Recruiting Prospects – Class of 2014

 

February 3rd

Elijah Rodriguez commits to Texas

Offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez, an offensive lineman from Houston, de-committed from Colorado today, choosing to commit to Texas.

Rodriguez committed to Colorado last summer, but was courted by several other schools since his commitment, including LSU, Florida State, and, ultimately, Texas. The change in coaches from Mack Brown to Charlie Strong brought about a change in priorities for the Longhorns, and Rodriguez became a player Texas wanted.

In the grand scheme of things, it is not too hard to understand the change of heart. Rodriguez grew up a Texas fan, his mother is a Texas alumna, and his grandfather played for the Longhorns.

Just one storyline of the week … here’s hoping the news the remainder of the week is positive.

If you want to take one last look at the Bio for Rodriguez, here it is …

ELIJAH RODRIGUEZ – OL (De-committed February 3rd)

Just the facts … Committed August 23rd, de-committed February 3rd, committing to Texas … Rodriguez is an offensive line prospect from Houston, Texas. Rodriguez is 6’6″, 280-pounds, and runs a 5.0 in the 40. Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Rodriguez … Rodriguez is considered Rivals to be a two-star prospect, but, after a great senior season, was bumped up to a three-star prospect by Scout.com. Scout rates Rodriguez as the No. 113 offensive tackle in the nation, up from No. 141 when he committed to Colorado. Rodriguez moved to right tackle for his senior season after playing on the left side of the line during his junior campaign. “(Rodriguez) is a pretty good athlete,” Cy-Creek coach Greg McCaig told the Houston Chronicle. “He’s also played on our basketball team for us, so he’s got really good feet. And that’s probably a more natural position for him.”

Rodriguez had offers from … about a dozen other schools,  including Arizona State, Illinois, and Kansas. Rodriguez also had offers from Houston, Fresno State, Nevada, Tulsa, New Mexico and UCF. LSU, however, is still in the picture. Rodriguez took an unofficial visit to LSU for the Texas A&M game in November, and came away impressed … but without an offer. Texas, after Charlie Strong took over for Mack Brown, made a late – and successful – pitch.

“Right now, I’m just praying about it and trusting in God to help me make the right decision,” Rodriguez told TigerBait.com after visiting Baton Rouge in November. “Right now I’m committed to Colorado and I’m sticking with that commitment. It feels right and it’s a good fit, but I’m also considering LSU”.

In his own words … In June, Rodriguez attended a camp in Pearland, Texas, which involved CU coaches. Rodriguez came away impressed. “I really enjoyed it out here,” Rodriguez told FoxSportsNext. “I came out here to see the Colorado coaches because they have offered me. I wanted to get to work with the offensive line coach. This was the first time I met the Colorado coaches in person and I got a lot of helpful pointers from the coaches on pass pro. Overall, it was a nice camp.”

January 31st

Who’s left? A look at CU’s recruiting battles entering the final weekend

For most teams, their recruiting Class of 2014 is fairly well known. While there are always surprises on Signing Day (next Wednesday, February 5th), including a number of high profile athletes who wait to announce their decision on that day, the vast majority of players have already made their commitment, and will stick with them when it comes to faxing in their Letter of Intent.

That is not to say, however, that there is no drama left for college football fans, including those fans of the University of Colorado. As with most schools, the majority of players who have given the Buff coaches their verbal endorsement will follow through next week. But there are still some battles being waged, and some names to keep an eye on:

Running back Kalen Ballage, Falcon, Colorado … The four-star running back – and the No. 1 recruit out of the state of Colorado this year, will likely come down to a Signing Day decision. Ballage is a “soft verbal” to Arizona State, but has visited other schools since his commitment in December.  Ballage has visited Nebraska (in December), Arizona State, Washington (last Thursday and Friday), Colorado (this past weekend), with a trip to UCLA scheduled for this weekend. Colorado was not even in the running for Ballage for most of this recruiting cycle, but there is cautious optimism that Ballage might still become a Buff. Arizona State is still making its case, with UCLA perhaps CU’s greatest competition for Ballage’s signature.

Defensive back Courtland Sutton, Brenham, Texas … A three-star safety, Sutton is an athlete who might wind up playing wide receiver, safety, or even linebacker. Sutton was also in Boulder last weekend, though his official visit did not attract as much attention as Ballage’s “secret” official visit. Sutton has offers from numerous schools, including Washington State, Tulsa, New Mexico and Rice. The competition, though, appears to be with BYU (Ballage took an official visit there last fall) and perhaps Fresno State, which has shown late interest. Sutton might also be a player who does not make his call until right before Signing Day.

Offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez, Houston, Texas … Listed as only a two-star recruit, Rodriguez – who has been a CU verbal commit since last August, has been getting a great deal of attention. Rodriguez has been talking with LSU for months, and has been to Baton Rouge. Now, the new coaching staff under Charlie Strong at Texas are after Rodriguez, and the 6’5″, 225-pounder offensive lineman will take an official visit to Austin this weekend.

Running back Jomon Dotson, American Canyon, California … A three-star running back, Dotson was a CU commit from October 6th until January 22nd. That weekend, Dotson switched his commitment from Colorado to Washington. While Dotson is currently on the Huskies’ commit list, there is still a chance (especially if Washington picks up a commitment from one of the other running backs – Kalen Ballage, Tre Watson, or J.T. Gray – who are still on the Huskies’ wish list) that Dotson could come back and re-commit to being a Buff.

Athlete Jamarkese Williams, Temple, Texas … A two-star athlete, Williams took his official visit to Boulder on December 13th. Williams is showing interest from other schools like TCU, Rice, Arkansas and Purdue, but neither Rivals nor Scout show him as having any other scholarship offers.

Athlete Jay MacIntyre, Louisville, Colorado … A three-star athlete, the son of CU head coach Mike MacIntyre has received a great deal of attention. Though MacIntyre is considered by Scout to be the No. 10 athlete out of the state of Colorado this fall, many in the Buffs Nation cringe at the mere prospect of another coach’s son wearing black-and-gold. MacIntyre has taken official visits to Colorado and Wyoming, and also has offers from Air Force and Montana. CU coach MacIntyre has made it clear that, if his son does play for Colorado, that he will not be a quarterback.

Other players who have taken official visits to Colorado, but have verbally committed to other schools or remain uncommitted … defensive back Glen Ihenacho (Oregon); offensive lineman John Turner (Washington); defensive end Zach Brown (uncommitted – a former CU commit who said he wants to go to a school in California); linebacker Kaleb Hill (Boise State); linebacker Kolin Hill (Notre Dame); defensive back Deshane Hines (Utah State); offensive lineman Isaiah Holland (Army); offensive lineman Bobby Keenan (Oregon State); and defensive tackle Trevor Kelly (California).

 

January 27th

Four-star running back Kalen Ballage – His “Secret” visit not very secret

The “secret” official visit of this past weekend by four-star running back prospect Kalen Ballage has been so widely reported that the “secret” label should be removed (even Kyle Ringo was discussing the visit in his weekly online chat on Monday). As you probably know by now Ballage, a four-star athlete from Falcon, Colorado, was in Boulder this past weekend. Ballage has been a “soft verbal” to Arizona State since December, but has taken other official visits. For those keeping score at home, those visits include Nebraska (in December), Arizona State, Washington (on Thursday and Friday), and Colorado (this past weekend), with a trip to UCLA planned for this weekend.

How big a “get” would Ballage be for CU? He’s only the No. 1 rated player out of the state of Colorado this fall. Getting a commitment from Ballage would not only fill a huge void left by the defection of Jomon Dotson, it would immeasurably boost the credibility of the MacIntyre coaching staff (not to mention the morale of the Buff Nation).

The Ballage profile:

KALEN BALLAGE – RB

Just the facts … Committed to Arizona State, but is considered to be only a “soft verbal”. Ballage is a 6’2″, 216-pound running back prospect from Falcon, Colorado. Ballage, even with his size, runs a reported 4.37 in the 40.  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Ballage … Ballage is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals, but only a three-star prospect by Scout. Rivals has Ballage listed as the No. 1 recruit out of the state of Colorado this season, and the No. 6 “athlete” in the nation. Scout, meanwhile, has Ballage as the No. 52 running back in the country. Ballage was a first-team All-State performer for the Falcon Falcons (I know – really?). This past season for the 9-2 Falcons, Ballage had 206 carries for 1,943 yards (a 9.43 yards per carry average), and 25 touchdowns. Ballage also had 16 receptions for 360 yards and six more scores.

Shay Fields … Ready to wear the Black and Gold on a regular basis?

Okay, I’m not into stalking on Twitter, but four-star wide receiver prospect Shay Fields is getting a great deal of attention for his latest Twitter postings, so, as a public service. Here is the latest:

– On Sunday, Fields tweeted former CU wide receiver Paul Richardson, asking “hit my line, I’ve got some questions about CU”.

– Today, for a ceremony back at school (after his official visit to Cal over the weekend), Fields posted a picture of himself with his championship rings. Of course, CU fans couldn’t help but notice the sweatshirt Fields was wearing:

 

Shay Fields

 

 

 

 

So, what to read into this? Nothing, of course, but it could be everything. Colorado is one of only three schools in the Pac-12 without at least one four-star recruit this cycle (Washington State and Oregon State being the others). After the loss of Jomon Dotson to Washington, it would certainly be a boost to the morale of the Buff Nation to pick up a recruit like Fields.

