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Colorado Recruiting Class of 2023

10 Commitments, by Position 

Quarterbacks … Ryan Staub

Running Backs … AJ Newberry

Wide Receivers … Edward Schultz … Isaiah Hardge …

Tight Ends … Andrew Metzger … Tucker Ashcraft

Offensive Linemen … Naquil Betrand

Defensive Linemen … Kam’ron Bizor

Linebackers … CJ Turner

Defensive Backs … Adrian Wilson

Specialists

Recruits are from … Texas: 3 … California: 2 … Colorado: 1 … Pennsylvania: 1 … Arkansas: 1 … Washington: 1 … Florida: 1

May 11th

ESPN: CU has the No. 21 Recruiting Class in the Nation

At Rivals … Pac-12 teams: No. 8 USC … No. 12 Colorado … No. 36 Oregon … At 247 Sports … No. 10 USC … No. 11 Colorado … No. 37 Arizona … No. 38 Oregon …

From ESPN … With official visits permitted and college football coaches out on the road, offers are being spread around while commitments continue to steadily roll in. There is still much to be decided, though, with a larger wave of commitments expected in the next month, but activity has been brisk enough to shake up class rankings.

A consistent presence among the top five, Ohio State has worked its way among that group again in part due to several four-star pickups out of Florida, namely ESPN 300 CB Dijon Johnson and top-10 RB Mark Fletcher, a big, physical back who should fit well in the Buckeye offense.

Josh Heupel continues to spark optimism among the Tennessee fan base looking to return to past glory days. The Volunteers were able to break into the top 10, led by the key in-state addition of edge defender Caleb Herring, the No. 1 player in Tennessee with the tools to be a disruptive sideline-to-sideline defender.

From the Pac-12 …

No. 9 … USC 

ESPN 300 commits: 3 | Previous ranking: 9 

Pac-12 rank: 1 of 12
Top offensive commit: QB Malachi Nelson (No. 2)
Top defensive commit: S Christian Pierce (three stars)

Lincoln Riley has assembled a small but talented offensive class so far. Two key in-state pickups who were planning to join Riley at Oklahoma flipped to their hometown school when Riley made the change. Nelson is the No. 2 QB in the class with a smooth release and the ability to make tough throws on the move. Makai Lemon is high school teammates with Nelson and has good hands and quickness. WR Zachariah Branch, out of Las Vegas, is one the fastest players in this class and can be an electrifying playmaker with the ball in his hands.

No. 21 … Colorado 

Pac-12 rank: 2 of 14
Top offensive commit: QB Ryan Staub (four stars)
Top defensive commit: DE Kam Bizor (three stars)

While USC works to reestablish itself as a dominant recruiting force in the Pac-12, Colorado is making some noise of its own on the recruiting trail, working to sign one of the top classes in the conference. They went into California to secure their QB in the four-star Staub, a passer with a quick release and gunslinger’s swagger. Edward Schultz and Isaiah Hardge, a quick playmaker who can be dangerous in space, have the tools be develop into productive weapons. A nice get out of Philadelphia is massive and aggressive OL Naquill Betrand.

No. 22 … Oregon 

ESPN 300 commits: 3 | Previous ranking: unranked 

Pac-12 rank: 3 of 14
Top offensive commit: WR Jurrion Dickey (No. 200)
Top defensive commit: CB Cole Martin (No. 183)

New head coach Dan Lanning led Georgia’s championship defense last year, but now focuses on trying to build a similar type unit with the Ducks. ESPN 300 CB Martin is a good place to start; he is a player with good feet and upside. They landed two big targets for their passing attack in Dickey and Kyler Kasper, who both check in at more than 6-foot-2 and can win contested matchups.

