CU Depth Chart and Recruiting Needs from the Class of 2014

The Colorado Recruiting Class of 2014 is largely in place.

There may be some defections, as several CU commits are being courted by other schools. If this proves to be the case, Mike MacIntyre and Co. will still have some work to do to fill out this year’s Class.

There may be more attrition from the roster, opening up some additional scholarships for next fall, although with the start of the spring semester imminent, that becomes less and less likely with each passing day.

And there are certainly a few scholarships which remain open, and the coaching staff remains hard at work trying to lure just a few more prize recruits to the fold in Boulder.

Assuming, though, that the Recruiting Class will largely hold in place, how does the 2014 depth chart shape up?

Let’s take a look …

Quarterback

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Jordan Webb, Sr.; Connor Wood, Jr.; Stevie Joe Dorman; So.; John Schrock, So.; Shane Dillon, R-Fr.; Jordan Gehrke (incoming transfer); Sefo Liufau (incoming freshman)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Connor Wood, Sr.; Sefo Liufau, So.: Jordan Gehrke, So.

Class of 2014 verbal commitCade Apsay, a 6’2″, 176-pound prospect from Canyon Country, California.

Apsay is considered by both services to be a three-star prospect. Apsay is ranked by Rivals to be the No. 25 pro-style quarterback nationally, and the No. 75 prospect overall out of the state of California this fall. Scout rates Apsay as the No. 69 quarterback overall nationally.

Senior season … Apsay was the Foothills League Offensive Player-of-the-Year as a junior, and upped that to overall league MVP his senior season. Though his team did not make it past the first round of the league playoffs, Apsay had a great season. Apsay threw for 3,103 yards (after throwing for a school-record 3,333 yards as a junior), completing 207 passes (a new school record) in 321 attempts (.645), with 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Comments … Apsay is considered a solid verbal. Apsay took his official visit on December 13th, and has no other official visits scheduled … Colorado entered last spring with too many quarterbacks, and will enter the fall with arguably too few. Still, the staff apparently feels comfortable with four quarterbacks on the roster for the 2014 campaign, as the other four quarterbacks the Buffs offered this fall have already committed to other schools.

Running Back

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Josh Ford, Sr.; Tony Jones, Jr.; Malcolm Creer, Jr.; Christian Powell, So.; Donta Abron, So.; Davien Payne, R-Fr.; Terrence Crowder, R-Fr.; Michael Adkins (incoming freshman); Phillip Lindsay (incoming freshman); Ryan Moeller (incoming walk-on)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Josh Ford, Sr. (appealing for sixth year of eligibility); Tony Jones, Sr.; Malcolm Creer, Sr.; Christian Powell, Jr.; Donta Abron, Jr.: Michael Adkins, So.; Terrence Crowder, So.; Phillip Lindsay, R-Fr.; Ryan Moeller, R-Fr. (walk-on)

Class of 2014 verbal commitJomon Dotson, 6’0″, 178-pound prospect from American Canyon, California.

Dotson is considered by both services to be a three-star prospect. Dotson is ranked by Rivals to be the No. 46 running back nationally, and the No. 67 prospect overall out of the state of California this fall. Scout rates Dotson as the No. 63 running back nationally.

Senior season … For a 10-2 team, Dotson had a very good season, though (like Apsay) his numbers were slightly down from 2012. Dotson had 2,004 yards on 189 carries this fall, after a 2,148-yard rushing season as a junior. Overall, Dotson finished just short of 5,000 yards rushing in high school. In his career, Dotson averaged over ten yards per carry, averaged over 150 rushing yards per game, and scored 60 rushing touchdowns.

Comments … Dotson is considered to be a solid verbal, though he is one of the CU recruits who is being actively courted by other schools. Dotson has offers from over a dozen other schools, and Washington entered the picture when Boise State’s Chris Petersen became the new head coach. Dotson took his official visit during the Cal game, and told Adam at BuffStampede.com that chances were “high … probably 99.9%” that he would sign with Colorado.

There are still three running backs out there with CU offers who have yet to declare their intentions: Demario Richard, a four-star prospect from Palmdale, California (and a soft verbal to Arizona State); Kalen Ballage, a three-star prospect from Falcon, Colorado (also a soft verbal to Arizona State); and J.T. Gray, a three-star prospect from Clarksdale, Mississippi (who favors Mississippi State, and – wait for it – Arizona State). Colorado has good quality and good depth at running back, but, if Dotson changes his mind, look for CU to try and convince an Arizona State soft verbal to try and come to Boulder instead.

Fullback

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Alex Wood, Sr.; Jordan Murphy, So.; Clay Jones, So.; George Frazier (incoming freshman)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Jordan Murphy, Jr.; Clay Jones, Jr.; Jesse Hiss, So. (walk-on); George Frazier, R-Fr.

Class of 2014 verbal commit … None.

Comments … The fullbacks held a more prominent position in the offensive scheme of Mike MacIntyre at San Jose State than they have to date at Colorado. This past season, none of the Buff fullbacks on the roster had a single carry, and Colorado did not actively pursue a replacement for Alex Wood amongst the high school ranks this fall. George Frazier was recruited to CU as a linebacker, but was moved to fullback halfway through his red-shirt freshman season.