In case you forgot (full story posted below), here is the prospect we are talking about:

Just the facts … Committed to USC on October 24th, de-committed January 21st … Fields is a 5’10”, 170-pound wide receiver from Bellflower, California. Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Fields … Fields is considered to be a four-star prospect by Rivals, and a three-star prospect by Scout. Rivals rates Fields as the No. 41 wide receiver in the nation, and the No. 35 player out of California this season overall. Scout lists Fields as the No. 74 wide receiver in the nation.

 

January 22nd

Jomon Dotson de-commits

Jomon Dotson, one of the highest-rated of Colorado’s Recruiting Class of 2014, has de-committed. Dotson took his official visit to Washington this past weekend, and committed to the Chris Petersen’s coaching staff on Tuesday.

Dotson had been recruited by Petersen when Petersen was at Boise State, but the lure of playing for Petersen in the Pac-12 was enough to overcome what Colorado had to offer.  “After thinking about it, I just knew Washington was the right fit and place for me,” Dotson told Dawgman.com. “I liked the academic programs they have there and their facility is top-notch.”

A month ago, Dotson told Adam at BuffStampede.com that he was “99.9% sure” he would become a Buffalo on Signing Day (February 5th).

Beware the .1%, I guess …

JOMON DOTSON – RB – De-committed January 22nd

Just the facts … Committed October 6th … Dotson is a running back prospect from American Canyon, California. Dotson is 6’0″, 178-pounds, and runs a reported 4.48 in the 40.  Rivals bio  Scout bio

Latest on Shay Fields

SHAY FIELDS – WR

Just the facts … Committed to USC on October 24th, de-committed January 21st … Fields is a 5’10”, 170-pound wide receiver from Bellflower, California. Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Fields … Fields is considered to be a four-star prospect by Rivals, and a three-star prospect by Scout. Rivals rates Fields as the No. 41 wide receiver in the nation, and the No. 35 player out of California this season overall. Scout lists Fields as the No. 74 wide receiver in the nation.

Status … Fields visited Colorado last weekend, and will visit Cal this upcoming weekend. Last week, Fields was quoted as saying that he was  looking at TCU as a site for his last visit (January 31st/February 1st). Fields has tweeted, however, that it’s down to the 3 B’s: “Berkeley, Boise, Boulder” … with no word as to whether that is his order of preference.

“Colorado was a great visit, I loved it there,” Fields told Scout.com after his visit this past weekend. “The city of Boulder is a great college town and a beautiful area. I like the coaching staff a lot and spent a ton of time with WR Coach Troy Walters. He was an All-American at Stanford and is someone I know I could learn a lot from.

“He told me I would have a great chance to not just play early there but he thinks I have the ability to be a freshman All-American. They have a big need for receivers and the depth chart sets up really well for me. I like the offense a lot and I think they’re building something there. They won four games last season but I think they’ll be able to improve those numbers and it would be cool to be a part of helping to turn the program around”.

January 9th

Colorado loses linebacker commit Zach Brown

One of the first commits of the CU Recruiting Class of 2014 has de-committed. Rueben Meza of AztecSportsReport (a Rivals website) first broke the story Thursday afternoon.

Below is the bio for Brown, who is now listed as having a “high interest” in Fresno State.

ZACH BROWN – LB – De-committed 1/9/14

Just the facts … Committed July 1st … Brown is a linebacker prospect from San Diego, California. Brown is 6’2, 235-pounds. Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Brown … Brown is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Scout has Brown listed as the No. 40 middle linebacker in the nation. Scout had this to say about Brown when he committed to Colorado: “Brown has an old school feel to his game and is a throwback in a low of ways. He’s very aggressive and plays with an edge. At 6-3, 235 pounds, he’s a load and packs a wallop but can still move. He had a very good showing at the recent SoCal NIKE Camp showing he can play fast and cover a ton of ground. As Brown continues to improve his overall athleticism, he projects as a prototype middle ‘backer in a 4-3 scheme and he should be very productive in college”. For a 2-8 team this fall, Brown had 39 tackles (27 solo), with two sacks and a blocked punt.

Brown had other offers from … Colorado State, San Diego State, and Army. Other schools showing interest include: Arizona, Cal, Nevada, San Jose State, UCLA, Fresno State and Washington.

In his own words … “Their coaches really seem to know how to coach,” Brown told BuffPlayBook.com when he committed. “I camped with them on June 19th at one of their road camps. I was really impressed”.  Brown intends on studying aerospace engineering, which played right into CU’s hand. “It was too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially from an academic standpoint,” Brown said. “Colorado has one of the best aerospace engineering programs in the country, that’s what I plan on studying.”

November 25th

Buffs lose verbal commit, possibly to Nebraska

Chance Waz, a defensive back from Pflugerville, Texas, has de-committed from Colorado. Waz posted to his Twitter account on Sunday night, “De-committing isn’t easy but oh well. Time to figure out where I will be playing at now!!!”

His mostly likely stop is Nebraska, where he took an official visit two weekends ago, but Waz still hasn’t officially changed his verbal commitment to the Cornhuskers.

Here is the Waz Bio from when he committed to Colorado in June …

Just the facts … Committed June 11th … Waz is a cornerback prospect from Pflugerville, Texas.  Waz is 5’11”, 173-pounds, and has been timed at 4.5 in the 40. Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Waz … Waz is rated as a two-star cornerback by Rivals; and was an unrated wide receiver by Scout when he committed (later upgraded to a three-star cornerback recruit). Waz earned first-team all-district honors after tallying 116 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries while playing safety as a junior. According to Waz, Colorado is recruiting the wide receiver/defensive back to play on the defensive side of the ball. “They are wanting me to play corner,” Waz told BuffPlaybook.com. “I will play wherever they need me to play.”

Waz had other offers from … Utah, North Texas, UTEP, Texas State and Arkansas State. He had also been hearing from Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and TCU among others.

In his own words … “Some coaches don’t care about you personally, they just want you to play football for them,” Waz said. “Coach Mac and his staff seem to want to build personal relationships with you, care about you on and off the field. Coach Mac said he wants to develop and help all of his players to make it to the NFL, what high school athlete don’t want to make it to the next level.” Waz feels that he learned a lot from the Colorado coaches. “They are great teachers,” Waz said. “They are really cool coaches, very personable and easy to talk to.”

Glass half empty … the Buffs lose a fast defensive back, in a position of need.

Glass half full … Yes, CU has lost a recruit, but it’s a good sign that Mac & Co. picked up on Waz early, and he is likely going to another BCS conference school. Bodes well for the future that this coaching staff can pick out roses amongst the thorns … now they just have to figure out how to hang onto them.

November 1st

Updates on CU commitments

Cade Apsay – Quarterback  …  Rivals bio  Scout bio

Apsay, considered by Rivals to be the No. 100 player overall out of the state of California this season, is putting up good numbers for Canyon high in Canyon Country, California. The Cowboys are 6-2 on the season after suffering what was considered to be a huge upset in falling to Valencia, 35-28, last weekend. Canyon Country dropped from No. 34 to No. 48 in the state rankings as a result of the loss.

Apsay, though, did his part. The future CU quarterback went 29-for-43 for 419 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against Valencia. Apsay’s season stats: 153-for-238 (.643), for 2,242 yards, 19 touchdowns to four interceptions. Apsay has also carried the ball 81 times for 338 yards (4.17 yards per carry), and three more touchdowns.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 35-28 loss to Valencia …  the 28-0 win over Steele Canyon … and the 48-7 win over Golden Valley High.

Jomon Dotson – Running back  … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Dotson is the Buffs’ most recent commit, becoming a CU verbal on October 6th. The three-star running back recruit from American Canyon, California, is putting up some ridiculous numbers. American Canyon is not rated as highly as Cade Apsay’s Canyon Country high school (136th in the state of California), it’s hard to ignore the numbers. The Wolves are 7-1 on the season, but Dotson has only played seven.

Dotson did not play last weekend on Senior night, as American Canyon mauled Fairfield, 42-0. Was Dotson injured? No – thankfully. According to the Napa Valley Register story about the game, “For the first time since anyone can remember, star running back Dotson didn’t record a touchdown or even a single yard of offense. That was because he was given the night off to rest. MacMillan said he’d be back next week”.

Whew.

In the seven games he has played, Dotson has carried the ball 116 times for 1,411 yards – that’s 12.16 yards per carry, and over 200 yards per game. Dotson already has 23 rushing touchdowns this season, and has two more receiving.

You would think those would be career numbers, but in his junior year, Dotson was equally impressive. Last fall, Dotson had 167 carries for 2,148 yards. He scored for an 1-2 team, including an 88-yard touchdown run. Dotson has over 4,300 yards in his career to date, and a healthy 11.15 yards per carry over his three years.

Dotson has played two games at defensive back (none since September 13th). Yet, Washington is now reportedly recruiting Dotson as a defensive back.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 48-7 win over Ygnacio Valleyand the 54-21 win over Vallejo high.

