Meet the CU Recruiting Class of 2015 – Offense

Nothing is certain until Wednesday, February 4th, when the Letters of Intent are received by the Colorado coaching staff at the Dal Ward Center, but we do have a fairly good idea of the makeup of CU’s Recruiting Class of 2015. Below is a position-by-position look at CU’s current roster of players on offense (the defensive side of the ball will be posted next weekend), as well as a detailed look at the commitments CU has received at those positions.

Notes … The year of eligibility listed for each player is for the 2015 season … Returning starters are listed in bold … Non-scholarship players (at least at this point) are listed in italics

Quarterback

Seniors: none

Juniors: Sefo Liufau … Jordan Gehrke … Jaleel Awini

Sophomores: none

Red-shirt freshmen: Cade Apsay … Will Fischer-Colbrie … Ty Gangi

Steven Montez – QB

Just the facts … Committed June 19th … Montez is a 6’5″, 185-pound quarterback from El Paso, Texas  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Montez … Montez is rated by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. Scout lists Montez as the No. 12 quarterback out of the state of Texas, the No. 15 quarterback in the Midlands, and the No. 74 quarterback overall.

This past fall, Montez passed for 2,967 yards this season with 46 touchdown passes, almost doubling his junior season total. He also added 1,058 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. The Conquistadors went 11-2 this season, but lost in the playoffs to eventual Texas 5A state champion Aledo. For his efforts, Montez was named the El Paso Times Offensive Player-of-the-Year.

Del Valle coach Jesse Perales had this to say about his quarterback: “Steven made tremendous strides as his career developed. He was a great teammate, a great leader. He made big play after big play for us this year. He deserves everything he’s gotten in his career. He has a bright future at the next level. I believe he’ll have a chance to go into Colorado and play right away. I know he will give his best effort at the next level.”

In 2013, Montez completed 152-of-228 passes for 1,776 yards and 27 touchdowns while throwing only three interceptions for the 8-4 Conquistadores. Montez also posted 62 rushes for 343 yards (a 5.5 yards per carry average) and seven touchdowns while earning District Player-of-the-Year award honors. Montez was also the starting quarterback in his sophomore season, completing 141-of-249 passes for 1,769 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Montez had other offers from … Air Force, New Mexico State, and UTEP, and was attracting attention from New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Stanford.

Here is a link to a local television station interview with Montez and his father (and quarterback coach) about recruiting and the offers Montez has received (three minutes which will make you feel better about Montez becoming the Buff leader of the future).

In his own words … “It was a learning experience just coming out here and having fun,” Montez told GoPokes.com after competing at an Elite 11 camp last May. “I thought I did well, but you can always do better. You know I’m just trying to get better and trying to show my stuff, show what I’ve got.”

Montez caught the eyes of head coach Trent Dilfer and most of the Elite 11 staff as you would see them pulling him aside and working with him on some of his technique and primarily some steps. Montez took the coaching readily. “I thought the instruction was good,” he added. “They said the best coaches in the world were out here for quarterbacks, and you can’t argue with that.”

As to his senior season, Montez had this to say: “I would have only been satisfied with a state title. Losing to the eventual state champion is a consolation,” Montez said. “I look back on my career as a really satisfying one. I started as a sophomore and to be at this point in my career is tremendous. I matured a great deal, physically I got better. I want to be remembered as one of the best playmakers to ever come out of this area. I want to build on my high school career as I go forward. I can still grow as a player in every way. I will be going to a really good school that plays in a great conference against the likes of USC, UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Oregon. Who wouldn’t want to go up against that kind of competition?”.

Here is a link to the Hudl.com highlights from Montez’s senior year.

——

Running Backs

Senior: Christian Powell

Junior: Michael Adkins

Sophomore: Phillip Lindsay

Red-Shirt Freshman: Kyle Evans

Donald Gordon – RB

Just the facts … Committed September 30th … Gordon is a 6’0″, 200-pound running back from Long Beach, California  Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Gordon … Gordon is rated by both Rivals and Scout as a three-star prospect, but was listed a four-star prospect according to ESPN. Gordon did not have a rating before his commitment to Colorado, even though his senior season had already begun. In his first game for Millikan high this seasons, however, Gordon posted the following numbers: 25 carries for 335 yards and six touchdowns … in only his sixth varsity game.

