Verbal Commitments – 2012

Keeping Score:

Team Rankings (January 31st – does not include Christian Powell):

Rivals: 30th nationally / 9th in the Pac-12

Scout:  25th nationally / 5th in the Pac-12 (does include Powell)

24/7 Sports: 39th nationally / 9th in the Pac-12

ESPN: Outside of the top 25 nationally

The Make-up (28 verbal commitments):

Quarterbacks: 1 (not counting Connor Wood, who enrolled in August)

Running backs: 5 (counting fullbacks Clay Norgard and Christian Powell)

Wide Receivers: 3

Tight Ends: 3

Offensive linemen: 2 (not counting Alex Kelley, a grey-shirt from the Class of 2011 who enrolled in January)

Defensive tackles: 4

Defensive ends: 4 (not counting Derek McCartney, who will join the team in January, 2013)

Linebackers: 0

Defensive backs: 6

Kickers/specialists: 0

The Class of 2012:

CHRISTIAN POWELL – FB

Just the facts … Committed January 31st … Powell is a fullback prospect from Upland, California. Powell is 5’11”, 250-pounds. Upland teammates Donta Abron, a running back who committed December 12th, and Marques Mosley, a cornerback prospect who committed December 20th,  also plan to sign with CU. Rivals bio Scout bio

What others had to say about Powell … Powell is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals rates Powell as an “athlete”, without a position, considering him to be the No. 55 athlete nationwide. Scout has Powell listed as a fullback prospect, the No. 3 fullback prospect in the nation (Rivals rates CU signee Clay Norgard, who has already enrolled at CU, to be the No. 4 fullback in the nation). As a fullback for Upland high this past fall, Powell rushed for 400 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 10.0 yards per carry with a long run of 53 yards. As a receiver, he had seven receptions for 116 yards while averaging 16.7 yards per catch with a long of 29 yards. Defensively, Powell was a force, racking up 90 tackles, 15 sacks and two pass deflections. Despite his defensive prowess, Powell is being recruited to play fullback at Colorado.

Powell had other offers from … at least a half dozen other BCS schools, including Nebraska, Texas A&M, and Washington. Powell took official visits to Nebraska, Texas A&M and Washington in November, and then took official visits to Colorado and UCLA in January. On January 13th, Powell committed to UCLA, but then changed his mind on the eve of Signing Day.The fact that two of his teammates were already committed to Colorado helped the Buffs’ land Powell as well.

JEFFREY HALL – DB

Just the facts …. Committed January 29th … Hall is a defensive back prospect from LaPlace, Louisiana. Hall is 5’11”, 180-pounds. Rivals bio Scout bio 

What others had to say about Hall … Hall is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, but only a two-star wide receiver prospect by Scout. The St. Charles Catholic high team Hall played for went 15-0 this past season, winning the Louisiana 3A state championship. Hall was named a first-team All-District defensive back this past fall.

Hall had other offers from … a number of other BCS conference schools, including Arizona and Kansas State. Indiana appeared to be the Buffs’ greatest competition, with Hall taking an official visit to Bloomington January 20th. Hall was scheduled to take an official visit to Arizona this weekend, but cancelled the trip. Missouri, which is moving to the SEC next season (and would be playing in Hall’s backyard) made a late push for Hall’s services, but he stuck with his “soft commitment” to the Buffs, given several days before he formally said “yes” to Colorado.

Part of Hall’s hesitation to give his commitment had to do with his being a star baseball player (other schools, including North Texas and a pair of Louisiana schools) offered him the opportunity to play both sports. There is a chance that Hall may still opt for baseball over football, but has indicated that he would have to be drafted “in the first three rounds” of the MLB draft (to be conducted June 4th-6th).

In his own words … The other reason Hall almost balked had to do with Colorado receiving commitments from two other defensive backs – two four-star defensive backs – in the week leading up to Hall’s commitment. “I was still undecided because they had signed two other cornerbacks, but when (Embree) came out, he set everything straight,” Hall told BuffaloSportsNews.net. Embree and assistant coach Eric Bieniemy made an in-home visit with Hall the week before Signing Day. After that visit, Hall felt good about committing to CU. “(Crawley and Wright) have to compete for their spot just like I have to compete for mine,” he said.

VINCENT HOBBS – TE

Just the facts … Committed January 29th … Hobbs is a tight end prospect from Mesquite, Texas. Hobbs is 6’3″, 230-pounds, and runs 4.65 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio 

What others had to say about Hobbs … Hobbs is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals rates Hobbs as the No. 31 tight end prospect in the nation, and the No. 79 player overall out of the state of Texas this year. Scout considers Hobbs to be the No. 61 tight end nationally. For the 4-7 Horn Jaguars, Hobbs had 45 catches for 583 yards and two touchdowns. “So many colleges recruit our school and recruit our area so it is hard to get overlooked here, but I think it is fair to say Vincent has been under-recruited,” Rodney Webb, Hobbs’ high school coach, told BuffStampede.com. “Vincent is the best player I have ever coached. … I have four other kids right now playing receiver at FBS programs and Vincent has the best hands of any of those guys.”

Hobbs had other offers from … a half dozen other schools, including Colorado State. What kept Hobbs from pulling the trigger and becoming a Buff was Texas dangling the possibility of a scholarship in front of the Texas native. In addition to Colorado State and Memphis, Hobbs took an official visit to Texas, but did not come away with an offer. After Hobbs took his official visit to Colorado on January 27th, he was ready to become a Buff.

YURI WRIGHT – DB

Just the facts … Committed January 24th – Wright is a defensive back prospect from Ramsey, New Jersey. Wright is 6’2″, 180-pounds. Wright joins former Don Bosco teammate Tony Jones, a running back from the Class of 2011.  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Wright … Wright is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a four-star prospect. Rivals rates Wright as the No. 7 cornerback in the nation, and the No. 85 overall prospect in the country. Scout considers Wright to be the No. 10 cornerback in the nation.

Wright had other offers from… the entire country. If you have been following the Wright saga, you know that he has been wooed by the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Georgia and Cal. Other schools, from Auburn to Wisconsin, and from Virginia Tech to Tennessee had interest in Wright. Before committing to Colorado, Wright took official visits to Notre Dame, Michigan, and Rutgers. Wright was expelled from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep last Thursday after a series of offensive tweets that were sexually graphic and racially insensitive were discovered on his Twitter account. The remarks forced the hand of the all-boys private school in Bergen County, one that has finished in the Top 10 nationally the past three years, including No. 2 this past season. “He’s a good kid and I think he has a bright college future and I wish him the best of luck,” Don Bosco head coach Greg Toal told nj.com. “There is no question Don Bosco had to do what it had to do.” Wright will have to enroll in another high school to finish out his senior season. There has been some speculation that the change in schools might hurt his eligibility, but it also seems that all Wright needs is credits, as he had otherwise already qualified (SAT scores, core classes, etc.).

In his own words… Wright on Colorado head coach Jon Embree: “He’s a real laid back guy,” Wright told Scout.com. “He’s not one of these coaches who is just a sergeant. He’s a real cool guy. I was talking some of the guys on the team and he’s a real laid back guy. He thinks I’m a real good player and I would have the chance to come in and play early.” Wright told Rivals that his great relationship with the CU coaches, the people, and the school in general were what sold him on becoming a Buff.

ESPN story on the announcementSporting News storySports Illustrated report on “Shocker!” of an annoucement

As to his expulsion from high school for offensive tweets … After making what he admits to being a ‘huge mistake,’ defensive back Yuri Wright is looking forward to a fresh start when heads to Colorado next fall. “I made a huge mistake,” Wright told ESPN of the controversial tweets which got him expelled from Don Bosco high in Ramsey, New Jersey. “I definitely learned a valuable lesson, and I promise nothing like that will ever happen again. Everyone that knows me knows that’s not my true character or who I really am. I’m not going to sit here and try and make excuses for what I did. I’m just going to be a man and say I was wrong and I learned from it.”

Of all of the negative publicity (basically the national media took the position of “CU? Why would any decent player want to play for CU?”), Wright had an answer. “I basically fell in love with the school on my visit there,” Wright said. “I had an instant connection with coach [Jon] Embree and coach [Greg] Brown. The players were all great with me and I loved the area. The idea of leaving home appealed to me, so I could experience something new, not because I was running from anything.

“When all this happened, Coach Embree stuck with me and I’m very grateful that he gave me a second chance. He knows my character and what kind of person I am. I’m very excited about the opportunity to get out to Colorado and getting a fresh start. It was tough to get kicked out of school, but I’m going to finish up and then I can’t wait to get out to Colorado and start that new chapter of my life. Hopefully, people won’t judge me and will give me the same second chance Coach Embree did. I’m not going to blow it again.”

KENNETH CRAWLEY – DB

Just the facts … Committed January 22nd – Crawley is a defensive back prospect from Washington D.C. Crawley is 6’1″, 170-pounds, and is the Woodson high teammate of defensive back commits John Walker and defensive back commit De’jon Wilson (in case you’re wondering, the Woodson Warriors went 6-5 this past season). The trio will join former teammate Sherrard Harrington, a defensive back from the Class of 2011 (who was injured last summer, and red-shirted last fall). Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Crawley… Crawley is considered to be a four-star prospect by Rivals, but only a three-star prospect by Scout. Crawley is rated as the No. 22 cornerback in the nation by Rivals; ranked at No. 44 by Scout. “He is one of the stickiest cover corners we have seen all year and is rarely out of position on a thrown football,” according to Rivals analysts Mike Farrell and Josh Helmholdt. “Crawley is not a thick cornerback, but he is really strong in bump coverage because his feet are so good he can match the opposing wide receiver stride-for-stride.” According to ESPN, “Crawley has the size, ball skills and athleticism college coaches covet out on the perimeter. While he is slight in stature and needs to add bulk, he possesses good height and length and the ranginess to make a lot of plays in coverage”.

For H.D. Woodson, Crowley had 33 tackles this past season (21 unassisted), four interceptions, and a blocked punt. On offense, Crawley had ten catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns.