Dylan Keeney – Tight end … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Keeney, a 6’5″, 210-pound three-star tight end recruit from Granite Bay, California, has been a CU commit since July 1st. The Grizzlies are 5-3 on the season, but have been playing tough competition. Despite the record, Granite Bay is still considered to be the No. 61 school in the state of California. Last weekend, Granite Bay lost its second game in a row, falling 30-28 to Del Oro. Keeney, though, for the second straight game, had two touchdowns, with his six catches going for 138 yards.

To date, Keeney has 23 catches for 569 yards … a very productive 24.74 yards per catch. Keeney also has eight touchdowns, four in his last two games.

While Keeney does have offers from a half dozen other schools, none are from a BCS conference, and he appears to be a solid verbal to this point.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 39-35 win over Pittburgh high …  and the 47-20 win over Freedom high.

Grant Watanabe – LinebackerRivals bio Scout bio

Watanabe, a 5’10”, 225-pound linebacker recruit from San Antonio, has been a CU commit since May 29th. Watanabe’s Brennan Bears are 9-0 this season, including a 5-0 mark in league play. On the season, Watanabe has 55 total tackles, including 18 solo tackles. He also has two interceptions, two tackles for loss, and has forced a fumble … in only four games. Watanabe has missed five games with a hamstring injury, but has been easing back into play, resting as his team gets ready for the state playoffs.

The Bears have been outstanding on defense. Brennan gave up four yards – total – in a 64-0 rout of Highlands last weekend. Seven of their nine wins have come by the way of shutouts. In fact, in their last five games, the Bears have allowed a total – a total – of six points.

This week, Watanabe told FoxSports.com that he talks with CU coaches once a week, and that the Buffs want him to play inside. He will be taking an official visit to Boulder on January 17th.

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October 31st

New recruiting rules implemented

From ESPN … The NCAA adopted five new rules for football, dealing with recruiting and coaches’ access to players during the summer.

The Division I Board of Directors on Wednesday said in a news release the rules are effective immediately.

The new rules include:

• Allowing football players to participate in eight hours per week of required weight training and conditioning. Up to two of the eight hours can consist of film review.

• Prohibiting school staff members from attending all-star games or activities associated with those games.

• Establishing an extended dead period when no in-person recruiting can take place in December and January. For 2013-14, Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 is now a dead period (This is quite an extension from previous years. It used to be quite busy the first week after New Year’s).

• Establishing a 14-day dead period in late June and early July for FBS schools.

• Allowing schools to pay for meals for up to four family members who accompany a recruit on an official visit (Remember when a CU assistant coach fed an underage brother of a recruit who came to Boulder without any money, and CU got in trouble with the NCAA? This new rule should alleviate that issue)

In other business, the board asked the Leadership Council to study whether heavy reliance on online courses is appropriate for student-athletes.

October 25th

Updates on CU commitments

Cade Apsay – Quarterback  …  Rivals bio  Scout bio

Apsay, considered by Rivals to be the No. 100 player overall out of the state of California this season, is putting up good numbers for Canyon high in Canyon Country, California. The Cowboys are 6-1 on the season, and ranked the No. 34 team in the entire state. After leading Canyon to a 23-20 over conference rival Saugus last Friday, Apsay is 124-for-195 (.636) for 1,823 yards, 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Apsay has also run the ball effectively, with 60 rushes for 284 yards (4.73 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 28-0 win over Steele Canyon … and the 48-7 win over Golden Valley High.

Jomon Dotson – Running back  … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Dotson is the Buffs’ most recent commit, becoming a CU verbal on October 6th. The three-star running back recruit from American Canyon, California, is putting up some ridiculous numbers. American Canyon is not rated as highly as Cade Apsay’s Canyon Country high school (133rd in the state of California), it’s hard to ignore the numbers. The Wolves are 6-1 on the season, and in those seven games, Dotson has carried the ball 116 times for 1,411 yards – that’s 12.16 yards per carry, and over 200 yards per game. Dotson already has 23 rushing touchdowns this season, and has two more receiving.

You would think those would be career numbers, but in his junior year, Dotson was equally impressive. Last fall, Dotson had 167 carries for 2,148 yards. He scored for an 1-2 team, including an 88-yard touchdown run. Dotson has over 4,300 yards in his career to date, and a healthy 11.15 yards per carry over his three years.

Dotson has played two games at defensive back (none since September 13th). Yet, Washington is now reportedly recruiting Dotson as a defensive back.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 48-7 win over Ygnacio Valleyand the 54-21 win over Vallejo high.

Dylan Keeney – Tight end … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Keeney, a 6’5″, 210-pound three-star tight end recruit from Granite Bay, California, has been a CU commit since July 1st. The Grizzlies are 5-2 on the season, and are ranked as the No. 51 school in the state of California. To date, Keeney has 17 catches for 431 yards, a very productive 25.35 yards per catch. Keeney also has six touchdowns, including both of his team’s scores last weekend, a 31-14 loss to Rocklin.

While Keeney does have offers from a half dozen other schools, none are from a BCS conference, and he appears to be a solid verbal to this point.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 39-35 win over Pittburgh high …  and the 47-20 win over Freedom high.

 

October 11th

Updates on CU commitments

Cade Apsay – Quarterback  …  Rivals bio  Scout bio

The Buffs lone quarterback commit (June 18th) is doing well in his senior season. Canyon high in Canyon Country, California is 4-1 on the season, with Apsay throwing for 1,254 yards and 14 touchdowns. Apsay is 86–of-138 passing (62%), with only three interceptions. Apsay has also carried the ball 42 times in his first five games, going for 151 yards and a touchdown. In the Cowboys’ lone loss of the season, a 45-21 non-conference loss to Notre Dame, Apsay threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 23-16 win over Westlake … and the 48-0 victory over Clovis West.

Chance Waz – Defensive back …  Rivals bio  Scout bio

Waz has been a Colorado commit since June 11th, but he is now being sought after by other schools. Waz recently spoke with Nebraska, and is going to take an official visit to Lincoln on November 17th, when the Cornhuskers host Michigan State. Tria Mosley (Rivals bio) is a teammate of Waz, and Mosley, considered to be a two-star defensive back, has committed to Nebraska.

For now, Waz remains a Buff. “I’m still verbally pledged to Colorado,” Waz told HuskerOnline.com. “Nothing has changed for now”. But nothing is certain.

“Wherever God takes me”, Waz told Scout.com. “He has me going to Colorado right now, but if he wants to change it, then it’s up to him,” he said.

On the field, Waz and his teammates at Hendrickson high in Pflugerville, Texas, are 6-0 for the first time in school history.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 48-6 win over Cedar Ridge … and the 49-14 victory over Vandegrift.

Dylan Keeney – Tight end … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Keeney, a three-star tight end recruit from Granite Bay, California, has been a CU commit since July 1st. The Grizzlies are 4-1 on the season, and Keeney has ten catches for 298 yards and four touchdowns in those five games. He also has a blocked field goal and a sack while playing linebacker.

While Keeney does have offers from a half dozen other schools, none are from a BCS conference, and he appears to be a solid verbal to this point.

Sam Bennion – Defensive endRivals bio  Scout bio

Bennion, a two-star defensive line prospect from Logan, Utah, has been a CU commit since August 14th. Bennion will take a two-year Mormon mission before joining the Buffs in 2016, but he is enjoying a fine senior season. His Grizzlies are 8-0 already on the season, with Bennion recording 37 tackles (22 solo) in those games. Bennion has 6.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries so far this fall.

Here are Hudl.com highlights from … the 56-23 win over Bonneville … and the 49-38 victory over Roy.

Jomon Dotson – Running back  … Rivals bio  Scout bio

Dotson is the Buffs’ most recent commit, becoming a CU verbal on October 6th. The three-star running back recruit from American Canyon, California, is putting up some ridiculous numbers. His team, the Wolves, are 4-1 on the season, and in those five games Dotson has 1,001 yards on just 74 carries (a healthy 13.53 yards per carry average). Dotson has 16 touchdowns thus far this season, including a 82-yard run.

You would think those would be career numbers, but in his junior year, Dotson was equally impressive. Last fall, Dotson had 167 carries for 2,148 yards. He scored for an 1-2 team, including an 88-yard touchdown run. Dotson, with 3,973 career yards to date (with an 11.32 yards per carry career average) should surpass 5,000 career yards by season’s end.

Here are some highlights from Dotson’s senior year from Hudl.com … enjoy!!

September 19th

Linebacker Rick Gamboa “all over the field making plays”

Buff linebacker commit Rick Gamboa plays for Chaminade high in West Hills, California. The Eagles are 2-1 on the season, with the only loss a 55-54 setback on the road against Hart high.

Last weekend, Chaminade took out Venice, 57-33. While defensive stats were not available, the Chaminade football twitter account had this to say, “He was all over the field last night making plays. Pac-12 better watch out.”

Gamboa is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. While Gamboa, who is 6’0″, 217-pounds, only had offers from UTEP and Idaho when he committed in June, he was rated by Scout as the No. 6 middle linebacker in the West this recruiting season (CU commit Zach Brown was ranked as the No. 5 middle linebacker in the same rankings). Rivals bio  Scout bio

Linebacker Grant Watanabe picks off two passes

CU commit Grant Watanabe had two interceptions this past weekend in Brennan’s 49-21 win over East Central. The San Antonio linebacker is 5′ 11″, 225-pounds, and is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect.