Why only his sixth? In an article in the Long Beach Press Telegram, Gordon’s story is explained: After moving to California from Louisiana during his sophomore year, Gordon sat out at Long Beach Jordan because he was academically ineligible. “His grades were a mess when he came out here from New Orleans,” says Millikan offensive coordinator Thomas Barnes, who coached Gordon at Jordan. The soft-spoken Gordon focused on his grades, and then sat out more games during his junior season after transferring from Jordan to Millikan. As a result, the biggest hole in Gordon’s game isn’t physical, or even mental — it’s simply reps and experience.

Gordon is reportedly very fast … he’s been clocked at a 4.4 in the 40 and 10.9 in the 100, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram article. Also, according to PrepCalTrack.com, Gordon ran an 11.25 in the 100m run last April.

Gordon had other offers from … only San Jose State. However, after the season began, Gordon received interest from Pac-12 schools, including Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington.

Here is a link to Hudl.com video highlights of Gordon running for touchdown after touchdown. According to MaxPreps, Millikan is only the 327th-ranked school in the state of California, so some of the stats this season may have to be taken with a grain of salt due to the competition.

 

Aaron Baltazar – RB – Transfer

Just the facts … Committed January 25th, according to Adam at BuffStampede.com … Baltazar is 5’11”, 190-pound running back from Chula Vista, California  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Baltazar … Baltazar was rated by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect from the Recruiting Class of 2013. Baltazar signed with Boise State, and played as a true freshman in the fall of 2013. He played in the first five games before injuring his knee and missing the remainder of the season. In those five games, Baltazar had 50 carries for 234 yards and two touchdowns, together with five receptions for 19 yards. His best game was against Fresno State, when he had 18 carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

As noted, Baltazar suffered a season-ending knee injury after playing in the first five games of 2013, but did not return to play for the Broncos. In the spring of 2014, Baltazar transferred to Washington State, but did not play for the Cougars this past season, leaving Pullman last summer. Having played in 2013, and having sat out 2014, Baltazar would have three years left on his eligibility clock. What is not certain (at least to me) is whether Baltazar would have to sit out a transfer year and have two years to play two, or whether he is eligible this fall, with three years to play three (it appears to be the latter, though we’ll have to wait for confirmation). Also to be sorted out is the seriousness of his 2013 knee injury, and his condition to play in 2015. Presumably he has healed and is ready to play, seeing at it has been 18 months since his injury, and is being recruited.

Baltazar had other offers from … UCLA and Washington from the Pac-12, as well as Cincinnati and San Diego State. As a member of the Class of 2013, Rivals rated Baltazar as the No. 60 player overall out of the state of California, while Scout had him as the No. 7 running back out of California, the No. 8 running back in the West, and the No. 49 running back in the nation. According to a Washington State fansite, last spring, upon leaving Boise State, Baltazar had interest from UCLA, USC, and Oregon State before settling on Washington State.

 

——

Fullbacks

Senior: Jordan Murphy

Juniors: none

Sophomore: George Frazier

Red-shirt Freshmen: none

 

Wide Receivers

Senior: Nelson Spruce

Junior: Colin Johnson

Sophomores: Shay Fields … Bryce Bobo … Donovan Lee … Devin Ross … Elijah Dunston … Robert Orban … Joseph Hall  

Red-shirt Freshmen: Lee Walker … Jay MacIntyre

Justin Jan – WR

Committed December 8th … Tan is a 6’3″, 205-pound wide receiver from Chandler, Arizona.  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Jan … Jan is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout …. Jan was certainly an “under the radar” prospect, after collecting five passes for 62 yards as a junior. This past season, however, Jan had 48 catches for 918 yards and 16 touchdowns in helping lead the Wolves to the Division 1 state title … One scout had this to say about Jan back in September, before his breakout season took off: “Doesn’t have the speed of the other receivers but has better size. Will go over the middle and was the Wolves’ best receiving threat”.

