ka’ai has given his verbal commitment to Oregon, and now offensive lineman Paulay Asiata has given his verbal commitment to Washington. “I’m going to U-Dub,” Asiata told Dawgman.com on Monday night. “They were the best fit for me.”

That only leaves defensive end Juda Parker, who had a great trip to Boulder this past weekend (see January 23rd update). The hope had been that the two St. Louis high teammates, Asiata and Parker, would come to Colorado together, but now that will not be the case (ray of sunshine – Washington did not offer Parker, so there is no chance that Asiata will lure Parker to come with him to Seattle).

January 24th

Creer liked his trip to Boulder

A few days ago, it appeared as if Colorado might sign a running back this weekend.

The Buffs did … just not the one fans expected.

Malcolm Creer, from Pacific Palisades, California, received the attention during the week, but a late addition to the visit list, running back Rashad Hall, committed on Sunday.

As for Creer?

“I like the new staff,” Creer told BuffaloSportsNews.net. “I really like the vibe from the staff, and seeing other recruits that committed this year. It was a good feeling and a good experience to encounter at this age.” During his stay, Creer was hosted by Cha’pelle Brown, is still in school to finish up his degree, and sophomore wide receiver Paul Richardson. In addition to down time with the players (including a trip to Dave & Busters), Creer met with every member of the coaching staff. While with offensive coordinator (and running backs coach) Eric Bieniemy, Creer watched film of Adrian Peterson, who Bieniemy has coached the past five seasons.

Creer also liked the academics at Colorado. “I just think the academic part of the thing is my main goal, and I’m really liking it at the moment,” said Creer.

So, when will he decide? Creer only has offers from Colorado, Idaho State, and South Dakota, but Nebraska and Washington have expressed an interest. Creer is scheduled to take an official visit to Seattle this weekend. (Washington has yet to tender an offer. It’s a numbers game for the Huskies. If they can lure four star running back Bishop Sankey away from Washington State, there may not be enough room on the roster for Creer).

Lucien to announce decision on February 2nd

The “catch” of this past weekend’s visit list, four-star wide receiver prospect Devin Lucien, liked his trip to Boulder.

But keep the champagne on ice.

“I moved my announcement date back. I was supposed to announce on January 30th, but I needed more time to think about it, so I will decide on signing day now,” Lucien told BuffStampede.com. “I don’t mean to make it all suspenseful, but I don’t even know where I’m going. People are always asking me, ‘Where are you going?’ But I don’t know.”

As for his official visit to Boulder, Lucien had nothing but praise for the Buffs and the coaching staff. “I had a great time in Boulder. It is a beautiful place,” said Lucien. “Their coaching staffs is probably one of the best I have had the opportunity to meet … Coach (Bobby) Kennedy is one of the best wide receivers coaches I have met and one of the top in the country, I think … We talked a lot over my visit, and he has been to my house and to my school already, so we have built a really good relationship.”

Two of Lucien’s finalists are apparently now out of the running, as Kentucky has been removed from consideration. Cal, another of over a dozen BCS schools which have offered Lucien, was a potential official visit for this upcoming weekend, but Lucient opted to stay with his plans to visit Miami. Along with Miami and Colorado, Lucien lists UCLA and Arizona State as his finalists.

Lucien is ranked as the 22nd-best wide receiver prospect in the nation this year, with 71 cathches for 1,259 yards and 18 touchdowns last fall.

January 23rd

Cousins headin’ west

BuffStampede.com is reporting that both of the North Carolina visitors, Rashad Hall and Jermaine Clark, will be committing to play for Colorado next fall. Hall is being recruited as a running back, while Clark is being recruited as an athlete. Clark is 6’2″, 198-pounds, and runs a 4.6 in the 40. Clark could be tried at running back, safety, or outside linebacker. Red-shirt freshman running back Trea Jones, who also came to the Buffs from North Carolina, acted as host for Clark and Hall during their visit.

Rashad Hall came upon the Buff Nation in short order. On Friday morning, neither recruiting service was showing any offers for Hall. Later in the day, however, Hall’s status was updated to include offers from from Oregon, California, Nevada, and Washington State. “I still haven’t figured out why Rivals.com has Rashad as a two-star prospect, because he is a four-star prospect,” Oak Ridge head coach Otis Yelverton told BuffStampede.com. “I have been doing this long enough to know what a four-star recruit looks like. I have sent five kids to Cal, three to Oregon, one to Washington State, one to Arizona State, one to Penn State … Rashad is a special talent.”

Jermaine Clark, Hall’s cousin, transferred to the Oak Ridge Military Academy last spring, coming from R.J. Reynolds high school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. According to Rivals.com, and Clark’s high school coach, Otis Yelverton, Clark has offers from Colorado, Washington State, Utah, and Wyoming. As of the time of his commitment, however, Scout still had Clark’s name spelled “Jermane”, and had no stories about him. We’ll expect that to change now that he is a Buff.

There will be much more on Monday, when I will be able to add Hall and Clark to the “2011 CU Verbal Commitment” list.

Parker / Asiata not ready to commit … yet

The bad news – neither of two recruits Buff fans were hoping to obtain commitments from this weekend committed to Colorado.

The good news – they didn’t commit to anyone else, either.

The better news – Colorado seems to be very much in contention for both.

Three-star defensive end Juda Parker and four-star offensive tackle Paulay Asiata were teammates at St. Louis high in Honolulu, and they may be teammates again. Buff fans, though, are going to have to be patient, as neither player is prepared to make a commitment just yet.

“The trip surpassed my expectations,” Juda Parker told BuffStampede.com. “”The weather is not cold. So I felt really comfortable at the school. I also like the coaches and what they are talking about and where the program is going to be headed in the future. They are going to bring the program back to national prominence.”

So, how’s about a commitment? “When I go back to school on Monday, I have a school retreat that lasts until Friday,” said Parker. “We go away and can’t use our cell phones. That is why I really don’t want to go public yet. I will probably announce next Saturday, or I may even wait until signing day.”

The same holds true for Asiata. According to BuffStampede.com, Asiata is torn between Washington and Colorado, and will wait until signing day to announce his decision. Washington has an in-home visit with Asiata on Wednesday, with Colorado getting the last word with an in-home visit on Thursday.

Keep your fingers crossed …

USC guard commit coming to Boulder next weekend

Marcus Martin has been committed to USC since last June. Martin is from Crenshaw high in Los Angeles, is 6’3″, and weighs somewhere between 310 pounds (Scout) and 357 pounds (Rivals). Martin is considered the 20th-best guard prospect in the nation by Scout; the 28th-best guard by Rivals.


Well, after seven months as a USC verbal commit, Martin has been told to look elsewhere. “I am not committed to USC right now,” Martin told Scout.com. “I’m weighing my options with my family. It will come down to signing day.” Martin took an official visit to Arizona this past weekend (“My trip to Arizona was real nice,” said Martin. “We got to eat good, meet with the coaches and players, learn about the academic prestige. It was really nice.”

