Early Enrollees

 

January 17th

Early Enrollees officially sign as classes resume in Boulder

Note … Biographies of all nine new Buffs – five high school seniors and four junior college transfers, are posted below

From CUBuffs.com … Head coach Mike MacIntyre announced six new members to the Buffalo football team on Tuesday, the first day of classes for the Spring 2017 semester at the University of Colorado.

Five of the six newcomers graduated high school early and signed National Letters of Intent with CU while the sixth, Shamar Hamilton, signed a Grant-In-Aid as he is transferring over from the junior college ranks.

Among the newcomers announced Tuesday were two defensive ends, one offensive lineman, a quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. All will help Colorado reload coming off its 10-4 season and help usher the Buffs into a New Era.

Of the five high school signees that are a part of the Buffs’ recruiting class, two of them hail from the state of Colorado, two are from California and one from Texas.

CU’s two in-state signees are offensive lineman Jake Moretti out of Pomona High School and defensive end Dante Sparaco, who is out of Englewood, Colo., but played his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. IMG finished the 2016 season 12-0 and was ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Today. Sparaco had 71 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles his senior year. He played as a junior at Cherry Creek High School under head coach Dave Logan, a former Buffalo.

Moretti missed his senior season at Pomona due to injury, but was one of two recipients of the Gold 16 Adversity Award given out by Mile High Sports. An All-State selection as a junior in 2015, Moretti played on both the offensive and defensive lines and helped the Panthers reach the Colorado Class 5A State Championship game, finishing the season with a 10-4 record.

Hamilton, out of ASA College of Miami, recorded 10 sacks and 65 tackles in his two seasons at junior college. Hamilton comes in to CU at 6-3, 245 pounds and played in 17 games over the last two seasons, most notably helping ASA finish 7-2 in 2016 in what was just the second season in its history.

The most recent addition to the defensive backfield was Isaiah Lewis, out of Granite Bay (Calif.) High School. Lewis played all over the field in his prep career and in 2015 earned All-Metro Football Team honors from the Sacramento Bee.

Offensively, the Buffs added to their skill positions with quarterback Tyler Lytle and wide receiver Jaylon Jackson. Lytle, a 6-5, 205-pounder enters college with great size and as a senior he broke his school’s single-season passing record with 2,752 yards. Jackson was a football and track star coming out of Cedar Hill (Texas) High School, but injuries kept him out for the better part of his junior and senior seasons. A speedster, Jackson’s top 100-meter dash time in high school was 10.55.

 

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Related … “Dante Sparaco excited for new challenge with CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

“One thing I learned in being recruited is you can’t commit to a school because of the coaching, because you have no idea who will be there next year or the year after,” he said. “You really have to commit based on where the school is and the tradition and things of that nature. I’m content with making my decision based on the area and the education and the facilities.”

Related … “Tyler Lytle wants to contribute as soon as possible for CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera 

“I can’t wait to compete against those guys and to finally take the step to the college level,” Lytle said. “I know those guys are gonna push me and I’m gonna push them. It’s great for Colorado football.”

 

Signing Day, 2017, is Wednesday, February 1st. On that day, Colorado is expected to sign one of the most decorated recruiting Classes in over a decade. The CU Recruiting Class of 2017, thanks to a large class of graduating seniors, will also be one of the largest in recent history.

The NCAA limits a given Recruiting Class to 25 members, but, with the “fuzzy math” of the collegiate recruiting world, the CU Recruiting Class will likely be in the 28-30 range.

How is that possible? Welcome to the world of “early enrollees” and “gray-shirts”.

High school seniors who graduated in December and enroll in classes at Colorado in January can be counted backwards towards the Recruiting Class of 2016, while players who are willing to “gray-shirt” – delay enrollment until January of 2018 – can be counted as a member of the Class of 2018.

Got it?

Even though the Recruiting Class of 2017 won’t be completed until the first Wednesday of February, the roster is already seeing an impact. A total of nine players will already be in the fold before the fax machine (yes, they still use the fax machine) starts spitting out signed Letters of Intent on February 1st.

Four junior college players have already signed their National Letters of Intent. Five more players are expected to report by January 12th, with classes for the spring semester beginning January 17th.