Watanabe committed to Colorado back in May, when his only other offer was from Utah, but he has attracted attention from other schools since. Watanabe appears to be a solid CU commit, though. He took an unofficial visit to Boulder during fall camp, and came away impressed.

“I wanted to get a chance to see how the coaches interact with their players and how they coach on the field,” Watanabe told BuffPlayBook.com. “I really got the opportunity to get to know my future teammates a lot better. I hung out with a lot of the linebackers, got to see what they go through before a practice. I get a really family feel around this program.”

Watanabe’s unofficial visit to CU was all about building relationships.

“I really love this coaching staff,” Watanabe said. “They really care about you as young men and not just as football players. I talked to a lot of the current team members, they all love Coach (Mike) MacIntyre, not one person has anything bad to say about him”.  Rivals bio  Scout bio

September 17th

Tight end commit Dylan Keeney already has two touchdown catches

In his first two games as a tight end, CU commit Dylan Keeney has four catches and two touchdowns.

In the first game of the season for Granite Bay (Calif.), a 30-14 loss to Folsom, Keeney had two catches for 25 yards. This past weekend, Keeney had two more catches, going for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Last season, Keeney played mostly linebacker, even contributing two interceptions in the state championship game. This year, though, Keeney is focusing on playing tight end, and the 6’6″, 215-pound senior is making good progress.

Keeney committed to Colorado July 1st, and had offers from a half dozen other schools, including San Jose State, Wyoming and Nevada. He is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect.  Rivals bio Scout bio

Defensive back Chance Waz having a great early season

Hendrickson high in Pflugerville, is ranked as the No. 23 team in the state of Texas with a 3-0 record. One of its star players is defensive back Chance Waz, who is already having a great season.

Waz had some unbelievable stats in his game last weekend. He had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, six pass break ups, seven tackles and a defensive touchdown in Hendrickson’s 49-14 win over Vandegrift. He had another pick-six that was called back because of an off-sides penalty. In three games, Waz has 28 tackles, 11 pass break ups, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Waz committed to Colorado on June 11th. He is considered by both Rivals and Scout as a two-star player, but he is certainly playing above his rating. His offers were from Utah, North Texas, and UTEP, but Buff fans will likely be glad CU got an early commitment from this 5’11”, 173-pound 4.5-in-the-40 star.  Rivals bio Scout bio.

Some Hudl.com highlights of Chance Waz.

September 15th

Cade Apsay leads Canyon Cowboys to 2-0 record

In the season opener against a very good Westlake team (ranked No. 17 in the state of California before the game), CU commit Cade Apsay completed 15-of-27 passes for 215 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Apsay also ran for 27 yards in leading Canyon to a 23-16 victory. BuffPlaybook.com’s report on the game: Apsay played a solid game. He did a great job managing and leading his team, making very few mistakes and keeping drives alive by scrambling out of the pocket. It’s noted that he appeared much faster this season than he did last fall.

This past weekend, Apsay had an even better game. In taking out Clovis West, 48-0, Apsay had five touchdown passes. Apsay went 15-for-20 for 265 yards, with two interceptions to go with his five touchdowns. Apsay also had eight carries for 69 yards and another touchdown.

Apsay now has six touchdown passes for the Cowboys, after throwing for a school-record 39 scores last season.

Apsay is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout. Rivals considers Apsay to be the No. 100 player out of the state of California this season, while Scout rates Apsay as the No. 65 pro-style quarterback in the nation. Rivals bio  Scout bio

Christian Shaver has 21 tackles in three games

Defensive end Christian Shaver’s Jordan Beetdiggers (Sandy, Utah), aren’t doing so well so far this season. After winning their opener, they lost two straight.

In those three games, however, Shaver has posted 21 tackles, including 15 solo tackles. Shaver also has two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Shaver is considered to be a two-star prospect, though he does hold offers from Utah and Hawai’i. Rivals bio  Scout bio

August 1st

Dylan Keeney given a three-star ranking

Class of 2014 verbal commit Dylan Keeney, previously unrated by Rivals, was given a three-star rating this week.

The move gives Colorado seven players out of eight from the recruiting Class of 2014 with three stars, with the lone two-star recruit being defensive back Chance Waz. Meanwhile, over at Scout, CU’s eight players break down as five players with three-star players, and three with two-stars (71st nationally).

While Colorado has been fairly quiet in recruiting news the past few weeks, several Pac-12 teams have been busy, most notably the Arizona schools. The Wildcats had a No. 40 ranking on July 13th, but have moved into the top twenty five nationally since then, picking up eight new verbal commits in the past three weeks. The Sun Devils, meanwhile, picked up five new commitments, also moving up 19 spots in the rankings.

Here is the breakdown of the Pac-12, according to Rivals (to August 1st):

No. 21 – Arizona – (up 19 spots) – 20 commits (three four-stars) (eight new commitments since July 13th)

No. 31 – Stanford – (up 14 spots) – 12 commits (three four-stars) (five new commitments since July 13th)

No. 49 – Oregon – (down six spots) – eight commits (three four-stars)

No. 50 – Washington (down one spot) – eight commits (four four-stars) (one new commitment since July 13th)

No. 53 – USC – (down 11 spots) – seven commits (four four-stars)

No. 55 – Cal – (down nine spots) – nine commits (two four-stars)

No. 59 – Washington State – (down two spots) – nine commits (no four-stars) (one new commitment since July 13th)

No. 64 – Utah – (down six spots) – nine commits (one four-star) (two new commitments since July 13th)

No. 67 – Arizona State – (up 19 spots) – eight commits (one four-star) (five new commitments since July 13th)

No. 69 – Colorado – (up one spot) – eight commits (no four-stars)

No. 77 – UCLA – (down one spot) – five commits (one four-star) (one new commitment since July 13th)

No. 83 – Oregon State – (down four spots) – four commits (no four-stars)

and …

No. 94 – Colorado State – (up nine spots) – eight commits (no four-stars) (four new commitments since July 13th, including two-star braggart Zach Stefo – see below)

July 30th

CSU prospect gives CU bulletin board material

From the Coloradoan … Zach Stefo wanted it to be a surprise, but the secret got out.

Stefo, a 2014 offensive lineman for Pomona High School, called CSU defensive coordinator Marty English on Sunday night to say he planned on committing to the Rams but wanted to hold off until he could do it in person, meeting face-to-face with coach Jim McElwain.

Somehow, Stefo said, rumor of his upcoming decision started to circulate, so he called The Coloradoan on Tuesday morning to say he was about to drive up to Colorado State University from Arvada to make his pledge.

… “I’ve been up there and looked at the campus and it was nice, but in reality, all of these colleges have nice campuses. I want to play for a school and a program that’s going somewhere,” Stefo said. “I could have gone to CU, but I’d probably have lost for the next five years. CSU has a bright future and coach McElwain has established a great base. I trust him for the next five years.”

New Mexico State was Stefo’s other scholarship offer. His cousin, Christian Stefo, was a reserve for the Rams in 2010.

… Pretty big talk from a player with no BCS conference offers (Rivals bio).

… Colorado State now has seven commits for the Class of 2014, with one three-star recruit, three two-star recruits, and three recruits – including Stefo – who remain unrated by Rivals (Scout has CSU with two three-star recruits, three two-star recruits and two recruits – including Stefo – who remain unrated.

July 13th

Notes on the No. 1 prospect out of the state of Colorado

Kalen Ballage is rated by Rivals as the No. 1 prospect out of the state of Colorado from the Class of 2014. Ballage, listed as a 6’2″, 216-pound star from Falcon, Colorado, and is considered by Rivals to be the No. 6 athlete nationally. Scout, meanwhile, Scout considers Ballage to be the No. 42 running back in the nation.

This note from CU at the Gamer John McIntosh …  “I thought I would throw a couple facts at you. I had the good fortune to be one of the track coaches for K. Ballage the past 3 years. Last Feb. on the first day of practice, we timed all sprinters….Kalen ran two consecutive 4.3′s (hand held) and was timed (electronic) at 10.6 and 10.7 in the 100 meters during the season. He is 6’3″ and weighs 226 pounds. His uncle (Howard) played at CU….”.

Unfortunately for the Buff Nation, the University of Colorado faces stiff competition for Ballage’s services. Ballage was set to make take some unofficial trips this summer, heading off to Nebraska, Michigan, Boise State and Michigan State, but those trips were called off when Colorado summer wildfires threatened his home and hometown. Other Pac-12 schools who have offered Ballage include Arizona State, Utah, Washington State and Oregon State, along with such schools as Georgia Tech, Kansas State and Iowa.

So, does CU have a chance?

“I don’t really have a list of favorites – I haven’t been able to visit many schools. I’ve been busy with football back home preparing with my team and everything”, Ballage told GoldandGreenNews.com when asked about his interest in in-state schools.  As for his interest in the in-state Rams and Buffs? “To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I’m just playing everything by ear right now”.

Ballage does not intend to announce his choice of school until after his senior season, so Coach Mac & Co. still have an opportunity to impress the state’s No. 1 prospect.

