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Recruiting Prospects – 2012 – March/April News

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    By Stuart

    April 30th

    Jalil Brown and Scotty McKnight*lightly considered in 2006

    While Nate Solder and Jimmy*Smith were not highly regarded as high school*prospects in 2006 (see story, below), they*were all-stars compared to the other two*Colorado players, Jalil Brown and Scotty McKnight, who were 2011 draft picks.

    Jalil Brown was a two-star athlete out of Phoenix, Arizona. Brown, however,*went unsigned during Signing Day, 2006. There was interest from Arizona State, Hawai’i, and Oregon State, but Brown did not receive a scholarship offer. Brown did attend the 2006 Colorado Spring game, and committed after taking a trip to Boulder. “[Head] coach [Dan] Hawkins talked to me about how the program is coming up,” Brown told BuffStampede.com on April 24, 2006. “I had also developed a good relationship with [defensive backs] coach [Greg] Brown. I have a lot of respect for him and I decided that I wanted to come and play for him. I’m definitely looking forward to becoming a part of the program.”

    Scotty McKnight was also a two-star athlete, coming to Boulder by way of Las Flores, California, and Boise State. The Broncos were the only team to offer McKnight a scholarship, though Oregon came into the picture late in the recruiting process. “The opportunity for Scott to come in and compete and have an impact is great at Boise State,” Scotty McKnight’s father, Scott McKnight, Sr. told Rivals.com on November 9, 2005. “The Tuesday after Scott committed, we got a call from Oregon who had just seen his senior film. They wanted to trip him in and offer him and said on film, Scott reminded them a lot of Keenan Howry.* As much as we respect Oregon, Scott understands what it means to make a commitment and we didn’t want to do that to Boise State. There is something to be said for picking the school that made you their first choice. Scott is the only WR Boise State offered and even though Oregon is a great school, they’re going to recruit other great receivers this year and will continue to do it next year. Boise State was just the best overall fit for him and he’s very excited to be going there and playing in that exciting offense they have.”

    Still, Scotty McKnight had committed to play for Dan Hawkins and with his good friend, Cody Hawkins. A month later, though, Dan Hawkins was hired at Colorado, and Cody chose on Signing Day to play for his father. The Buffs did not have a scholarship for McKnight, though, and invited McKnight to come to camp as a preferred walk-on. Things looked bleak for McKnight after the red-shirt freshman broke his ankle on the first day of spring drills, 2007.

    Of course, all McKnight did after that was start every game of his career, and catch at least one pass in every game of his career.*

    April 29th

    Smith and Solder*changed positions from 2006 rankings

    The Colorado recruiting Class of 2006 was a mess. Gary Barnett had been fired before the end of the 2005 season, with new head coach Dan Hawkins hired in December. The new coaching staff tried to hang onto those players who had committed to Barnett, while still trying to put together a decent recruiting class by the first week of February.

    The Dan Hawkins’ staff was largely given a pass on its first recruiting class, as are most new staffs. Hawkins was coming into a tough situation, with the program down after several years of fighting off scandal. Yes, the team on the field had won four of the last five Big 12 North titles, but the consensus was that the program was slipping, and it would take several years to right the ship.

    The 2006 recruiting Class was not bad, under the circumstances. Scout.com rated the Class the 50th best in the nation, while Rivals ranked the class 48th. According to Scout, only six of the 22 recruits ranked in the top 100 at their position nationally, lead by quarterback Cody Hawkins, who was considered the 21st-best quarterback in the country (17th-best according to Rivals).

    Rivals’ top rated player on the Colorado board was B.J. Beatty, who was considered by Rivals to be the 46th-best weakside defensive end in the nation. Scout, however, didn’t think as highly of Beatty. Though the recruiting service did peg Beatty at the position he would end up playing at Colorado, linebacker, Scout considered the Kahuku, Hawai’i, prospect to be a two-star player.

    So, what did the services think about Nate Solder and Jimmy Smith, who would go on to become first round NFL picks?

    Nate Solder, from Buena Vista, Colorado, was a versatile high school player. As a senior, Solder had six touchdowns as a tight end, and was also an All-State player at linebacker (Solder even had a basketball scholarship offer from Dartmouth). Solder had offers from three other Big 12 schools, including Nebraska, as well as Colorado State and Wyoming. Solder committed to the Colorado coaching staff of Gary Barnett, hesitated when Barnett was fired, but then stuck with his commitment to the Buffs. Despite the number of schools seeking his services, and despite the number of positions he played, Solder was considered no better than a two-star offensive lineman by Scout. At Rivals, Solder did earn three stars … as a tight end prospect.