The breakdown: 

Quarterback – Tyler Lytle (Fr.)

Offensive lineman – Jake Moretti (Fr.)

Wide Receiver – Jaylon Jackson (Fr.)

Defensive linemen – Javier Edwards (JC); Shamar Hamilton (JC); Chris Mulumba (JC); Dante Sparaco (Fr.);

Defensive backs – Dante Wigley (JC); Isaiah Lewis (Fr.)

 

Biographies of the Early Enrollees (5) …

Tyler Lytle – QB

Just the facts … Committed June 21st … Tyler Lytle is a 6’5″, 205-pound quarterback from Anaheim, California Rivals bio  Scout bio  247Sports bio

What others have to say about Lytle … Lytle is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Rivals has Lytle ranked as the No. 22 pro-style quarterback in the nation. Scout, meanwhile, has Lytle rated as the No. 40 quarterback in the nation, and the No. 10 quarterback out of the west this recruiting cycle. At 247Sports, Lytle is considered the 28th-best quarterback in the nation.

Servite High School finished the 2016 season with a 4-7 record after losing to Mission Viejo in the CIF Southern Section Playoffs. Lytle finished 170-of-288 passing for 2,424-yards and 17 touchdowns. Lytle threw for 331-yards in his final high school football game.

Here is an evaluation from Greg Biggins at Scout.com … Lytle is a big, strong kid with the ability to get the ball down the field. He shows good touch on the deep ball and can make every throw you want to see on the field. He has improved his accuracy and can fit the ball in to some tight windows because of the amount of zip he possesses. He’s a very confident quarterback who will stand in the pocket and shows better mobility than given credit for. As he continues to improve his ability to anticipate and throw the ball early, his game will move to another level.

Lytle had other offers from … about half of the country. Out of the Pac-12, Lytle had offers from California, Washington State, Oregon State, and Arizona State. Other offers from Power-Five conference schools came from Miami (Fla.), Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Pitt, Purdue, and Vanderbilt.

In his own words … “Colorado felt like home to me,” Lytle told Scout.com upon his commitment. “I have a great relationship with the coaches, that was key. They communicated with me on a daily basis and Coach Mac (Mike MacIntyre), Coach Chev (Darrin Chiaverini) and Coach (Brian) Lindgren went out of their way to let me know I was their guy for the 2017 class.

“They were great throughout this entire process and made it clear to me that I was the top guy on their board. They also made sure I knew that there was an opportunity to compete for playing time early and I’m definitely excited about that opportunity.”

On coming to Boulder, Lytle told CUSportsNation … “It is going to be a great ride and (the Buff Nation) should expect nothing less than championships and bowl games over the years. It can and will be done. I am going to give it all I have to deliver beyond their expectations.”

Here are Hudl.com highlights of Lytle in action:

 

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Dante Sparaco – DE/TE

Just the facts … Committed February 28th … Dante Sparaco is a 6’4″, 235-pound athlete from IMG Academy in Brandento, Florida, by way of Cherry Creek high school in Greenwood Village, Colorado  Rivals bio Scout bio 247 Sports bio

What others say about Sparaco … Sparaco is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout, and 247 Sports. Scout considers Sparaco to be the 120th-best defensive end in the nation, while 247Sports has him as the No. 42 tight end prospect in the country.

Sparaco transferred from Cherry Creek to IMG Academy last fall, to get better prepared for college. His move to Florida caused some worry in the Buff Nation about Sparaco changing his commitment, but he never wavered in his commitment to the Buffs.

Sparaco had other offers from … numerous schools, including numerous Ivy League schools (so qualifying was never an issue). Sparaco also had offers from Utah, Purdue, Colorado State and Utah State. Several other Pac-12 schools, including Cal, UCLA, and Stanford (the academic schools in the conference) expressed interest in Sparaco, but with his early (February 28th) commitment to Colorado, his offer sheet wasn’t as long as it would have been otherwise.

Regarding his recruiting Sparaco told PrepColorado.com in December, 2015: “I have been in contact with so many schools recently, it has been kind of crazy!  UCLA, Cal, Penn State, Clemson and since I got my ACT scores back, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Northwestern have been pretty hot. I really like Colorado too, the staff has been great”.