Crawley had other offers from … every corner of the nation. Dozens of schools were after Crawley’s “talents” (Crawley’s tweet about his commitment indicated that he was taking his “talents” to Colorado), including Arkansas, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and UCLA. Crawley had been a Tennessee commit since last summer. “I’m really excited about it,” Crawley told VolQuest.com back in August. “They had been on me since I camped down there and I didn’t want to rush things. Tennessee is the place that I couldn’t get out of my mind and I realized it’s where I want to be. The coaches were so excited. I think they were more excited than I was.” By December, though, Crawley had re-opened his recruitment, and decided to take other visits. Crawley came to Boulder in December, and hopes were that he would join teammate De’jon Wilson, who had de-committed from Kansas and had committed to Colorado. “What De’Jon is doing is not really going to affect my decision,” Crawley told Rivals.com on December 29th. “We grew up together and we always dreamed of playing college ball together but things change.” A week before his commitment, Crawley had narrowed his choices down to Colorado, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, with a final push made by Kansas. The weekend of his commitment, Crawley took an official visit to Kansas (along with former KU commit De’jon Wilson).

JOHN WALKER – DB

Just the facts … Committed January 12th … Walker is a defensive back prospect from Washington D.C. Walker is the cousin of fellow 2012 commit De’jon Wilson (see profile, below), as well as a former teammate of defensive back Sherrard Harrington, who committed to Colorado last year. Walker is 6’0″, 175-pounds. Rivals bio Scout bio  YouTube highlights

What others say about Walker … Walker is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, but only has two stars from Scout. Scout rates Walker as the No. 182 cornerback in the nation. Walker played quarterback at Carroll High School in Maryland before transferring to H.D. Woodson for his senior season. He played primarily at safety this past last fall, but is expected to play cornerback at Colorado. Walker’s move from quarterback to defensive back may at least partially account for his lack of coverage by the recruiting services …

Walker had other offers from … Indiana, Kansas, and Northwestern – so somebody has heard of him. Walker is scheduled to take an official visit to Boulder next weekend, committing to CU sight unseen. Walker had an official visit to Kansas scheduled for this weekend, but decided to cancel the visit and become a Buff instead.

In his own words … “I just weighed out my options and talked to my coach, my family, my friends and my cousin De’Jon Wilson, who is already committed to Colorado, and out of all my offers, Colorado’s coaches were the best”, Walker told BuffStampede.com. “Since day one when they started recruiting me, they were straight forward with me.

“My position is also very needed there. They need corners. (Defensive coordinator and secondary) coach (Greg) Brown has been stressing that a lot. They need corners that can come right away and play. I feel like I can come right in and play with Colorado. Also the conference, the Pac-12, I am going to be going up against a lot of good talent. I feel like I can match the talent.

“There were other good schools recruiting me. Kansas, Northwestern, Indiana, Syracuse, Rutgers.”

MARQUES MOSLEY – DB

Just the facts … Committed December 20th … Mosley is a defensive back / athlete / wide receiver prospect from Upland, California. He is a teammate of running back Donta Abron, who committed December 12th, as well as tight end Christian Powell, who committed January 31st. Mosley is 6’1″, 185-pounds, has reportedly run a 4.6 in the 40, as is projected to play cornerback for Colorado. Rivals bio  Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Mosley… Mosley is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, but only a two-star prospect by Scout. ESPN gives Mosley three stars as a safety. Mosley averaged 17.2 yards on 19 rushing attempts, 22.4 yards on 12 receptions, 24.3 yards on 10 punt returns and 33.1 yards on eight kickoff returns during his senior season. He also recorded 64 tackles, four pass break ups and one interception on defense.

An evaluation on Mosley, from ESPN, written in November: “Mosley displays the aggressive run stopping ability we look for when evaluating defensive backs. Has the size and athleticism for the safety position at the major level of competition. His frame appears capable of handling additional bulk over time. This guy is a tough customer willing to wrap tackle and punish when the opportunity exists; is effective covering kickoffs; does a good job avoiding blockers but will take them on to maintain coverage lanes; is also effective blocking downfield on punt returns. We do detect some hip tightness when playing tight man coverage however we see the playing speed needed to line up tight, turn and run with receivers releasing off the line; flashes awareness with a feel for receivers in his area; must improve his ability to break up quicker on underneath throws. This prospect does a good job playing off blocks whether it be the screen pass or outside run; sheds blockers quickly while demonstrating the ability to make the open field tackle with very little yardage after contact. Is aggressive filling the alley showing the willingness to stick his nose and stop runs on the opponent’s side of the line of scrimmage; does a great job in long pursuit with some touchdown saving tackles. Mosley is presently flying under the radar as a BCS prospect. However his size, athleticism and toughness warrant another look see as the season concludes.”

“Marques has game changing ability,” Upland assistant coach, Mike Esquivel told BuffStampede.com. “When the game was on the line, Marques is the guy we were going to. He never came off the field for us. Colorado recruited him as a cornerback but I could see them using him on special teams as well. He is one heck of a kickoff returner and punt returner. Marques has breakaway speed and on defense, he is a hitter.”

Mosley had other offers from … Nebraska, Oregon State, Michigan State, and Army, so, for a two-star player, Mosley was attracting some attention from national programs. That Army was after Mosley is likely a good sign that he would not be an academic risk. Mosley took an official visit to Nebraska in November, and was in Boulder for the weekend of December 10th.

KORY RASMUSSEN – DT/DE

Just the facts … Committed December 19th … Rasmussen is a defensive tackle prospect from Honolulu, Hawai’i. Rasmussen is 6’3″, 260-pounds. Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Rasmussen …  Rasmussen is considered to be a three-star prospect by Scout, but only a two-star prospect by Rivals. Scout rates Rasmussen as the No. 81 defensive tackle in the nation, while Rivals does at least rank Rasmussen in the top ten of prospects from Hawai’i this fall.

Rasmussen had other offers from… a number of Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, Utah, Cal and Washington. Rasmussen also had an offer from his hometown Hawai’i Warriors. Rasmussen took his official visit to Boulder in November for the Arizona game, and did not take any other official visits. “Colorado was good,” Rasmussen told BuffaloSportsNews.net in November. “They won the game so that makes it better. It was good to talk to the local boys they have there, some guys I played against in high school. I had a good time … I think my favorite part was going to Folsom Field,” said Rasmussen. “Watching how the coaches were during the game and seeing the players play.”

Rasmussend projects as a defensive tackle, but he has some weight (and muscle) to put on before he puts on the pads in Folsom Field. “Most schools see me on the inside at defensive tackle,” said Rasmussen. “A lot of it depends on how much weight I can put on this off-season.”

In his own words … “When I visited Colorado, Juda Parker was my player host. I played against him, K.T. Tummalo and Paulay Asiata. It was like a reunion with us,” Rasmussen told BuffStampede.com. “My whole family went out on my official (visit to Colorado) and we all felt comfortable with the town, the atmosphere and everything that was going on up there and what the coaches are trying to do. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Rasmussen said he currently stands 6-foot-3.5, 260-pounds. It is yet to be determined if he will play defensive end or defensive tackle when he arrives in Boulder. “It all depends on where I am at weight wise and strength wise when I graduate and fly up there,” Rasmussen said. “I am going to try to get bigger, faster and stronger before I get up there.”

SAMSON KAFOVALU – DT/DE

Just the facts … Committed December 16th … Kafovalu is a defensive end prospect from Riverside, California. Kafovalu is 6’3″, 253-pounds. Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Kafovalu … Kafovalu is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals. Scout rates Kafovalu as the No. 55 defensive end in the nation.

Kafovalu has other offers from… a number of Pac-12 schools, including both Washington schools, Arizona, UCLA, and Utah, as well as Fresno State, Boise State and Nevada. Kafovalu took his official visit to Boulder in October for the Oregon game, then took official visits to Washington and Utah. When Kafovalu visited Boulder, he was impressed with the Buffs, despite the 45-2 drubbing by Oregon. “I love the school, I love the place,” Kafovalu told BuffaloSportsNews.net in October. “I love the football players. It was a great place.” While Kafovalu is listed by the recruiting services as a defensive end, he may move inside and play defensive tackle for Colorado. “If I play, it’s all good,” he said. “If I have to play O-line for Colorado, I’ll play O-line.” Kafovalu committed to Colorado just five days after his official visit to Utah, but, more significantly, the day after Colorado defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo made an in-home visit.

In his own words … “They want me at either defensive end or at the three technique, where I would play defensive tackle,” Kafovalu. “If that’s where they need me, then that’s where I will go.” Kafovalu discussed what set Colorado apart from some of his other options. “I believe in their coaches and the guys that are coming in. They are definitely in a rebuilding stage, but I believe I can go there and make a name for myself,” said Kafovalu. “It is a good opportunity for me and it will be a good opportunity to get to work with their coaching staff.”

DONTA ABRON – RB

Just the facts … Committed December 12th … Abron is a running back prospect from Upland, California. Abron is 5’9″, 180-pounds. Abron is the teammate of fellow CU commits Marques Mosley, a defensive back who committed December 20th, and fullback Christian Powell, who committed January 31st.  Rivals bio  Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Abron … Abron is considered to be a two-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals. Abron is listed as the No. 113 running back in the nation by Scout. Despite the relatively low opinion held by the recruiting services of Abron, he was the Offensive Player of the Year for the All-Inland Division team by SouthernCaliforniaPreps.com. For a 12-1 Highlanders team, Abron had 252 carries for 1,754 yards and – wait for it – 33 touchdowns. Abron had eight 100-yard games, with six of those going for over 175 yards. Abron was 26th in the nation in rushing, and 14th in the nation in scoring.

Abron has other offers from … only a handful of schools, none of them from a BCS conference. The offers for Abron are from Idaho, San Diego State, New Mexico State, and San Jose State.

In his own words … “I know I have an opportunity as soon as I get up there to start and play,” Abron told BuffaloSportsNews.net. Abron’s host for his official visit was Rodney Stewart, himself a two-star recruit. “That helped out a lot,” he said. “Talking to him, he was telling me about the coaching staff and everything was positive.” About his commitment to Colorado, Abron told BuffStampede.com, When I got home from my official visit, I sat down and talked the trip over with my dad and it just became apparent that I should commit. I knew I wasn’t going to make a decision without hearing my dad’s opinion first. The trip was great. The academics are great, the campus is great … At first going out there, I thought the cold weather would be a problem but it was actually nice being out there in the cool weather. It wasn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. The coaches were endearing up there and I felt that they are building something special and I just want to be a part of that.”

What will he bring to Colorado? “I have a good combination of power and speed. And I am a student of the game. I am always willing to learn more and more. I am also a team player.”