Wide Receiver

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Alex Turbow, Sr., Paul Richardson, Jr., Tyler McCulloch, Jr., Keenan Canty, Jr.; D.D. Goodson, Jr., Justin Gorman, Jr. (walk-on); Wesley Christensen, So., (walk-on); Nelson Spruce, So.; Jeffrey Hall, So., Gerald Thomas, So., Austin Vincent, So. (walk-on); Jeffrey Thomas, R-Fr.; Colin Johnson, R-Fr.; Byrce Bobo (incoming freshman); Elijah Dunston (incoming freshman); Devin Ross (incoming freshman)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Tyler McCulloch, Sr.; Keenan Canty, Sr.; D.D. Goodson, Sr.; Nelson Spruce, Jr.; Wesley Christensen, Jr. (walk-on); Devin Ross, So.; Bryce Bobo, R-Fr.; Elijah Dunston, R-Fr.

Class of 2014 verbal commitLee Walker, a 6’0″, 170-pound prospect from San Diego, California.

Walker is an anomaly. A member of the Recruiting Class of 2013, Walker was an Arizona signee last February, and was considered to be a three-star prospect at that time. Walker did not qualify academically, however, and so did not enroll at Arizona. The Wildcats wanted Walker to go the junior college route, but Walker wanted to play right away. He later qualified, and opened up his recruitment. Walker has already signed with Colorado (he will not be a part of Signing Day in February), and will be enrolled in classes this spring.

Senior season (2012) … In his senior season at Madison high in San Diego, Walker had 41 catches for 755 yards and 12 touchdowns for a team which went 14-1. Walker also had 549 yards returning kickoffs, and another 481 yards returning punts. Throw in 39 yards rushing and 14 yards in interception returns (he had three), and Walker had 1,838 yards of total offense in 2012.

Comments … Ever since Paul Richardson went down with injuries during the 2012 season, the Buffs have been looking for “the next Paul Richardson”. Now, with P-Rich taking his talents to the NFL, the search takes on a new urgency. There have been plenty of candidates, but there has also been plenty of attrition (compare the depth chart last spring to what the Buffs will have this spring). Jeffrey Hall, Gerald Thomas, and Jeffrey Thomas are no longer with the team, leaving it to Bryce Bobo, Elijah Dunston, and now Lee Walker to try and come in and show that they have the “wow” factor to stretch defenses.

Tight End

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Scott Fernandez, Sr.; Kyle Slavin, Sr.; Vincent Hobbs, So.; Austin Ray, R-Fr.; Sean Irwin, R-Fr.; Connor Center, (incoming freshman); Robert Orban, Fr. (walk-on)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Kyle Slavin, Sr.; Sean Irwin, So.; Connor Center, R-Fr.; Chris Hill, R-Fr. (walk-on)

Class of 2014 Verbal CommitsDylan Keeney, a 6’6″, 215-pound prospect from Granite Bay, California … and Hayden Jones, a 6’6″, 235-pound prospect from Sacramento, California.

Keeney is considered by both services to be a three-star prospect. Keeney is ranked by Scout to be the No. 43 tight end prospect nationally.

Senior season … For the 8-4 Grizzlies, Keeney had 40 catches for 791 yards (an impressive 19.78 yards per catch), going for 13 touchdowns.

Jones is considered by both services to be a two-star prospect. Jones is ranked by Scout to be the No. 99 tight end prospect nationally.

This past season, playing for the 9-4 Christian Brothers Falcons, Jones had 35 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns. Jones is currently busy playing center for his high school basketball team. Depending on how much more growing Jones does, he may be placed at defensive end by the CU coaching staff – Jones had 15 tackles, including tackles for loss, four sacks and seven hurries this past season.

Comments … Keeney and Jones are considered to be solid verbal commits. Keeney was in Boulder for his official visit the weekend of the Kansas basketball game, and came away impressed. He has no other official visits planned. Jones plans on taking his official visit to Colorado on January 17th, and has no other official visits planned.

Last season, Scott Fernandez, Kyle Slavin, and Sean Irwin played in all 12 games, but none of the three hit double digits in receptions. Fernandez has graduated, but the tight end position will now be supplemented with Connor Center, who red-shirted last fall, Keeney and Jones. Barring superior play in August drills, however, it would be likely that Keeney and Jones will red-shirt this fall.