Here is an analysis of Sparaco from YouTube, courtesy of Rivals.com:

 

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Jake Moretti – OL 

Just the facts … Committed November 17th … Moretti is 6’5″, 280-pound offensive tackle from Pomona high in Aravada, Colorado  Rivals bio  Scout bio 247 Sports bio

What others have to say about Moretti … Moretti is considered to be a four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports. Rivals ranks Moretti as the No. 13 offensive tackle in the nation, the No. 2 overall prospect out of the state of Colorado, and the No. 103 overall prospect in the country. Scout, meanwhile, has Moretti as the No. 14 offensive tackle in the nation, the No. 1 overall prospect out of Colorado and the No. 104 overall prospect in the country. 247 Sports rates Moretti as the No. 13 offensive tackle, the No. 2 state prospect, and the No. 83 overall player in the nation.

While attending an Ohio State Football Camp in late June this past summer, Moretti suffered a torn ACL in a non-contact drill. As a result, Moretti missed his senior season. As an early enrollee, he’ll be taking advantage of CU’s world class medical facilities as he prepares for his CU career.

Moretti had other offers from … most notably, Ohio State. Moretti verbally committed to the Buckeyes in July, but committed to Colorado. Moretti had offers from around the nation, including most of the Pac-12 – USC, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona and Cal all offered. Other Power-Five conference offers came in from schools like Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

In his own words … “After a great deal of thought and discussion with my family and Coach Madden, I have made the decision to attend the University of Colorado in January of 2017. I am grateful for my experience with Ohio State and a sincere thank you to Urban Meyer and The Ohio State staff. I am looking forward to representing my home state as a Buff! A sincere thanks to Coach MacIntyre, Coach Adams, and the CU Staff for this opportunity,” Said Moretti via his twitter account.

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

 

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Isaiah Lewis – DB

Just the facts … Committed July 2nd … Isaiah Lewis is a 6’0″, 197-pound defensive back from Granite Bay, California. Lewis runs a reported 4.75 in the 40 yard dash. Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Lewis … Lewis is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Scout has Lewis rated as the No. 12 safety out of the state of California this year, and the No. 113 safety in the nation. 247 Sports rates Lewis as the No. 107 safety in the nation, and the No. 134 player overall out of the state of California.

For the past two seasons, Lewis played both ways for the Granite Bay Grizzlies. On offense, he had 93 carries for 455 yards and one touchdown rushing; 22 receptions for 363 yards and four touchdowns receiving. On defense, he had 17 total tackles and two interceptions.

Lewis had other offers from … only Wyoming, though Lewis did report interest from Pac-12 schools, including Washington State and Cal.

In his own words … According to the Granite Bay Press Tribune … “They project me on defense at safety or nickel back, and they want me to get up there as soon as possible,” Lewis confirmed. “So we’re going to try to make that happen. I’m 100 percent good to (graduate early), I just need to take care of what’s required for my senior year, but when it comes to all the classes I need for graduation, I’m good to go.”

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Jaylon Jackson – WR

Just the facts … Committed April 2nd … Jaylon Jackson is a 5’10”, 171-pound wide receiver from Cedar Hill, Texas  Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Jackson … Jackson was considered to be a four-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout when he committed in April, but was dropped to a three-star prospect later in the season. Jackson is rated by Scout as the No. 77 wide receiver in the nation (down from 34 in April), and the No. 16 wide receiver out of the state of Texas. Rivals had Jackson in its national rankings in April, coming in as the No. 212 overall prospect in the nation, but Jackson dropped out in later rankings. 247 Sports has Jackson as the No. 157 wide receiver in the country, and the No. 153 prospect out of the state of Texas.

Jackson had the four star ratings despite missing his junior season with a torn ACL. Jackson then suffered another torn ACL this past summer, and missed all of his senior season as well.

As a sophomore in 2014, Jackson had 253 rushing yards and 257 receiving yards and scored three touchdowns as he helped Cedar Hill win the Texas Class 6A Division II state title.

Jackson has other offers from … numerous other Power-Five conference schools, including Arizona State and Washington State from the Pac-12. Other offers were from Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Kansas, as well as other Texas schools like SMU and Houston.