Martin will visit Colorado next weekend, then make a decision. While Martin also has offers from UCLA and Washington, it may come down to Arizona and Colorado.


January 22nd

Gregory Henderson becomes first commit of the weekend

California cornerback Gregory Henderson has become the first commit of the weekend.

Henderson is 5’10”, 180-pound cornerback from Norco, California, who has been timed at 4.49 in the 40 yard dash. Henderson is considered to be a two-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. This past season, Henderson had seven interceptions, and returned two punts for touchdowns. Brandon Huffman, the West recruiting coordinator for Scout.com, reported that Henderson is “a smidge undersized, but he’s got a good nose for the ball, plays the ball well, and will come up and hit you. He’s good in run support, and strong in pass defense. Good, smooth backpedal and sees the field well.” Rivals bio  Scout bio

The full workup on Henderson – “What others say about Henderson”, “Henderson had other offers from”, and “In his own words” will be posted Sunday as Henderson joins the “CU 2011 Verbal Commitments”.

Welcome, Mr. Henderson!


Willingham puts Colorado back in the running

Four-star linebacker recruit Leilon Willingham, from Mullen high in Denver, committed to Texas A&M over the Christmas break, without even taking an official visit to College Station. Willingham took his official visit to Colorado last weekend, but his status remained unchanged. Willingham was still committed to the Aggies, and would take his official visit to Texas A&M this weekend.

And now?

Willingham not only cancelled his trip to Texas, he de-committed. “I de-committed (Wednesday),” Willingham told michigan.scout.com. “I’m looking at Arizona State, Washington, Colorado, Central Florida, and Michigan.” Willingham is taking his official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, with Central Florida probably on tap for next weekend. “I’ve already visited (Arizona State, Washington and Colorado),” said Willingham. “I’m going to take all of my visits before I make a decision. The school and the football parts are going to come. (The decision) will mainly be about the people I surround myself with, and the environment I’m going to be in. I want to go to a place where I can feel like they can help me become a man and get my degree.”

Sounds like Colorado is at least still in the discussion for the No. 1 prospect from the state of Colorado this recruiting season.

Go get ’em, coach Cabral!

Lake Koa Ka’ai a Duck

On the Colorado visit list for this weekend, Koa Ka’ai begged off, citing health issues.

As it turns out, he was feeling a little green and a little yellow … committing to the Oregon Ducks on Thursday. “I know some things have been going around,” Koa Ka’ai reportedly stated in a text message. “But just letting everyone know that as of Thursday night I am committed to Oregon.”

His will be a name which Buff fans will easily remember in years to come as the Buffs face off against the Ducks.

January 21st

Koa Ka’ai not coming

Sounds like Colorado will come up short in this soap opera …

Defensive end prospect Lake Koa Ka’ai told BuffStampede.com Thursday that he was not coming to Boulder, after all. Earlier in the week, Ka’ai stated that he was not feeling well physically after his official visit to Stanford. He then met with CU linebacker coach on Tuesday, and reaffirmed his intentions to take his trip to Boulder.

And now? “I canceled my trip to Colorado,” Koa Ka’ai told BuffStampede.com. “I’ve been feeling under the weather lately.”

Will Koa Ka’ai re-schedule for next weekend? Not likely. When asked if he was done taking official visits, Koa Ka’ai said, “I think so. At this time I am.”

Koa Ka’ai took official visits to Oregon, Arizona, Nebraska, and Stanford. He will likely be choosing from amongst those schools.

Another cornerback in the mix

Kyle Ringo is reporting on BuffaloSportsNews.net that cornerback prospect Greg Henderson will be taking an official visit to Boulder this weekend. Henderson is 5’10”, 180-pound cornerback from Norco, California. Henderson has been lightly recruited (scholarship offers from New Mexico and Air Force), but did have seven interceptions his senior year. Henderson also returns kicks, taking two punts back for scores last fall. Colorado just extended an offer to Henderson on Tuesday, so this may be construed as a fill-in for the Buffs as other cornerback options (Stefan McClure, Rashad Wadood) have faded.

Then again, on signing day a few years back, the Buffs signed a fill-in running back who was also seen as a potential kick returner.

This fall, with a good season, that “fill-in” running back, Rodney Stewart, will become the all-time leading rusher in Colorado history …

Two running backs in town for a visit

The Oak Ridge Military Academy must have a great “under the radar” program, as two of its running backs are reportedly visiting Colorado this weekend.

Rashad Hall is a 6’0″, 195-pound running back prospect, who has a reported 4.62 time in the 40 yard dash. Rivals is also showing that Hall has exactly zero scholarship offers. Hall is being shown as having interest from a number of schools, including Virginia Tech, West Virginia, South Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. That there are a high number of schools interested, but none have extended offers, could lead to the conclusion that Hall is a potential risk academically. Still, the Buffs are showing enough interest that Hall is coming to Boulder this weekend.

Reportedly joining Hall on the trip is running back Jermaine Clark, also from Oak Ridge Military Academy. Clark is 6’2″, 198-pounds, and runs a 4.6 in the 40, and has a two-star rating on Rivals. Clark is so far off the radar at Scout that he is listed as “Jermane Clark”, from Reynolds High in Winston Salem, North Carolina. If in fact Clark is coming, heading west does not appear to be a problem for this recruit. All of the schools reportedly interested in him are out west: New Mexico; Wyoming; UNLV, and New Mexico State.

I would like to see more on Clark before I would consider him to be a viable recruit. At least Rashad Hall has speed going for him, and a list of suitors from BCS conferences. Clark doesn’t seem to be a legitimate BCS running back. Then again, it’s not my job to evaluate the talent …

Of the three running backs coming to Boulder this weekend – Malcolm Creer, Rashad Hall, and Jermaine Clark – Creer would seem to be the best fit.

We’ll see …

 January 20th

Athletics Academic Assessment Committee (AAA)

The University of Colorado is one of only a handful of schools nationwide which does not allow for “special admissions”, roughly be translated as, “players coaches really really want, but which don’t qualify academically”. In order to assist the Colorado coaching staff in eliminating those players who have little or no chance of getting into CU, the university has formed the Athletics Academic Assessment Committee (AAA).

The Daily Camera posted a good article on the Committee (link). “The underlying purpose of the Committee is to assist our coaching staffs in all sports in being successful in their recruiting efforts,” said Dr. David Clough, CU’s faculty athletic representative and chair of the Committee (if the name sounds familar, Dr. Clough also chaired the search committee which recommended hiring Jon Embree as head coach). “Successful meaning the recruitment of outstanding athletes who will be successful here.”

Clough indicated that official visits are rarely denied by the Committee, and only in those instances when a player is a “long shot” to become an NCAA qualifier. A candidate is less likely to be allowed to take a visit if the incoming recruiting class already has some “academic risks” committed to the school. “So what you’re looking at from the overall cohort perspective is, ‘let’s be strategic, and let’s try and balance things out’ “.