JOSH TUPOU – DT

Just the facts … Committed December 11th – Tupou is a two-way lineman prospect from Buena Park, California. Tupou is 6’4″, 302-pounds, and is being recruited by Colorado to play defensive tackle. Rivals bio Scout bio video highlights

What others say about Tupou … Tupou is rated as a three-star defensive tackle by both Scout and Rivals. Scout rates Tupou as the No. 70 defensive tackle in the nation. In playing both ways for an 8-3 Coyote squad, Tupou was credited with 56 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Tupou was named the Freeway League defensive MVP and his team’s lineman of the year as a senior.

According to Scout’s west coast recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman, Tupou is the region’s top “Prospect out of Nowhere”: “It’s been a long time since Buena Park (Calif.) produced a D-I prospect,” wrote Huffman. “In fact, before this season, Buena Park hadn’t had a player sign out of high school in the last decade. This year the Coyotes have three players with D-I offers and the best of that group is defensive tackle Josh Tupou, who didn’t have a single offer before mid-October.”

“He played at Orange High School and when he came over we didn’t have one snap on him,” said his former coach, Ollie Lynch (who coached with former Buff quarterback Mike Moschetti. “He passed the eyeball test but you don’t know until you get them in pads. He was just unbelievable. His intelligence level is one of a kind. Usually you get a bigger guy like that and they may not hustle. They rely on their strength. He doesn’t. He finishes plays. He goes full effort in practice and he plays with an attitude as well.”

Tupou had other offers from … only a handful of schools, including Hawai’i, Nevada, San Jose State and UNLV. Tupou did not have any known offers from any other BCS conference schools, but did have reported interest from Utah and Washington. Tupou had previously taken official visits to Nevada and San Jose State before settling on the Buffs. The reason given for Tupour receiving fewer offers is his transfer to Buena Park this past fall, with no film of him as a junior. It may prove fortunate that the Buffs may have gotten Tupou before other schools figured out his potential. “When Josh came in, he didn’t have any film whatsoever,” said Buena Vista head coach Anthony White. “He was off the radar so no schools knew about him. Our coaching staff worked hard to get his name out there, sending film every week. We had [Washington head] coach Steve Sarkisian on our campus (in December, the week Tupou committed to Colorado) to meet with Josh. They just found out about him, but Colorado has been on him for a while and that was a big factor.”

KISIMA JAGNE – DE

Just the facts … Committed December 8th … Jagne is a defensive end prospect from Chandler, Arizona. Jagne is 6’5″, 235-pounds, and reportedly runs an impressive 4.5 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Jagne … Jagne is rated as a three-star player by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has Jagne pegged as the No. 28 strong defensive end in the nation, and the No. 9 player overall out of the state of Arizona this fall. Scout considers Jagne the 54th-best defensive end prospect in the nation. Scout.com rated Jagne as the top defensive lineman prospect in the state of Arizona this fall. Jagne was also recruited as a basketball player, but will concentrate on football at Colorado.

An analyst for Scout had this to say about Jagne: As good looking a prospect from a physical standpoint as you will find. Big, strong and has the length coveted by every college coach. Has the ability to be an every down player at the next level as he is just as stout against the run as he is an efficient pass rusher. Long arms help him get to the quarterback. Can be a dominant force when he wants to, which is his knock, as he does take some plays off.

Tom Lemming had this to say about Jagne: He shows the athletic ability, length, long arms, and burst to become an effective pass rusher in college. Needs to be more consistent but the athletic ability is certainly there.

Jagne had other offers from … A number of other BCS conference schools, including both Arizona schools and both Washington schools from the Pac-12. Jagne also had offers from Michigan State, Purdue, and Oklahoma State. Jagne took an official visit to Arizona State when the Sun Devils crushed the Buffs in Tempe, but took his official visit to Boulder a few weeks later when the Buffs defeated Arizona. Jagne commited to the Buffs on December 8th during an in-home visit with Colorado defensive ends coach Kanavis McGhee.

In his own words … “I can play when I get there,” Jagne told Rivals.com. “They only have two defensive ends there now and just all the coaches (really stood out). I am very fast. I can use my speed or my bull rush to get around offensive linemen”.

 

JOHN STUART – DE

Just the facts … Committed December 5th … Stuart is a defensive end prospect from Westlake Village, California. Stuart is 6’4″, 230-pounds, and reportedly runs a 4.7 in the 40. Stuart is the teammate of fellow CU commit Justin Solis. Rivals bio  Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Stuart … Stuart is rated as a three-star player by Scout, but only a two-star prospect by Rivals. Scout has Stuart as its 97nd-best defensive end prospect in the nation. For the 14-1 Westlake Warriors, who were ranked as the No. 17 team in the nation, Stuart had 46 tackles (25 solo) and seven sacks. Stuart also had four receptions on the season, with three of those four catches going for touchdowns.

Stuart had other offers from … both Arizona schools and Washington State from the Pac-12. Stuart also had a number of offers from west coast mid-major schools like Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico State and San Jose State. Stuart took an official visit to Colorado in September, and to Washington State in November.

In his own words… “After that win against Utah, all of Colorado’s juniors and their underclassmen were getting together and they are motivated to do well next year”, Stuart told BuffStampede.com as to why he committed to Colorado. “And their coaching staff is one of the best. I just feel like I could fit in there really well.

“I feel Justin and I can both go there with a winning mentality and help them build a winning tradition. We know how to win and we just want to spread that around Colorado so our program will be successful.”

DE’JON WILSON – DE

Just the facts … Committed November 28th … Wilson is a defensive end prospect from Washington, D.C. Wilson is 6’3″, 240 pounds, and reportedly runs a 4.68 in the 40. Wilson is the teammate of fellow Woodson commits Kenneth Crawley and John Walker, as well as current Buff Sherrard Harrington. Rivals bio Scout bio  ESPN bio

What others say about Wilson … Wilson is rated as a three-star player by both Scout and Rivals. Scout has Wilson ranked as the 135th-best defensive end prospect in the nation. As a junior, Wilson set school records with 21 sacks and 33 tackles for a loss. He also scored four defensive touchdowns. Wilson added another 22 tackles for loss in his senior year amongst his 48 tackles.

According to Tom Lemming: “He’s a natural pass rusher coming off the edge with strength and purpose. He quickly disengages and shows outstanding closing speed. His high school film has him playing DE most of the time but will wind up playing OLB in college. Just has natural strength and good ball skills but the key to his game is his ability to get to the quarterback.”

A Scout.com evaluation of Wilson had this to say: “Wilson is a stout player who can be versatile in college. He could wind up at a number of spots. He looks like a current college middle backer, but could fill the hybrid DE/OLB role well in college. He runs well and gets after the ball.”

MDHigh.com had this to say about Wilson: “Wilson is a dominant pass rusher who is very potent at the point of attack. He has a strong bull-rush and was able to overwhelm his man on occasion with pure strength and will. Wilson also showed the ability to rip off blocks with violent hands to get to the corner. He’s deft enough to scrape inside and fast enough to loop around and fire in backside. Regardless of which angle he takes, Wilson has good closing speed to the quarterback. In run support, Wilson is a stout defender who stays square to the line of scrimmage and often gives a second and third effort. He’s good at filling lanes and finding ball-carriers in traffic. Wilson is also quick enough to scrape down the line and make plays out on the edge.”

Wilson had other offers from … at least ten other schools, including schools like Illinois, Michigan State, Rutgers and Pittsburgh. Woodson was a Kansas commit, but de-committed when head coach Turner Gill was fired.

In his own words … “I have a bond with (Buffs defensive ends) coach (Kanavis) McGhee,” Wilson told BuffStampede.com, after his commitment. “I talked with Coach McGhee about football and family issues. He has told me all about the school and what he plans on doing with me when I come up there … My best attributes are my strength and my quickness off the ball. Also, the fact that I don’t take plays off,” he said. “Coach McGhee sees that I have the potential to be a great player at the next level. He wants me to come in, get better and grow as a defensive end with the help of his coaching.”

AUSTIN RAY – TE

Just the facts … Committed November 22nd … Ray is a tight end prospect from Columbia, Missouri. Ray is 6’6″, 234-pounds, and reportedly runs a 4.6 in the 40. Rivals bio  Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Ray… Ray is rated as a three-star player by both Rivals and Scout. On the Scout board, Ray is listed as the No. 34 tight end prospect in the nation. Ray had 36 catches for 530 yards and ten touchdowns as an upperclassman. Ray is considered the 15th-best player out of the state of Missouri this season.

According to Tom Lemming: He caught a lot of coaches’ attention with his athletic build and aggressive style of play. As physical as they come when run blocking, he plays in a run oriented offense and shows good hands and the ability to run with the ball after the catch.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about Ray:  Ray displays the tools that could allow him to develop into a productive and well-rounded college tight end. He possesses good overall size for the position. He looks best suited as an in-line tight end in a pro-style type attack. He is an active part of his high schools passing attack and can contribute as a receiver. He displays good hands and the ability to extend and catch the ball before it gets into his frame. He displays good concentration to be able to catch the ball in traffic and also displays good body control to be able to adjust and catch balls that are off target. He is not a field stretching vertical threat, but does run well for his size. He may struggle to separate from more athletic defenders in man coverage, but does run good routes for a tight end at this stage. He is not very elusive after the catch, but does have good size and will fight for yards and can break arm tackles. He is a functional blocker who could be better. He gets hands on and moves his feet. Does a solid job of climbing up to second level. He is more a positional blocker and with his size you would like to see him be a little more dominant as an in-line run blocker. He needs to deliver more of an initial pop and roll his hips and generate better power from his lower body. Ray has some areas to improve on, but can be a good and well-rounded tight end.

Ray had other offers from … Most notably, Mississippi. Ray committed to Ole Miss back in July, but de-committed when Rebel coach Houston Nutt was not retained. Ray reportedly had offers from at least six other BCS conference schools, including Nebraska, Stanford, Louisville, Kansas State, Iowa, and Kentucky. Ray took an official visit to Boulder on November 11th-12th for the Buffs’ home game against Arizona.