CU’s Class holding its own in Pac-12 rankings

With eight verbal commitments for the Class of 2014, Coach Mac & Co. continues to hold its own against fellow Pac-12 members. The CU Class is currently ranked 9th in the conference by both Rivals and Scout, with national rankings of 70th and 65th, respectively.

No team from the Pac-12 has yet to break into the top 25 nationally, though according to Scout, the league is edging closer. At Rivals, the highest rated team to date is Arizona, no better than 40th nationally, while over at Scout, Oregon, Arizona, Stanford and USC hold down spots 28 through 31, with Washington at No. 35 and Cal at No. 39.

When looking at the average rating per recruit, CU also does fairly well considering the last seven seasons of futility in Boulder. At Scout, Colorado’s average ranking of 2.63 stars per recruit ties the Buffs for 53rd nationally with Washington State, right behind Nebraska’s 11 recruits, who average 2.64 stars per prospect (in the hard to explain category, CU and Washington State both have eight recruits, the average for both Classes, at least according to Scout, is 2.63 stars. So … they should be equal in the rankings, right? Nope. Washington State’s Class is ranked 53rd overall, well ahead of Colorado’s ranking of 65th).

Over at Rivals, CU’s average star rating of 2.86 is 46th nationally, and that includes as of yet unrated tight end recruit Dylan Keeney.

So, not the top 25 ranking Buff fans had grown accustomed to in the not too distant past, but not bad considering. For reference, last year’s transition class had a final ranking of 69th nationally by Scout, with an average star rating of 2.45. At Rivals, the Buffs were 67th nationally, with an average star rating of 2.68.

Here is the breakdown of the Pac-12, according to Rivals (to July 13th):

No. 40 – Arizona – 12 commits (two four-stars)

No. 42 – USC – seven commits (four four-stars)

No. 43 – Oregon – eight commits (three four-stars)

No. 45 – Stanford – seven commits (three four-stars)

No. 46 – Cal – nine commits (two four-stars)

No. 49 – Washington – seven commits (four four-stars)

No. 57 – Washington State – eight commits (no four-stars)

No. 58 – Utah – seven commits (one four-star)

No. 70 – Colorado – eight commits (no four-stars) (might move up when Dylan Keeney is rated)

No. 76 – UCLA – four commits (one four-star)

No. 79 – Oregon State – four commits (no four-stars)

No. 88 – Arizona State – three commits (no four-stars)

and …

No. 103 – Colorado State – four commits (no four-stars)

July 2nd

Colorado up to 8th/9th in Pac-12 recruiting rankings

While the Pac-12 continues to languish as a conference with respect to recruiting for the Class of 2014, the Colorado Buffaloes continue to edge up in the rankings.

The league as a whole is not impressing the recruiting services, with no team ranked higher than 40th in the country according to Rivals, with a No. 28 the best ranking for a Pac-12 team at Scout (Stanford in both instances).

With the league not receiving bushels of four- and five-star commitments, CU has moved into better company nationally. At Rivals, the Buffs have the 9th-best Class in the Pac-12 (70th overall), while Scout has Colorado coming in with the 8th-best Class to date (62nd in the nation).

Here is the breakdown of the Pac-12, according to Rivals (to July 2nd):

No. 40 – Stanford – seven commits (three four-stars)

No. 43 – Arizona – 11 commits (two four-stars)

No. 47 – Cal – eight commits (one four-star)

No. 49 – USC – six commits (three four-stars)

No. 52 – Washington – six commits (three four-stars)

No. 54 – Utah – six commits (one four-star)

No. 56 – Oregon – six commits (one four-star)

No. 61 – Washington State – seven commits (no four-stars)

No. 70 – Colorado – seven commits (no four-stars) (might move up when Dylan Keeney is rated)

No. 75 – UCLA – four commits (one four-star)

No. 80 – Arizona State – four commits (no four-stars)

No. 83 – Oregon State – three commits (no four-stars)

Out of the 75 total commits for the Pac-12, there are no five-star commits, and only 15 (20%) are four-star commits. So, while Colorado is not making great headway just yet in recruiting under Mike MacIntyre, and while it is fairly certain that whatever the new coaching staff does between now and Signing Day, the pundits will rank CU’s class fairly low, Mac-2 & Co. – at least for now – have not fallen irreversibly behind.

June 15th

Colorado 74th in recruiting rankings at Rivals; 78th at Scout

Colorado has three commits for the Class of 2014. Seven teams in the Pac-12 have more commits, three others also have three, and one team – Oregon State – only has one verbal commitment to date.

With Oregon State lagging behind the rest of the league, Colorado remains in 11th place overall in Pac-12 recruiting, good enough for 74th nationally according to Rivals; 78th according to Scout.

Here is the breakdown of the Pac-12, according to Rivals:

No. 38 – Utah – six commits (one four-star)

No. 40 – Arizona – eight commits (two four-stars)

No. 43 – Oregon – five commits (one four-star)

No. 44 – USC – five commits (three four-stars)

No. 46 – Washington State – six commits (no four-stars)

No. 50t – Cal – five commits (one four-star)

No. 50t – UCLA – four commits (two four-stars)

No. 53 – Arizona State – five commits (one four-star)

No. 61 – Washington – three commits (two four-stars)

No. 65 – Stanford – three commits (two four-stars)

No. 74 – Colorado – three commits (no four-stars)

No. 90 – Oregon State – one commit (no four-stars)

Out of the 54 total commits for the Pac-12, there are no five-star commits, and only 14 (24%) are four-star commits. So, while Colorado is not making great headway just yet in recruiting under Mike MacIntyre, and while it is fairly certain that whatever the new coaching staff does between now and Signing Day, the pundits will rank CU’s class fairly low, Mac-2 & Co. – at least for now – have not fallen irreversibly behind.

June 12th

ColoradoPrepReport updates status for five in-state recruits

Five for Friday is a FREE article from Colorado Prep Report that headlines the recruiting for five different athletes across the state.  See who is included in another edition of Five for Friday.  And remember, this feature is FREE!

Valor Christian offensive lineman Alec Ruth CU Camp: “I had fun and I think I did pretty good. Coach Bernardi was really great and a really good coach. He taught me some stuff.” Offers: “I have Oregon State, San Diego State, and Harvard.” Full Article

Overland athlete Austin Conway New offer: “Nebraska offered me on Thursday. First they came to see me. A couple of weeks later, I talked to their coach and he ended up offering me.” Nebraska: “I grew up around Nebraska fans and I’ve always watched Nebraska football. It was one of my dreams come true. I really like their program and coaching staff.” Full Article

Dakota Ridge lineman Brant Seeley Camps: “We are talking about going to the Northern Colorado camp right now. That is the only one we have planned going to right now.” Recruiting: “Western State in Colorado has been talking to me. Wyoming is still there and I’ve gotten letters from Augsburg and some other colleges.” Full Article

Arapahoe tight end Ethan Brunhofer Camps: “I just went to CU and I have a trip planned for the east coast. I’ll be going to Harvard and Cornell. I’m also doing one at Drake.” CU Camp: It went pretty well. I did well with the drills and it went okay.” Full Article

Standley Lake defensive end Trey Jarvis Camps: “I’m going to UNC, Air Force, Drake, North Texas, and CU too.” Calls: “I got a call from Wyoming and a call from Air Force.” Full Article

June 5th

Buffs finally on the board in national rankings

With two verbal commitments on the board, the University of Colorado is finally registering a pulse in the national rankings. The Buffs are ranked 70th in the Rivals rankings; 75th at Scout.

Amongst Pac-12 schools, CU is 11th at Rivals, coming in ahead of Oregon State, while Scout has the Buffs tied with the Beavers.

Nationally, the Pac-12 continues to lag behind the other conferences, with no team ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Here is the breakdown of the Pac-12, according to Rivals:

No. 34 – Utah – five commits (one four-star)

No. 35 – Arizona – six commits (two four-stars)

No. 38 – USC – five commits (three four-stars)

No. 41 – Washington – four commits (three four-stars)

No. 42 – Washington State – four commits (one four-star)

No. 50t – Arizona State – four commits (one four-star)

No. 50t – Cal – four commits (one four-star)

No. 55 – Stanford – three commits (two four-stars)

No. 56 – UCLA – three commits (one four-star)

No. 63 – Oregon – three commits (no four-stars)

No. 70 – Colorado – two commits (no four-stars)

No. 78 – Oregon State – one commit (no four-stars)

Out of the 44 total commits for the Pac-12, there are no five-star commits, and only 15 (34%) are four-star commits. So, while Colorado is not making great headway just yet in recruiting under Mike MacIntyre, and while it is fairly certain that whatever the new coaching staff does between now and Signing Day, the pundits will rank CU’s class fairly low, Mac-2 & Co. – at least for now – have not fallen irreversibly behind.

(For what you want to make of it, in the national rankings right now, the No. 1 team nationally is Tennessee, led by first year head coach Butch Jones, who spurned Colorado for the Volunteers).

May 23rd

Recruiting rankings: All is not lost … yet

Still concerned that CU is behind in the recruiting wars?

Well, there is this …

The rest of the Pac-12 isn’t exactly lighting it up this spring, either.

According to Rivals, the top ranked team in the conference right now is … Utah. The Utes have five verbal commitments, only good enough for a No. 32 national ranking.