The 2011 Class is particularly vulnerable to Committee concerns, as Jon Embree and his staff have a few issues with which to contend. First, Colorado is already an APR (Academic Progress Rate) casualty, having lost five football scholarships and a basketball scholarship in the past two years. As the APR uses a rolling five year average, it will take some time before Colorado has a healthy cushion with which to work. Second, there are usually losses in personnel when there is a coaching change, and Colorado may be no exception. There are rumors that several players may not be returning next fall, and, if those players do not leave in good academic standing, Colorado takes another hit to its APR.

While Buff fans lament losing players to other schools who have more lax admissions policies, former Colorado offensive line coach Denver Johnson was quoted as saying that the Buffs are not at a significant disadvantage. “A guy doesn’t need to be a genius to make it (at Colorado),” said Johnson, “but he certainly needs to be a capable student, and one who is willing to be a student and work at it … There are plenty of guys out there who are great football players that can survive in school in a place like Colorado.”

It’s difficult to argue with the logic, or the sentiment. No one in the Buff Nation wants to see a “dumbing down” of the University of Colorado. That being said, it is not really a secret that Bill McCartney was able to help speed the progress of building a national program by getting in some players which might not otherwise have qualified.

Here’s hoping that, in future years, when Colorado’s APR is back to a safe number, that Jon Embree, his staff, and the AAA can find a workable compromise in qualifying student-athletes to gain admission to the university.

Koa Ka’ai feeling better

You gotta love Brian Cabral.

Not only can Cabral coach, but he is one fantastic recruiter. A few days after convincing linebacker K.T. Tuumalo to de-commit from Boise State and commit to coming to play for the Buffs, Cabral is working hard to get Lake Koa Ka’ai to come to Boulder as well.

You may recall that earlier in the week, it was being reported that Koa Ka’ai, the four-star defensive end from Honolulu, was not feeling well after his official visit to Stanford last weekend, and was thinking of bowing out of a trip to Boulder this weekend. Now, however, Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Cabral had an in-home visit with Koa Ka’ai this week, and the four-best overall prospect from Hawai’i this year has agreed to come for his official visit.

Well done, coach.

January 18th

Tuumalo says “Yes!”

Colorado has picked up verbal commitment No. 9, as Scout.com is reporting that three-star linebacker K.T. Tuumalo has said “yes” to the Buffs.

Tuumalo is 6’3, 210-pound linebacker from Honolulu, Hawai’i. He runs a 4.65 in the 40. Tuumalo is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals (two by Scout), and is rated the 119th-best outside linebacker in the nation by Scout. One of the “Hawai’i Four”, Tuumalo is rated as the fifth-best overall prospect coming out of Hawai’i this year.

Tuumalo committed to Boise State on December 26th. Tuumalo has offers from at least eight west coast schools, including four from the Pac-12. He took an official visit to Oregon State, Arizona State, and Boise State before making his decision. On January 9th, Tuumalo met with Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, and Scout.com – the same Scout.com which listed Tuumalo as a verbal commitment to Colorado before Rivals – reported not only was Tuumalo a solid Boise State commit, but that Tuumalo was cancelling his official visit to Boulder.

Well, Tuumalo did take the visit, and now is a member of the Buff Nation!

Peat not coming after all

A day after it appeared that Colorado was in the running for four-star defensive tackle Todd Peat, Jr., from Tempe, Arizona, it now appears that the Buffs are out of the running. Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Peat has cancelled his trip to Boulder this weekend, and has narrowed his choices down to Arizona State, Nebraska, and Oregon State.

If Colorado can’t get Peat, would it be in the best interests of Colorado fans to hope Peat ends up at Nebraska instead of in the Pac-12?

Can’t bring myself to hope the Cornhuskers win a recruiting battle. Sorry …

Wadood out of the running

Three-star defensive back Rashad Wadood has been committed to Arizona State since June, and it looks like he will stay with the Sun Devils. Last week, before his official visit to Boulder, Wadood was quoted as saying that he was still committed to Arizona State, but that he just wanted to take some trips to make sure he made the right decision.

Well, now it sounds as if the decision is being made for him. Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Wadood is no longer being actively recruited by the Buffs … for academic reasons. Wadood will now choose between Arizona State and Miami (insert your own joke about academic restrictions at these two schools here).

January 17th

Woodson Greer is a Buff

Linebacker Woodson Greer, according to CaliHighSports, has committed to Colorado. “I have just committed to the University of Colorado,” said Greer Monday morning.   “Colorado was a great school overall, but the thing that set them apart from the rest was their coaching staff and support system”. Sophomore wide receiver Paul Richardson was Greer’s host (the same Paul Richardson who was a potential defection six weeks ago). “Paul was my host, and he mostly talked about the past coaching staff, and how this coaching staff came in and changed it for the better already,” Greer told SuperPrep.com. “He thinks the program is on the rise.”

Program Note: Woodson Greer’s full biography has been posted on the “CU 2011 Verbal Commitments” page …

Tuumalo also going to become a Buff?

Mama knows best ….?

I don’t know if this is a reach, or a prediction of what is to come, but the following is being circulated … Brian Cabral/youtube . Under the comments, you will see that “cherylz1”, purportedly Cheryl Tuumalo, has written, “My son is coming to Colorado because of this AWESOME man.” The quote was posted today, so it probably means more than just “K.T. Tuumalo is coming to Colorado for an official visit”.

Take it for what it’s worth. Does this mean that K.T. Tuumalo is coming to Boulder? Does this mean we should completely disregard K.T.’s statement less a week ago that he was fully committed to Boise State? Can we even be certain that the above quote can be ascribed to Cheryl Tuumalo.

Time will tell …

Recruiting news (and there was plenty today!)

Buffs out of the running for Jackson? … Monday started out well for the Buffs in their recruitment for Long Beach, California, cornerback recruit Kameron Jackson. SuperPrep.com talked with Jackson after his visit to Boulder this past weekend, and it sounded good for Colorado. “The visit was very nice and everything,” said Jackson. “The campus was really nice.”

And Jackson’s commitment to Washington? “I guess you could say I am open again,” said Jackson. “Right now it is between California, Colorado and Washington.” As to the final three candidates, Jackson was asked what he liked about each school. “Cal, just the prestige education,” said Jackson. “Then Washington, they were the first school to come after me … Colorado? Probably the campus.”

Jackson later sent a text to Adam at BuffaloStampede.com that he was no longer really considering Colorado. Still, Jackson did tell ESPN, “Cal is recruiting me the hardest right now. Washington is still in the mix, and so is Colorado.” Jackson will meet later this week with a familiar name, Ashley Ambrose, but instead of representing Colorado, Ambrose will be wearing Cal colors.

Sounds like Cal is definitely Jackson’s favorite right now …

Lake Koa Ka’ai still coming to Boulder? … Three-star defensive end Lake Koa Ka’ai is one of the “Hawai’i Four” targeted by Colorado coaches. He was scheduled to take an official visit to Boulder this weekend, but that may be postponed. In an interview with Rivals.com, Koa-Ka’ai said that he has felt sick lately, and that it is undetermined (as of Monday) as to whether he’ll make the trip.