In his own words… “Even though he just let Ole Miss know (Monday) that he was de-committing he had been seriously considering Colorado since his official visit there there the weekend before last (for the Arizona game). He just felt like going ahead and committing,” Randy Ray, Austin’s father, told Mississippi Scout. “He cited Head Coach Embree being a former tight end in college and the NFL as being a big influence in his decision along with the possibility of early playing time. Austin went ahead and committed to Coach Embree right after lunch when they spoke on the phone. He wants to be a part of a rebuilding process at Colorado and feels like they are about to be very competitive in the Pac-2 within the next couple of years. I think being a part of the rebuilding process is exciting to him as it was going to be at Ole Miss.”

“Knowing that I could get significant playing time next year as a true freshman is great. It seems like a great opportunity,” Ray told BuffStampede.com when he committed. “They run a pro-style offense and their offensive coordinator (Eric Bieniemy) came from the Vikings so they are running NFL stuff and they are big on using tight ends, so it is nice. Colorado’s coaches were excited when I committed. They were happy that I am going to come down and play for them because they were really hoping to see me as a Buff.”

 

ERICH WILSON – RB/CB – (De-committed Nov. 1st – Committed to Washington)

Decommitment – On November 1st, Erich Wilson de-committed from Colorado, giving his commitment instead to Washington.

According to ESPN … “Erich was up front with Colorado from the start,” Serra coach Pat Walsh said. “He wanted to take some visits and told them earlier this month that he was de-committing and wanted to explore all his options. Washington stepped up and offered Erich. He visited this past weekend and loved it.

“Colorado brought him in as a corner but UW offered as an athlete. He can play corner or running back and is an elite athlete. He has incredible speed and ran a 10.8-100 meters as a sophomore. He’s a great kid and really loves football. He’s a great competitor, and I think he has all the tools to be a real difference maker at the next level.”

Just the facts … Committed August 13th … Wilson is a running back prospect from San Mateo, California. Wilson is 6’1″, 184-pounds, who is reportedly being recruited by Colorado to play cornerback. Rivals bio Scout bio YouTube video

What others say about Wilson … Wilson is not rated by either Rivals or Scout. Wilson is a speedster who ran a 10.81 100-meters in track during his sophomore season two years ago. He told BuffaloSportsNews that he is faster now. Despite missing some action during his junior season due to a shoulder injury, Wilson rushed for more than 1,000 yards and earned all-league honors. He averaged more than 10 yards carry. “At first, Coach Kennedy wanted me to play running back for Colorado but I told him I want to play defense in college,” Wilson told BuffStampede.com. “They said they need corners so that will work.”

Wilson had other offers from … Arizona State from the Pac-12, as well as Indiana from the Big Ten. Other offers were from Colorado State, Idaho, and San Jose State (the Washington offer didn’t come until after Wilson committed to Colorado).

In his own words… Wilson visited Boulder the week before his commitment, then returned home to give his options some thought for a few days before calling CU assistant coach Bobby Kennedy on August 12th to tell him the news. “I went to Colorado and I liked the whole Boulder scene, the whole coaching staff and I enjoyed it a lot,” Wilson said. “I think it will be the place for me to be.” Wilson will be coached by defensive coordinator Greg Brown at CU. He said he is excited by Brown’s track record of producing NFL caliber defensive backs. “I had a talk with him and the other coaches were telling me about him and how he was an NFL coach and has put people in the draft,” Wilson said. “I was excited about that.”

“I definitely think my speed is my best attribute as a football player,” Wilson said. “If I make a mistake, I can make up for it with my speed and my athleticism.”

MA’NE MANAEA – DB (De-committed when asked to gray-shirt; committed to Idaho 1/24/12)

Update – 9/20 – Manaea might best be described as a “soft verbal” … “I am not done with the recruiting process yet,” Manaea told BuffStampede.com. “I said I committed to Colorado but I am still open to everybody else that wants to give me an offer. But for right now I am committed to Colorado and they look pretty good to me and I am just ready to focus on my season.”

Manaea was leaning towards Washington State a few weeks ago, but wasn’t feeling the love. “I felt like Washington State had lost faith in me. They took my scholarship and gave it to somebody else,” Manaea said. “Colorado didn’t do that and by the looks of it, Colorado seems like a good University. I have studied them a lot and watched their games against Hawaii and Cal. I looked at how their defense is run and how they use their safeties and I feel like it will be a good place for me.”

Manaea plans to visit Boulder for the first time the weekend of Oct. 21 when the Buffaloes play host to the Oregon Ducks. “I talked to [Colorado defensive coordinator and secondary] coach [Greg] Brown and [defensive tackles] coach [Mike] Tuiasosopo and they said they are excited for me to come out there,” Manaea said. “I am looking forward to the game experience and getting familiar with the place. I’ve heard it is a nice environment and everyone there works together as a team.”

Just the facts … Committed September 14th … Manaea is a defensive back prospect from Lakewood, Washington. Manaea is 5’11”, 185-pounds, and runs a 4.5 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio YouTube highlights ESPN bio

What others say about Manaea … Manaea is rated a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals has Manaea as the 15th-best overall player out of the state of Washington, while Scout has Manaea as the 94th-best safety prospect in the nation. Manaea was named the co-defensive back MVP at the All-Poly camp this past summer. He plays both outside linebacker and rover for Lakes, but projects as a safety for college. Manaea is also a wide receiver for The Lakes high school, and had three touchdowns on only four receptions in the season opener, covering 120 yards. “Well I made the catches so I thought I would just make the most of them,” laughed Manaea to Washingtonpreps.com, who described Manaea as “always gracious”.  He would have likely scored more, but his team won in a rout. “It was tough,” Manaea said. “I came in early and left early. We put 35 straight points on Evergreen in like 5 minutes and we all went out. So I am aching for more.”

Manaea had other offers from … only Washington State, though many other Pac-12 schools showed interest, including Washington, both Oregon schools, and UCLA. Manaea also had interest from Air Force, which is a fair indication that he will not be an eligibility risk (Manaea reports a 3.4 GPA).

In his own words … “This was a family decision. We love the (Colorado) staff and they have shown nothing but the highest level of interest in me,” Manaea said upon his commitment, confirming an October 22nd official visit date. “The coaches at Colorado gave me room and let me know the were keeping me in their hearts. So I thought why not keep them in mine.” Of his style of play, Manaea said, “A lot of the colleges I talked to said they like my aggression and my instincts for the ball,” Manaea said. “I am good in pursuit. And I have good footwork, which helps me a lot when I am in coverage.”

Back in July, Manaea had this to say about Colorado – “Colorado seems like a good program,” Manaea said. “I watched Jimmy Smith play there. He was a first-round pick so that made me feel like I would have potential to play in the NFL if I went there to play defensive back. I think Colorado would be a good fit. I have watched their program here and there. I like the competition level that they go up against there. They play a lot of great teams.”

ZAHEER WEBB – DL

UPDATE – 9/15/11 – Zaheer Webb is not yet a Colorado commit. He does not yet have an offer from Colorado. One issue may be that Webb has not yet taken the SAT, and is not yet qualified …

Just the facts … Committed September 14th … Webb is a defensive tackle prospect from Lakewood, Washington. Webb is 6’3″, and checks in at 320-pounds.  Rivals bio Scout bio YouTube highlights ESPN bio

What others say about Webb … Webb is unrated by Rivals, but is considered a two-star prospect by Scout, which also considers Webb to be the 111th-best defensive tackle prospect nationally. Webb earned second-team all-league honors during his junior season. He starts both ways for Lakes at nose guard on defense and offensive guard.

Webb had other offers from … no other schools, though all of the Pac-12 schools in the northwest – Oregon, Washington, Oregon State, and Washington State showed interest, as did Utah. Webb still has to take the SAT to qualify, but hopes to do so before October 22nd, so that he can take an official visit with his teammate, Ma’ne Manaea.

In his own words … “I also verbally committed to Colorado,” Webb told BuffStampede.com, joining his teammate Ma’ne Manaea. “Mainly just knowing that I can go out there and help the team and have an opportunity to play as a true freshman is what sold me. I just woke up today (September 14th) and decided that is going to be the best thing for me. Ma’ne and I kind of decided it together. We talked about it and Colorado sounded good for us because we both want to play early in college and going out there together would be a real good thing for us.” As for his style of play, “Colorado likes that I am big and I move pretty well for my size,” Webb said. “I am explosive.”

TERRENCE CROWDER – RB

Just the facts … Committed June 13th … Crowder is a running back prospect from Galena Park, Texas. Crowder is 5’10″, 212-pounds, and runs a 4.48 in the 40. Rivals bio YouTube highlight video Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Crowder … Crowder is rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals, and a three-start prospect by Scout. Crowder is listed as the No. 96 running back in the nation by Scout.

Just five carries into his senior season, Crowder tore his ACL, and was lost for the season. Crowder had his surgery in September, and began rehab in October. Crowder will likely be limited in his participation in fall camp, and will likely, barring injuries to other backs, be a red-shirt candidate in 2012.

In his junior year, Crowder rushed for 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns, helping his team to a 7-4 record. Crowder was named first-team all-district in his junior season. “Terrence is a big kid at 5-foot-10, 212-pounds and he is extremely strong,” Ray Zepeda, Crowder’s high school coach, told BuffStampede.com. “He is a 315-pound bench presser. And his ability to run through tackles and combine that with a little bit of shiftiness as well, a little bit of a burst, it is a combination that you don’t see in too many big backs. He can get around the corner when he has to but obviously his natural strength is getting his pads turned north and south and getting vertical. But he does have the burst and the top-end speed to get away from people and run around the corner as well and I think that is what makes him an attractive Division-1 running back recruit.”

Crowder had other offers from … only a handful of schools. Crowder did have scholarship offers from Texas-San Antonio, North Texas, and Louisiana-Lafayette, though Crowder’s coach believed that other offers were imminent. “He had some other offers and he is still getting a lot of attention from some of the Big 12 schools without a formal offer,” said Zepeda last summer, before Crowder’s injury. “I know that Nevada was real interested in him as well. He is a kid that rushed for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. We have a pretty good amount of coaches that come through our campus each year but in particular, we had quite a few this spring come through and I think that they were very pleased with what they saw in Terrence, both on film and in person. His stock is rising. I think that Colorado got in there early to their benefit and I think that has a lot to do with the decision that he has made. I think that he would have seen quite a few more offers come through for him.”

In his own words … “Colorado said they love the way I run the ball,” Crowder told BuffStampede.com just before he committed. “They think I could be someone that could come in and help lead them to being a dominant team in the Pac-12 … I am an up-field runner. I don’t run to the side, but rather between the tackles and up the field. I am working on my blocking right now because my coaches said that is something I need to improve on.”