According to 247Sports, Jan is the 229th-best wide receiver in the nation, and the No. 29 player overall out of Arizona this season. Jan was named to the Arizona 247Sports All Division 1 team, as well as the Arizona All-Class team … Before the state playoffs began, Chandler head coach Shaun Aguano emailed azcentral.com that he felt Jan was “the best receiver next to Christian Kirk (who is rated by Rivals to be a five-star prospect, the No. 3 wide receiver in the nation).”

Jan had other offers from … No listed schools, although UCLA and Arizona State from the Pac-12 reportedly had interest, along with schools like Utah State and Northern Arizona.

In his own words … From azcentral.com … “I went on my visit this weekend (the first weekend in December), and there is not a reason to sit and wait,” Jan said. “The weather was beautiful. The campus is beautiful. They’ve upgraded facilities. I want to be a part of it … They’re telling me prepare in the off-season and there is not a reason why I can’t play early. That’s as good as it gets.”

Here is a link to Hudl.com’s senior year highlights of Jan in action.

 

—–

Tight Ends

Seniors: none

Junior: Sean Irwin

Sophomores: Connor Center … Chris Hall … Brian Boatman

Red-shirt freshmen: Dylan Keeney … Hayden Jones

Chris Bounds – TE

Just the facts … Committed September 25th … Bounds is a 6’4″, 255-pound tight end/defensive end from West Hills, California Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Bounds … Bounds is considered to be a two-star prospect by Rivals, but a three-star prospect by Scout. According to Scout, Bounds is the No. 10 tight end out of the state of California this year, the No. 15 tight end in the west, and the No. 60 tight end nationally.

This past season, for the 5-5 Eagles, Bounds was only able to play in five games (or at least MaxPreps only had stats on his for five games), collecting only two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. On defense, had 14 tackles (ten solo) in those five games.

In his junior year (again a year in which he played only five games), Bounds had seven catches for 69 yards on offense. As a defensive end, Bounds was an all-league honoree in both 2012 and 2013.

Bounds had other offers from … No known schools, though there was interest from Pac-12 schools, including Washington, Oregon, and Utah. If Bounds signs with the Buffs, he will become the fourth player from Chaminade high in West Hills, California to join the Buffs. The other three are sophomore wide receiver Elijah Dunston, sophomore wide receiver Donovan Lee and red-shirt freshman linebacker Rick Gamboa.

—–

 

Offensive Line

Seniors: Stephane NembotJames Carr

Juniors: Jeromy IrwinAlex Kelley … Shane Callahan … Sully Wiefels … Ed Caldwell … Vincent Ariva

Sophomores: Gerrad Kough … Sam Kronshage … Jonathan Huckins … Colin Sutton … Connor Darby

Red-shirt Freshmen: John Lisella … Isaiah Holland … Josh Kaiser

Freshmen: Isaac Miller (grey-shirt from the Class of 2014) … Dillon Middlemiss (early enrollee from the Class of 2015)

 

Isaac Miller – OL – Grey-shirt from the Class of 2014

Just the facts … Committed May 24, 2013 … Miller is an offensive tackle prospect from Longmont, Colorado. Miller is 6’ 7″, 250-pounds. Rivals bio  Scout bio Hudl video highlights

What others say about Miller … Miller was rated as a three-star offensive lineman by both Scout and Rivals. Miller was rated by Rivals as the No. 8 prospect out of the state of Colorado in the Class of 2014, while Scout had Miller rated as the No. 95 offensive tackle in the nation. Other accolades: All Region First Team bocopreps.com … All State First Team 3A Denver Post … All State First Team 3A CHSCA, Academic All State … Number 15 rated overall junior by ColoradoPrepReport.com.