As to his Stanford trip this past weekend, Ka’ai came away impressed. “At first I was skeptical because I didn’t know much about (new head) coach (David) Shaw,” said Ka’ai, “but after this weekend, there were some reassurances that made me pretty comfortable with the place.” Ka’ai has now visited Stanford, Arizona, Nebraska, and Oregon.

Is Ka’ai close to a decision? “The people are going to make the difference,” said Ka’ai. “From players in your class, players there currently, coaches, athletic trainers, everybody that surrounds the program. Every school has good facilities, but it’s the people that make the place.”

If Colorado can only get Ka’ai to Boulder, the Buffs just might have a chance …

Lucien will see Embree before coming to BoulderFour-star wide receiver recruit Devin Lucien named UCLA as his favorite after visiting Westwood this past weekend. “I loved it,” Lucien told SuperPrep.com. “They’re at the top of my list again, and I have a whold different perspective on them as a school. It was great there. They really go in depth and showed me waht UCLA football is all about.”

So, is Colorado still in the running? Apparently, as Lucien will have an in-house visit with head coach Jon Embree this week before going to Boulder for the weekend. “Colorado’s coaching staff is amazing,” Lucien told BruinBlitz.com. “I get along with all of them very well. They are just great people … Coach Bobby Kennedy, the new receivers coach, is a great guy. Coach Jon Embree probablyone of the coolest coaches that I have met, and Coach Tucker, their GA, is really a good guy, too. I just really love the coaching staff … I’m excited about Colorado.”

Lucien has already taken official visits to Arizona State and Kentucky. The last weekend of recruiting, Lucien will travel to either Miami or Michigan. “I’ll decide this week,” Lucien said. “I’m leaning towards Miami. The whole Michigan coaching thing has messed me up a little with them.”

Over the next two weeks, every team in Lucien’s final five will put their head coach in Lucien’s home in Encino, California. “I’m going to announce on Sunday, the 30th of January,” said Lucien.

Sounds like the Buffs are a longshot, but Lucien didn’t commit after his visit to UCLA, so Colorado is still in the running.

Colorado in Parker’s Final Four …  Honolulu defensive end Juda Parker is one of the “Hawai’i Four” who we know will be in Boulder this weekend. The three-star star took an official visit to Oregon State this past weekend. “I know that if I go to Oregon State, I am going to have a good coaching staff,” Parker told SuperPrep.com. “Corvallis was great. The campus is really scrunched together, so you can get anywhere in five minutes.”

Besides Oregon State, Parker will choose between Oregon State, Colorado, Hawai’i and Baylor. Parker took unofficial visits to Baylor and Hawai’i last year, and will travel to Boulder on Friday.

Todd Peat, Jr., coming to town If you want to get excited about another potential steal this weekend, remember this name. Todd Peat, Jr., is a four-star defensive tackle prospect from Tempe, Arizona. Peat is considered the 10th-best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout (13th-best by Rivals). Thanks to the hiring of former Arizona defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo, the Buffs are in the running for Peat, along with Oregon State, Stanford, Nebraska, and Arizona State.

Peat took official visits to Nebraska and Arizona State in December, and was at Oregon State this past weekend (along with Juda Parker). Colorado was to have a coach in Tempe for a home visit on Monday (unsure if it was Embree). As to Colorado, “They’ve shown a lot of love since (Mike Tuiasosopo) has been there,” Peat told HuskerIllustrated.com. “It’s been since the end of my sophomore year, so I’ve had my offer from Colorado for awhile.”

It may be just the slant put on the story by the HuskerIllustrated writer, but it sounds as if Colorado has some work to do to get Peat away from a Nebraska commit.

But it also sounds as if the Buffs are still very much in the running …

Three-star offensive guard still thinking about Colorado … Mission Hills (California) guard Akeem Gonzales has Colorado in his final five. Gonzales, considered by Scout to be the 62nd-best guard in the nation, has taken official visits to Arizona State, Nebraska, and Oregon State, “Then Colorado and Utah,” said Gonzales. “I am trying to set up visits with them the next two weekends.” Gonzales was in Corvallis last weekend for a visit with … you guessed it … Oregon State (side note: Gonzales, Peat, and Parker got to watch a home basketball game as well, an 80-76 win over USC. Still, the win was before only 7,257, and only served to raise the Beavers’ record to 8-9). It is also worthy of note that Rivals is still listing that Gonzales was scheduled to take an official visit to Washington this weekend, so the Buffs have apparently at least jumped the Huskies in the eyes of Gonzales.


January 16th

Kellen Jones still a “Michigan man”

Well, it was a long shot to begin with …

Linebacker Kellen Jones, from Houston, Texas, has been a commit to Michigan since last July, and it doesn’t sound like that is going to change. “I’m solid on Michigan,” Jones told SuperPrep.com on Sunday. “I wasn’t committed to Rich Rodriguez. I was committed to the program. As long as the defensive coordinator (Greg Robinson) and (new head) coach (Brady) Hoke think well of me, I’m in.”

Then why bother with a trip to Boulder?

“I’m keeping my options open”, said Jones. “I want to make sure I am making the right decision. If one team doesn’t work out, I have a team to go to … Honestly, the decision’s not about me anymore. It’s where God wants me to go. I’m putting it in his hands”.

Unless something changes Michigan’s minds about taking Jones, though, it appears that God’s mind is made up …

While Willingham still likes A&M

“I am still committed to Texas A&M,” four-star linebacker Leilon Willingham told AggieYell.com after his visit to Boulder. “I am still going to A&M next weekend … I’m just trying to get a feel for the campus and the people (at College Station)”.

Anything for Buff fans to hold onto? “It was cool, it was fun,” Willingham said of his official visit to Boulder. “I met all the new coaches. They didn’t really have anything new to say and try to sway me. They just want to make sure I make the best decision for me.”

Willingham will take an official visit to Texas A&M next weekend, then visit UCF before announcing his final decision.

But it doesn’t sound good for Colorado …

January 15th

Harrington commits!

If, in the latest poll, you picked cornerback Sherrard Harrington as the first player amongst those taking their official visits this weekend to commit to Colorado … give yourself a pat on the back.

“I came into breakfast and told the coaches I was going to commit, and they were very excited about it,” Harrington told SuperPrep.com. “Coach Jon Embree was really fired up about it, and I’m just happy to be a part of the program.”

Welcome, Sherrard Harrington!

Richardson hosting

According to one report, sophomore wide receiver Paul Richardson is helping to host three of the players taking their official visits to Boulder this weekend: linebacker Woodson Greer, defensive back Kameron Jackson, and defensive back Rashad Wadood. This is certainly a step up from just after the end of the 2010 regular season, when there was speculation that Richardson, who had a record-setting freshman year, might be transferring back to a school in southern California.

So, a double bonus. Not only is Richardson staying, but he is enthusiastically recruiting the next generation of Buffs (hopefully talking about all that a talented freshman might accomplish next season in Boulder!).

