Stoppin’ by for a Visit – January 28th

One last visitor?

Wednesday, February 1st is Signing Day. Most of the recruits for the Class of 2012 will sign their Letters of Intent, and recruiting Classes will be assessed.

But February 1st is the first day of the Signing period – not the last.

Which leads us to the story of Jontrey Tillman. Rivals bio

Tillman is a 5’9″, 170-pound athlete from Baldwin, Louisiana. Tillman has been a Stanford commit since last June, but now finds himself looking for a college home after he was informed by Stanford, the school to which he, his 4.0 GPA and 26 ACT score had been committed for six months, that he had not been accepted.

“It was a crushing thing for this kid,” said his high school coach Ryan Antoine. “He’s going to take some time to heal, and then find some place he can love again.”

Tillman is not going to commit on Signing Day, and may take several official visits. He has offers from schools like Northwestern, Kansas, and Memphis. Tillman took his first official visit to Houston last weekend, and may visit Colorado as early as this weekend. A trip to Washington State may also be in the works.

No guarantees Tillman will visit; no guarantees he will choose Colorado if he does.

But Tillman remains uncommitted, and does hold an offer from Colorado … so stay tuned.

Who’s left?

There is always the possibility that Colorado might surprise on Signing Day, and land a player who has never taken an official visit to Boulder (Darius Hamilton, a four-star defensive end from Yuri Wright’s high school, who just re-opened his recruitment after Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano bolted to take a head coaching job in the NFL, is a name Buff fans would love to see on CU’s list of recruits. Another less sexy possibility is Jontrey Tillman). There is also the chance that a player committed to another school may still “flip”, and join the Buffs (Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick?) In all likelihood, though, any remaining spots on the Letter of Intent list next Wednesday will be filled by uncommitted players who have taken in the sights and sounds of Boulder, Colorado.

Of the over 50 players who have taken official visits to Colorado this cycle, eight players remain officially uncommitted. Here’s a rundown:

Chris Solomon – DB – Official visit, January 13th –  Just the facts … Solomon is a defensive back prospect from West Covina, Califorina. Solomon is considered to be a three-star player by both Rivals and Scout. Scout rates Solomon as the No. 88 safety prospect in the nation. Solomon is 6′ 0″, 180-pounds, as is being recruited by Colorado as a cornerback. Solomon missed the first four games of his senior season due to a high ankle sprain but he still managed to rack up 1,232 yards of offense (as a running back) and 46 tackles on defense. Solomon has other offers from … Arizona, Oregon State, Nevada, Arizona State, and Washington. Solomon indicated in December that he might take as many as five official visits, but, in the end, only took an official visit to Colorado. Solomon did take unofficial visits to both Arizona schools last summer. Rivals bio Scout bio UPDATE: With the coaching changes at both Arizona schools, Solomon has heard less from the Sun Devils and Wildcats. There have been no new stories on Solomon since he was “blown away” by his trip to Boulder. If academics work out, and the Buffs still want more defensive backs (in light of the Crawley and Wright commitments), Solomon could still become a Buff.

Jeffrey Hall – DB – Official visit, January 13th – Just the facts … Hall is a defensive back prospect from La Place, Louisiana. Hall is considered to be three-star cornerback by Rivals, but a two-star wide receiver by Scout. Hall is 5’11″, 180-pounds. Playing cornerback for the first time in his prep career as a senior, Hall recorded nine interceptions, 55 tackles, four-and-a-half tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles. He also accounted for 672 all-purpose yards while helping St. Charles Catholic to a 3A state championship. Hall has other offers from … only a handful of schools. Kansas State has offered Hall, as has Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, North Texas, and Indiana. Colorado, along with North Texas, were the only schools to do an in-home visit with Hall in December (Eric Bieniemy and Greg Brown made the trip), which impressed Hall and his mother. The competition for Hall’s services, though, may come down to the Louisiana schools – if Hall decides he would rather play baseball. Both Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe have offered Hall the opportunity to play two sports at their schools – Hall batted .453 as a center fielder last season. Rivals bio Scout bio  UPDATE: Hall took an official visit to Indiana this past weekend, and has an official visit to North Texas this weekend. The speculation is that Hall may be the most likely candidate on this list to commit, but, with space at a premium, may be asked to grayshirt in order to make room for just one more high-profile recruit.