    Jimmy Smith was also miscast as an incoming freshman. Smith was considered a three-star prospect by Scout, as the No. 53 safety in the nation. Rivals didn’t know what to do with Smith, ranking him as the 57th-best athlete in the recruiting Class of 2006. Smith, from Colton, California, had offers from a number of schools, including Nebraska (again!), Hawai’i, Boise State, Colorado State (again!), and Nevada. Smith originally committed to play for Washington State, but changed his mind the week before Signing Day, opting to go with the new head coach at Colorado, Dan Hawkins. What sold Smith on Colorado?*”The coaches,” Smith told CougZone.com on January 28, 2006. “Because it’s a new staff, everyone is going to start fresh there and I think I’ll have a chance to play early.”

    So, Solder was a tight end /linebacker who became an All-American offensive tackle, while Jimmy Smith was a safety/athlete who became an All-Big 12 cornerback.*Neither were considered*higher than two to three-star prospects.

    Just goes to show you how much can change in five years. Enjoy the NFL, Nate Solder and Jimmy Smith!!

    *

    April 27th

    Top quarterback prospect in town this week

    Bart Houston, a 6′4″, 201-pound quarterback prospect from*Concord, California,*(see April 20th article on quarterback prospects, below)*was in Boulder Wednesday for an unofficial visit. Considered by Scout to be the*7th-best quarterback in the nation, Houston has been making the rounds this spring. Houston has already visited Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon State, Duke, Texas Tech, USC and UCLA. After leaving Boulder, Houston will be traveling to Iowa City to see what the Hawkeyes have to offer.

    “It is going to be an unofficial visit, but I am going to treat it like an official visit,” Houston told BuffStampede.com on Tuesday. “They are going to show me the academic side of it, show me the football side of it, and I will get to hang out with the players and see what life of a student-athlete at Colorado is all about. I am looking forward to it.”

    Last season, Houston completed 66.7% of his passes, going for 1,922 yards and 20 touchdowns, throwing just four interceptions. Houston did rush for 11 touchdowns, but he is a pro-style quarterback. “A lot of colleges that are recruiting me like that I am under center all of the time at my school,” Houston said. “I won’t have to make the transition to a pro-style offense when I go to college because I am used to it. I’m also an accurate passer and do well with the play-action pass.”

    Houston does not have a top five, but does have a top eight – mostly because that is how many offers he has to date. In addition to Colorado, Houston has offers from Iowa, Arizona, San Diego State, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. (Texas Tech and USC have also shown interest, but have yet to tender an offer). Colorado was the first school to offer Houston, back in February.

    The sought-after quarterback prospect is looking to make a decision this summer. “No one is pushing or saying that I have to commit now or else they are going to drop me,” said Houston. “But in June or July, that is when I will commit.” *Rivals bio Scout bio

    Colorado takes the lead for Fresno guard prospect

    Stephon McCray, a 6′3″, 295-pound offensive lineman from Fresno, California,*was in Boulder for the Spring game, and he liked what he saw.

    Enough to put the Buffs at the top of his list.

    “What made Colorado take the lead is just how everybody was so positive about the staff and the things they are doing to get better and grow as a team,” McCray told BuffStampede.com. “And I like their offense. They are really trying to run the ball, and I like that.

    “Everybody that we talked to, whether it was the players or teachers or other staff members or just people in the community, they all had something very positive to say about the coaching staff that is there now,” said McCray. “I got a chance to meet Paul (Richardson), one of their receivers. He told us that it was a 180 from the other coaching staff. The new coaches don’t have favorites, and they expect you to compete every day and practice your hardest, and they won’t accept anything less than that.”

    McCray is considered to be the No. 31 guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com, and has offers from Colorado, Fresno State, and Washington State, as well as interest from Arizona, Cal, and USC. Some schools have been late to offer because McCray only played four games as a junior due to a dislocated elbow. Last year, McCray played at 332 pounds, but has shed 37 pounds since then.

    McCray is also going to have to work on his versatility. “I talked to [offensive line] Coach Steve Marshall, he says I’m an offensive guard, but he wants to work with me at snapping the ball,” McCray told BarkBoard.com. “He says it would definitely help if I can snap the ball. He said versatility is huge for an offensive lineman.”

    And there is this, for those Buff fans who still get a chill from the recruiting possibilities now enjoyed by the Pac-12 Colorado Buffs …*”I always been a bit of a momma’s boy. It would be nice to see my mom and my dad frequently,” said McCray of being a Buff. “They said they will always have one game in California every year. And it’s only a two-hour flight from home. I like it … everything is within one or two states.”

    Welcome home, Stephon!

    April 25th

    Kansas quarterback “grew up going to CU games”

    Lookout Stevie Joe Dorman … there’s another quarterback from the Class of 2011 who wants to play for the black-and-gold.

    Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Shawnee Mission, Kansas quarterback John Schrock will come to Boulder as a preferred walk-on this August. Schrock is 6′4″, 220-pounds, and*was considered a two-star prospect by Rivals this past season. He did not receive a scholarship offer, however, from any Division 1-A school. Schrock’s Rivals bio lists interest from a number of schools, including Colorado State, Kansas State, Wake Forest and Tulsa. For those Buff fans looking a “smart” quarterback, it is also worthy of note that Schrock was attracting interest from schools like Duke, Harvard, Penn and Yale.

    “I got overlooked as a recruit,” Schrock told BuffStampede.com, “But in the end, I think it was a blessing in disguise because I am going to the school that I really wanted to go to. It seems like a perfect fit for me.”

    Schrock threw for 1,600 yards and rushed for 600 more, accounting for 20 total touchdowns his senior year. Schrock was in attendance for the Colorado Spring game, and was able to sit in on multiple quarterback meetings. “I absolutely loved it,” said Schrock. “They said that just because I am going to walk on doesn’t mean that they are going to give me any less of an opportunity than the guys who are here on scholarship … An opportunity is all I can ask for. So long as they are giving me that, I am going to work hard and try and prove that I am good enough for the team.”

    The last walk-on quarterback to start at Colorado? Try Joel Klatt, who was – until he was passed by Cody Hawkins this past fall – the all-time leading passer in Colorado history.

    Welcome,*Mr. Schrock!

    Oakland cornerback confident

    As reported earlier (see April 16th, below), Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) cornerback Brandan Brisco is another on the Colorado list of preferred walk-ons this August.

    Brisco had interest from UC-Davis and Georgia Tech, but, like Schrock, did not receive a scholarship offer. Also like Schrock, though, Brisco has taken an unofficial visit to Boulder … and liked what he saw.

    “Colorado is a good school academically, first and foremost,” Brisco told BuffStampede.com. “And I really like their coaches. I feel they welcomed me with open arms.”

    And Brisco is also keenly aware that the Buffs are in need of help at the cornerback position. “Knowing that there are some open spots there at cornerback is really big,” said Brisco. “I can come in and compete. I feel really good about the situation and opportunities that I will have at Colorado … I am trying to go in and make an impact early.”

    *

    April 22nd

    Rivals Colorado Top 15 announced, with five offensive lineman in top eight spots

    It’s a good year to be in need of offensive linemen.

    The University of Colorado will lose three starters from its offensive line after the 2011 season: Ryan Miller, Ethan Adkins, and Mike Iltis. The Buffs will also lose contributors Blake Behrens, Shawn Daniels and Sione Tau. Throw in walk-on senior David Clark, and this season the Buffs will be losing – quite literally – a ton of talent.

    The good news is that*potential help exists right in the Buffs’ back yard.

    Five of the top eight players in the Rivals Colorado Top 15 Spring rankings are offensive linemen, and it should come as no surprise that Colorado has extended scholarship offers to all five.

    So, what are the Buffs’ chances at landing some of these linemen?

    Let’s take a look:

    #1 Paul Thurston – 6′5″, 274-pounds, Arvada West. Rated as the No. 19 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout. Thurston has offers from all over the country, including half of the Pac-12, along with schools like Nebraska, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Thurston spent last weekend in Lincoln with the Cornhuskers, and came away impressed. It was great. I enjoyed it,” Thurston told HuskerOnline.com. “I got to talk with coach (Barney) Cotton, and do some one-on-one time with coach Bo Pelini, and I talked to some of the other coaches too. They told me what their view is of me and how they see me fitting into their program, and they asked me if I had any questions. Coach Cotton said he sees me as a (offensive) tackle or guard …*I thought they did real good (in the Spring game), and they played a type of offense I can see myself playing in. I liked the whole thing … The facilities are just state of the art. You can tell they’ve put a lot of time and money into it.”

    Thurston was in Boulder for spring practices, and has this to say about the Buffs: “It was interesting to see how everything is coming together with the team,” Thurston told BuffStampede.com. “I also went up there to see one of their first spring practices so I have had a good chance to see how their offensive line is developing under the new coaches. They practice with a lot of intensity so that is good.”

    Before making a decision, Thurston has other trips planned. “My next visit is in two weeks when I head out to Oregon,” said Thurston. “The following week, I head out to Michigan, and then I’ll probably swing down to Notre Dame at the same time. There maybe a couple other trips as well.”

    Thurston is expected to announce his decision this summer.

    #3 Shane Callahan – 6′6″, 277-pounds, Parker (Chaparral). Rated as the No. 23 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout. Callahan also has offers from all over the country, including Utah, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Oregon, and USC. Callahan also has an offer from defending national champion Auburn, and Callahan took a trip to the Plains this past weekend. “They are definitely at the top of my list,” Callahan told AuburnSports.com after his*visit. “I went down and visited and really enjoyed it. I really like coach Grimes, the coaches, the town, I liked everything. They are up there. I wouldn’t say I have a leader, but they are up there.” Despite the distance from Colorado to Auburn, Callahan insists that travel will not play a part in his decision. “It was at first, but now as I get into it it is less of a factor,” Callahan said. “My parents will support me wherever I go, it will work out great no matter.”