Recruits at the mens’ basketball game

Another report indicated that the recruits in Boulder for their official visits were, in fact, at the game Saturday. Reportedly, they were in Section 5, sitting with the football coaches. Section 5 does not have great seats (just off to the side behind the Colorado bench), but the recruits would have had full view of the sold out student section (make that, the sold out Events Center!).


January 14th

Nephew of Ty and Koy Detmer Boulder Bound

Colorado has picked up its sixth commitment of the Class of 2011, quarterback Stevie Dorman.

Dorman is 6’4″, 210-pounds, and comes to Boulder from Somerset, Texas. Dorman is not ranked by either service, but reportedly had interest from Texas, Wake Forest, UNLV, and North Texas.  According to a Scout.com evaluation, Dorman is a “polished recruit”, who has a “great upside”. The evaluation goes on to that Dorman “could start for quite a few teams as a freshman if needed.”

This all sounds great, and the bloodlines (Dorman is the son of the sister of Ty and Koy Detmer) makes for a good story. The issue will remain, at least in the near term: Why didn’t Dorman have more offers?

As to his commitment to Colorado, Dorman’s interest in the Buffs changed when the coaching staff changed. “Stevie committed after the coaching change,” said Jerry Poth, recruiting co-ordinator for SuperPrep.com. “(Colorado) had been recruiting two dual-threat quarterbacks, and Stevie is a West coast offense type quarterback, and that is what the new staff runs. He had some other choices, but picked the Buffaloes.”

Dorman certainly has some statistics on his side. In 2010, he threw for 3,291 yards and 40 touchdowns in leading his hometown Somerset Bulldogs to a 10-3 record and the state quarterfinals. In his career, Dorman threw for 9,352 yards and 94 touchdowns. “I think my strongest point for our high school is that I knew the offense really, really well,” Dorman told BuffStampede.com. “I often called audibles.”

Still not impressed?

Try on these numbers … Texas, obviously, is known for its high school football. And the state of Texas has produced more than its fair share of quality quarterbacks. Here’s how Dorman stacks up:

Sixth all-time in career touchdown passes, with 94, just ahead of future Missouri star Chase Daniel, who had 92.

Fifth all-time in career passing yards, with 9,352, just ahead of one Colt McCoy, who played pretty well for the Longhorns recently.

Fifth all-time in career pass completions, with 597, ahead of the likes of Colt McCoy and Dorman’s uncle, one Koy Detmer, who certainly made his mark upon the Colorado record book in the 1990’s.

Program Note: Much more will be posted about Dorman on Saturday, when his bio will be posted under the “2011 Verbal Commitments” article.

Not a bad start to an important recruiting weekend …

January 13th

Rivals and Scout disagree on names of official visitors

Both Rivals and Scout are showing nine players coming to Boulder this weekend for official visits … just not the same nine.

As to eight of the players, there is consensus. Two visitors are already Colorado verbal commits, offensive tackle Marc Mustoe and wide receiver Nelson Spruce. Both services agree that at least three linebacker recruits will be in town: Kellen Jones, Leilon Willingham, and Woodson Greer. There is also consensus as to three defensive backs making trips to Boulder: Kameron Jackson; Rashad Wadood, and Sherrard Harrington.

That makes eight.

The ninth visitor, according to Scout.com, is wide receiver Jafus Gaines, a Houston Cougar commit from Houston. Meanwhile Rivals believes that the Buffs’ ninth high school prospect coming is linebacker K.T. Tuumalo, from Hawai’i. Tuumalo is presently a Boise State commit.

If both services are correct, that means there will be ten visitors coming to Boulder … on a weekend with a sold-out men’s basketball game and a pair of sunny days in the 50’s …

Go get ’em, Buffs!

But … one previously visitor, quarterback Adam Pittser, is no longer on either visitor list. Pittser, who is a Wyoming commit, has long been listed as exploring other options. Apparently now, however, Pittser is sticking with his commitment to the Cowboys …

Program Note: There will be a full report on each of the above prospects posted Friday (hopefully before noon). There will also be updates throughout the weekend on any verbal commitments (usually coming, when they come, late Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon).


January 11th

Michigan commit to visit Boulder

Linebacker Kellen Jones has been a Michigan recruit since July. After Rich Rodriguez was fired, however, the three-star recruit from Houston decided to look around. “Right now I am still a solid commit (to Michigan)”, Jones told BuffStampede.com. “It is not soft, it is solid. I just want to see how it comes out at Michigan.   See who is hired as their new coach, and how they plan on regrouping.” (Side note: LSU head coach Les Miles said “no” to Michigan Tuesday, but Brady Hoke, the San Diego State coach, said “yes”).

In case things don’t work out for Jones at Ann Arbor, Jones will be visiting Boulder this weekend. “I just really want to get to see the new coaching staff,” said Jones. One of their new coaches, coach (Kanavis) McGhee, came out here just a week ago. He is from Houston and was part of their 1990 national championship team.”

Jones, who is considered by Rivals.com to be the 28th-best inside linebacker prospect in the nation, may also take an official visit to Miami (Fla.) while he waits for Michigan to name a new head coach.

So, a long shot for Colorado, but a shot nonetheless. Flatirons, do your stuff!

McGhee also working on another Houston prep star

While the Houston pipeline may take some time to fully reconnect, it appears as if CU defensive line coach Kanavis McGhee already has the pipeline under construction.

In addition to Kellen Jones, McGhee is working on Houston wide receiver Jafus Gaines. A three-star prospect, Gaines has been a commit to the University of Houston since November. Now McGhee is  again interested in Colorado, and is looking to take an official visit.

“Before Colorado’s former coaches got fired, they came and talked to me about the school, and talked about how I could make an impact, and that is what the new coaches are talking about, too,” Gaines told BuffStampede.com. “I am supposed to visit Colorado, but I am not sure when that is going to be … I have wanted to check out Colorado for awhile, just because I have never been there. I would like to see what the team is like, and see what they are really all about. I need to hurry up and take that visit before national signing day.”

Gaines is 5’11”, 160-pounds, and runs a 4.5 in the 40. Gaines was first-team all-district in an offense which primarily ran the ball.

Ten and counting …

There are ten players accounted for who are taking official visits to Boulder this weekend. The number may be a dozen or more by the time Friday rolls around.

The known visitors: linebacker Woodson Greer; defensive back Sherrard Harrington; defensive back Kameron Jackson; linebacker Kellen Jones; offensive lineman Marc Mustoe; wide receiver Nelson Spruce; defensive back Rashad Wadood; linebacker Leilon Willingham, linebacker K.T. Tuumalo, and quarterback Adam Pittser.