In his own words … Jackson announced his decision on Twitter: ” After hard and long prayers, talking with my coaches and family, I have decided to verbally commit to The University of Colorado!!!! #GoBuffs #CU17 Rise of the Buffaloes”.

In September, Jackson told BuffStampede.com … “I am going to graduate early so I talk to them about making sure I get everything taken care of to get up there as soon as possible,” Jackson said. “I’ll be cleared to play football again in November but I am just going to sit out and wait until I graduate and do a little more rehab at Colorado and play up there.”

Here is a link to Hudl.com highlights of Jackson in action.

Here are some YouTube highlights from Jackson from the 2014 season:

 

 

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Biographies of the Junior College signees (4):

Shamar Hamilton – DE

Just the facts … Committed July 24th … Hamilton is a 6’5″, 235-pound defensive end from ASA college in Miami, Florida  Rivals bio Scout bio 247 Sports

What others have to say about Hamilton … Hamilton is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout, and 247 Sports. Rivals rates Hamilton as the No. 97 prospect in the nation, while 247 Sports has Hamilton as the No. 1 strong defensive end junior college prospect out of the state of Florida, the No. 10 strong defensive end nationally, and the No. 115 overall prospect.

Hamilton is another “under-the-radar” player, As a freshman in 2015, Hamilton, who has only played three years of football, totaled 32 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles-for-loss and one fumble recovery (in nine games) from his defensive end spot. This past fall, in eight games, Hamilton registered 5.5 sacks. He runs a reported 4.7 in the 40.

Hamilton prepped at Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida and he was lightly recruited because of his lack of experience

Hamilton had other offers from … no one. The only reported offer for Hamilton was from the University of Colorado.

In his own words … “I’m ecstatic,” said Hamilton of his commitment. “I’m finally able to make one part of my dreams come true. The first step into the first turn of the door knob to what I need to really become in life … I think it was all meant to be. In football you have to leave for somewhere and you don’t necessarily know where you’re going to go, but you just know you’re going to go make a difference.”

Here is a link to Hudl.com highlights of Hamilton in action.

 

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Chris Mulumba – DE

Just the facts … Signed with CU on December 15th … Mulumba is a 6’4″, 280-pound defensive end who last played for Diablo Valley Community College in California  Rivals bio  Scout bio

What others have to say about Mulumba … Mulumba is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, but only a two-star player by Scout. Perhaps the reason for his low rating is owed to the fact that Mulumba did not play football this fall, and also did not play in high school in his hometown of Helsinki, Finland. Read on …

Mulumba played one seasons at Diablo Valley College in 2015 for coach Mike Darr; he signed with Central Florida after his sophomore season but did not attend school there so he sat out the year and essentially took a red-shirt season. As a sophomore in 2015 he led DVC with 63 tackles, had nine tackles for losses and four sacks in 10 games. He was a first-team All-Bay 6 League selection that season when he was a teammate of Kyle Trego, who signed with CU and was a sophomore defensive back for the Buffs this past fall. He played his freshman season at Chabot Junior College in 2014 where he posted 35 tackles, four tackles for a loss and had one sack.

He will have two years to complete his two remaining seasons of eligibility.

Mulumba had other offers from … only a handful of schools. As noted, Mulumba signed with Central Florida last February, after his first year at Diablo Valley Community College, choosing the Knights over offers from Iowa State, Central Michigan, and Fresno State.

Did not play football in high school, but he did wrestle and was a state champion in 2009. He is a four-time Finnish national judo champion from 2009-12 and he was a Scandinavian champion in 2010. Played for the Helsinki Roosters in 2012, which is a founding member of the American Football Association of Finland. He served his mandatory one-year of military service for the Finnish Army where he trained as a scout.

Here is a link to Mulumba’s Hudl.com junior college highlights.

 

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Javier Edwards – DT

Just the facts … Signed with CU on December 14th … Edwards is a 6’3″, 330-pound defensive tackle who last played at Blinn College in Houston Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Edwards … Edwards is rated as a three-star prospect Rivals, Scout, and 247 Sports. Scout considers Edwards to be the 46th-best overall junior college prospect, while 247 Sports has Edwards as the No. 63 overall junior college player, and the ninth-best defensive tackle prospect coming out of the junior college ranks this fall.