    A month ago, Colorado, which offered Callahan last summer when he was a sophomore, impressed Callahan. “They restated that I am their No. 1 priority and that they want me to be a big part of their program,” Callahan told BuffStampede.com in March. “It was great talking to them and they are definitely at the top of my list.”

    Callahan has already visited Michigan and Notre Dame, and will visit USC this weekend. As to a commitment, it may come sooner than later. Callahan said he would like to make a decision this summer, but is not opposed to making a decision earlier if he feels it is the right one. “I definitely could,” Callahan said about a spring decision. “When I feel like I can make a decision, I’ll make it.”

    #5 Alex Kozan – 6′4″, 280-pounds, Castle Rock (Valor Christian). Rated as the No. 27 guard prospect in the nation by Scout. Kozan has offers from over a dozen schools, including both Arizona schools, both Kansas schools, Arkansas, Illinois, and Iowa. “So far I have visited Colorado, Colorado State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State,” Kozan told BuffStampede.com. “I am just trying to get a better feel for the schools. That is why I have been taking so many trips. Before I visit the schools, it is just a logo in my head and a voice on the phone from their coach. I think the best way to find out if a school is a good fit for you is to get to know a coach in person and see what they are all about.”

    As for the Buffs, Kozan was in Boulder for the Spring game. “It was great to see the students on campus and even though it was just an intrasquad scrimmage, Boulder had a game day like atmosphere last Saturday so it was a cool deal,” Kozan said. “The fans there brought a lot of excitement to it. Some of them were calling me out by name, which was pretty impressive given that I had never met them before. I found that to be kind of cool. I talked to [Colorado head] coach [Jon] Embree, [offensive line] coach [Steve] Marshall and [offensive coordinator and running backs] coach [Eric] Bieniemy. They have put a strong emphasis on trying to get the in-state kids. They talked all of us and told us that we can be the base of the program and help get CU back on top.”

    Kozan said his goal is to have his list of schools down to five by July, then taking a second*visit to those schools. “I am thinking late summer, probably in August, is when I am looking at making my decision,” said Kozan.

    #7 Joey O’Conner – 6′4″, 278-pounds, Windsor. Rated as the No. 55 offensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout. O’Conner only has five offers to date, but, based upon the schools who have extended offers – Colorado, Penn State, Utah, Colorado State, and South Carolina – that total is sure to grow. “Michigan is supposed to come out here next month, so we’ll take it from there,” O’Conner told BlueWhiteIllustrated.com. “I haven’t talked to them about an offer yet, but we’ll see how that goes after they come here. I went to Nebraska last season for an unofficial visit. They’ve still been sending me letters and stuff, but not as intense or as much as the other schools lately.”

    As for the Buffs? “I really like how dedicated the new coaches are to bringing back traditions and trying to turn the program around,” O’Conner told BuffStampede.com. “I also like that they are going to try to be smash-mouth,” he said. “They told me (at the Spring game) that they are going to focus on getting the Colorado guys before they go out of state. They asked, ‘Why not go to a program that is an hour away from your house and be part of the group that helps turn it around?’”

    Right now, O’Conner isn’t listing any favorites.*”I played hockey forever, so I really wasn’t into college football,” said O’Conner. “I didn’t grow up with a favorite team or anything. Everyone is equal right now, I’m keeping all my options open.”

    #8 Arthur Flores – 6′6″, 295-pounds, Aurora (Mullen). Not rated by Scout amongst its top 100 offensive tackles. Flores currently has offers from Colorado, Boise State, Utah, Colorado State, Vanderbilt and UCF. “I thought it was really cool to get a few offers,” Flores told Rivals.com. “It’s kind of a relief and I’m excited to start visiting some college and going to camps and looking at facilities and getting to know the coaches. I want to get other schools to talk to me and then I’ll probably just pick a couple schools and narrow them down and then pick the best one I can attend.” Flores’ dream school is Penn State, but the Nittany Lions have yet to offer. “Penn State has always been up there because they’ve been my favorite team growing up,” Flores said. “We’ve talked a little bit but not as much as the other schools.”

    Flores visited Boulder with his teammate – and No. 2 overall Colorado prospect – quarterback Cyler Miles for the Spring game. “We went up to CU for the second half of their Junior Day and then watched their spring game” Flores told BuffStampede.com. “We didn’t go on the full campus tour but got to see their facilities, which are really nice. And their coaches are great. The offensive line coach (Steve Marshall)*is a really cool guy. I really like CU. It is a nice campus, it is close to home and the academics are good, too.”