Miller had other offers from … Washington State, Wyoming, New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. Miller also took unofficial visits to Michigan State and Purdue. Arizona State was also reportedly interested in Miller’s services. Miller was up in Boulder for Junior Day in the spring of 2013, and received his first scholarship offer from the Buffs. “Every coach went out of their way to introduce themselves and tell you what they were about,” Miller told ColoradoPrepReport in March. “I appreciated that a lot.”

In his own words … “I’m pretty fired up about being a Buff,” Miller told BuffPlayBook.com. “When I called Coach MacIntyre, he was very excited to have me as a member of his football family.”

What did Coach MacIntyre say to Miller when he received the news? “He sounded very excited,” Miller said. “He asked me if both of my feet were in the Colorado boat. He doesn’t rush a commitment, but once you make a pledge he wants to make sure that I’m completely committed to him and his football program. I’m completely committed to being a Buff”.

 

Dillon Middlemiss – OL – Early Enrollee from the Class of 2015

Just the facts … Committed April 12th … Middlemiss is a 6’5″, 275-pound offensive lineman from Westminster (Pomona), Colorado Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Middlemiss … Middlemiss is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and by Scout. Middlemiss was rated as the No. 4 overall prospect out of the state of Colorado by Rivals, and the second offensive lineman (behind only Tim Lynott, also a CU commit). Scout also ranked Middlemiss as the No. 4 overall prospect out of Colorado this year, as well the 26th-best offensive tackle in the west, and the 136th-best offensive tackle in the nation. Middlemiss was named the Colorado Lineman-of-the-Year, helping Pomona reach the state 5A quarter-finals for the third consecutive year. Middlemiss was also named to the MaxPreps All-State First-Team.

In 2013, Middlemiss helped Pomona Panthers rack up nearly 3,600 yards rushing and almost 400 points on their way to a 9-3 record. This past fall, Pomona also had a 9-3 overall record, with 2,783 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns.

PrepColorado.com had this to say about Middlemiss: “Middlemiss, 6-6 270 pounds, is a very good run blocker, who can move and reach multiple levels. Film review shows the big tackle can not only get to linebackers, but finish once he is there. As a pass blocker, Middlemiss is solid and shows good feet. Middlemiss is long and can use his reach to take on rushers. This reach and frame are keys to his future in college. Building on his skill set, Middlemiss needs to get stronger to get stronger in preparation for the rigors of college offensive line play”.

Middlemiss had other offers from … Wyoming and South Dakota State. Middlemiss committed to Colorado after the 2014 Spring game, which may have limited his other offers.

Here is a link to video highlights from his senior season.

 

Aaron Haigler – OL

Just the facts … Committed August 17th … Aaron Haigler is a 6’7″, 250-pound offensive lineman from Sherman Oaks, California. He can bench 225 and squat 350 lbs. Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others say about Haigler … Haigler was rated as a three star prospect by both Rivals and Scout (with Scout rating him as a tight end, though Haigler will play tackle for Colorado). Haigler was also a three-star player on at least one other list, at 247Sports.

Haigler played for the Notre Dame Knights in Sherman Oaks, a private school with a strong history in football, including a Sierra League championship in 2013. Haigler played both tight end and defensive end for Notre Dame in 2013, but concentrated on the offensive side of the ball this past fall. Haigler also plays center for the Knights in basketball.

Haigler had other offers from … Iowa State, Utah State, San Jose State and Northern Arizona. Haigler was also reported interest from Washington, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Minnesota.

—-

 

Tim Lynott – OL

Just the facts … Committed June 28th … Lynott is a 6’4″, 295-pound offensive lineman from Aurora, Colorado  Rivals bio Scout bio

What others say about Lynott … Lynott is rated by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. Rivals rates Lynott as the No. 3 prospect out of the state of Colorado this season, and the No. 47 offensive tackle in the nation. Scout, meanwhile, places Lynott as the fourth-best offensive guard in the West, and the No. 23 offensive guard in the nation. Lynott is one of only two players from the state of Colorado from this recruiting cycle to make the ESPN Top 300 (No. 274).