The rest of the Pac-12 (Rivals):

USC – 35th

Washington – 41st

Stanford – 46th

Arizona – 49th

Cal – 50th

Oregon – 53rd

Arizona State – 55th

Washington State – 59th

UCLA – 64th

Oregon State – 72nd

Meanwhile, over at Scout.com:

25. USC

30. Washington

33. Stanford

34. Arizona

39. Oregon

43. Arizona

47. Utah

55. Cal

59. Washington State

69. UCLA

72. Oregon State

… With CU’s first commitment being a three-star recruit, the Buffs are already in line to join the rankings in the 70’s, and are just another three-star recruit away from getting into the 60’s.

For now, it’s at least of some comfort that none of CU’s rivals (even USC) has cornered the market on the Recruiting Class of 2014 …

May 18th

CU Recruiting … At least they are trying …

Colorado may be the only team in the Pac-12 without a commitment for the Class of 2014, but that doesn’t mean that the CU coaching staff is still trying to find their way around the Dal Ward Center, neglecting the recruiting trails.

May is an “evaluation period”, where there is no direct contact with recruits, but coaches are on the road is watching film, talking with coaches, and double-checking transcripts for eligibility issues. Each staff is given 168 “evaluation days” during this period, with five coaches allowed to be on the road at any given time.

Plus, there is contact by other means. Case in point, Hendrickson, Texas, defensive back Chance Waz. (Rivals bio) (Scout bio)

Waz recently received 38 hand written notes and letters from 38 different people at the University of Colorado who will play some role in his life during his career as a Buff.

“I was blown away by the 38 hand written letters,” Waz told BuffPlayBook.com. “From the Head Coach, from every assistant coach, members of the football staff, the athletic administration, people in the academic department down to even one teacher that is in my course of study, it was very impressive.”

Appears in those letters were words of encouragement, people letting them know what roles they would play in Waz’s life at Colorado and what a great school CU would be for his future both athletically and academically.

“It’s definitely a different approach than anyone else is taking with me,” Waz said. “To get that many hand written notes from so many people at Colorado was really cool. It shows that they care about me as a student first as well as for my athletic abilities.”

… So, while it remains a word Buff fans hate to hear … we need to be patient.

Good things come to those who wait.

May 14th

Buffs have a shot at Doug Rippy’s cousin?

Not exactly a prospect from the Class of 2014, but this former four-star prospect from the Class of 2012 did take an official visit to Boulder before committing to Pitt …

From the Pittsburgh Tribune … Linebacker Deaysean Rippy of Sto-Rox said he’s leaving the Pittsburgh program after one year.

(Rippy was not) listed on Pitt’s two-deep depth chart at the end of spring drills. Rippy was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com (Rivals bio).

“I was on the verge of being sure,” he said. “I was kind of overwhelmed. I was an 18-year-old kid at the time. That’s a lot of pressure.”

Rippy said he’s unsure where he will enroll this year, but he said he has been in contact with some Pac-12 schools, including Colorado.

May 13th

CU Coaches’ Caravan underway

CU coaches, including head football coach Mike MacIntyre, men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle, and women’s basketball coach Linda Lappe, are crisscrossing the state the remainder of the week. First stops Monday included Boulder, Longmont, and Ft. Collins.

The full story can be found at cubuffs.com.  Some highlights:

– Mike MacIntyre is campus-bound, but has coaches currently recruiting in Colorado, California and Texas. He said nine in-state prospects have been offered for the 2014 class, with that number potentially rising to 12-14. “We want to build a wall around Colorado,” MacIntyre said, “but I know it’s a little hard to do at 1-11.”

– The summer months, said MacIntyre, are critical for the development of quarterback Connor Wood, whose improvement in the final half of spring drills moved him to the forefront at his position. “He became very accurate,” MacIntyre said. He also became the most experienced QB on the roster with the transfer of Nick Hirschman.

– Nonetheless, MacIntyre is holding fast to his plan of eyeballing incoming freshman Sefo Liufau and charting Sefo’s August progress before naming a starter for the Sept. 1 opener against Colorado State. As will the other CU freshmen, Liufau will get roughly two months of summer work and indoctrination before camp opens on Aug. 5. Liufau’s high school graduation is on the morning of June 2, and MacIntyre expects him in Boulder that night.

– Liufau appears humble and well-grounded. “He’s not a ‘golden child,’” as some players at his position can be, MacIntyre said, noting that Liufau has two autistic siblings and has been instrumental in helping raise both.

– MacIntyre told of a recent lunch meeting with former CU coach Bill McCartney. “I took about 1,000 pages of notes,” the newer “Mac” said. “He’s a phenomenal man . . . he’s very, very positive and excited about where we’re going.”

May 11th

Coach Mac not concerned about the lack of a verbal commit for the Class of 2014

Full article at the Daily Camera … “Early commits, if they fit what you want in your program and you’ve known them for awhile, then I think it’s good if it’s a true commitment,” MacIntyre said. “If it’s just to hold one until getting another offer, that’s a little bit different.

“Our situation right now at Colorado, we’re new here and we’re out after it, but a lot of kids are sitting and waiting to see what we do as a program. Our situation is a little bit different than a coach who has been at a school eight or nine years and he already knew about the sophomores and juniors and people in their area. With early commitments, it’s kind of a 50-50 sometimes on that.”

MacIntyre said he expects that after being in Boulder for a few years he will generally have a few commitments by this point in future years because he will have had more time to build relationships and sell his program, particularly when it comes to Colorado prospects.

“Right now, a lot of the kids don’t know us, and we’re getting out there, but they’re also kind of sitting back to see how we’re going to do and what we do,” MacIntyre said. “I honestly don’t look at that as a negative at all. We also don’t throw out a bunch of early offers. We really want to try to some way some how find out more information on the kid. I’m a true believer to get the right guys to fit Colorado.”

… So, what should Mike MacIntyre & Co. be telling potential recruits?

ESPN has recruiting pitches for all of the schools in the Pac-12. Here is the take on CU:

What they’re selling: The Buffaloes need playmakers at a multitude of position on both sides of the ball. Playing time and the ability to make an instant impact are certainly on the table for Colorado recruits.
What they’re missing: Colorado was two points away from a winless season in 2012 and has very little on-field momentum heading into 2013. The Buffs have just four wins in two years in the Pac-12, and until that changes, it’ll be difficult to win significant recruiting battles.

May 6th

CU interested in Arkansas quarterback?

It didn’t work out very well when Colorado took Kansas graduate Jordan Webb (who may be back by mid-season, coach MacIntyre said today in the Pac-12 teleconference), but the Buffs might be willing to try the senior transfer quarterback one more time …

The Buffs took a look at junior college quarterback Nelson Fishback, who decided on Western Kentucky (no confirmation that CU ever offered a scholarship, but the Buffs were at least looking), so what about a former Razorback?

From ESPN … Brandon Mitchell was caught off guard by new coach Bret Bielema’s suggestion that he might see action somewhere other than quarterback following the end of spring practice at Arkansas.

Mitchell won’t have to worry about that possibility anymore: He is one of four Razorbacks who have been granted their release with the intention of transferring, Bielema said Monday.

Bielema said following the spring that he would consider playing Mitchell at wide receiver, where he played primarily last season in an effort to receive as much playing time as possible with Tyler Wilson entrenched as the starter.

That was news to Mitchell, who was clearly agitated by the suggestion of another position following the spring and said he wasn’t giving up hopes of being the starting quarterback.

“With the competition not being over at quarterback, I’m just focused on strictly quarterback,” Mitchell said at the time. “I don’t even want to consider anything else right now. My mind’s on quarterback.”

Mitchell served as Wilson’s backup two seasons ago, finishing 22-of-32 passing for 271 yards in limited action. He moved to receiver last summer, opening the door for Allen to step in as Arkansas’ backup quarterback, and performed well — despite being suspended for four games last season for a violation of team rules.

The 6-foot-4, 239-pound Mitchell moved back to quarterback after Bielema’s hiring in December, hoping his experience would help him supplant Allen as the starter. However, he struggled initially with the new terminology in Chaney’s offense as well as with interceptions — throwing one in the red zone during the Razorbacks spring game.

Bielema said in a statement that Mitchell is on track to earn his degree this summer and will use the NCAA graduate-transfer exception to play immediately elsewhere this season.

… Mitchell, from Amite, Louisiana, was a member of the Recruiting Class of 2009. Mitchell was rated as an athlete, and was considered by Rivals to be the No. 53 athlete in that Class.

Here is a link to Mitchell’s profile, showing offers back in 2009 from schools like Michigan, Tulsa, and Mississippi State.

May 4th

Buffs lose out on junior college defensive back

I was hoping that this would be good news, but …

From BadgerBlitz.com … After an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend, junior college defensive back TJ Reynard became a late addition to the Badgers’ 2013 recruiting class.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound prospect, who was recruited by defensive backs coach Bill Busch, committed to UW on Saturday while on campus.

“At the end of the day, I just felt that Wisconsin was the best place for me,” Reynard told BadgerBlitz.com on Saturday evening.

Reynard, who played last season at Independence Community College in Kansas, chose Wisconsin over offers from Colorado, Georgia Southern and Kentucky. He took an official visit to Boulder last weekend and had the Buffs in his top two.