    Flores may not commit until late summer, or even this fall. “I still want to see all my options before I decide,” Flores added. “I think the latest I would commit would be during the season. But I would like to commit before then so I don’t have recruiting running through my mind during games.”

    Here are the remaining members of the Rivals Colorado Top 15:

    No. 2 -*Cyler Miles – quarterback (has a CU offer; see story, below)

    No. 4 – Evan Baylis – tight end (has a CU offer)

    No. 6 – Clay Norgard – defensive end (CU commit)

    No. 9 – Tyler Henington – defensive tackle (CU commit)

    No. 10 – Kevin Davis – linebacker – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    No. 11 – Zach Jones – tight end – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    No. 12 – Jordon Vaden – wide receiver – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    No. 13 – Max McCaffrey – wide receiver – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    No. 14 – Michael Mann – defensive end – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    No. 15 – Austin Hendrickson – offensive lineman – (does not currently have an offer from CU)

    April 20th

    Wanted: Top-rated quarterback for CU Recruiting Class of 2012

    It’s no great secret that Colorado would love to have a top flight quarterback recruit come out of the recruiting Class of 2012. Come the fall of 2012, the Buffs will have on the roster: one senior (transfer Brent Burnette, who seems to have failed in his attempt to come in and dazzle the Buff coaching staff);*one sophomore (Nick Hirschman), and*one red-shirt freshman (Stevie Joe Dorman). While Hirschman or Dorman may prove to be long-time starters, it is safe to say that the Buffs are looking for a little competition at the quarterback position come 2012.

    Currently, there are*five quarterbacks whom the recruiting services agree have outstanding offers from the University of Colorado. There are two others who may have offers, but the services disagree.

    The status of the seven possibles …

    Zeke Pike, 6′5″, 220-pounds, Edgewood, Kentucky, (only listed as*having an offer by Rivals, not by Scout)*- was taken off the table just this week, as Pike committed to Auburn. Pike made his public commitment on Wednesday afternoon at a ceremony at Dixie Heights High School in Edgewood, Kentucky. “I’m an Auburn Tiger, and that’s not going to change,” Pike said Wednesday. “I’m going to sign with Auburn University.”

    Okay, down to six …

    Shane Dillon, 6′5″, 185-pounds, El Cajon, California, considered by*Scout to be the 16th-best quarterback prospect in the nation. Dillon was in Boulder this past weekend, taking an unofficial visit. Apparently, he had a good time, as Colorado is in his current top five of possible destinations. “Colorado, Ohio State, Miami, USC and Stanford are my top five, Dillon told SuperPrep.com. To date, Dillon only has offers from three of the five, but*he expects to hear from USC and Stanford soon. Dillon does have other offers from schools like UCLA, Cincinnati, Florida State and Arizona. Rivals bio* Scout bio

    Bart Houston, 6′4″, 201-pounds, Concord, California, considered by Scout to be the*7th-best quarterback in the nation. As a junior, Houston threw for 1,922 yards and 20 touchdowns (to just four interceptions). This past weekend, Houston visited Wisconsin. Houston also holds offers from Arizona, Iowa, UCLA, and Washington. “Right before football season [I'll make a decision]“. Houston told BadgerBlitz.com. “I want as much time as I can*to think about it, but I don’t want to think about it during the season.” Rivals bio*Scout bio

    Cyler Miles, 6′4″, 220-pounds, Denver (Mullen), Colorado, considered by Scout to be the 14th-best quarterback in the nation. Miles helped lead Mullen to its third straight Colorado 5A state championship this past fall. Miles has been to Boulder for several spring practices, and attended the Spring game.*“I went up there with a couple friends,” Miles told IrishIllustrated.com. “I’ve never really seen a spring game so it was nice to see that. I think they have some work to do but with the new coaches there I think they’ll be real successful this year.” Miles also took an unofficial visit to Washington. Miles has offers from over a dozen schools, including Washington, Arizona, and Utah from the Pac-12, as well as Notre Dame, Baylor, Colorado State and Illinois. “I’d like to make*(my decision)*by the start of my senior season,” Miles told Dawgman.com. “There are a lot of things to consider and I don’t want to close things off too early, but on the other hand, you can’t put stuff like that off too long or you could miss out on a great opportunity.” Rivals bio* Scout bio

    Gunner Kiel, 6′4″, 200-pounds, Columbus, Indiana, considered by Scout to be the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation. Kiel comes from a football family, as both of his brothers and his father played college football. But it is Kiel’s uncle, Blair, who may have the biggest influence. Blair Kiel was a four-year starter for Notre Dame in the early 1980’s, before going on to a nine-year NFL career.*”Notre Dame has a strong tradition,”*Kiel told IrishIllustrated.com. “They’ve always had a great team. They’ve always had a winning program. But their education is huge. It’s really hard to get into a school like Notre Dame grades-wise. They have a great education and they have great people there. I wanna surround myself with great people.” Kiel has offers from all over the country, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, and Wisconsin. Colorado has offered Kiel, but is likely a long-shot for his services (though if Kiel opts for the Irish, it may improve the Buffs’ chances to land Cyler Miles, who had talked earlier about taking a visit to South Bend, but has since cooled on Notre Dame). Rivals bio*Scout bio