Offensive Linemen

2013 Post-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Jack Harris, Sr.; Gus Handler, Sr.; Daniel Munyer, Jr.; Alex Lewis, Jr.; Kaiwi Crabb, Jr.; Stephane Nembot, So.; Brad Cotner, So.; Marc Mustoe, So.; Jeromy Irwin, So.; Alex Kelley, R-Fr.; Gerrad Kough, R-Fr.; Vincent Arvia, R-Fr. (walk-on); Ed Caldwell, R-Fr. (walk-on); Gunnar Graham, (incoming freshman); Jonathan Huckins, (incoming freshman); Sam Kronshage, (incoming freshman); Colin Sutton, (incoming freshman); John Lisella (gray-shirt freshman)

2014 Pre-Spring Depth Chart (by class) … Daniel Munyer, Sr.; Kaiwi Crabb, Sr.; Stephane Nembot, Jr.; Brad Cotner, Jr.; Marc Mustoe, Jr.; James Carr, Jr. (walk-on); Jeromy Irwin, So.; Alex Kelley, So.; Gerrad Kough, So.; Vincent Arvia, So. (walk-on); Ed Caldwell, So. (walk-on); Jonathan Huckins, R-Fr.; Sam Kronshage, R-Fr.; Colin Sutton, R-Fr,; John Lisella (gray-shirt freshman)

Class of 2014 Verbal Commits … Wyatt Smith (junior college transfer); John Lisella (gray-shirt); Isaac Miller; Elijah Rodriguez; John Kaiser

John Lisella is a holdover, actually a member of the CU Recruiting Class of 2013. Lisella was a 6’4″, 245-pound prospect from Littleton, Colorado, who was asked to gray-shirt. Lisella is now enrolled at the University of Colorado, will be available for spring drills, and still has five years to play four.

Wyatt Smith is also already enrolled at Colorado, and will be participating in drills this spring. A 6’3″, 220-pound long-snapper, Smith played at Gulf Coast Community College, and will have three years to play two at Colorado. He handled all 60 punt and 122 placement snaps over the last two years at MGCCC, centering for junior college All-American kicker Stephen Brauchle as a freshman in 2012 and for second-team All-American punter Kevin Phillips this past fall.  He had nary a bad snap in the 182, and forced an estimated 25-30 fair catches over the two seasons combined on coverage duty.

He played his prep ball at Gulfport (Miss.) High School, where he served as his team’s long snapper his junior and senior years, along with playing tackle, guard and tight end at various junctures of his career.

Isaac Miller is a 6’7″, 270-pound prospect from Silver Creek, Colorado. Miller is ranked by both services to be a three-star commit. Rivals ranks Miller as the No. 6 prospect out of the state of Colorado this season, while Scout rates Miller as the No. 102 offensive tackle in the country. MaxPreps considers Miller to be the No. 23 player out of Colorado this fall, and the No. 1899 player nationally. The first commit of the Recruiting Class of 2014, Miller is considered to be a solid verbal.

Josh Kaiser is a 6’5″, 265-pound prospect from Mission Viejo, California. Kaiser is considered to be only a two-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. MaxPreps.com, however, loves Kaiser, listing him as the No. 7 overall player out of California this season, and the No. 35 player overall (this rating doesn’t make much sense, considering Kaiser’s lack of love from the recruiting services, but check it out here).

Elijah Rodriguez is a 6’5.5″, 270-pound prospect from Houston, Texas. Rodriguez is ranked as a three-star prospect by Scout, but only a two-star prospect by Rivals. Scout lists Rodriguez as the No. 117 offensive tackle in the country. MaxPreps considers Rodriguez to be the No. 358 player out of the state of Texas this fall, and the No. 3348 player nationally. Despite this low rankings, Rodriguez may be one of the recruits CU is most likely to lose. Rodriguez took in the LSU/Texas A&M game in November, and came away with an offer to play for Les Miles in Baton Rouge. Rodriguez took his official visit to Colorado on December 6th, but is planning on an official visit to LSU on January 17th. CU coach Mike MacIntyre still has his home visit with Rodriguez to go, with one last chance to make CU’s pitch to Rodriguez and his family.

Comments … Though one of the most important units of the entire team, the offensive line receives little of the attention. This is especially true when it comes to recruiting, as, if a team has its act together, every single offensive lineman recruit will red-shirt. An extra year of bulking up, while learning the college game, is considered to be a mandatory element of a successful offensive line.

While the loss of David Bakhtiari (early entry into the NFL) and Alex Lewis (transfer to Nebraska) hurt CU’s offensive line depth and experience, the unit will enter 2014 with more balance in the depth chart. The line will be made up of several upper-classmen starters, with a long list of potential starters amongst the sophomores and red-shirt freshmen. It would be an overstatement to say that the offensive line is a strength of the 2014 team … but a stronger core is developing. Whether those younger players, in year two of a new system, can quickly adapt and prosper, will go a long ways in deciding whether Colorado can post its first winning record since 2005.

Next weekend … The Depth Chart and the Recruiting Class of 2014, taking a look at each defensive unit as well as special teams …

 

9 Replies to “Depth Chart & Recruiting”

  1. Stuart,

    Question regarding the QB position. You have the depth chart for pre-2014 Spring practice with Connor Wood listed first and then Sefo. Is that based simply on their class year? Wood is not listed as the #1 QB going into Spring Practice is he (he asks pensively)?

    1. You are correct. The depth chart is by class, not by actually standing.
      Theoretically, every position is an open battle is the spring, according to the coaches. That being said, it would be a surprise if Sefo does not emerge from spring practices as the No. 1 quarterback. Sorry for the consternation!

  2. Jeff Thomas is gone? when/why did that happen?, within the bounds of discretion, of course. does that mean no one to stretch the field. yikes.

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