Ewing Simmons – DE – Official visit, January 20th – Just the facts … Simmons is a defensive lineman prospect from Stockton, California. Simmons is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Simmons is 6’3″, 225-pounds, and is rated by Scout to be the 90th-best defensive end in the nation. Simmons earned first-team all-league and all-area honors after recording 65 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his senior campaign. He helped St. Mary’s to nine wins and a Tri-City League title. Simmons has other offers from … at least five Pac-12 schools, including both Arizona schools, UCLA, and Washington State. Rivals bio Scout bio UPDATE:  Simmons’ trip to Boulder last weekend was, in a word, great. “It was great,” Simmons told BuffStampede.com. “They have great coaches and great players. They are trying to restore Colorado to being a powerhouse again. The campus is great. The academic programs they have to offer are great. Boulder is a great city. There are great places to eat out there. Colorado is great.” Simmons gave a not-so-silent commit to Colorado after his visit, but is still taking an official visit to Arizona this weekend. Come next Wednesday, it will come down to the Buffs and the Wildcats.

Seth Jacobs – OLB – Official visit, January 20th Just the facts … Jacobs is a linebacker prospect from Arroyo Grande, California. Jacobs is considered to be a four-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Jacobs is 6’2″, 215-pounds, and runs a 4.55 in the 40. Rivals has Jacobs as the No. 27 outside linebacker in the nation, with Scout also pegging him for the No. 27 slot. As a senior, Jacobs had 151 tackles in leading his team to a 13-1 record. Jacobs has other offers from … most of the Pac-12, including both Oregon schools, Washington, both Arizona schools, and UCLA. Jacobs also has offers from schools like Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State. Before taking his official visit to Boulder, Jacobs took visits to Arizona, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State. In the final weekend of visits, Jacobs will visit UCLA. Jacobs has already indicated that he will wait until Signing Day to announce his choice. Oklahoma State and Arkansas are in the top three, with Colorado competing with UCLA to have the final hat on the table. Rivals bio  Scout bio UPDATE: Does CU have a chance? Perhaps. “I have heard nothing but great things about their program. I have really enjoyed talking with Brian Cabral, who is their linebacker coach,” Jacobs said before his visit. And after his visit: “I would say they are up there,” he said. “For the most part, it’s between Colorado, Oklahoma State, and Arkansas, so we’ll see. I’m going to announce on Signing Day (Jacobs plans to announce at 7:30 pm (MT) on Feb. 1 at his school).” Although Jacobs already has a top three, he is still taking an official visit to UCLA this weekend.

Jason Gaines – TE/WR – Official visit – January 20th – Just the facts … Gaines is an unrated wide receiver/tight end prospect from El Cajon, California. Gaines is 6’4″, 205-pounds. For a 10-3 Christian high team in El Cajon, California, Gaines had 47 catches for 557 yards and six touchdowns. Gaines also had eight carries for 54 yards and two touchdowns (he also had time to post 25 tackles, including four sacks, on defense). Gaines has other offers from … no one. Neither Rivals nor Scout has them in their database, and no stories mentioning Gaines have been posted by either recruiting service. Gaines’ only apparent claim to fame at this point, as far as the Buff Nation would be concerned, is that he is a teammate of CU quarteraback commit Shane Dillon, who also took his official visit the same weekend. Rivals bio Scout bio UPDATE: There appears to have been some method to the madness. Gaines is now looking to go the junior college route, with an eye on taking classes which will qualify him to transfer to Colorado in two years. “Coach Embree gave me suggestions on some Junior Colleges that I should look into and he said he is going to do everything in his power to help me get there to Colorado,” Gaines told BuffStampede.com after his visit to Boulder. “Their coaches are willing to be there for me and that means a lot. There are not many college coaches that are willing to be there for a player if he has to go to Junior College for two years.”

