Random Thoughts – Volume IV – December 23, 2018

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … What is Colorado’s record all-time in games played on Christmas Day? (Hint: Think about leis and luaus).

Spring Practices Dates

Tentative spring practice dates have been set: Mel Tucker’s first CU spring session is set to start the week before spring break on Monday, March 18, with the spring game set for Saturday, April 27 (time TBA, to be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks). The tentative practice dates are as follows: March 18-20-22—(spring break)—April 1-3-5-8-10-12-15-17-19-22-24-27. The team is allowed 15 practices; how the practice sessions will break down, per NCAA rules: three in shorts (no contact), four in pads (no tackling), four in pads (tackling allowed 50 percent or less of the time), four in pads (tackling allowed throughout). Spring break (March 25-29) does not count against the 29 days should the schedule be dramatically revised for some reason.

(CU’s annual Pro-Timing Day has not been set as of yet).

Considering how frenzied the pace has been the past few weeks, pushing back spring practices makes sense. The coaching staff – some of whom are yet to be named – will have more time to concentrate on February signings, and then be able to take an extra month for evaluations of returning talent.

Mike MacIntyre routinely opened spring practices before all other Pac-12 programs. His philosophy of starting early was: 1) to get through spring practices early, so, if there were any injuries, those players would have additional time to recover before fall practices; and 2) by being done early, players could focus on the classroom, and get through spring semester without any academic casualties.

Recruiting Class of 2019 – Who will be here for spring practices?

Out of the 17 members of the Recruiting Class of 2019, eight will be on campus for spring practices:

  • Both running back recruits – Jaren Mangham and Joe Davis. With the graduation of 1,000-yard rusher Travon McMillian, there will be an open competition for the starting running back position. It will be good that both Mangham and Davis, who could vie for playing time as true freshmen, will be on campus to learn the system along with the returning backs;
  • Two of the four junior college transfers will be in Boulder – defensive lineman Jeremiah Doss and offensive lineman Va’atofu Sauvao. Both will be expected to compete for playing time right away. The other two junior college transfers – linebacker Jash Allen and defensive lineman Janaz Jordan – will not be on campus until this summer;
  • There are three other true freshmen who will graduate early and be in Boulder for the spring, offensive lineman Austin Johnson, linebacker Alec Pell, and defensive back K.J. Trujillo;
  • The eighth member of the Class who will enroll early is tight end Jalen Harris, the graduate transfer from Auburn. Last season at Georgia, Bulldog tight ends accounted for 39 catches for 552 yards. “We plan to use the tight end here extensively,” Mel Tucker said. It will be an interesting spring for the tight end position.

Remember Me? 

There is one other player who will make their CU debut this spring. Linebacker Joshka Gustav is a 6’3″, 230-pound linebacker who took a grayshirt season last fall (he will still have five years to play four). Gustav’s bio:

Joshka Gustav – LB

Just the facts … Committed March 24, 2017 … Gustav is a 6’3″, 220-pound outside linebacker/defensive end from San Bernardino, California  Rivals bio  247 Sports bio

What others said about Gustav … Gustav was rated as a three-star strongside defensive end by both Rivals and 247Sports, and a three-star outside linebacker by Scout. Rivals had Gustav as the No. 84 overall player out of California from the Class of 2018, while 247 Sports had Gustav rated as the No. 47 strongside defensive end in the nation, and the No. 104 overall player from California.

Rivals analyst Adam Gorney on Gustav … “I saw Gustav at the Los Angeles Under Armour Camp and liked him a lot. I honestly don’t know which position is best for him, but I do know he’s a tremendous athlete with great size and a great frame. I can definitely buy him as an athletic outside linebacker who can play in space with the possibility of him bulking up even more and being more of a hybrid defensive end as well.

“I know a coach at his school really well and they rave about the kid, his mentality, work ethic and his athleticism, which I saw on display at the UA camp.”

Gustav had other offers from … Oregon State and UNLV, with interest from other schools, including Notre Dame, Washington, Nevada and Fresno State.

Signing Day Numbers

— The CU Recruiting Class currently has only 12 high school seniors (to go with four junior college transfers and a senior graduated transfer). If that were to hold through the February Signing period, it would mark the smallest high school class for Colorado since 1987, when the Buffs also signed 12 high school seniors (along with six junior college transfers);

— The Class of 2019 represents the first year since 2007 in which Colorado didn’t sign a single player from Texas;

— The Class of 2019 represents the first year since 1997 in which Colorado didn’t sign a single quarterback recruit;

— Colorado has signed at least four junior college transfers every year since 2013. The past two seasons, Mike MacIntyre signed seven and five junior college players;

— Colorado currently has 67 scholarship players on the roster. Counting the 17 signees in the early Signing period, there doesn’t appear to be much room for any additional signees in February. That 67 number, however, does not account for any anticipated attrition … so stay tuned to hear about players who do not enroll in January for the spring semester.

