Meet the 2017 Buffs – Defense

Signing Day is Wednesday, February 1st. That morning, Colorado is hoping to come away with its highest rated Recruiting Class in a decade. To help you prepare, here are updated biographies of the players on the offensive side of the ball CU is looking to add to the roster (biographies for the additions on offense can be found here) …

Note … Hudl.com has put together a page of video highlights for all of CU’s Recruiting Class. Check out your newest members of the Buff Nation here.

CU Recruiting Class of 2017 – by position

Bold – Signed Letter of Intent … * – January enrollee .. # – 2016 Gray-shirt …

QuarterbackTyler Lytle*

Running Back … Alex Fontenot

Wide ReceiverJaylon Jackson* … Laviska Shenault … Maurice Bell … K.D. Nixon

Offensive LineChance Lytle# … Colby Pursell# … Jake Moretti* … Heston Paige … Grant Polley … William Sherman

Defensive LineJavier Edwards (JC)* … Chris Mulumba (JC)* … Shamar Hamilton (JC)* … Dante Sparaco* … Jonathan Van Diest  … Carson Wells … Jacob Callier … Jalen Sami

Linebacker … Chase Newman … Nate Landman

Defensive BackDante Wigley (JC)* … Isaiah Lewis* … Chris Miller … Kevin George

Athlete … Sebastian Olver (TE/DL)

 


 

 

Jalen Sami – DL

Just the facts … Committed January 30th … Sami is a 6’6″, 320-pound defensive tackle from Vista Ridge high in Colorado Springs …  Rivals bio Scout bio 247 Sports bio

What others say about Sami … Sami is rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals, but was unrated by either Scout or 247 Sports at the time of his commitment.  Sami was a first-team all-conference and second-team all-state selection this past fall.

Sami may be a candidate for a grey-shirt, depending on how the scholarship numbers look this summer, when CU must be at 85 scholarship players.

Sami had other offers from … only from Northern Colorado and Colorado State-Pueblo, at least until Colorado took an interest. Sami received a late offer from Mississippi, but decided to stick with the first Division 1 school to offer him a scholarship.

Here is a link to Sami’s Hudl.com highlights.

 

 


 

Javier Edwards – DT

The official CU Signing Day bio of Javier Edwards can be found here

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. “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.

 


 

 

Chris Mulumba – DE

The official CU Signing Day bio of Chris Mulumba can be found here

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.

 


 

 

Shamar Hamilton – DE

The official CU Signing Day bio of Shamar Hamilton can be found here

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. 13 strong defensive end nationally, and the No. 115 overall prospect.

Hamilton is another “under-the-radar” player. Hamilton ranks second all-time in ASA College history with 10 career sacks, and he also tallied 65 tackles in two seasons. He put up those numbers while being raw in his role as a pass rusher. Hamilton was initially recruited to ASA College as a tight end.

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.

 


 

 

Dante Sparaco – DE/TE

The official CU Signing Day bio of Sparaco can be found here

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 129th-best defensive end in the nation, while 247Sports has him as the No. 41 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.

Evaluation by Scout.com … Sparaco is a disciplined defender that does a nice job of setting the edge and flashing relentlessness until the play is whistled dead. Sparaco is more athletic than given credit for, and contains the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage by breaking down and changing direction to the football. He also impresses with the ability to disengage and make a play on the ball. He keeps his eyes on the football while tangled up with linemen in the trenches, but also does a good job of holding his own by stacking and shedding the opponent. Sparaco flashes good hand placement while getting underneath with leverage.

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:

 


 

 

Jonathan Van Diest – DL/LB

Just the facts … Committed February 28th … Jonathan Van Diest is a 6’2″, 235-pound defensive end from Cherry Creek high school in Greenwood Village, Colorado  Rivals bio Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Van Diest … Van Diest is considered to be a three-star prospect according to Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports. Scout has Van Diest as the No. 2 outside linebacker from the state of Colorado and the No. 65 outside linebacker in the nation. 247 Sports has Van Diest as the No. 3 overall prospect out of Colorado, and the No. 26 weakside defensive end in the nation.

Van Diest broke his elbow and had to have surgery, but should be healed up soon. Had a strong senior season recording 74 tackles through 11 games before his injury.

Van Diest had other offers from … several Power-Five conference schools, including Nebraska, Iowa State, Louisville and Washington State. Other schools Van Diest was talking to included numerous Pac-12 schools, including UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Utah, Arizona State and Cal. Considering how early Van Diest committed in the recruiting cycle, it is a pretty impressive list.