    Travis Wilson, 6′6, 210-pounds, San Clemente, California, considered by Scout to be the 17th-best quarterback in the nation. Wilson was out for the Colorado Spring game, and had nice things to say about Colorado – but probably not good enough. Wilson also checked out Utah and Washington, and, when asked which schools were in the lead for his services, he told BuffStampede.com (five days after being in Boulder), “Definitely Washington and Utah,” he replied. “Those two definitely stand out the most.” Ouch. Still, Wilson later told ESPN.com, “My top three are still Washington, Colorado, and Utah.” Wilson also has offers from Arizona, UCLA, and Iowa State. He expects to name his choice this summer. Rivals bio**Scout bio

    Matt Morin, 6′2, 205-pounds, Temecula, California, only listed by Scout as having an offer from Colorado. According to Rivals, Morin is still awaiting his first scholarship offer, but Morin told Brandon Huffman, the West recruiting manager for Scout, that he did have an offer from the Buffs … but that he was holding out for a better offer.*“I’ve been a Notre Dame fan since I was little, that’s been my dream school,” Morin told Huffman. Morin was named the QB MVP at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp earlier this month and also played on Team B2G at last month’s Badger Elite 7on7, which B2G won.*“I’m hearing from Washington, USC, Colorado who has offered, Miami, Notre Dame and Alabama,” said Morin. Morin said that after the Irish, a pair of Pac-12 schools stand out for him. “After Notre Dame, Washington and USC really like me and I really like them,” said Morin. Rivals bio*Scout bio*

    With one other quarterback recruit of note

    Will Gross, 6′3″, 190-pounds, Memphis, Tennessee, considered by Scout to be the 11th-best quarterback in the nation. Gross does not – currently – have an offer from Colorado listed by either recruiting service, but that may soon change.*”Coloradocame by the school today,”*Gross told Scout.com on Thursday. “I didn’t go to school today, so I don’t know if they are going to offer me yet.” The Buffaloes are a team that Gross admits he could develop some positive feelings for. “They are joining a new conference and I think that is all real exciting,” said Gross. “They have a good program and it’s in a nice area.” The Melrose standout reports that Colorado’s interest just recently materialized. “I haven’t heard much from them, to be honest,” he said. “They just showed up and asked about me.” Gross does show offers from a number of schools, mostly from the SEC, like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Mississippi State. Rivals bio*Scout bio

    *

    April 17th

    Spring evaluation process begins

    There has been*discussionn*concerning the Colorado Class of 2012 since the Class of 2011 was introduced.

    As a result, it may come as a surprise that the 2012 recruiting season really got underway on April 15th.

    From April 15th to May 31st, there is what is known as the Spring Evaluation period. For the next six weeks, excluding Sundays and Memorial Day, coaches can make two trips to gather more information about a prospect. One visit by an authorized recruiter can be made to assess the player’s athletic ability; the other can be used by a recruiter to assess the prospect’s academic qualifications.

    By rule, coaches aren’t supposed to talk to the prospect or arrange a meeting with a player while on an evaluation visit, but coaches do make arrangements to “bump” into players all the time. “I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I’ve only had one college coach ever tell me that they’d not like to bump into one of my players,” Rivals.com Five-Star Academy keynote speaker Joe Hornback told BuffStampede.com. “What they like to do is come into the school, watch some tape or possibly watch a prospect in track, baseball or spring football practices. Then the coaches like to ‘bump’ into the player. When they accidentally bump into a player, all they’re allowed to do is say ‘Hello’ and ‘It’s good to meet you’ “.

    Coaches are allowed to place one phone call to a prospect during the spring evaluation period, but they had better make it count … they’re not allowed to call again until September 1st.

    After May 31st, a “quiet period” resumes, lasting all summer. During the quiet period, coaches can only contact prospects through written forms of communication.

    April 16th

    Cornerback to give Colorado his best shot

    Trying to get a hold on the players who are coming to Boulder as either a walk-on or as a “preferred” walk-on is almost as difficult as getting a full list of high school juniors who make unofficial visits. As is the case with recruits, Colorado coaches are not allowed to speak about a player until their enrollment papers are complete, so the complete list of walk-ons will not be known until fall camp starts in August.