Dropped out: Kentucky (19), Rutgers (20), Northwestern (22), Nebraska (23), Stanford (24)

Read full story here

 

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Isaiah Hardge – WR

Just the facts … Committed April 20th … Hardge is a 5’11”, 160-pound wide receiver from Ft. Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas) … Rivals bio247 Sports

What others have to say about Hardge … Hardge is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. At Rivals, Hardge is ranked as the No. 97 overall player out of the state of Florida, while at 247 Sports, Hardge is considered as the No. 121 player out of Florida, and the No. 128 wide receiver in the nation.

As a junior, helped Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas capture a Florida 7A state title. Caught 22 passes for 355 yard and six touchdowns while working in an offense that also featured Auburn WR signee Cam Brown and LSU TE signee Mason Taylor. UConn signee Zion Taylor was the team’s quarterback.

St. Thomas Aquinas is a Florida powerhouse program that’s been familiar to CU in recent recruiting cycles (RB Anthony Hankerson in ’22, Allan Baugh in ’21).

Hardge had other offers from … an impressive array of Power Five conference schools. From the SEC, Hardge had offers from Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Ole Miss. From the Big Ten, Hardge had offers from Maryland and Penn State, while from the ACC, Hardge had offers from Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Pitt.

In his own words … “I like [Coach Sanford] and how he coaches and how he calls plays,” Hardge told 247 Sports. “I’m going to give them everything I got. I’m trying to hold myself to a certain standard, which is only going to make me better.”

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 

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CJ Turner – LB

Just the facts … Committed April 16th … Turner is 6’1″, 210-pound linebacker from Star City, Arkansas … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others have to say about Turner … Turner is listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals, but a three-star recruit by 247 Sports. Rivals considers Turner to be the No. 19 “athlete” in the nation, and the No. 3 overall prospect out of the state of Arkansas. At 247 Sports, Turner is seen as the No. 30 linebacker in the country, the No. 3 prospect out of the Arkansas, and the No. 358 overall prospect in the nation.

Turner also competes in track and field. He has been a two-way player with snaps at running back, receiver, and multiple spots on defense. Ran an 11.47 100 and a 23.09 200 as a sophomore. Also long jumped 19-3.5 and high jumped 5-4.

Turner had other offers from … surprisingly, very few other schools, considering his high ratings. Turner’s only other Power Five conference offer was from Kansas, with offers from Jackson State (and Deion Sanders), Memphis, and Arkansas State. The likely reason for the hesitation on offers: Turner played four games in 2021 before suffering a season-ending knee-injury (torn ACL).

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Tucker Ashcraft – TE

Just the facts … committed April 16th … Ashcraft is a 6’5″, 235-pound tight end from Seattle, Washington (O’Dea) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others have to say about Ashcraft … Ashcraft is rated as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, but only a two-star prospect by Rivals. At 247 Sports, Ashcraft is regarded as the No. 67 tight end in the nation, and the No. 35 overall prospect out of the state of Washington.

Ashcraft had other offers from … no other Power Five schools, but did have offers from Air Force, Eastern Washington, Idaho and Idaho State.

In his own words … “I was very impressed with all the new offensive coaches, and the strength and conditioning coach (Shannon Turley) is an awesome, smart guy,” Ashcraft told BuffStampede.com. “It seems like they really want to turn around the program and do something special. I really liked (tight ends) coach Clay Patterson. It seems like he has a lot of good stuff to teach the tight ends. The offensive coordinator (Mike Sanford) is super awesome, as well. He is looking to turn the program around.”

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

 

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Andrew Metzger – TE

Just the facts … Committed April 14th … Metzger is a 6’5″, 235-pound tight end from Aurora, Colorado (Regis Jesuit) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Metzger … At the time of his commitment, Metzger was not rated by Rivals, but was rated as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports. At 247 Sports, Metzger is listed as the seventh-best overall player out of the state of Colorado, and the No. 45 tight end in the nation.

Metzger had other offers from … at least a pair of Power Five schools, including Washington State and Kansas. Metzger had other offers from Air Force, Wyoming, Utah State, Ohio, Nevada, and Eastern Washington.