On his rehabiliation after surgery … “They (the CU coaching staff) told me they are committed to me and they can’t wait for me to get out there,” Crowder said. “I will go through my rehab, head out there and hopefully get to play a little bit next year.”

JEROMY IRWIN – OL

Just the facts … Committed August 28th … Irwin plays guard in high school, but projects as an offensive tackle. Irwin is from Cypress, Texas, and is 6’5″, 290-pounds. For a big man, Irwin moves fairly well, running a 5.0 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio  ESPN bio

What others say about Irwin … Irwin is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. He is rated by Scout to be the No. 89 offensive tackle in the nation. Irwin was recognized by Tom Lemming as being one of the top 25 defensive tackles in the state of Texas.

Irwin had other offers from … at least ten schools, including Boise State, Louisville, Wake Forest, and Rice. Other schools reported to have interest in the twins include Arkansas, LSU, and TCU. As the Irwins wanted to be a package deal, the number of offers may have been more limited than they would have otherwise. This fall, Oregon offered Irwin, but the brothers would have none of it. “Jeromy actually got a new offer from Oregon but he is not considering it. We’re true to our word,”Sean told BuffStampede.com in November. “It is really bad for your reputation if you commit to something and don’t follow through. When we committed to Colorado, we decided that was the place for us, even if other schools decided to offer. Of course some big schools offer after the season starts, but Jeromy and I decided we would pick Colorado over any other schools that might offer.”

In his own words … “I would definitely say that I would take education over a good football program. Education gets you further in life,” Jeromy Irwin told InsideTheUtes.com. “I’m just looking for a school that has a good educational program. If the football team is good on top of that, it’s just a bonus.” Jeromy would also like a school that runs the ball, which he feels feeds his biggest strength. “The run game is my strength. I really like to get out and push people backwards.”

As for Jeromy’s style of play? “They like his athleticism and coordination,” Sean told BuffStampede.com about his brother. “They like how he can keep his feet when he pulls. You see a lot of linemen get tripped up and go down, but Jeromy can catch himself and keeps his feet and finishes the play. He’s athletic and really a big guy without any fat on his body.”

SEAN IRWIN – TE

Just the facts … Committed August 28th … Irwin is a tight end prospect from Cypress, Texas. Irwin is 6’4″, 220-pounds, and has a 4.85 recorded time in the 40 (Sean claims he can run a 4.7). Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others say about Irwin … Irwin is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. He is rated by Scout to be the No. 39 tight end in the nation.

In the Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 state championships this past summer, Sean Irwin was rated as the “top weapon” in the competition. However, Sean fractured his fibula during two-a-days in August, and was out for nine weeks. According to Tom Lemming: “He shows good hands, is a solid blocker, has a great frame, should weigh 250 in college, and is athletic enough to remain at the position. He does a good job of catching the ball away from his body and turns up field quickly. A proven run blocker, he will stay with his blocks until the whistle.” Irwin finally got back onto the field in November for the Bobcats, who went 12-1 this past season. “It had been a while since I played in the game, it had been a while since I hit people that hard, so it felt good,” said Irwin last November. “I was happy to be on the field participating.”

Irwin had other offers from … at least ten schools, including Boise State, Louisville, Wake Forest, and Rice. Other schools reported to have interest in the twins include Arkansas, LSU, and TCU. As the Irwins wanted to be a package deal, the number of offers may have been more limited than they would have otherwise. The Irwins were recruited by Kanavis McGhee, who used his Houston roots to secure  the Houston area natives. “I wouldn’t have committed if I wasn’t committed,” Sean said after the brothers took their official visit in September. “I just don’t think you are much of a man if you commit to something and then back off and go somewhere else. My mom told me once I commit to something, I need to do it and finish it.”

In his own words … “They have a great coaching staff,” Sean told BuffStampede.com in July. “We like the coaches and everything we’ve heard so far has a good feel to it and sounds interesting … Coach McGhee says they like the way we play. We just go out there and get the job done. We don’t lead by doing a lot of talking. We just do what we have to do for the team on the field. We’re both physical players, and they like that about us.”

Another reason Colorado likes the Irwin brothers is they’re already well schooled in a pro-style offense similar to what Colorado is playing now under new head coach Jon Embree, a former Washington Redskins assistant. “At Cy-Fair, we run out of an I-formation 80 percent of the time,” Sean said. “We don’t play any spread offense. We run a tailback, a fullback and run the tight ends tight. We run power traps and counters and smash it down their throats. We definitely prefer playing in a pro-style offense.”

As a tight end, Sean says McGhee likes him for his versatility. He’s phyiscal enough to line up next to the tackle and quick enough to get wide on pass patterns. “They like how I can get down on the ground and hit someone, but I can still go out and get a pass,” he said. “They like my speed and size. I might not be as tall as some tight ends but I play with good leverage when I am blocking and I can also get out catch the ball effectively when given the chance. I run a 4.7 so I have good speed for my size,” he explained. “Colorado said that they think I will fit in well because some of their tight ends are one-dimensional. I can kind of be a dual-threat guy for them. I can do both.”

DAVIEN PAYNE – RB

Just the facts … Committed July 9th, then really committed August 9th … Payne is a running back prospect from Perrius, California. Payne is 6’0″, 212-pounds. Payne reportedly runs a 4.6 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio YouTube highlights ESPN bio

What others had to say about Payne … Payne is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Payne is seen by Rivals to be the 46th-best running back in the nation; while Scout rates Payne to be the 57th-best running back in the nation.

For the 12-1 Citrus Hill Hawks (playing in a lower division), Payne had 171 carries for 1,559 yards and 28 touchdowns. Payne also had eight catches for 182 yards. “Davien is a big, strong, downhill runner with real good agility and real good vision,” said Citrus Hill head coach Eric Zomalt. “He can hit it inside and outside. We knew early on when he joined our team that physically he can do some things.” Here’s what a Rivals scout had to say about Payne: “Payne is cut from a slightly larger mold than former Citrus Hill-great, Deontae Cooper (now a sophomore at Washington), but the otherworldly production is still there. As a junior, Payne rushed 318 times for 1,928 yards and 27 touchdowns. Some will say that Payne played against a lower level of competition, and while that’s true, there’s no doubting the talent this 5-foot-11, 215-pound back possesses. UCLA, Arizona State and Washington have offered, and USC is interested”.

Payne had other offers from … Nebraska, as well as from at least five other Pac-12 schools, including both Washington schools, UCLA, and both Arizona schools. Throughout much of the summer, though, the leader for Payne’s services, was Boise State. After his commitment to Colorado this past summer, however, Payne has been a solid commit. Payne reportedly fell in love with the “family atmosphere” at Colorado during an unofficial visit to Boulder last summer. “Colorado is just where I want to be. They were real with me from the beginning,” said the soft-spoken Payne. “I will fit in great there.”

In his own words … “I started playing football in 8th grade was told I would never be good enough, make varsity, earn a scholarship, or anything like that” said Payne. “Well, now look at my offers and those that said that to me don’t have any. I’m obviously doing something right.”

 

VICTOR IROKANSI – DE (Decommitted July 28th – Committed to Oklahoma State)

Just the facts … Committed July 12th … Irokansi is a defensive end prospect from Pflugerville, Texas. Irokansi is 6’3″, 220-pounds, and can run a 4.7 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio 

What others had to say about Irokansi … Irokansi is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Irokansi is seen by Scout as the 62nd-best defensive end in the nation. A columnist for Orangebloods.com, which rates Irokansi as the 47th-best overall prospect out of Texas this cycle, had this to say: “Irokansi is an interesting prospect to say the least, because on paper there’s no reason why he shouldn’t rank among the best prospects in the entire state. A legit 6-3/6-4, 215+pounds, Irokansi is a plus-athlete that brings top-shelf pass rushing upside at his very best, but at his worst he’s a still developing player that sometimes disappears from games, isn’t strong at the point of attack and probably still has a ways to go before he’s ready to be an every down player at the next level. Still, we’re talking about a kid with sub 4.6 speed and a 33-inch vertical. As an athlete, there’s a lot to work with. The thing you cannot teach is an elite-level burst, great closing speed and incredible upside. You either have that or you don’t, and this is a kid that has some of all three to work with.”

Meanwhile, an analyst for Scout.com had this evaluation of Irokansi: “Solid sized defensive-end, he has good speed and can chase down the ball from behind or blitz into the backfield and force an early pass. Needs to get bigger to take on the blocker better. His speed allows him to go from one side of the field to another and wreck havoc. Biggest strength is on the pass rush at this point.”

Irokansi had other offers from… Army, Iowa State, and New Mexico. Prior to his commitment, though, Irokansi was being recruited by Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma, and was drawing interest from Rice, UCLA, and Texas A&M. “(Colorado was) my best offer right now and I really like the place,” Irokansi told BuffStampede.com, even though he has yet to visit Boulder. “I did a lot of research on it and it’s just somewhere that I can really see myself playing. I decided to commit. I was just at the point where I was like, ‘Well, what am I waiting for?'”.

In his own words… Irokansi called Colorado defensive ends coach Kanavis McGhee to tell his new coach about his commitment to become a Buff. “I called him up (July 12th) and told him I wanted to commit and he was ecstatic about it,” Irokansi said. “I just feel great about it. (Coach McGhee’s) a down-to-earth guy. He’s from Texas. He’s from Houston. He played at Colorado and now he’s back coaching at Colorado. I mean, he’s a Texas boy and now he’s living in Colorado. Something about it has to be good. He’s from Houston. Why didn’t he come back to Houston? He’s at Colorado right now and he loves it and I can relate to him because we’re both from Texas.”

PEYTON WILLIAMS – WR

Just the facts … Committed July 14th … Williams is a wide receiver prospect from Southlake, Texas. Williams is 6’1″, 185-pounds, and runs a 4.5 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others had to say about Williams … Williams is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, but only a two–star prospect by Scout.  As a senior, Williams, before being injured, had 81 catches for 1,064 yards and ten touchdowns. Williams’ Carroll Dragons went 16-0 and was ranked as the No. 14 team nationally (Williams was injured in the first quarter of the state semi-finals). Last May, Williams’ 4×400 relay team captured a state championship. “I had a low 48 in my split, which wasn’t my best, but we won with a time of 3:13,” Williams said.