In his own words … “I knew when I committed early, that the program would turn around. I could see small indicators of that happening and now that it has and will continue I’m really excited and lucky to be going there”.

Here is a link to Van Diest’s Hudl.com highlights.

And here is a YouTube video of Van Diest at the 9NEWS Scouting combine (from February, 2015):

 

 


 

 

Carson Wells – DE

Just the facts … Committed August 2nd … Wells is a 6’4″, 235-pound defensive end from Bushnell, Florida Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Wells … Wells is considered to be a two-star prospect by Rivals, but a three-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports. Scout lists Wells as the No. 28 defensive end out of the state of Florida, and the No. 161 defensive end in the nation. At 247 Sports, Wells is ranked as the No. 138 outside linebacker in the country.

Scout.com analysis of Wells … Strengths: Athleticism; Hand Quickness; Intensity/Effort; Speed; Suddenness … Weaknesses: Size; Strength; Techniques and Moves.

Wondering how a defensive end from Bushnell, Florida, found his way to Boulder? According to Kyle McCall at BuffStampede.com, Wells’ head coach, Inman Sherman, was recruited as a player by CU’s former defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.

Wells had other offers from … over a dozen schools, though none were from a Power-Five conference … until Jim Leavitt left for Oregon, at which time Oregon also offered Wells.  South Florida and Southern Mississippi are perhaps the most recognizable of the remaining schools who offered, with the rest coming from Group Five schools or lower. The one positive you can take from the offer sheet is that academics was never an issue … Wells had offers from Army, Air Force, Harvard and Yale.

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

 


 

 

Jacob Callier – DE

Just the facts … Committed November 1st … Callier is a 6’2″, 250-pound defensive end from Bellflower, California Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others have to say about Callier … Callier is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Rivals has Callier as the No. 26 strongside defensive end in the nation, and the No. 48 overall prospect out of the state of California this year. Scout considers Callier to be the No. 46 defensive end in the country, and the No. 4 defensive end out of California. According to 247Sports, Callier is the No. 31 strongside linebacker in the nation, and the No. 65 player overall out of California.

Rivals Adam Gorney on Callier: “Callier has had a fantastic senior season and I love that he has the speed to beat offensive tackles to the edge and the power to bull rush them and push the pocket to force the quarterback into hurried throws. It baffled me why more Pac-12 programs haven’t offered because I’ve liked him for a couple seasons and he’s a very productive and hard-working defensive end but this is definitely to Colorado’s gain.”

Scout’s analysis: “Callier is one of the most versatile defensive linemen in the West region. He lines up all across the defensive line and shows the ability to rush off the edge or move inside and cause havoc at the tackle position. He’s a solid 6-2, 250 pounds, plays with a relentless motor, is very physical and is equally strong stopping the run as he is rushing the passer.”

Callier had other offers from … a pair of Pac-12 schools, Arizona and Arizona State. The only other known Power-Five conference was from Boston College, with other offers from San Diego State, San Jose State, Hawai’i, and Nevada.

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 


 

 

Chase Newman – LB

Just the facts … Committed June 19th … Chase Newman is a 6’1, 205-pound linebacker from La Mirada, California Rivals bio Scout bio 247Sports bio

What 0thers have to say about Newman … Newman is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Scout has Newman as the No. 84 outside linebacker in the nation, and the No. 7 outside linebacker out of the state of California. 247 Sports has Newman as the No. 72 outside linebacker in the country, and the No. 95 player out of the state over California overall.

This past season, Newman only played in seven games, with 28 tackles, four tackles for loss, and a sack.

In 2015, in 16 games, Newman had 77 tackles (26 solo) for La Mirada, to go with nine quarterback hurries, one sack and two interceptions. The Matadores, with former Buff Mike Moschetti as their head coach, went 13-3 and won the California State Division III-AA state championship.

Newman had other offers from … at least two other Pac-12 schools, Washington State and Oregon State, along with a number of Mountain West schools, including Colorado State, Nevada, Fresno State, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Here is a link to Newman’s Hudl.com highlights.

 


 

 

Nate Landman – LB

Just the facts … Committed July 30th … Landman is a 6’3″, 212-pound linebacker from Danville, California  Rivals bio  Scout bio 247Sports bio

What others say about Landman … Landman is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Rivals rates Landman as the No. 43 outside linebacker in the nation, and the No. 58 player overall out of the state of California.  Scout has Landman listed as the No. 58 outside linebacker prospect in the nation, the No. 5 outside linebacker out of California, and the No. 7 outside linebacker in the west. 247Sports has Landman listed as the No. 43 outside linebacker in the country, and the No. 64 overall player outside of the state of California. Landman runs a reported 4.88 in the 40.