In his own words … “Tight end has changed,” Metzger told CUSportsNation. “My ability to be able to put my hand down in the dirt and then go and block someone really, really well, but then the next play, I can line up in the slot or in H and then go catch a ball for a first down — that is what they’ve said on what they really like about me: versatility.”

From a personality standpoint and hearing tight end Clay Patterson describe his vision for CU’s offense in 2022 and beyond, Metzger came away impressed.

“He talked about wanting to be able to do something new with the tight ends — throw the ball to the tight ends, get the tight ends deep into that offense and really use them. You can tell he’s really, really passionate about CU as a whole and what he wants to do with the program.”

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 

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A.J. Newberry – RB

Just the facts … Committed April 11th … Newberry is a 6’0″, 187-pound running back from Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Newberry … Newberry is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. Rivals has Newberry as the No. 21 running back in the nation, and the No. 77 overall prospect out of the state of Texas. At 247 Sports, Newberry is considered to be the No. 37 running back in the nation, the No. 93 player overall out of Texas, and the No. 561 player in the nation.

From 247 SportsNewberry displays impressive initial burst and downhill acceleration in the first 10 to 20 yards, which bodes well for his development at the next level. He also has assembled some encouraging track data, including an 11.18-second 100-meter time this spring and a 22.21-second 200 from Spring 2021. Showing that top-end speed more consistently on the gridiron will raise Newberry’s ceiling moving forward.

Newberry had other offers from … only one other Power Five conference school, Georgia Tech. He also had offers from Air Force, Rice, SMU and UTSA.

In his own words … “I had a good feeling about Colorado already. It was either Colorado or Georgia Tech,” Newberry told BuffStampede.com. “So when I went out there and it felt like home, I loved it even more. I got that feeling so I made it happen.”

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

 

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Adrian “Boogie” Wilson – DB

Just the facts … Committed April 11th … Wilson is a 6’2″, 180-pound athlete from Keller, Texas (Central) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Wilson … Wilson was not rated by either Rivals or 247 Sports as of the date of his commitment. Shortly after his commitment, Wilson received a three-star ranking by 247 Sports, listed as the No. 74 safety prospect in the nation, and the No. 138 player overall out of the state of Texas.

From 247 SportsWilson displays the requisite pursuit range and downhill closing ability against the run. He also should have some ball skills, thanks in part to playing on both sides of the ball in his first couple of varsity seasons. Wilson, believed to be in the 5-foot-11, 170-pound range, does not have verified size or speed at this time, but his functional athleticism and general football awareness give the Buffaloes’ 2023 class a promising prospect.

Wilson had other offers from … a handful of other schools, including Washington State, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV, Akron, Arkansas State, UTSA, and Buffalo.

Here is a link to Wilson’s video highlights.

 

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Naquil Betrand – OT

Just the facts … Committed March 22nd … Betrand is a 6’7″, 315-pound offensive tackle from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Betrand … Betrand was not rated by either Rivals or 247 Sports as of the date of his commitment.

Betrand consistently delivers a nasty “pancake” block. “I am a dog,” Betrand told TempleRivals.com. “Dogs eat. Me pancaking someone shows that I am a dog. When someone is lined up in front of me, he is not getting past me. He is either going to the ground or he is going to his coach. That is how I look at it.”

Betrand describes himself as a “finesse” offensive tackle with good footwork. He has long arms, good technique and great strength, he said.

When he is not practicing or working out with his teammates, Betrand is studying film. His combination of physical tools and football IQ is a big reason why he is well-liked by college programs.

“Off the field, I am a cool, calm, collected, nice guy,” Betrand said when describing his personality. “I play the game a lot. I am really friendly, if you’re friendly to me. I am respectful when you are respectful to me. On the field, (I am) disrespectful. Show no mercy. I am a dog.”

Betrand had other offers from … oddly enough, Washington. Besides the two Pac-12 schools, most of Betrand’s offers were from Group of Five schools, including Memphis, Temple and Tulsa.