Williams had other offers from … a diverse collection of schools, including Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Memphis, Tulsa, Wyoming, and North Texas. Other schools reportedly showing interest were Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa and West Virgnia. Why Colorado? Thank CU wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy. “I call Coach Kennedy every week,” Williams told BuffStampede.com back in April. “I love Coach Kennedy. He was at Texas, now he is there. Colorado seems like a really cool place.”

In his own words … “My personality is that I’m not satisfied with anything,” Williams told Patherlair.com. “I’m trying to work on everything. I’m not happy with anything yet.” As far as his game skills, Williams told BuffStampede.com: “I am not afraid to go across the middle and make plays and I am a good blocker. I like to think I have the whole package.”

Concerning his knee injury … “I had surgery (in early January) and it went really, really well,” Williams told BuffStampede.com. “The doctors were very pleased and very impressed with how it went. I started rehab that next week so I am already into that. It feels good. You just sit there for a while and you sulk and stuff but now I have the surgery over with, that is a big step, and now I have the rehab, standing up and walking and all those steps. Every day it is getting better.”

Some Colorado fans wondered if Williams might grayshirt and join the Buffs next spring. Williams says that has never been discussed. Not only does Williams not see himself as a grayshirt candidate, he is not even looking at a red-shirt season in 2012. “Well, I’m anticipating I’ll be full go (for fall), but, you know, they say about six months,” Williams told BuffaloSportsNews.net. “But I’m not like most people. I’m going to work a lot harder. So I’ll probably heal a lot faster I’m assuming.”

 

JUSTIN SOLIS – DT

Just the facts … Committed July 13th … Solis is a defensive tackle prospect from Westlake Village, California. Solis is 6’3, 287-pounds, and runs a 4.9 in the 40. Rivals bio  Scout bio YouTubehighlights ESPN bio

What others had to say about Solis … Solis is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals ranks Solis as 45th-best defensive tackle prospect in the nation, and the 97th-best overall prospect out of the state of California. Scout lists Solis as the No. 36 defensive tackle in the country.

This past fall, for a 14-1 Westlake Village team which was ranked as the No. 17 team in the nation, Solis had 102 tackles (61 solo) and seven sacks. Solis was named the Ventura County Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Marmonte League Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2010. He was also an all-state and all-CIF selection. In his junior year, Solis had 99 tackles, including over 20 tackles for loss and ten sacks.

A Scout.com player evaluation had this to say about the Buffs’ new defensive tackle: “Solis has a quick first step and does a good job taking on numerous blockers to enable the linebackers to get into the backfield. Very good in stopping the run.” Under Strengths, the scout listed intensity and effort, quickness off the ball, and overall strength. As a weakness, the scout listed “techniques and moves”. Solis seems to agree with the last assessment. “I want to improve on my agility and speed,” Solis told BuffaloSportsNews.com back in March. “That’s what I want to work on most because we’re changing up our defense this year. Last year it was more like, hold the line and control the gaps. This year we’re doing more, play the run on the way to the quarterback. So I want to get in better shape and get a little bit faster and quicker.”

Solis had other offers from … half of the Pac-12, including UCLA, Arizona, Utah and Washington. Solis also had offers from Boise State, Georgia Tech, Iowa State and Nevada. After his official visit to CU in September, Solis did not take any other official visits.

In his own words… “When I first started playing football, I was just having fun. I didn’t know I was going to take it this far,” Solis told BuffStampede.com when he committed this past summer. “In the last couple years, I started to realize that it is going to give me an opportunity to get a free college education and be successful in my future. It has been a blessing.” Solis committed in July, and took his official visit with teammate John Stuart, who later also committed to Colorado. “The fans were loud and it was a really good game,” Solis told BuffStampede.com of the Cal game in September. “I was already solid in my commitment but the trip just solidified it. Boulder is the place I want to be.”

GERALD THOMAS – WR / KR

Just the facts … Committed July 5th … Thomas is a wide receiver prospect from The Colony, Texas. Thomas is 5’10”, 175-pounds. Thomas reportedly runs a 4.37 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio ESPN bio

What others had to say about Thomas … Thomas is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Thomas is rated by Scout to be the No. 148 wide receiver prospect in the nation.

For a 4-6 team this past fall, Thomas had 30 catches for 735 yards and seven touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 71 passes for 1,185 yards and 12 touchdowns. “I think my season could have gone a lot better,” Thomas acknowledged. “I got triple teamed and we didn’t pass the ball as much as we did my junior year.” Thomas’ 4.37 in the 40 was timed at TCU’s camp this past summer. After the camp in Dallas, this is what PurpleMenace.com had to say about Thomas: “Gerald Thomas displayed plenty of speed … He’s a Jeremy Kerley starter kit (Kerley was a star receiver for TCU in 2010, collecting 56 passes for 575 yards and ten touchdowns. Kerley also had 388 yards on punt returns and 527 yards returning kickoffs), not as bulky but a little taller and silky smooth in his route running. Prior to the start of camp, Thomas told Purplemenace.com that the coaches wanted to see how fast he could run. Thomas didn’t disappoint as he sprinted his way to a 4.37, good for third best on the day. He also had a 35-inch vertical, also one of the top numbers on the day. But, let’s get back to his route running. Thomas was the most impressive of the group. He did have a few drops, but there’s no denying that he has plenty of talent and could make a splash at TCU at the slot, ala Kerley. There’s a good reason eleven programs have offered The Colony receiver.”

Thomas had other offers from … at least ten other schools. From the Pac-12, there were offers from both of the Arizona schools. From the Big 12 came offers from Iowa State and Kansas. Iowa and Minnesota from the Big Ten had also extended offers.

In his own words … “My speed and quickness help separate me from the average high school receiver, and my competitiveness also separates me. I want to win every game,” Thomas told BuffStampede.com. “I want to go undefeated. I am great in one-on-one matchups and my route running has gotten a lot better since my sophomore year. “I used to play running back and I think that helps me as a receiver, too. After I catch the ball, I turn into a running back. I can make people miss in the open field. Every time I have the ball in my hands, I have a chance to score.”

Of his official visit in December, Thomas told BuffStampede.com, “Everyone I talked to said I was going to love it out here and I took them at their word but it was nice to see how beautiful Boulder and the University is with my own two eyes. I wish I was still up there in Boulder right now. Their coaches are real cool and laid back. They are good people, so are the players. I just loved the atmosphere and tried to soak it all up”.

One plus: Thomas won’t have to get used to a new set of school colors … “I was black and gold in middle school, black and gold in high school, and now in college,” Thomas told Scout.com. “Now I have to go on and play for the Saints, so I can keep it going!” Few Buff fans would be upset if, five years from now, Thomas is suiting up for the New Orleans Saints …

 

GERRAD KOUGH – OL

Just the facts … Committed July 1st … Kough is an offensive line prospect from Pomona, California. Kough is 6’4″, 265-pounds. Rivals bio  Scout bio YouTube highlights ESPN bio

What others had to say about Kough… Kough is considered a two-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Kough plays tackle for Pomona, but is being recruited by Colorado to play guard, and is considered by Scout to be the No. 102 offensive guard prosect in the nation.

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Eric Bieniemy was responsible for Kough’s recruitment from the Buffaloes’ staff. Kough had also been in contact with head coach Jon Embree and offensive line coach Steve Marshall. Here is what an ESPN analyst had to say about Kough: “Kough is a tough run blocker who displays the upper body playing strength to dominate his present level of opponent. Has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. Will need to work on initial quickness and explosion as well as adding body mass to his frame. Playing out of a three point stance we detect some hip and ankle stiffness however it does not appear to affect his ability to play on his feet in space; comes off the ball aggressively but too high when establishing initial contact; does tend to narrow his base but is able to get movement and sustain due to his persistent leg drive. Flashes good pull around ability; we see the potential to set the edge and maintain leverage on “5” technique defenders. With improved initial quickness and pad level we see the potential to consistently get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. Additional body mass along with the nasty finishing attitude this guy plays with, we see a lineman capable of making the necessary run blocks at the next level. Flashes nimble feet and along with his arm length and quick hands he should be an effective pass pro blocker. Shows the ability to quick set but must work on bend and balance; plays too high and gets caught up on his toes at times. Demonstrates good initial punch and placement, working to re-locate the hands inside the frame. Kough does not appear to be an immediate starter at the BCS level of play, rather a prospect in need of some time and perhaps a red shirt year to grow physically, improve his athleticism while polishing his technical skills.”

Kough had other offers from … only Army and Portland State. However, Kough was drawing interest from Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Fresno State. “Since I committed (in July), it has just been Colorado that I have been talking to,” Kough told BuffStampede.com. “Colorado said they like me because I am a good run blocker and I have good feet. They want me to come in and compete at (offensive) guard.”

In his own words… “Colorado said they like me because I finish, I play through the whistle,” said Kough. As to his official visit in December, Kough told Scout.com. “It was real nice and real pretty out there. All the facilities were real nice and it’s just a real nice school and the best one I’ve been to.” Kough was hosted on his visit by Alex Lewis but also spent a lot of time with Jered Bell, his former teammate at Colony HS in Ontario.”I got to talk a lot with Jared,” said Kough. Kough also got to talk at length with offensive line coach Steve Marshall. “We had a position meeting with Coach Marshall,” said Kough. “They’re talking most likely guard or maybe center for me. There is a good chance I can play early.”

 

JEFFREY THOMAS – WR

Just the facts … Committed June 18th … Thomas is a wide receiver prospect from Duncanville, Texas. Thomas is 6’3″, 180-pounds, and runs a 4.66 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio YouTube video highlights ESPN bio

What others say about Thomas … Thomas is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. Scout rates Thomas to be the 117th-best wide receiver in the nation. For a 7-4 Duncanville high team this past fall, Thomas led the team with 59 receptions for 899 yards and 12 touchdowns. One report from Scout.com had this to say about Thomas: “Thomas is a big receiver with long arms who uses his body effectively to shield defenders from the ball. He will work the middle of the field and will make the sound catches. Because of the style of his game he will thrive once he gets in to college and starts to add on weight with maturity and conditioning.”