Of the ten, two are already Colorado commits – Mustoe and Nelson. Six of the ten are, at least right now, verbal commits to other schools. The prize of the bunch, four-star linebacker Leilon Willingam from Mullen, is a Texas A&M commit. Three star linebacker Kellen Jones is, at least for now, a “solid” Michigan commit. Three-star defensive back Rashad Wadood is currently an Arizona State commit; while three star defensive back Kameron Jackson is a Washington commit. The lone offensive player coming to Boulder who is not already agreed to sign on with Colorado is quarterback Adam Pittser, who is committed at present to play for Wyoming. One of the “Hawai’i Four”, linebacker K.T. Tuumalo, is reportedly a solid Boise State commit, but has decided to visit Boulder this weekend.

Three defensive backs, four linebackers, a quarterback, a wide receiver and an offensive lineman (with the two offensive players already committed to the Buffs). Seven of ten are defensive players.

Any guesses on the focus of the coaches this weekend? 

January 10th

Buffs back in the running for Willingham

On December 29th, Mullen linebacker Leilon Willingham deposited a late lump of coal in the Buffs’ stockings, announcing that he was going to play for Texas A&M.

And now …?

Willingham, rated by Rivals.com to be the top player in the State of Colorado this season (and the 11th-best outside linebacker prospect in the nation), came out two weeks ago and said that he wanted to be a part of the Wrecking Crew, even though he had yet to take his official visit to College Station.

Now, Willingham, while still listed as a “soft verbal” for Texas A&M, is exploring other options. The four-star linebacker has already taken official visits to Arizona State and Washington, and will now be taking his three remaining trips … to Colorado this weekend; to Texas A&M the weekend of the 21st, and to Central Florida the weekend of the 28th.

While Willingham should by no means be considered as “leaning” towards Colorado, the Buffs are certainly in a much better position than they were two weeks ago.

Mr. Willingham is coming to town!

Arizona State commit interested in Colorado?

BuffStampede.com is reporting that Rashad Wadood will be visiting Boulder this weekend.

The three-star cornerback recruit from Lakewood, California, has been an Arizona State commit since June 3rd.  Wadood took his official visit to Tempe in September, and has been off the radar since then. Wadood does have offers from at least a half dozen schools, including Washington State, Colorado State, and Idaho.

It is no secret that Colorado is in search of immediate help at cornerback this recruiting cycle.

Bieniemy in Boulder

Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is finally back in Boulder, but he is not recruiting …

That’s okay, because no one else is, either.

Monday is the start of a four-day dead period, in which there can be no contact with recruits. Bieniemy and the Buffs’ offensive line coach, Steve Marshall, are in Boulder for the next few days, while the other members of the coaching staff are in Dallas for a coaching convention. Bieniemy is reportedly checking out game film from last season, and preparing for a huge recruiting weekend starting Friday (up to a dozen recruits are expected (a full report, with profiles of each visitor, will be posted on Friday).

The weather may work out well for the Buffs. After receiving snow this weekend, the forecast for Friday and Saturday are for highs in the mid-50’s.

Sounds great … snow in the mountains; pleasant weather in town; a sold out crowd for the Oklahoma State men’s basketball game …

Go get ’em, Buff coaches!

January 9th

Colorado losing its chances for a sweep of Hawai’i talent

While there is nothing official from the recruiting websites, it appears that Colorado might be losing some of its Hawai’i mojo.

Currently, the Buffs are in the running for four of the top five high school prospects from Hawai’i: offensive lineman Paulay Asiato; defensive end Juda Parker; defensive end Lake Koa Ka’ai; and linebacker K.T. Tuumalo. (The fifth top high school prospect, linebacker Tigi Hill, is reportedly choosing between Hawai’i, Utah State, and SMU). All four have been on the official visit list for January 21st-22nd.

Now, it is being reported that K.T. Tuumalo, who is already a Boise State commit, might cancel his trip to Boulder, and stick with Boise State. It is also being reported that Lake Koa Ka’ai has decided to go with Nebraska, and is also considering canceling his official trip to Colorado.

We’ll see …

Sherrard Harrington extended an offer

Washington D.C. cornerback Sherrard Harrington has been extended an offer of a scholarship. “It’s definitely a relief, and I’m definitely intrigued by that,” Harrington told BuffaloSportsNews. “I’m very interested in Colorado,” said Harrington, who is scheduled to visit Iowa next weekend, “especially with the resume the coaches have.” Harrington will visit Colorado either the weekend of the 21st or the 28th. “I really didn’t know that much about them, so I did some research,” said Harrington. “With me being in D.C., and coach Embree having coached with the Washington Redskins, I know about him. And offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is coming from the NFL, so there is a lot of NFL pedigree there. That is something I really like because that is something I want to pursue in life.”

Harrington is 6’1″, 168-pounds, and runs a 4.4 in the 40. He is considered a three-star cornerback prospect, and has offers from Iowa, Duke, Marshall, Tulsa and Ohio.

As was Kyle Washington

A 6’1″, 197-pound “athlete” from Florence, Arizona, has also been extended a scholarship offer.

Kyle Washington accounted for nearly 1,400 yards of offense while playing running back and wide receiver. Washington also played cornerback, safety, and returned kicks, and received an offer of a scholarship on Saturday. “Coach (Greg) Brown from Colorado came to my school on Wednesday and said he heard about me and watched my highlight tape, but he wanted to see some game film,” Washington told BuffStampede.com. “He said they had room for three receivers and two cornerbacks.”

Washington might end up at defensive back or wide receiver. “Coach Brown called me around two o’clock (Saturday) and told me they are offering me a scholarship,” Washington said. “He is a defensive backs coach, so he said he is kind of biased towards me playing defense, but it is still up in the air. They don’t know exactly what position I would be playing.”

Most schools are recruiting Washington as a defensive back, but New Mexico State is recruiting him as a running back. Washington also has offers from Hawai’i, Air Force, and North Dakota State. Washington took an official visit to Hawai’i in December, and reportedly has visits scheduled for North Dakota State (Jan. 14th) and New Mexico State (Jan. 21st). If Washington takes both of those visits, his only opportunity to visit Boulder would come on the 28th.

Washington is only rated as a two-star wide receiver prospect by Scout.com, and is unrated by Rivals.com.


January 7th

All Quiet on the Western Front

With less than a month to go before signing day, the Colorado list of verbal commitments remains about ten shy of what Buff fans expect to see on February 2nd.

While there are only a handful of weekends left to try and woo prospects, the weekend of January 7th-8th will still be a quiet one in Boulder. No official visits are scheduled for this weekend, even though the men’s basketball team will have a big game against nationally ranked Missouri on Saturday.

The simple reason given is that the Buff coaches do not feel that they have everything in place to bring in a large number of recruits. As a result, the following three weekends are looming large.

To date, there are already six known official visits scheduled for next weekend (January 14-15): quarterbacks Brent Burnette (already a CU commit) and Adam Pittser (a Wyoming commit); wide receiver Nelson Spruce (already a CU commit); linebacker Woodson Greer (down to CU; Arizona State; and San Jose State); defensive back Kameron Jackson (a Washington commit); and offensive lineman Marc Mustoe (already a CU commit).