Isaiah Folasa – OL – Official visit – January 20th – Former UCLA commit – Just the facts … Folasa is an offensive lineman prospect from Corona, California. Folasa is considered to be a two-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Folasa is 6’2″, 340-pounds, and is rated by Scout to be the 98th-best offensive guard prospect in the nation. Folasa has other offers from … several schools, most notably from UCLA. Folasa has been a Bruin commit since last July, but, after the firing of Rick Neuheisel, Folasa decided to take other official visits. Folasa reportedly has offers from Air Force, New Mexico State, Idaho, and Fresno State, as well as several 1-AA schools. Folasa took his official visit to UCLA the weekend before visiting Boulder. Rivals bio Scout bio UPDATE:  Folasa formally de-committed from UCLA this past week, with Colorado now his clear favorite. “It’s between Colorado, New Mexico State, Fresno State and San Jose State right now,” Folasa said. Folasa will travel to New Mexico State this week. Why would Folasa go to a non-BCS school if he had the chance to become a Buff? Reading the tea leaves here: Even with the loss of Paulay Asiata this week, the Buffs are still clinging to hopes of landing other (read: higher caliber) players before Signing Day. My guess is that Folasa has been asked to grey-shirt by the CU coaches, and is choosing between playing for the Mountain West Conference right away – or playing for the Buffs in 2013.

Vincent Hobbs – TE – Official visit – January 27th (the only known official visitor this final weekend before Signing Day) – Just the facts … Hobbs a tight end prospect from Mesquite, Texas. Hobbs is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has Hobbs as the No. 31 tight end in the nation, while Scout sees Hobbs as the No. 62 tight end. Hobbs has other offers from … a number of schools, but none of the offers are from BCS conference schools. Hobbs has offers from Memphis, Marshall, Colorado State, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic. Before potentially visiting Colorado this weekend, Hobbs took official visits to Colorado State, Memphis … and Texas. And therein lies the story. As was the case with Kaumatule (who was waiting to be cleared for admission by the Stanford engineering school), Colorado is the backup for another school. Hobbs wants to go to Austin to play for the Longhorns, but he doesn’t have an offer. Texas, for its part, does not have a tight end on its commitment list, and lost out on Christo Kourtzidis to Florida State. As such, Texas may be taking willing to take a flyer on Hobbs (a “lowly” three-star prospect). If Texas offers, Hobbs will, in all likelihood, jump at the chance to become a Longhorn. If Texas takes a pass, Hobbs may be in Boulder this weekend, with Memphis now the team to beat for Hobbs’ services. Rivals bio Scout bio UPDATE: According the Hobbs’ high school coach, Texas is “dragging its feet” on Hobbs, and so Hobbs will take his visit. Colorado is definitely back in the picture for Hobbs’ services. According to TigerAuthority.com, Hobbs’ final three are Memphis, Colorado State, and Colorado, with his decision to be announced Sunday or Monday.

Deaysean Rippy – LB – Official visit, December 3rd – former UCLA commit – Just the facts … Rippy is a linebacker prospect from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Rippy is 6’2″, 198-pounds, and is considered to be a four-star player by both Rivals and Scout. Rippy is rated as the No. 21 outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals, while Scout considers Rippy the No. 7 outside linebacker in the country. Rippy has other offers from … over a dozen BCS conference schools. Alabama, Auburn and Florida from the SEC are after Rippy, as are Michigan, Ohio State, and Nebraska from the Big Ten. Rivals bio Scout bio  UPDATE: Rippy also took official visits to Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Arizona. The relationship between Colorado and Rippy has cooled, and CU is no longer recruiting Rippy. The reasons given are speculative and varied: potential grade issues; potential attitude issues; CU moved on to Seth Jacobs as an option when Rippy wouldn’t commit … take your pick. Bottom line: It is very unlikely that Rippy will be a Buff.