In his own words … “Colorado is a great program and I like that they run the ball a lot,” Betrand told BuffStampede.com. “It is Pac-12, bright lights, so every Saturday you play against good competition. (Buffaloes offensive line) coach (Kyle) DeVan and (lead recruiting assistant) D.J. Bryant are both recruiting me heavy.”

Here is a link to Betrand’s junior season highlights.

 

 

Edward Schultz – WR

Just the facts … Committed February 18th … Schultz is a 6’1″, 195-pound wide receiver from San Juan Capistrano, California (J Serra Catholic) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Schultz … Schultz is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. At Rivals, Schultz is considered to be the 51st-best overall prospect out of the state of California, while at 247 Sports, Schultz is considered to be the 111th-best player out of California, and the 125th-best wide receiver in the nation.

As a junior at J Serra, Schultz led the Lions in both receptions (21) and yards (335), scoring three touchdowns. He enjoyed quite a bit of success as a kick returner, as well, racking up an impressive 824 yards. He broke the school’s record for kickoff return touchdowns in a season with four.

In total, his 1,209 all-purpose yards earned him All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) honors.

Schultz advertises a 4.45 40-yard dash time on his Hudl profile.

Schultz had other offers from … an impressive array of Power Five conference schools. Out of the Pac-12, Schultz had offers from both of the Arizona schools, as well as Utah. Nationally, Schultz had offers from schools like Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Minnesota.

In his own words … “My versatility for how big I am is probably my best attribute,” Schultz told BuffStampede.com. “College coaches have said they like what I can do after I catch the ball.”

Schultz is coached at J Serra Catholic by Scott McKnight, the father of forever Buff Scotty McKnight. The younger McKnight completed his career at CU ranked first in receptions and receiving touchdowns.

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Ryan Staub – QB

Just the facts … Committed January 31st … Staub is a 6’1″, 185-pound quarterback from Santa Clarita, California (West Ranch) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Staub … Staub is considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. At Rivals, Staub is listed as the No. 42 overall prospect out of the state of California. At 247 Sports, Staub is considered to be the No. 73 quarterback in the nation, and the No. 181 player overall out of California.

As a junior this past season at Santa Clarita, Staub threw for 2,414 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also rushing for six touchdowns and 324 yards.

Staub earned Foothill League Offensive Player of the Year honors, leading the Wildcats to an 8-3 record.

Staub had other offers from … Arizona, though it is still early in the process. Staub also reportedly had interest from Boise State, Michigan State and San Jose State in recent days. He took an unofficial visit to Texas last fall.

Here is a link to his junior season Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Kam’ron Bizor – DE

Just the facts … Committed December 31st … Bizor is 6’3″, 245-pound defensive end from Houston, Texas (Yates) … Rivals bio247 Sports bio

What others say about Bizor … Committing early, Bizor was unrated by both Rivals and 247 Sports.

This past season, Yates went 5-6 within the Texas Class 4A-1, Region III.  There are conflicting stats for Bizor’s junior season …

At 247 Sports, it’s reported that Bizor racked up an eye-opening 27-and-a-half sacks to go with 93 tackles, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries as a junior at Yates. He was a first-team all-district selection, and he was also named his district’s Newcomer of the Year. At Rivals, meanwhile, it’s reported that Bizor posted 39 tackles, 6.5 of which were for loss, with both leading the Lions defense. His 4.5 sacks also led Yates.

Bizor had other offers from … Colorado and Cal. Other than the Buffs and Bears, Kansas, Southern Methodist, Texas and Louisiana were among the programs also expressing interest.

In his own words … “I like all sports because there is no such thing as a offseason for me. I work to get better at sports and the best part about sports is that you can compete with your friends and other people.”

From his tweet announcing his commitment …. “The unconditional love that Colorado football, D.J. Bryant (and) Karl Dorrell (have) been showing has been nothing less than genuine! I’m committing to Colorado”.