The known official visits which will be taken the weekend of January 21-22) include wide receivers Devin Lucien (CU one of many schools after this four-star prospect) and Marvin Hall (Colorado in the running with six other Pac-12 schools, along with Nevada, where Hall will be the first part of the weekend). There is also the quartet from Hawai’i coming in that weekend, constituting four of the top five prospects from that state this year: offensive lineman Paulay Asiata (choosing between Washington, Arizona, and Colorado); defensive end Lake Koa Ka-ai (down to four Pac-12 schools and Nebraska); defensive end Juda Parker (his list includes three Pac-12 schools and home state Hawai’i); and K.T. Tuumalo (a Boise State commit who has also taken an official visit to Oregon State).

Program Note: On each of the next three Fridays (the 14th; 21st; and 28th), I’ll take an in-depth look at the visitors for that weekend.

It should be a fun ride the next few weekends.

Buffs receive an “under the radar” quarterback commitment

Junior college quarterback Brent Burnette has committed to Colorado.

Burnette is a 6’3″, 210-pound quarterback who played this past season for Arizona Western Community College. Burnette is a pro-style quarterback who will transfer in this year, will be enrolling next week for spring classes, and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

A 60-0 quarterback in high school, Burnette was the 4A Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee in 2007. His high school team won four state titles with Burnette at quarterback. Burnette’s 6,408 and 68 touchdowns were the second most in Tennessee high school history.

A member of the 2008 recruiting class, Burnette was considered, in spite of all of the statistics and accolades, to be only a two-star prospect. Burnette did take an official visit to Virginia, but did not receive an offer. The only 1-A offers Burnette received were from Buffalo and Middle Tennessee State, and Burnette ultimately signed with the home state Blue Raiders.

While at Middle Tennessee, Burnette red-shirted his first season, then saw action as a red-shirt freshman in 2009. For the season, though, Burnette threw only 25 passes, completing 13 for 160 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Burnette left Middle Tennessee after the 2009 season, transferring to Arizona Western for the 2010 campaign. This past season, the Matadors were the Western States Conference champions, and made it to the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas bowl game, falling to Blinn College in the title game. In the big game, though, Burnette was on the sidelines. Burnette was the starter early in the season, but was injured in the victory over Eastern Arizona College after leading the Matadors to a 5-1 record. Even after Burnette was healthy again, however, he did not reclaim his starting position, as Boomer Green took over the helm, leading Arizona Western to four more wins and a C.H.A.M.P.S. Hot Bowl berth.

Matador head coach Tom Minnick was quoted before the title game that Green had earned the starting job, even though Burnette was healthy. Blinn head coach Brad Franchione was quoted as saying tha Green presented a greater problem for his team than Burnette, as Green was more mobile.

So, the Buffs are picking up a quarterback who did not have a BCS offer out of high school, did not earn the starting job in two seasons at Middle Tennessee, and could not win back the starting job at Arizona Western.

Not exactly Brock Berglund, is he?

Much more on Burnette this weekend – Colorado’s fifth commitment of the 2011 recruiting cycle.

January 6th

Sherrard Harrington interested in CU, but is it reciprocal?

Washington D.C. cornerback Sherrard Harrington is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals. To date, however, he only has two scholarship offers from BCS conference schools.

But he is getting a great deal of attention of late.

Harrington has offers from Iowa and Duke, but not from Colorado. “Iowa and Colorado are the colleges I have been talking to the most,” Harrington told BuffStampede.com. Iowa, though, has the advantage, at least for now. The Hawkeyes already have several D.C. area players on their team, which Harrington finds to be a plus. What’s more, Iowa may be able to get Harrington into school this semester, another factor important to the 6’1, 170-pound cornerback. Harrington graduated in December, and is looking to enroll this spring, and classes start at Iowa a week later than does Colorado. As a result, Harrington, who does not want to red-shirt, may be a better fit for Iowa, at least in terms of timing.

Still, enrolling early is not necessarily a deal breaker. “If push comes to shove, I’m willing to go to school as a regular guy instead of a midyear guy,” Harrington told BuffaloSportsNews. “My main thing is I want to get in and get acquainted with the team, workout, and get in the best shape so I can be a part of Colorado football and help them win.”

Sounds good, so why hasn’t Colorado offered? The Buffs need a cornerback, and Harrington sounds like an interested prospect.

“Coach Jon Embree said he liked my tape, and he forwarded it over to the defensive backs coach (Greg Brown)”, said Harrington. “I should know sometime later this week how the defensive backs coach feels about me. They told me to give them a call after my Iowa visit (January 14-15), to see if I’m still interested in coming to Colorado.”

Stay tuned …

Marcus Peters still on the market?

Another cornerback prospect, Marcus Peters, reportedly met with CU head coach Jon Embree on Thursday.  Peters is a three-star prospect, but is considered by Rivals to be the 25th-best cornerback prospect in the nation. Peters is from Oakland, and has already taken official visits to Arizona State and Washington State, and has an official visit planned for Oregon State next weekend. To date, Peters has offers from seven Pac-12 schools, including Oregon and Utah, but does not yet – at least according to Scout and Rivals – have an offer from Colorado.

However, if Jon Embree, with limited time to put together a class, has made a point of meeting with Peters, the extension of an offer may soon be forthcoming …

Marvin Hall to visit Boulder … maybe

Three-star wide receiver prospect Marvin Hall may turn out to be the fastest Buff ever.

Okay, the 4.4 40 time listed for Hall is not particularly fast, but Hall will certainly be very quick if he visits Boulder on January 21st … while at the same time taking an official visit to Cal that same weekend.

If Rivals.com is to believed, Marvin Hall, a prospect from Los Angeles who is rated by Scout to be the 155th-best wide receiver in the nation, will be in Boulder the weekend of January 21st. If Scout.com is correct, Hall will be in Berkeley that same weekend, taking an official visit to Cal.

On December 28th, Hall told Scout.com that he had narrowed his choices to Fresno State, UCLA, Washington, Cal, and Oregon State. According to the article, Hall had already taken a December visit to Fresno State, and has January visits set for Oregon State (14th), Cal (21st) and Washington (28th), before announcing his decision on Signing day, February 2nd.

On Wednesday, Hall met with CU coaches Mike Tuiasosopo and Bobby Kennedy, and at that time Hall agreed to take a visit to Boulder the weekend of the 21st.

UPDATE: BuffStampede.com is now reporting that Hall will visit Oregon State on January 14th; Nevada on January 21st; Colorado on January 22nd; then Washington January 28th. “You know, to be honest, I was not too high on Colorado before (his visit with Tuiasosopo)”, said Hall. “But Coach ‘Tui’ and Coach Kennedy talked to me about their campus and how it is out there, and I may really like it … They said they needed a difference maker, and I might be that guy.”

January 5th

Next few weekends are going to be busy

Fast and furious …

After a dead period which gave rise to concerns about the new coaching staff’s ability to bring in recruits for official visits, the names are starting to appear on the recruiting websites. While there are no official visits scheduled for this weekend (at least not yet), next weekend (January 14th-15th) and the following weekend (January 21st-22nd) will have a number of players visiting the Boulder campus.