 

This weekend marks the last opportunity for college coaches to make their pitch to potential recruits. This Sunday, January 29th, is a “quiet period” day, in which coaches can no longer make in-home visits, or have any off-campus contacts (finishing up official visits to campus is allowed). Monday and Tuesday (January 30th and 31st), though, are “dead period” days, in which no in-person contact is allowed with a player or their parents (emails, texts, and phone calls are still allowed).

So, is Colorado preparing to make a last minute pitch to a dozen or so recruits this weekend?

In a word, “no”.

However, there will be activity in Boulder this weekend. I have it from a reliable source that four or five players may still be taking in the Flatirons and all that is Boulder this Friday and Saturday.

Weather forecast for the weekend: Partly cloudy, with high’s in the low 50’s. Not bad for late January. The women’s basketball team will be at home this weekend, hosting UCLA at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Here are the players who are scheduled (so far) to be in Boulder the weekend of January 27-29th):

Luke Kaumatule – DE – Just the facts … Kaumatule is a defensive end prospect from Honolulu, Hawai’i. Kaumatule is considered to be a four-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has Kaumatule rated as the No. 1 prospect out of the state of Hawai’i this year, and the No. 15 strongside defensive end nationally. Scout lists Kaumatule as it’s No. 32 defensive end in the country. Kaumatule has other offers from … most of the Pac-12, including Oregon, Washington, UCLA and Cal. With such a resume and offer sheet, why haven’t we been talking more about Kaumatule? Simple. Kaumatule has been a “solid” Stanford commit since September. Kaumatule has a cousin who is already playing for Stanford, and is planning on attending school in Palo Alto – if he is admitted to the engineering program. Kaumatule reports a 3.5 GPA, but is still waiting to see how his fall grades translate at the Stanford admissions office. If Kaumatule qualifies for the Stanford engineering program, he will be a Cardinal. In case he is not admitted to Stanford, Kaumatule has been hedging his bets, taking official visits to Cal, UCLA, and Washington before visiting Colorado this weekend. The Buffs do have several “in’s”” with Kaumatule, as CU linebackers coach Brian Cabral’s brother coaches at Kaumatule’s high school, and one of Kaumatule’s former teammates, K.T. Tuumalo, is a current Buff. Kaumatule would have to be considered a long shot for the Buffs at this point, but still a shot worth taking.

UPDATE: It is being reported that Kaumatule has been admitted to the Stanford engineering program. If such is the case, there would be little reason for Kaumatule to take an official visit to Boulder this weekend.

Vincent Hobbs – TE – Just the facts … Hobbs a tight end prospect from Mesquite, Texas. Hobbs is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has Hobbs as the No. 31 tight end in the nation, while Scout sees Hobbs as the No. 62 tight end. Hobbs has other offers from … a number of schools, but none of the offers are from BCS conference schools. Hobbs has offers from Memphis, Marshall, Colorado State, New Mexico and Florida Atlantic. Before potentially visiting Colorado this weekend, Hobbs took official visits to Colorado State, Memphis … and Texas. And therein lies the story. As is the case with Kaumatule, Colorado is the backup for another school. Hobbs wants to go to Austin to play for the Longhorns, but he doesn’t have an offer. Texas does not have a tight end on its commitment list, and lost out on Christo Kourtzidis to Florida State. As such, Texas may be taking willing to take a flyer on Hobbs (a “lowly” three-star prospect). Hobbs is supposed to hear from the Longhorns by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. If Texas offers, Hobbs will, in all likelihood, jump at the chance to become a Longhorn. If Texas takes a pass, Hobbs may be in Boulder this weekend, with Memphis now the team to beat for Hobbs’ services.

UPDATE: According the Hobbs’ high school coach, Texas is “dragging its feet” on Hobbs, and so Hobbs will take his visit. Colorado is definitely back in the picture for Hobbs’ services …

 

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