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

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23 Replies to “Recruiting Class of 2023”

  1. CU’s time in the top 25 recruiting classes may be short, but any time is better than no time as it puts CU in the national spotlight, even if just for a short while.

  2. Stuart, Any word on this Robertson LB/Edge who appears to have committed yesterday? Film looks good, production at saddleback CC does not.
    Thanks!

    1. Looks like a PWO commit. He had only seven tackles in five games as a freshman at Saddleback Community College. He’s 6’2″, 220-pounds, out of San Clemente – he didn’t have any offers out of high school last year.

  3. CU may be loading up on freshmen while the rest of the country is grabbing from the portal because:

    There are a lot of HS players available because of the “super seniors” and the portal that are not going to get a spot on other rosters, and coach is taking advantage of this hoping to build around what he has.

    Some of the better players in the portal are looking for NIL money and wouldn’t come to CU anyway.

    Coach knows that many of those mentioned above are just mercenaries looking for a home for a short period to get paid in one way or another, either thru NIL of a good showing and the NFL after and wouldn’t be a good fit in the locker room.

    Players that are developed together and work together have a common ground… a camaraderie if you will.

    We will see how this plays out, it could be good if they stick with it, buy in and love each other.

    or.

    CU could end up developing talent just for the next level payday school to come along and take.

    Can KD get them, develop them AND keep them in today’s college football world of a transfer portal and NIL?

  4. Coach Mac 1 probably started with quite a few 2 and 3 stars, (I wasn’t around) but he got in their heads and made them think they were just as good as 4 stars.

    Attitude is almost everything when you have the right personnel, incl’ coaches and athletes.

    Go BUFFS

    1. Mac 1 did get onto the heads of some of the lower rated players AND the team as a whole, but he also brought in higher caliber players from the inner cities of CA; bringing in talent that many of CU’s prior coaches didn’t attempt to get. Mac 1 wasn’t afraid of the challenge and knew how to talk to them and their families and more importantly their mothers. Unfortunately one of Mac 1’s strong suit in knowing how to connect with those mothers became the reason he left CU prematurely.

      But the way NIL is going most schools, CU included will have to settle for the players that don’t demand a big payday, while the ones that can will buy the elite players. AND, anytime a school finds an under the radar really good player or a players works and gets on the national radar, they’re going to get offers to transfer and those schools will feed the higher ups…

      Unless some strong rules are put in place.

      We can only guess but we’ll see what happens as this all plays out.

  5. The new lineman is big. 6-7, seems to carry his weight well. Gets his hand in, but has played mostly against much smaller dudes, it shows that he is not being run around. I didn’t see sny film of a wide set olb rushing and him getting there which I would like to see but I susp3ct Devan looked at that or thought he could train it, his feet look ok, his technique is bad but at his size in high school against the comp he is going aga8nst you didn’t really need it.

  6. Stuart says

    < Another three-star prospect. Fine, but CU’s roster is littered with three-star prospects … and almost a generation of losing. Nothing against the young man, but seems like more of the same

    Welp, I would say the real issue is 1 star coaches.

    Go Buff.

    Take those 3 stars and kick ass

    1. 1 star coaches hired by an inept administration. Nothing will change until that does. Drink all the Kool Aid you want.

  7. The kid has wheels! Maybe a taller Jeremy Bloom? His quickness and top end speed remind me of Bloom. Will be fun watching him as a returner.

  8. Observation: Staub is rated as #42 prospect in California by Rivals and #181 by 247. What gives? Why the huge disparity? Obviously there are no standards for consistent ratings. Very maddening and misleading.

  9. Personally I think its a good idea for someone who wants to get recruited by multiple schools to commit early. That way they get there name out there as a commit, which garners attention and recruiters eyes. As the saying goes there is no publicity that is bad publicity. Not saying that is the case here, just a note.

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