At Blinn College Edwards was a second-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference selection in 2016 as a sophomore and garnered honorable mention accolades his freshman season. In eight games for the Buccaneers in 2016 he recorded 24 tackles, two sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses. His freshman year he recorded 29 tackles, including one for a loss, in nine games.

Mike MacIntyre on Edwards: “Javier is an athletic, big nose tackle that will work perfect in our 3-4 defense,” MacIntyre said Wednesday. “We are excited about having him here at the University of Colorado.”

At Blinn College … Was a second-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference selection in 2016 as a sophomore and garnered honorable mention accolades his freshman season. In eight games for the Buccaneers in 2016 he recorded 24 tackles, two sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses. His freshman year he recorded 29 tackles, including one for a loss, in nine games.

Having played two seasons, Edwards will have three seasons to play two at Colorado.

Edwards had other offers from … a pair of SEC schools, Florida and Arkansas. Edwards also had offers from schools like Tulsa, New Mexico State, UNLV and Texas State.

In his own words … “My strength is stopping the run and pushing the pocket, putting the center in the quarterback’s lap,” Edwards told HawgSports.com (an Arkansas Rivals site).

Here is a link to Edwards’ Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Dante Wigley – DB

Just the facts … Committed December 1st … Signed with CU on December 14th … Wigley is a 6’1″, 184-pound defensive back from Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi  Rivals bio  Scout bio  247Sports bio

What others have to say about Wigley … Wigley is rated as a three-star junior college prospect by Scout and 247Sports. Wigley was unrated by Rivals when he committed, but was given three-star status on December 20th.

Wigley originally signed with Georgia Tech out of high school, but, after a red-shirt season, transferred to Holmes Community College in in Goodman, Mississippi. According to Scout, Wigley is the fourth-best junior college defensive back in the nation this year, and the 78th overall junior college prospect. 247Sports, meanwhile, rates Wigley as the 73rd-best junior college player overall, and the tenth-best cornerback.

Mike MacIntyre on Wigley: “We are really excited about Dante Wigley coming to the University of Colorado. He is a very athletic corner and physical football player with good size. We are excited about having Dante in our program and he will fit well into the University of Colorado and to our football program.”

At Holmes Community college … Played in all 10 games at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss., helping the Bulldogs to a 7-3 record and a victory in the 2016 Graphic Edge Bowl. Holmes finished the 2016 season ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA and the bowl appearance was its first in 28 years. He recorded 30 tackles on the season, including three for a loss and blocked one kick. He scored one touchdown in 2016, which came in a 63-49 win over No. 15 Itawamba Community College when he stripped an ICC receiver of the ball and raced 66 yards into the end zone. He had a team-high six pass breakups on the season for the Bulldog defense that allowed only 374.1 yards of offense per game.

With a red-shirt year and a year of junior college behind him, Wigley will have three years to play three at Colorado.

Wigley had other offers from … almost two dozen schools, though most were in Group of Five Conferences. Cincinnati and Mississippi State were two of the higher profile offers, with Wigley also reporting offers from schools like Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, Southern Mississippi and Troy. Out of high school, before committing to Georgia Tech, Wigley had offers from several Power Five schools, including North Carolina State, Boston College, and Mississippi State.

In his own words … Here’s what Wigley posted on social media upon his commitment:  “First I would like to thank God, I am very blessed to be in the situation I’m in. This recruiting process has been very enjoyable this time around. I would like to thank all the schools that recruited me and to my family and friends for all their support. With that being said I am furthering my education and football career at the University of Colorado! #GoBuffs”.

Here is a link to Hudl.com highlights of Wigley in action at Holmes Community College.

 

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5 Replies to “Early Enrollees”

  1. This is so exciting. 9 early enrollees amd that deserves a WOW. Use to a couple or 4, but 9? So using that “fuzzy Math” looks like at total of 29 coming to be
    Buffs. Maybe more if there are grey shirts hiding out there. And there are gonna be some preferred walkons too.

    NOW THIS IS A NEW ERA for sure.

    Couple of recruits decomit and leaning away, but this is gonna be a good class anyway.

    2017 = New Era.

    Go Buffs.

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