An Orangebloods.com’s scout had to say about Thomas: “I don’t know why things haven’t completely come together for the 6-3, 180-pound Thomas because he’s a guy that at his best has some absolute star upside as a receiver. Obviously, the kid has size, but he’s a guy that has flashed really good ball skills and big-play upside in his time at Duncanville. What you like about Thomas a big-play receiver is that he can stretch the field and go up to get the football. But he also has a little shake and bake after the catch that makes him a difficult player to defend in space. The knock on Thomas is that he’s not a burner and it’s fair to say that he’ll have average speed as a college receiver … At this point, he’s a work in progress, but there’s a lot there to work with. When we talk about three star prospects with four-star upside, he’s a perfect example.”

Thomas had other offers from … a number of schools, but only one other from a BCS conference school, Iowa State. Thomas did also hold offers from schools like Boise State, Memphis, Tulsa, Wyoming and North Texas. Thomas had attracted attention from Georgia, Cal, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Texas A&M.

In his own words … Colorado used wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy’s seven years of service as the recruiting coordinator at Texas to its advantage. “I met (coach Kennedy) at a Texas camp and when he changed schools he kept up with me,” Thomas told BuffStampede.com. “He came out to spring ball (in May) and offered me on the spot. I was excited about that.”
Thomas said he’s intrigued by Colorado and the prospect of playing in the Pac-12. He also likes the idea of playing in a pro-style offense. “I think my biggest strength is my ability to go up and make plays, I’d consider myself a physical receiver and I definitely like to use my size and strength to my advantage,”  Thomas told the OldCoach.com, who says he wants to improve his straight line speed and his route running this summer.

“Out of all the schools that I talked to and possibly could get an offer from, Colorado just had everything right to offer and I see no downside to it. Now was a better time than ever,” Thomas told BuffStampede.com. “When I committed, I talked to every coach on their staff and they all loved me and can’t wait to get me out there. They were excited.” Thomas grew up in the Richmond area of Northern California. He moved to the Lone Star State prior to seventh grade. “I have a lot of family still out there in California and they can come see me play in the Pac-12,” Thomas said. “I wanted to play in the Pac-12 my whole life. Knowing that I am going to play against USC and Oregon and all those schools, it is just great.”

 

SHANE DILLON – QB

Just the facts … Committed May 12th … Dillon is a quarterback from El Cajon, California. Dillon is 6’5″, 185-pounds, and can run a 4.6 in the 40. Rivals bio Scout bio  You Tube highlights from Dillon’s junior year ESPN bio

What others say about Dillon … Dillon is considered a three-star quarterback prospect by Scout, is listed as a member of the Scout 300 nationally, and is rated as the No. 28 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country. Rivals last summer rated Dillon as a four-star prospect, and has Dillon listed amongst its Top 250 nationally (No. 227). Dillon then slipped out of the Top 250, and was dropped to a three-star candidate. Rivals rated Dillon as its 13th-highest rated pro-style quarterback.

In 2011, in leading his team to an 10-3 record, Dillon posted 2,873 yards passing yards, with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Dillon also had seven touchdowns rushing. Dillon threw for 315 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as he led El Cajon (Calif.) Christian to a 32-29 victory over Santa Fe Christian in the CIF San Diego Section Division V championship game. His 82-yard touchdown strike to Phillip George with 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winning points.

A Scout.com player evaluation by Scott Kennedy notes that Dillon is “tall and still thin, but has a quick release and a live arm. Despite his lack of overall size, Dillon shows toughness and the ability to stand tall in the pocket. He’s not a zone-read guy. He’s a drop-back, sling it guy,” Christian offensive coordinator and athletic director David Beezer told AztecSportsReport.com, “He manages games well, he’s excellent in the two-minute drill and he’s a team leader.”

Dillon had other offers from … a good number of schools, including Arizona, Cincinnati, Florida State, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt. Dillon made the rounds this spring, including a trip to Boulder in April. “It was my first trip to Colorado and I loved it. It was cool,” Dillon told BuffStampede.com on April 22nd. “[Colorado quarterbacks] coach [Rip] Scherer told me I was definitely a guy they would offer straight up just from watching my film, but they wanted to get me out there to talk to me in person. I took the trip out there with my dad and my brother and they offered. I loved the campus at Colorado. I love that it is a compact campus right by the mountains. It is beautiful. And [Buffs head] coach [Jon] Embree is way cool. He gave us a great tour. He made us feel like we were part of the family. So that was really great.”

There were some that speculated that Dillon might change his commitment after Colorado accepted Texas transfer Connor Wood. Not the case. “A lot of people have been asking me about it,” Dillon told BuffaloSportsNews.net in October. “Actually I kind of like the fact that they brought in a kid from Texas who is a pretty good guy off the field and a good guy on the field, and someone that is going to bring in some competition. Competition brings out the best in you. I kind of like the fact that I’m going to have to go in there and work for my job and earn it.”

 

TYLER HENINGTON – DT

Just the facts … Committed March 23rd – Henington is a defensive tackle prospect from Mullen high in Denver, Colorado. Henington is 6’3″, 282-pounds. Rivals bio Scout bio  ESPN bio

What others say about Henington … Henington is rated as a three-star recruit prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Rivals sees Hennington as the 8th-best player in the state of Colorado this fall, while Scout rates Henington as the No. 63 defensive tackle in the nation. Henington is rated as the fourth-best in-state prospect by ColoradoPrepReport.com. In 2010, Henington had 114 tackles and a team-high 11 sacks for the undefeated state champions. Henington had 118 tackles and 12 sacks during his senior season, at the conclusion of which, Henington was selected by the Denver Post as the top defensive player in the state. “I was just relentless, I always had my motor going and was always running around trying to make a play,” Henington told BuffStampede.com. “I felt like my technique got a lot better this year, too, but my relentlessness was the top thing that helped me win defensive player of the year.”

Henington is a three-sport athlete who also competes in wrestling and track and field. Henington’s father, Troy, played defensive tackle at Texas Tech, and his mother ran track for the Red Raiders. Henington’s grandfather played collegiately at New Mexico, and was drafted by the NFL.

PrepColorado.com was impressed with Henington. “Review of Henington’s game reveals a player that has the ability to move around the defense,” wrote Jeff Stroud. “This potential diversity could allow Henington to stay on the field in odd and even defensive fronts. In each spot, the successful high school wrestler uses leverage and good hand work to take on blockers and make tackles or create opportunities for tackles. The most intriguing aspect of Henington’s game is his ability to get a pass rush from across the defensive line. Although very strong against the run, Henington uses a good first step and a nonstop motor to get push and go after the passer.”

Henington had other offers from … several other schools, including Syracuse, Texas Tech and UCLA.  A number of other schools, including Colorado State, Utah, Indiana, Michigan, Syracuse, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Oregon all showed some form of early recruiting interest in Henington, but Henington committed early, and has stuck with his commitment. Henington took his official visit to Boulder on December 9th. “I don’t see really any reason to take other visits,” Henington told BuffStampede.com after he returned home from his official visit to CU. “Anybody in the state who is not going to CU is crazy in my opinion.”

In his own words …  ”I’ve always wanted to go to CU,” Henington told the Denver Post when he committed. “My dad’s had a CU hat on me since I was five.” Henington was offered a scholarship before the start of spring practice, and had the opportunity to meet with coaches and watch practice. “I really liked what I saw,” said Henington. “I talked with (defensive line) coach (Mike) Tuiasosopo and (defensive coordinator Greg) Brown, and head coach (Jon) Embree, and they’re all great guys, and it seems like it’s going to be a great program.

“I talked to my parents and I knew it was the right move,” said Henington. “My dad and I have always been CU fans. I talked with my Mullen coaches. CU is a great school, and I decided to commit early and save myself a spot.”

Henington is projected to play on the interior of the defensive line, and that is not a problem for the third generation Division 1 football player. “Coach (Mike Tuiasosopo) said I’ll be an inside guy, and that’s where I feel most comfortable,” Henington told BuffStampede.com last spring. “I’m a little to big to be a defensive end, and I feel more comfortable taking up space inside … When I went up for (spring practices), I could see coach Tua is a great coach and a great guy. He’s not out there cussing at you. He tells you what you need to know, and also gets you fired up. I’m excited to play for him.”

BENJAMIN CATALON – RB – (Decommitted May 12th – committed to TCU)

Just the facts … Committed March 14th … Catalon is a running back prospect from Westside high in Houston, Texas. Catalon is 5’8″, 185-pounds, runs a 4.4 in the 40, reports a 3.5 GPA and plans on graduating early so as to enroll for classes in the spring of 2012. His given name is Benjamin, but he usually goes by the nicknames “Dan” or “D.J.”.   Rivals bio Scout bio  YouTube videos (multiple)

What others say about Catalon … Catalon is considered to be a three-star prospect by Scout, and is not yet rated by Rivals.  Texags, a Texas A&M site affiliated with ESPN, rates Catalon as the 10th-best running back out of the state of Texas in the Class of 2012, and one of its top 84 players. Catalon was named his District’s Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, when he rushed for 253 yards and four touchdowns on only 18 carries (14.1 yards per carry). Catalon also had eight receptions as a sophomore, going for two more scores (and a 21.6 yards per catch average). As a junior, Catalon finished with 115 carries for 1,116 yards and 14 touchdowns, adding 245 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions.

Catalon had other offers from … Missouri and Baylor had already offered, and Catalon had interest from a number of Big 12 schools, as well as USC and Oregon from the Pac-12. Catalon went to the junior days at both TCU and Baylor in the two weekends before making his commit to Colorado. Catalon committed early, but seems comfortable with his commit. “I’m very strong to Colorado,” Catalon told SuperPrep.com. “I can’t think of another school taking their place, but I am still going to be listening to other schools and what their coaches have to tell me.” Catalon has committed to Colorado, even though he has never been to Boulder. “I will get to watch their spring game”, Catalon told BuffStampede.com. “I have had family that has been out there to visit. I have also had teachers that have been out there. Everyone says it is great; they all really liked the area. So I know I am going to like it, too.” Catalon was not only willing to commit to Colorado sight unseen, but he has plans on getting up to Boulder as soon as possible. “I am going to graduate from high school early, so all along I wanted to figure out where I was going to go to for college before the summer started. I will enroll at Colorado next January.”

In his own words … “I can catch the ball out the backfield pretty well,” said Catalon. “I have good vision and quickness. Those things separate me, as well as my acceleration.” As to his choice of schools, Catalon said, ” Colorado has a lot to offer. Their program seems to have a lot of support. They have a new coaching staff. They are switching to a new conference. They definitely seem like they are on the rise. I also like that they are good academically.”