Landman had other offers from … over a dozen schools, including Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona from the Pac-12. Other offers came from schools such as Pittsburgh, Colorado State, San Diego State and Nevada.

In his own words … “I get after the QB pretty well,” Landman told GoAZCats.com. “I have pretty good speed, and I would say my best attribute is wrapping up and making a full tackle. … A lot of schools see me as a standup outside linebacker and sometimes inside the box helping with the run but other times outside in coverage and with how I can tackle it’s something I should be able to manage.”

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

 


 

 

Dante Wigley – DB

The official Signing Day bio of Dante Wigley can be found here 

Just the facts … Committed December 1st … 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, but was unrated by Rivals. 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, while 247Sports rates Wigley as the 41st-best junior college player overall, and the fifth-best cornerback.

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.

Here is a link to Hudl.com highlights from Wigley.

 


 

 

Isaiah Lewis – DB

The official CU Signing Day biography of Isaiah Lewis can be found here

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 Scout and 247Sports, but only a two-star player by Rivals (after being a three-star recruit when he committed last July). Scout has Lewis rated as the No. 13 safety out of the state of California this year, and the No. 119 safety in the nation. 247 Sports rates Lewis as the No. 106 safety in the nation, and the No. 133 player overall out of the state of California.

Lewis played in only four games his senior season, missing the latter part of the year due to a shoulder injury. Despite that fact, he still garnered All-State honorable mention accolades his senior year. As a senior, he rushed the ball 31 times for 134 yards with 122 of that yardage coming on 22 carries in a 27-14 win over Oak Grove. His junior season he earned most of his 321 rush yards from his flyback position, where he added 21 receptions for 338 yards, a 16.1 yards per reception average. He was picked to the Sacramento Bee’s 2015 All-Metro Football honorable mention team as a defensive back.

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.

 


 

Chris Miller – CB

Just the facts … Committed June 22nd … Chris Miller is a 6’0″, 175-pound cornerback from Denton, Texas  Rivals bio  Scout bio 247 Sports bio

What others have to say about Miller … Miller is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports. In the eyes of 247Sports, Miller is the 46th-highest rated athlete in the nation, and the No. 89 athlete out of the state of Texas. Scout has Miller as the No. 11 athlete out of the state of Texas, and 63rd-ranked athlete in the country.

According to Scout, Miller ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 40.2-inch vertical leap at The Opening regional in March in Dallas. His scores there left him as the fourth highest overall rating among the prospects there. He had a 118.77 Nike+ Football rating.

“He’s just been a very dynamic player for us the last three years,” Kevin Atkinson, his coach at Denton, said. “He’s the kind of kid that can go the distance any time he touches the ball. He’s started every game for us as cornerback and receiver. If we were playing someone that had someone special at wide receiver, we just put him at corner. He’s that guy. He’s just a difference maker.”

Miller had other offers from … a number Power-Five schools, including Baylor, Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, along with high profile G-5 conference schools like Boise State, Houston, Fresno State and Nevada.

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

 


 

 

Kevin George – DB

Just the facts … Committed January 21st … George is Nixon is a 6’3″, 185-pound cornerback from Georgia Military College in Milledeville, Georgia Rivals bio Scout bio 247 Sports bio

What others have to say about George … George was unranked by Rivals, Scout or 247 Sports at the time of his commitment. Soon thereafter, but was given a two-star ranking by Rivals and a three-star ranking by Scout. A full qualifier out of high school last year, George will not have to graduate from Georgia Military College to come to Colorado. He can be in Boulder this summer, with four years to play three at Colorado.

In eight games this fall, George had ten tackles, seven passes broken up, and two interceptions, with one of those picks returned for a touchdown. George runs a reported 4.49 in the 40.

George had other offers from … only Delta State College and Georgia State College, though other schools, most notably Oregon, took a late interest in signing George. He is originally from Carencro, Louisiana, but was lightly recruited out of high school.

In his own words … George doesn’t lack for confidence. Some tweets: “For everybody that doubted me I’ll make sure to sign y’all a autograph!!!” … “Don’t ever let Someone tell You That u cant do something” … “Rankings really can’t save u !! U can keep that”.

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

 


 

One Reply to “Meet the 2017 Buffs – Defense”

  1. Sparaco is probably praying they dont make him a tight end. Cant believe the guy is only a 3 star after his DE success at the highest level of high school football.
    Then there is the Mulumba kid who is obviously a stellar athlete. If Jeffcoat can turn him into a D line beast things are looking good(at least not so bad)for the D line.

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