Why will CU be picked sixth in the Pac-12 South next summer? 

Unless Utah can pull out a victory over Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl, every team in the Pac-12 South will finish the 2018 season on a losing streak.

The Colorado seven-game losing streak to end the season is well-documented, and will be mentioned in every preseason write-up you will see about the Buffs heading into the 2019 campaign.

But what about the rest of the division?

  • Utah will be defending its first-ever Pac-12 South title, coming off of a title game in which the Utes scored three points;
  • USC finished with the same record – 5-7 – as Colorado, and on a three-game losing streak of its own (Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame), with five losses in the final six games. Even with all that, you just know that the Trojans will be picked to finish first or second in the division in 2019;
  • Arizona finished with the same record – 5-7 – as Colorado, and on a two-game losing streak of its own. Like the Buffs, the Wildcats needed a late win to go bowling. Arizona was mauled by Washington State, 69-28, then blew a 40-21 fourth quarter lead, at home, to Arizona State, to close out the season. Arizona fired Rich Rodriguez after the Wildcats went 7-6, brought in Kevin Sumlin to coach Kahlil Tate to a Heisman … and went 5-7;
  • Arizona State finished with a 7-6 record, losing 31-20 to Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl. “We didn’t lose,” explained Herm Edwards. “We just ran out of time”. Um, the Sun Devils were dominated in the second half, and it would have been a 38-20 final had a Bulldog receiver not fumbled a touchdown out of the end zone. The Sun Devils, who will lose three-year starting quarterback Manny Wilkins and all everything wide receiver N’Keal Harry, did no better than the 7-6 record which got Todd Graham fired;
  • UCLA finished with a 3-9 record, two games worse than Colorado … and lost to the Buffs. Yet the Bruins are coached by Chip Kelly, known to all, while Colorado will be coached next fall by Mel Tucker, known to almost no one. Anyone want to lay $20 on whether preseason prognosticators will have UCLA ranked above Colorado next summer?

True enough, the Buffs face a difficult schedule in 2019, and a bowl game will again be the first – and perhaps main – goal.

But the Pac-12 ain’t exactly murderer’s row, either …

Buff Trivia Question of the Week Answer … Colorado is 3-0 all-time in games played on Christmas Day:

  • 1924 … Colorado defeated Hawai’i-Navy All-Stars, 43-0. The Buffs would go on to play Hawai’i on New Year’s Day, falling to the home-standing Rainbow Warriors, 13-0. The points scored by Hawai’i were the first given up by the Buffs all season, with CU finishing the 1924 season with an 8-1-1 record.
  • 1993 … Colorado defeated Fresno State, 41-30, in the Aloha Bowl. Rashaan Salaam ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns as the Buffs withstood 523 yards passing by Fresno State quarterback Trent Dilfer.
  • 1998 … Colorado defeated Oregon, 51-43, in the Aloha Bowl. Quarterback Mike Moschetti threw for 213 yards and four touchdowns in what would prove to be Rick Neuheisel’s final game as the head coach at Colorado.


6 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Vol. IV”

  1. “Colorado currently has 67 scholarship players on the roster. Counting the 17 signees in the early Signing period, there doesn’t appear to be much room for any additional signees in February. That 67 number, however, does not account for any anticipated attrition … so stay tuned to hear about players who do not enroll in January for the spring semester.”

    Not sure who is in the count but I get 82. TE Chris Bounds and OG Grant Polley left the team during the year and are not expected back in 2019 as far as I can tell.

    1. Correct, but they are still showing up on the roster, so, until CU tells us otherwise, they remain Buffs. The numbers 67 and 17 are from CU’s Signing Day press release.

  2. CU 2020 offers

    Texas (35)
    California (21)
    Colorado (6)
    Louisiana (6)
    Washington (6)
    Arizona (2)
    Georgia (2)
    Florida (1)
    Kentucky (1)
    Maryland (1)
    Oklahoma (1)
    South Carolina (1)

    Dang it, almost 7 and the fam be sleeping. Just me and the dog eating cookies

    Merry Christmas

    1. “Christmas is here and the Goose is Fat, please put a quarter in VK’s Hat.”

      Merry Christmas to All Buff Fans from Cactus Country!!!!

  3. Merry Christmas eve. Hope all is great in your lives, that you had a great year and have a better one coming ahead.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: I only want 2 things for Christmas………..:

  4. That 2019 schedule looks tough.
    The O line With the new guys:
    5 redshirt seniors
    2 Juniors
    1 redshirt junior
    1 sophomore
    4 redshirt sophomores
    3 freshman
    4 redshirt freshman

    Total 20

    Did you know there are this many redshirt seniors?

    Tonz, Lynott, Eggers, Haigler, Shutack

    With 4 years of Coach Adams instruction, this line is gonna be dominate for dang right sure

    Tuck em up, Tuck em up, Go CU

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