 

CLAY NORGARD – FB

Just the facts … Committed February 17th … Norgard is a defensive tackle who will likely be moved to linebacker or fullback in college. Norgard is from Mountain Vista high in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Norgard is 6’2″, 245-pounds, runs a 4.54 in the 40, and carries a 3.3 GPA. Rivals bio Scout bio 2010 YouTube highlight video ESPN bio

What others say about Norgard … Norgard is not yet rated by either Scout or Rivals, but is likely to be a four-star player when the ratings come out. When the Rivals top 15 prospect rating for the state of Colorado were announced, Norgard was listed as the No. 6 prospect in the state. As a junior, Norgard was one of only six juniors in the state to be named to the All-Colorado team. In 2010, Norgard had 100 tackles, including 26 for loss and 14 sacks – in ten games. As a sophomore in 2009, Norgard was an All-District player (the only sophomore named to the team), and was the only sophomore starter on his team. While a star along the defensive line in high school, Norgard will likely become a linebacker at Colorado. “I am not quite tall enough or heavy enough to be a top level defensive line recruit,” Norgard told BuffStampede.com. “But I am definitely fast enough and definitely strong enough, and I have good football instincts and know how to get to the ball at linebacker … I think linebacker is the perfect spot for me. I am working with my dad on improving my top end speed.” Norgard’s dad is a familiar name to Buff fans, as Erik Norgard played center at Colorado from 1985-88, and then in the NFL for 11 seasons. In college, the elder Norgard played with both Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy.

Norgard had other offers from … A number of schools. Despite just completing his junior year, there were a number of suitors for Norgard’s services. Arizona, Kansas State, Syracuse, Colorado State, Air Force and Wyoming had all been in touch with Norgard. Had he not committed so early, the number of offers would surely have increased. Less than two months ago, Norgard indicated that he felt his recruitment might take all summer. “My dad keeps telling me,” Norgard said in December, ” ‘As soon as you find the right school, you’ll know’ “. Apparently, Norgard found the right school after meeting with the new Colorado coaching staff. “I was thinking about playing it out, but I hadn’t felt the connection with any other school, any other coaching staff, like I have with CU,” said Norgard. “I didn’t get excited about playing football for any other school except for CU.”

In his own words … “I played strongside tackle so I would have a tackle in front of me, and usually I had a tight end and/or a pulling guard blocking me,” said Norgard of his junior season. “It was frustrating at first, but after watching the film, I realized that I was freeing up a lot of guys behind me … It gave me good practice because when you have three or four guys going against you, it is a lot of competition.” As Norgard projects as a linebacker in college, he may get to see more time at that spot in 2011. “I talked with my coach about that I wanted to try out linebacker, and he thought that was a pretty good idea for me becuase I have gotten faster and I have good instincts,” said Norgard. “He said I am definitely going to be moved around, and not just play the strongside defensive tackle position … That way the other teams will have a harder time game planning against me.”

CLAY NORGARD UPDATE: (5/8/11)

– BuffStampede.com is reporting that Norgard ran a 4.54 in the 40 this past weekend. It has been decided that Norgard will play middle linebacker for Mountain Vista high this fall. Norgard remains solidly a Buff (see bio, below). “When you go to college, nobody is going to care what other offers you had in high school,” said Norgard. “What matters is what you do when you get there. I am staying strong with CU. And I am going up there early (next January), so it is good that I made my decision early.”

Norgard is spending his spring trying to qualify for the Colorado state tournment in both shot put and discus. “I am pretty much locked in right now to go state for both shot put and discus,” said Norgard. “I am sixth in the shot and 11th in the discus, and you need to be in the top 18 to qualify for state.”

Norgard was impressed with Jon Embree’s speech to in-state recruits during the Spring game weekend. “I think he had to have inspired some of the other in-state guys, because I was getting chills listening to Coach Embree talk,” said Norgard. “He told us that it is our program because it is in our home state. I believe that 100 percent.” For his part, Norgard is turning his attention to trying to bring in other recruits to play with him in Boulder. “A lot of the other in-state recruits are my friends, like Evan Baylis (who has since committed to Oregon) and Shane Callahan,” said Norgard. “They are getting all the attention and offers, and that is good for them.”

36 Replies to “Verbal Commitments – 2012”

  1. I don’t think CU is done yet. They have 27 commits but McCartney is a Greyshirt and what about Loser boy Asiata’s Scholarship?

    1. Even with the losses of Asiata, Pugh, and Vincent, CU can still only sign 25 players per Class.

      With Norgard and McCartney not counting (green-shirt and gray-shirt), CU is right at 25 members for the Class of 2012. Any new additions will mean another player has to gray-shirt, or a current recruit will have to be dropped (or not qualify).

  2. Yuri You definitely get a second chance with me. I think all these overly moralistic and judgmental people forget what 17 is like… Welcome to Boulder and your 2nd chance. If Coach Embree believes in you that is good enough for me.

    Jeffbuff

  3. Wow – I guess that “boring” visit to Boulder in December is long forgotten for Mr. Wright; eh? Good for Coach Embree to be able to land 4-star recruits on back-to-back days. Let’s hope that this youngster’s “Tweeting” days are behind him.

    1. Your right,
      I still had Ma’ne Manaea as a commit. Manaea was asked to grey-shirt by the CU coaching staff, but balked. He may end up at Idaho or Montana instead.

  4. Walker played quarterback for three seasons, and may have very good instincts. I believe if he has talent Greg Brown will be able to develop him. I think this staff is putting together a great recruiting class, and filling a lot of the holes that we have out there. I really believe that Coach Embree is able to acquire talent, and will be able to get them to play with the toughness required to start to become a successful college program again. He is starting to get some size and speed at key positions. I believe that Walker is now rated at three stars by ESPN on his profile. The other services probably need to reevaluate. Anyway I believe this is going to be a good recruiting class. Welcome New Buffs…….We are glad to have you aboard!!

  5. Another NR commit (Walker). Would be interested to hear others opinions on signing multiple players from one High School – bodes well for the future that they know each other, commit together, and want to be Buffs?, OR… this is the only way to try and get that one 3 or 4-Star kid to commit that we really wanted?

    1. I am not sure on this one. I have no problem recruiting 2 or more players from the same school if it is a HS with a winning tradition that puts out stud athletes and has a system to fit the CU defense. But this school went 6-5 with some HUGE losses. This team had no defense and now CU has 2 of the players. I am questioning the thought process here.

  6. Love the site. We got some good ones in, but still need size with speed. This could be one of the most important springs in a while.
    We already saw some quality freshman get time, and now we need to see them get better.

  7. Wilson could be a steal. Runs a 4.38 40 and is getting faster. Adam M from Rivals confirms that Erich is coming in as a cornerback. He’s definitely got the size for it 6’1″ 180lbs

  8. Loving the verbal commits for the Def line…. Now just a couple DBs, Davien Payne, and next year’s class could be “The class”!!!

  9. Is it just me, or is anyone else worried that Payne might not be all that committed? None of the national sites have picked this up and I am not reading any direct quotes from Davien.

  10. Love this website – you post the news before any site i’ve found even those that charge.
    The addition of Payne boosts this early 2012 recruiting class by leaps & bounds. Lets hope the commits of Dillon & Payne encourage other impact recruits to go BUFF!

  11. Stuart, nice scoop on Davien Payne! Sounds like a great recruitment.

    CU At The Game is above all for CU football. Thank you!

  12. Shane Dillon is going to be great! Now he justs needs to redshirt and get a friend on the team of the same height and frame to teach him how to lift weights and gain weight…He reminds me of one of our best ever, Koy Detmer as a freshman looking like a wet dog in his uniform slinging it all over the field. : )

  13. Stuart

    If anyone’s doubting the talent of our CU’s newest commit, check out how he abuses the Texas talent in this video from the TCU Nike Camp. Daje Johnson is the stud DB who locks down all the wideouts, EXCEPT Jeff Thomas, and Johnson’s committed to TCU.

    http://rise.espn.go.com/all-sports/v…5-20c03b5f649f

  14. Now THIS is a great pick-up! Kid’s got all the tools to be a playmaker at the BCS level. He’s got natural ability and, with a little coaching, he’ll be great.

    Welcome to Buff Nation, Jeff! Can’t wait to see you in the BnG!

  15. Welcome to Buff Nation, Terence! We look forward to watching you run over, through and around the Pac-12 for years. Go Buffs!

  16. Welcome to Buff Nation, Shane! We look forward to seeing you in Black and Gold.

    Now, we gotta find another tailback as BJ Catalon has dumped the Buffs for the Horned Frogs of TCU. Blech!

  17. It’s not about the Xs and Os, but the Jimmys and the Joes, and looks like CU football’s new coaching staff is bringing in a much needed talent infusion.

  18. Top Texas WR Visiting CU today, unofficially. – Buff Scoop – CU Football and Recruiting
    Conner Crane – Visiting CU today.
    Colorado has offered a lot of great players thus far in the cycle. They are shooting for the stars and are not hesitating in their pursuit of the top recruits in the nation. CU doesn’t have a lot of size at the receiver position so they are going after some big, athletic wideouts for the signing cla…

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Conner-Crane-98802;_ylt=AoVmA3Qm46ZWVJq14vYqkXtFPZB4

  19. Benjamin Catalon – Buffs land running back!
    rivals.yahoo.com
    Colorado coaches received the second commitment for the 2012 recruiting class Monday from Benjamin Catalon from Westside High School in Houston. Catalon, a 5-foot-8, 185-pound prospect, chose CU over offers from Baylor and Missouri.

    ‎”I just felt like they offer everything that I want in a school,” Catalon told Scout.com. “They have a good football program, great academics and the atmosphere there had a lot to do with it also. Also, the coaches really made me feel like they wanted me there. All of their letters were hand-written and they made me feel like I was a really high priority to them.”

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Benjamin-Catalon-114729;_ylt=AkgeFDg2uikpE8uYdCjdS7ZFPZB4

  20. I can see him staying at DT. Depends on how much weight he puts on. (ie Pericak)I guess his decent speed for MLB might be wasted at DT though.
    The upside is I think Colorado kids that play for Colorado schools play with just a little more pride and motivation. lets get some more

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