An All-Colorado selection following his senior season, Lynott helped Regis Jesuit to a Continental North League championship and two playoff wins. The Raiders fell to eventual 5A state champs Cherry Creek in the semifinals. In 2013, Lynott helped lead the Raiders to a 9-2 and a conference title.

“Lynott, who plays right tackle for Regis, is a nasty run blocker who manhandles opponents when he gets his hands on them,” said PrepColorado.com Publisher Jeff Stroud. “Lynott has an explosive first step and moves well when pulling. His athleticism is further evidenced by his ability to get to backers and finish blocks. Although currently a tackle, Lynott’s skill set seems suited to a move inside as guard is his most likely college position.”

Here is a link to Lynott’s junior season highlights from Hudl.com.

Lynott had other offers from …  all over the country, which is great news for Buff fans. Lynott had offers from much of the Pac-12, including Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon State and Washington State, as well as the likes of Miami, Penn State and Kansas State across the country, and Colorado State and Wyoming locally. Lynott attended a Penn State camp last summer, attended Junior Days this spring at both CU and CSU, and took unofficial visits to Arizona State, Oregon, and Oregon State before committing to the Buffs.

In his own words … Upon his commitment, Lynott tweeted, “I’m proud to say that I’ve decided to stay home and play football for the University of Colorado #GoBuffs”.

——

 

Kickers / Punters

Seniors: none

Junior: Diego Gonzalez

Sophomore: Chris Graham

Red-shirt freshmen: none

 

Alex Kinney – Kicker/Punter

Just the facts … Committed July 9th … Alex Kinney is a 6’0″, 195-pound punter/kicker from Ft. Collins, Colorado  Rivals bio

What others say about Kinney … Kinney is rated by both Rivals and Scout as a three-star prospect. In Rivals.com’s list of the top 15 players out of the state of Colorado this fall, Kinney came in as the No. 5 player in the state. A first-team All-State performer, Kinney hit on eight-of-12 field goal attempts this past fall, with a long of 57 yards, while making all 34 of his extra point attempts for the 9-2 Rocky Mountain Lobos.

In 2013, Kinney connected on 11-of-15 field goal attempts for Rocky Mountain high in Ft. Collins, with a long of 51 yards. His punts went for an average of 37.07 yards, with a long of 63 yards.

Chris Sailer Kicking, an organization that runs nationwide camps, ranks Kinney third in the nation. A similar organization, Kohl’s Kicking, has Kinney as the fourth-best punter in the country. Kinney is by far the highest-ranked Colorado punting prospect. “He’s a great catch for CU,” said Rocky Mountain football coach Mark Brook told the Coloradoan. “He’s a very, very talented kicker and punter. He’s got a powerful leg, and a lot of schools were interested.”

Kinney had other offers from … no other known schools, though that was more due to Kinney being an early (last July) and solid commit. Of Kinney, Darragh O’Neill, CU’s four-year starter at punter, tweeted: “Great signing by the Buffs. Kinney is the real deal”.

Here is a link to highlights from Kinney’s senior season from Hudl.com.

 

2 Replies to “The CU Class of ’15 – Offense”

  1. Great job! This really shows the lack of depth at RB we have going into the season (and with only 3 underclassmen!), another recruit in this class would seem to be really needed.

    Just a couple of roster questions:

    FB – we still have George Frazier (Jr) and Jordan Murphy (WO-SR) correct?

    Also some of the walk-ons are not listed, but maybe they have moved on?
    QB-Trent Sessions (JR), WR-Jurae Dilworth (rFR), WR-Wesley Christensen (SR). I know it is hard to track the walk-ons during the offseason, but maybe you have sources?

    1. Good call on the fullbacks – completely spaced putting them in. Thanks!

      As to the other players:
      – Wesley Christensen was a walk-on who was put on scholarship last fall, his senior year. He’s in line to graduate in May.
      – Trent Sessions and Jurae Dilworth were not on the roster at the end of the year, and I don’t know where they ended up. Does anyone else know?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.