Two quarterback options are on the list of those who are scheduled to come over the next few weeks. Adam Pittser is a dual-threat quarterback from Richmond, Illinois. Pittser is a three-star prospect who is rated by Rivals as being the 19th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Pittser is presently a Wyoming commit, but is reportedly visiting Colorado next weekend. A second quarterback option might be Brent Burnette, a junior college quarterback who played this past season for Arizona Western Community College. Burnette is a pro-style quarterback who could transfer in this year, and would have two years of eligibility remaining. A 60-0 quarterback in high school, Burnette played a year for Middle Tennessee State before quiting and enrolling at Arizona Western.

Another priority for Colorado this recruiting cycle is at cornerback, and Rivals is reporting that Kameron Jackson will be coming to Boulder next weekend. Jackson, a three-star cornerback from Long Beach, California, is rated as the 40th-best cornerback prospect in the nation by Rivals (41st-best by Scout). Jackson verbally committed to Washington last April, but is still taking official visits, including a trip to Cal in December. A second cornerback prospect is Sharrard Harrington from Washington, D.C. A three-star prospect, Harrington is taking an official visit to Iowa next weekend, but may still visit Boulder. The Buffs have yet to extend an offer (transcript issues?), but Harrington does have an offer from Duke, which is not exactly an easy school to get into academically.

The list continues to grow. As visits are firmed up, I’ll post more information on the recruits looking to make Boulder their home for the next five years. Stay tuned!!


January 4th

Bolden soap opera continues

Rob Bolden was a highly sought after quarterback recruit two years ago (see story, below), but wanted out of State College. Bolden’s father indicated that Bolden, Jr., was upset that he did not get the chance to return to the field of play for Penn State after starting the first eight games of the season.

The Bolden family met with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who reportedly has denied Bolden’s request to transfer.

It is unclear what Bolden will do next. “We’re going to try and sort that out now,” said Robert Bolden, Sr. The NCAA transfer rule states: “Most transfers from four-year college or university require a ‘permission to contact’ letter from the current school’s athletic director … The new school cannot contact the student-athlete until the current school agrees to the contact. If the current school does not agree, the student-athlete can appeal.”

Classes start Monday at Penn State, and if Bolden is to maintain his eligibility at Penn State, he will have to enroll. If allowed to transfer, Bolden will have to sit out a transfer season (he has a red-shirt season available), but will then have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Why would Paterno deny a player the opportunity to play elsewhere? Why would a player want to return to a school which he believes has turned his back on him? Would Nittany Lion players be willing to accept back into the fold a player who doesn’t want to be there?

Stay tuned …

January 3rd

Okay, now it’s getting fun …

The chances of some higher ranked players coming to Boulder are looking up. Nothing is settled by any means, but the fact that some players with four stars next to their names are talking about visiting Boulder has certainly got to raise the spirits of the Buff Nation.

Some names … Todd Peat, Jr., from Tempe, Arizona, may be looking at Colorado. Peat is a four-star defensive tackle rated the 13th-best defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Rivals, 10th-best in the nation by Scout. Peat has already taken official visits to Nebraska and Arizona State – where he was recruited by new Colorado defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo. Peat will also be taking an official visit to Oregon State (January 14th) and likely Stanford. A fifth trip? “If I do take a (fifth trip), it will likely be to Colorado,” Peat told BuffStampede.com. In addition to those schools on his official visit list, Peat has offers from over a dozen other schools, including Alabama, Washington, Arkansas, and Miami.

Remember K.T. Tuumalo? He was (and may still be) scheduled to make an official visit to Boulder on January 21st. The excitement over the visit by the three-star linebacker from Honolulu was tempered, though, when Tuumalo committed to Boise State on December 26th. Apparently, however, Jon Embree is not giving up the chase, and will have an in-home visit with Tuumalo on Tuesday. Also on Embree’s home visit list are two other Honolulu stars, three-star offensive lineman Paulay Asiata (down to Arizona, Washington, and Colorado) and three-star defensive end Lake Koa-Ka’ai. All three Honolulu prep stars are currently scheduled to be in Boulder the weekend of January 21st-22nd.

Another top Honolulu player, Juda Parker, may also be on Colorado’s list.  Parker is a three-star defensive end / linebacker who was the 2010 Hawai’i defensive Player-of-the-Year – and was a Tennessee commit until this past week. Now, Parker and the Volunteers have parted ways. “Tennessee told me that they are going to look into some other players”, Parker told BuffStampede.com. “They stopped calling me, so I guess we have parted ways.” Parker is considering Hawai’i, and has an official visit to Oregon State set up for next weekend. And Colorado? “They talked about how they are starting fresh with a new staff, and they want to be a top program in the new Pac-12 in the coming years,” said Parker. “I like what I am hearing from their coaches, so Colorado could possibly be a good fit”.

While not exactly California or Texas, the state of Hawai’i does produce some decent talent … and Colorado is in the running for four of the top five players in the state …

And a quarterback?

Penn State and quarterback Robert Bolden are parting ways.

Robert Bolden was a four-star quarterback recruit from the 2010 class, the 2nd-highest rated dual-threat quarterback in the nation. “He no longer wants to play at Penn State,” said Bolden’s father. “He’s not happy at Penn State currently”. Bolden, Jr., started the first eight games of the season, but, after suffering a concussion against Minnesota on October 23rd, lost his job to sophomore Matt McGloin. Though healthy, Bolden sat idle during the Outback Bowl, a game in which McGloin threw five interceptions.

And now?

Two years ago, Bolden, who is from Orchard Lake, Michigan, had offers from teams throughout the nation, including Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, West Virginia … and Colorado.

There is nothing being reported about where Bolden wants to go (other than to another FBS school), but … dare to dream!

Embree excited

“I know people are probably sitting out there wondering (about CU recruiting)”, Embree told cubuffs.com. “wondering if we’re doing anything, why we haven’t heard about this guy or that. But I can assure you, that’s a lot of interest. We’re on some really good guys.”

Embree, along with six of his assistants, will be spread out throughout the nation this week (Eric Bieniemy will have contact with recruits, but will not be on the road for Colorado until next week). In the future, Embree will emphasize Colorado, Texas, and California, but the 2010 class may be more diversified. But this cycle, “changes things a little bit,” said Embree. “You want to focus on California and Texas, but we have been getting calls from North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, New Jersey, Illinois … We hope we can get some kids from California and Texas, but it may not be the sheer numbers this year that we want as far as the future goes.”

Embree’s target number is 15 recruits, but there may be more. “There’ll be room to go over (15 recruits) if it’s a good enough player. But right now, I’d say it’s 15”. (Which lends credence to the concept that a few current players will not be returning next fall).

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

The next four weeks are showing some great promise. We’ll see how it shakes out (while trying to remember 2011 New Year’s Resolution No. 1 not to be too disappointed about the ranking of this year’s class).

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