May 3rd

Spring Evaluation Period

While CU athletes are busy studying for finals, the CU coaches are on the road.

May is an “evaluation period”. During this time, coaches are allowed to initiate contact with 2014 recruits no more than once a week. At any given time, up to seven of the nine assistant coaches are allowed to be on the road … but they can’t have in-person contact with a recruit (remember when Rick Neuheisel would park across the street from a recruit’s house, call him, and ask him to come to the window so he could wave at the – hopefully impressed – prospect?) .

What the coaches are supposed to be doing while on the road is watching film, talking with coaches, and double-checking transcripts for eligibility issues. Each staff is given 168 “evaluation days” during this period. So, if six coaches are out on the road for five days in a week, and a seventh coach is out for four days, the team has used 34 “evaluation days”.

Even before the end of spring practices, CU coaches were using their evaluation days. The Spring game was on a Saturday, with the final team practice the following Tuesday. That Monday, the day before the final practice, CU had five coaches out at in-state high schools, using up five evaluation days while introducing themselves to in-state high school coaches.

So, where are the coaches this month? They are hard to keep track of, but, for an example, there is a report that Colorado was represented at American Canyon high in California, checking out cornerback Malik Beachum and running back Jomon Dotson. Neither player is currently showing an offer from CU, but that might change this weekend. Dotson is considered a three-star player with offers from schools like Iowa State, Northwestern, and San Jose State.

May 2nd

McCaffrey gives verbal commit to Stanford

Christian McCaffrey, son of former Bronco Ed McCaffrey, has given his verbal commitment to Stanford.

McCaffrey, rated as the No. 3 all-purpose back in the nation by Rivals (and the No. 195 prospect overall – Rivals bio), never had CU on his radar. Oregon, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Nebraska and Wisconsin were amongst the dozens of schools who had offered McCaffrey, considered perhaps the best prospect out of the state of Colorado this season.

McCaffrey, at 6’0″, 193-pounds, plays for Valor Christian high in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

April 7th

Pac-12 off to a slow start in picking up 2014 recruits

Colorado has yet to obtain a verbal commitment from the Class of 2014.

Cause for consternation? Perhaps not, especially if Coach MacIntyre and Co. can post some victories this fall, giving potential recruits a sign of positive things to come. (And don’t forget that CU is hosting its second Junior Day in conjunction with the Spring game. It’s not inconceivable that CU could pick up a verbal commit or two this weekend).

But what of the rest of the Pac-12? How are the Buffs’ rivals faring so far in the chase for February, 2014, signatures?

Arizona … Three verbal commitments, including two four-star prospects, athlete Cameron Denson and running back Nick Wilson.

Arizona State … Two verbal commitments, including one four-star prospect, defensive back Jaleel Wadood.

Cal … One verbal commitment, four-star athlete Koa Farmer.

Oregon … One three-star commit.

Oregon State … One unrated commit.

Stanford … No commits.

UCLA … One three-star verbal commit.

USC … Four verbal commits, including three four-star prospects, all three offensive lineman: Toa LobendahnJordan Poland, and Casey Tucker.

Utah … Four verbal commits (three from the state of Utah), including one four-star commit, offensive lineman Jackson Burton.

Washington … Two verbal commits, including one four-star prospect, wide receiver Rahshead Johnson.

Washington State … One unrated commit.

Totals … 20 verbal commits to date, including nine four-star commits … Only Colorado and Stanford remain devoid of any recruits, though Oregon State’s and Washington State’s commits are unrated … USC had highly rated classes, even when limited to 15 scholarships. The Trojans – unless Kiffin & Co. implode with another 7-6 record this season, will likely have a top ten, if not a top five, class next February.

March 29th

In-state prospects a priority for new coaching staff

When Jon Embree, himself a product of Cherry Creek high school in Denver, was hired as the new head coach at Colorado, the thought was that the University of Colorado would shut down the border from out of state schools when it came to recruiting in-state talent.

After all, wasn’t it Bill McCartney’s ability to convince talented in-state players like Embree, players who had multiple offers from out-of-state programs, to stay home which led to a turnaround of the CU football program?

That was the blueprint, but it didn’t work out that way.

Embree’s first recruiting Class, the Class of 2011, had only two players from Rivals list of top ten in-state talent, offensive lineman Marc Mustoe, ranked No. 5, and linebacker Brady Daigh, ranked No. 10. The top four players out of Colorado that cycle signed with Stanford, UCF, Kansas, and Colorado State.

Okay, Buff fans thought, Embree didn’t have much chance at the Class of 2011, coming in as the new head coach in December, 2010. He’ll do much better with the Recruiting Class of 2012.

Once again, not so much.

CU again only signed two of Rivals top ten players from the state of Colorado, fullback/linebacker Clay Norgard (No. 7) and defensive tackle Tyler Henington (No. 8). The top five from that class signed with, in order, Washington, Ohio State (now with Colorado State), Nebraska, and two with Auburn.

This February, Mike MacIntyre signed the Class of 2013, which was largely recruited by Jon Embree and his staff.

The results? Only running back Phillip Lindsay (No. 5 in the rankings) signed with Colorado.

So, from the last three signing Classes, Colorado has signed all of five players out of the top 30 in-state prospects … and none of them ranked higher than the No. 5 player in the state.

Little brother Colorado State, if you count offensive lineman Joey O’Connor, who signed with Ohio State but has since transferred to Colorado State, has signed six in-state top ten players over that same three year period.

When he was hired, Mike MacIntyre stated that recruiting in-state talent would be a priority. He pointed to the numerous camps he conducted in the state of California when he was the head coach at San Jose State, and how his coaching staff had a working relationship with every high school coach in the state.

Coach MacIntyre has tried to get off on the right foot with in-state coaches and players, hosting his first Junior Day the first weekend of spring practices. Reportedly, over 60 high school coaches were in attendance, with more expected for the second Junior Day, to be conducted in conjunction with the Spring game on April 13th.

Now, as for the recruits …

Rivals has yet to post its list of top 15 in-state prospects for the Class of 2014, but that does not mean that some of those players are not already known … and carrying offers from the University of Colorado.

Here are some of the in-state players who CU fans will be keeping an eye on between now and February, 2014 (complete offer sheet can be found at the Rivals website):

Christian McCaffrey (Highlands Ranch), all-purpose back … the ship may have already sailed on this son of a former Denver Bronco. A partial list of schools McCaffrey has interest in includes: Stanford; Washington; Oregon; UCLA; Nebraska; Wisconsin; Florida; and Florida State. CU does not appear to be in the mix for McCaffrey’s services.

Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch), offensive lineman … the three-star prospect was offered by the Buffs in February, and attended the first Junior Day in Boulder. Jones also has offers from a number of other schools including Colorado State, both Oregon schools, and Arizona State.

Kalen Ballage (Falcon), athlete … presently only listed as a three-star prospect, Ballage will likely have his rating revised upward, and may wind up as the top prospect out of the state of Colorado this fall. Ballage plays both running back and linebacker, and is being recruited by different schools for different positions. Ballage currently holds about a dozen offers – from schools like Arizona State, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oregon State and Utah – and that number is likely to increase.

Dalton Risner (Wiggins), offensive lineman … a three-star prospect with multiple offers, who has already pulled the trigger on his commitment. Risner gave a verbal commitment to Kansas State when he attended the Wildcats’ Junior Day March 7th.

Isaiah Holland (Highlands Ranch), offensive lineman … as yet unrated, Holland is still attracting attention from schools like Colorado State, Wyoming, and Michigan. Holland attended the Buffs’ first junior day, and the school might have an in … Holland is the son of former Buff great Darius Holland (DT, 1991-94).

Isaac Miller (Silver Creek), offensive lineman … also unrated, Miller picked up an offer from CU during the Junior Day festivities. Miller has already visited Wyoming, has an offer from Washington State, is planning on attending Purdue’s Junior Day. If Miller doesn’t choose a BCS conference school, he may be off to the Ivy League.

Sam Martin (Boulder), wide receiver … another son of a former Buff (Scott Martin, 1983), Sam Martin led the state in receptions (76) and receiving yards (1,289) last season. Despite a three-star rating, Martin does not yet have any scholarship offers from any school, including Colorado.

There will certainly be more names added to the list as time goes on, and while it is true that some of the players ranked in the top ten in the state do not fit into CU’s plans, and there are some players that, regardless of how well the coaches recruit, will want to go out of state for school.

But CU’s track record on signing in-state talent has to improve. Missing out of the top four in-state prospects in each of the last three recruiting classes is not what Buff fans are looking for from the CU program.

We’ll see if Mac and Co. can turn things around, both on and off the field …

 

24 Replies to “Recruiting Prospects – 2014”

  1. “not to be too cynical…”? but somewhat cynical nevertheless.
    I wonder if these recruiting “services” even realize that when they do these star rating changes simply because of the school a player commits to it makes the rest of us wonder why we can trust their ratings when it appears they don’t even trust them themselves.

  2. Stuart, thanks for all the work you do here. I am curious if the football program has any plans to put some pop into their uniforms. I believe putting some creativity into our uni’s will help lure some more talent to Boulder. This younger generation coming up wants to win and they want to look good while they are doing it. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks again.