    The speculation is that Colorado will have six-t0-12 such players on the 2011 roster. One which seems certain is kicker/punter D.J. Wilhelm (see April 13th update, below). Another is cornerback Brandan Brisco, from Bishop O’Dowd high in Oakland, California. Brisco is 5′8″, 160-pounds, but does not show up on either Rivals or Scout as a rated 2011 player. Brisco was an All-League defensive back his senior year, and runs track as well.

    While it might be easy to dismiss players who have not received any scholarship offers as a waste of coaches’ time and energy, bear in mind that Joel Klatt, one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Colorado history, was a walk-on. Scotty McKnight, the Buffs’ all-time leading receiver, was a walk-on. Current contributors Travis Sandersfeld and Arthur Jaffee were walk-ons, as are names familiar to many Buff fans, like wide receiver Kyle Cefalo, defensive end Tony Poremba, linebacker David Goldberg, running back Josh Ford, and starting long-snapper Ryan Iverson.

    We’ll just have to wait and see what talent the Colorado coaching staff can mine out of the remaining group of unsigned prospects from the recruiting Class of 2011 …

    April 15th

    More thoughts from Junior Day visitors …

    A number of quality high school prospects*took*unofficial visits to Colorado for its annual Junior Day. A number of those who were in attendance have spoken with the recruiting sites, with the thoughts of a number of those recruits posted below (April 11th update).

    Here are some more notes and quotes:

    Paul Thurston is a 6′5″, 274-pound offensive tackle from Arvada West. Thurston is a four-star player with offers from at least four Pac-12 schools, as well as Notre Dame and a pair of Big Ten schools, Nebraska and Michigan. As to his visit to Boulder, Thurston told Buff Stampede.com “It was interesting to see how everything is coming together with the team,” Thurston said. “I also went up there to see one of their first spring practices so I have had a good chance to see how their offensive line is developing under the new coaches. They practice with a lot of intensity so that is good.” As to his requirements from a school … “I am looking for a college that has solid academics,” Thurston told GoBlueWolverine.com. “I would like to major in Journalism. Also I would like a coach that is secure in his job. And I want to be able to relate to him as well. I ALSO will be looking at training and weight programs, along with depth charts. I will be looking into all of this.” Thurston is not expected to announce a decision until late summer at the earliest.

    Arthur Flores is a 6′6″, 300-pound offensive tackle from Mullen. Flores has offers from at least five schools, including Utah, Boise State, Vanderbilt, Central Florida (the same school which lured away Flores’ teammate, linebacker Leilon Willingham, this past February) and Colorado. “We went up to CU for the second half of their Junior Day and then watched their spring game on Saturday,” Flores told BuffStampede.com. “We didn’t go on the full campus tour but got to see their facilities, which are really nice. And their coaches are great. The offensive line coach (Steve Marshall)*is a really cool guy. I really like CU. It is a nice campus, it is close to home and the academics are good, too.”

    Shane Rubalcaba is a 6′2″, 185-pound quarterback from Grand Junction (does not yet have an offer from Colorado). “(CU) seems more of a bigger school and a lot more things going on (than UNC and CSU, which Rubalcaba also visited). It is awesome there,” Rubalcaba told BuffStampede.com. “Boulder is a nice town and the football team is really neat. There are a couple guys from (Grand) Junction on the coaching staff. I enjoyed it. They wanted to meet me and do some camps. I met with Coach (Jon) Embree and their quarterbacks coach. They were saying I need to get to know me. They want to know the kind of prospects they want to get to play for their college.”

    Travis Wilson is a 6′6, 215-pound quarterback from San Clemente, California. Wilson is rated as the 17th-best quarterback prospect in the nation by Scout, but Buff fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too high on this recruit. Wilson has other offers from Pac-12 schools, including Utah, Arizona, and Washington, but likes other schools better than CU. “I was at Colorado (for Junior*Day). I didn’t get to see their spring game but I got to tour the campus and talk to their coaches. It is a really nice campus and they have a good strength and conditioning program. They have new coaches so they are definitely determined to get the program turned around, which is good.” Sounds good, but … when asked if he had any favorites, Wilson told BuffStampede.com, “Definitely Washington and Utah,” he said. “Those two definitely stand out the most.” Moving on …

    Alex Kozan is a 6′4″, 295-pound offensive lineman from Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch). Kozan is considered by Scout.com to be the 27th-best guard prospect in the nation by Scout. Kozan*has at least a dozen offers, including four from Pac-12 schools, as well as schools from the Big 12 and Big Ten. “It was great to see the students on campus and even though it was just an intrasquad scrimmage, Boulder had a game day like atmosphere (for the Spring game), so it was a cool deal,” Kozan told BuffStampede.com. “The fans there brought a lot of excitement to it. Some of them were calling me out by name, which was pretty impressive given that I had never met them before. I found that to be kind of cool … I talked to [Colorado head] coach [Jon] Embree, [offensive line] coach [Steve] Marshall and [offensive coordinator and running backs] coach [Eric] Bieniemy. They have put a strong emphasis on trying to get the in-state kids. They talked all of us and told us that we can be the base of the program and help get CU back on top.” Kozan plans to narrow his list of schools to five this summer, and then take official visits this fall before making any commitments.