  3. Yo Stuart,

    It’s ok that Dotson decided to go elsewhere. If a young man is not fully committed to being here in Boulder, he (and we) are better off. Besides, we already have a handful of small running backs. Dotson is not fast enough to blow by people at the FBS level, and he’s not big enough to be a good pass blocker.

    I’m sure that MacIntyre will find a suitable replacement who is commited to the Buffs.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

  4. If somehow the coaches can sway Kalen Ballage away from ASU to play in his home state at CU, that would more than make up for the loss of Dotson.

    If Shay Fields chooses CU, then I would be happy with the class, though a game ready TE would have been a nice addition.

  5. Recruiting targets I’d love to see Mac land for signing day:

    WR JC Devon Blackmon (might remember him from a couple of recruiting cycles ago. He went to Oregon out of HS and left with a stop at a JC. Fast dude. We need good targets like him. Especially if PRich goes pro. Immediately fills a major need for next year.

    TE Bryce Dixon and/or TE Hayden Jones Dixon is a 4 star TE that still has the Buffs on his list. Hayden is listed as a 2 star, but given Mac has offered him and his track record with scouting talent I’d be happy to have the tall (6’6) TE.

    RB Kalen Ballage Tall (6’2) Big (215) Fast (40:4.39) and from Colorado. Has offers from all over. Would be a great get for CU to keep him instate. Plus we need more big backs.

  6. Fantastic add of the in season updates on our recruits. Thank you.

    MacI and staff have already proven to be a better coaches than Embree & crew and based on the guys they brought with them (Gillman, Owuzie, etc.) here’s to hoping they can show that they are also far superior evaluators of talent.

    Go Buffs!

  7. Stuart, just a name to keep in mind for the future. Michael DeCarmo QB, Sand Creek HS in Colorado Springs. I saw some short clips of his game this week and he looked really good throwing, also had some decent runs showing good speed. How fast? Don’t know.

    1. From the Gazette:
      Football: DeCarmo’s 5 TD night pushes Sand Creek past Liberty by Justin Felisko preps@gazette.com – • Published: September 19, 2013

      Sand Creek senior quarterback Micheal DeCarmo makes it almost look too easy sometimes. The dual-threat quarterback is quickly proving he is a master executioner of the Scorpions’ read-option offense, and on Thursday the third-year starter rattled off five touchdowns to lead Sand Creek to a 35-0 win over Liberty in the Pikes Peak League opener.
      Read more at http://gazette.com/football-decarmos-5-td-night-pushes-sand-creek-past-liberty/article/1506498#8mqBKdbQA6llaPdr.99

  8. I really hope Zach Stefo enjoys his time at CSU. If it were not for the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and the DU campus in Denver, the campus in Fort Collins would be the finest in Colorado.

    We are happy that Stefo considered walking on and paying his own way to CU instead of accepting taxpayer paid tuition at either CSU or New Mexico State. The learning experience of college is a great thing. It looks like he needs some lessons already.

    Most coaches, regardless of the sport, say publicly that there is no such thing as bulletin board material. In reality, that is a little white lie and everyone knows it. I am sure that McElwain is none too happy that a not very highly sought after recruit for the Rams is flapping his gums and pissing off future opponents.

    You have to take it with a grain of salt and consider the source. I can remember when a steroid infused All American linebacker from Oklahoma used to trash talk, but his team could walk the walk as well as make bold statements. Methinks that Stefo should do something worthy in college before taking it upon himself to trash talk. You know, something worthy of talking about, like passing a class or actually earning playing time. He can use that as a goal. He obviously know how to talk, the hard part is learning how to think.

    We here in Boulder are looking forward to your arrival.

  9. 1st timer here. Stuart I enjoy the comments and break down. I really like the polls. Keep up the good work

  10. What a little punk little stefo is! Sounds like he is bitter if anything for not getting a sniff from CU. He forgot a few words in his statement:”I could have gone to CU “AS A WALK-ON” but I’d probably have lost ON THE SCOUT TEAM for the next 5 years.”
    This would make good bulletin board material IF stefo were to ever actually get any playing time in the “showdown”.

  11. Stuart, I love your site, and visit it several times daily. I thought I would throw a couple facts at you. I had the good fortune to be one of the track coaches for K. Ballage the past 3 years. Last Feb. on the first day of practice, we timed all sprinters….Kalen ran two consecutive 4.3’s (hand held) and was timed (electronic) at 10.6 and 10.7 in the 100 meters during the season. He is 6’3″ and weighs 226 pounds. His uncle (Howard) played at CU….
    Keep up the great work!

  12. Everybody needs to relax about recruiting commitments for next year this early in the show. Remember that the so-called rating services are evaluating young men who have not stopped growing yet.

    Most of the 4-5 star recruits were early developers who looked awesome going against smaller teens during their sophomore and junior years. Senior year is when many young men blossom on the field, and many more don’t really come into their own until college.

    We need to trust MacIntyre and staff to evaluate these young men and watch as they perform on the field this fall. By the same token, good recruits will be watching how Mac and the CU BUFFS perform this fall as well.

    Also remember that many schools AND recruits will have changed their minds come National Letter Of Intent day. Commitments come and commitments go but nothing is signed, sealed, and delivered until next February.

  13. The Buffs would be fools not to offer Sam Martin. He is an outstanding player and really good kid. He also wants to be a Buff first and foremost.

  14. Stu,
    Appreciate the news and updates…great job!

    Does CU need to recruit in Colorado to be more successful…? YES.

    Restoring the Pride & Tradition, building a perennial PAC12 power, gaining Top25 respectability – will take many well coordinated efforts from new coaching staff. CU has a monumental task ahead, winning the PAC12 South means beating USC every year – ala Nebraska…in the 80′-90’s. How exciting would Fall Saturdays in Boulder CO be as they begin to accomplish that task?! What positive impact would the CO economy feel as a result?

    Coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff have great experience and they are building a great new foundation. I believe they will be very successful.

    Would like to see the Denver media stop their annual CU cynicism and their notorious Buff Bash parties in the news. Kiz, Paige, et al, have ripped on CU since old coach Mac, Neuheisel, Barnett days and always prop up CSU as their preferred state school…as Kiz reports the CU is now a basketball school and will never be competitive in the PAC12 football. Their bias, disdain and apathy towards CU have worn extremely thin over the years. Would like to see more “In-State” support and pride to lift overall interest with the Top Talent.

    Maintaining key talent in state begins with the Big Men up front on the OL/DL. Too many talented OL have left the state in the past 4-5 years…that would have created the foundation for great winning seasons. This year may be no exception.

    What is the status of OL like Sam Jones, Alec Ruth, Trent Noller, Isaiah Holland and Isaac Miller…? Why don’t we have offers to each of these players? Trent Noller has been rated in the Top10 for OL/Center…and we haven’t made an offer yet?

    Keeping Skilled Players like K Ballage & C McCaffrey should be the top priority as a few key players will help fuel the turnaround process.

    I agree that CU “must win” also in recruiting in both CA and TX to rebuild this team, but would also like to see the local Colorado talent stay “home” and play for a man of integrity and a great Coach…like Coach MacIntyre along with K Baer, B Lindgren, G Bernardi, K Adams, C Clark, T Walters and J Jeffcoat…

    How should athletics and academics leadership in Colorado work together more effectively to restore Colorado pride among the young in-state athletes? What role, if at all, should the media play?

    Go CU Buffs!

    1. Great comments!
      I definitely share your frustration with the Denver media and CU. I have many sources which I check in with on a regular basis for information on the Buffs, but the Denver Post is not one of them. I get so angry reading their articles that I just gave up on even checking the site.
      We’ll see how this new staff does in making inroads, not only with the high school coaches and players, but with the media. It’s going to be an uphill climb with both …

    2. One has to remember: slamming the Buffs has been deriguer for Post sports writers since 1947, when CU abandoned the Rocky Mtn Conference (and traditonal rival DU) for the Big 7.

      DPost guys derisively called the Buffs “Big Time Cholly” and have never let up, particularly after DU quit football in the mid-50’s, leaving Denver with no FB team to root for, until the AFL was formed in 1961. Even then, Denver had no REAL FB team until Red Miller arrived.

      Now, with the innerwebz, who cares about the Post anyway? Trick is to WIN! Then they will come.

    1. Bob,
      I would love to have a few commits this spring, but it may work to the advantage of this coaching staff not to take commitments just to be able to have someone locked in.
      If Coach Mac & Co. believe that they can turn things around – and obviously they believe they can – then the proof will be in the pudding, er, winning.
      A competitive team which wins a few games this fall, and, more importantly, shows real progress, will likely net better signees in December than those who are willing to sign on sight unseen in March.

  15. Stu, first of all, love the site!

    Second, how many recruits (i.e., scholarships) are the Buffs looking to bring in next Feb?

    Best,
    Chris

    1. Chris,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      The number is very fluid right now. First, there will be attrition – think about how many quarterbacks the Buffs have on the roster right now, and how many there are likely to be come January. Second, the new coaching staff did convince the players who were thinking about transferring to stick around through the spring. It is still very likely there will be some transfers come June.

      As a result, the Buffs, despite having only 17 seniors on the roster, will probably be looking for a full compliment of 22-25 recruits come next February.

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