    Dalis Bruce is a 5′11″, 172-pound athlete from Danville, California. Bruce is being recruited for several positions by different schools, but is being recruited by Colroado as a wide receiver. While a resident of California, Bruce is a native of Colorado, moving to California about six years ago. He still has family in the Denver area. While Bruce is interested in the Buffs, he has not yet received an offer. “Colorado’s wide receivers coach, Bobby Kennedy, has looked over all my film and knows what I can do,” Bruce told BuffStampede.com. “He told me they are really interested in me. I am just waiting for the visit from [defensive tackles] coach [Mike] Tuiasosopo coming up to see if they are going to offer me.” As for playing receiver instead of at defensive back, where most schools have*him slotted, Bruce said, “I worked out at receiver at the L.A. NIKE Camp and I was named one of the top receivers at the event.*I run really good routes and take pride in catching everything that comes my way. Defensively, I am physical off the ball in man-press and I have good football IQ. I know what I need to do to get my job done.”

    Evan Baylis is a 6′5″, 225-pound tight end from Grandview high in Aurora. Baylis has at least ten scholarship offers, including four other schools from the Pac-12 (Utah, Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona), as well as*Michigan and Boise State. Baylis is considered to be the 9th-best tight end in the nation by Scout.com. *”I went to one of CU’s early spring practices and I could really see how [head] coach [Jon] Embree was trying to get the intensity up and I could see they definitely picked it up during the spring game,” Baylis told BuffStampede.com. “Their program is going in a really good direction … I got a chance to talk to [special teams coordinator and tight ends] coach [J.D.] Brookhart and Coach Embree on Saturday. They have made it obvious that they want the in-state guys. They have made that a top priority. … It would be nice if everyone from in-state did.”*Baylis has already taken unofficial visits to Michigan, Oregon, Boise State and Stanford. Of his Stanford visit,*Baylis told Stanford.scout.com, “I hung out with one of the kids from Lakewood High School [Joe Hemschoot, a 2010 Stanford commit] when I was there,” Baylis said. “I also played football with [2011 Stanford offensive line commit] Brendon Austin’s little brother, who’s in my grade, so I know the family pretty well actually”. Baylis*expects to make a decision on a school by early summer.

    April 13th

    Buffs pick up a kicker?

    A poster on Rivals (well done, SD Buff!)*found an article in the Clear Lake (Iowa) Mirror Reporter, reporting that D.J. Wilhelm, a standout high school kicker who was on the roster at Northern Iowa last season will be transferring to the University of Colorado.

    Wilhelm will be a “preferred walk-on” at Colorado (he will have to pay his own tuition), and will have to sit out the 2011 season under NCAA transfer rules.

    “After high school, UNI was my best option,” said Wilhelm. “But now I have the opportunity to contribute to a team in a bigger conference, with more competition”. Wilhelm was in Colorado on Christmas break. He spoke his kicking coach, Matt Thompson, who just happens to live in Boulder. Thompson told Wilhelm about the change of coaches at Colorado. “The coaching staff is interested in new guys coming on and competing,” said Wilhelm. “(Matt Thompson) has given me a good recommendation, and they will give me an extended look.”

    Wilhelm red-shirted in 2010 at the University of Northern Iowa. In high school, Wilhelm was one of the top ten punters … in the state of Iowa. He does not show up with a profile in the Class of 2010 on either Rivals or Scout. He did not receive any Division 1 offers out of high school, landing in nearby Northern Iowa.

    Still, Wilhelm remains optimistic. “I’ll be 11 hours away from home,” said Wilhelm. “But the opportunity made it an easy decision. It will take me one step closer to my dream to be in the NFL.”

    … and a long-snapper

    If Wilhelm makes the team, he may have another*preferred walk-on to work with.

    Keegan LaMar, from Fairview high in Boulder, will walk-on this fall as a long-snapper. LaMar is 6′1″, 255-pounds, and was*offered scholarships*by several Division II schools, but decided to stay home.

    “I didn’t really think much about CU going into recruiting, because they said they had a long-snapper,” LaMar said. “But they became interested.”

    LaMar will compete with Ryan Iverson and Kyle Slavin for playing time. Jon Embree indicated several times during spring practice that part of kicker Justin Castor’s difficulties in making kicks stemmed from inconsistent play of the snapper and holder.

    April 11th

    What about Thomas Carter?

    The other potential recruit who could actually be wearing a uniform this fall is Thomas Carter, a 5′11″, 180-pound athlete from San Bernardino, California. Carter is a senior, and eligible to be a member of the recruiting Class of 2011. Carter was not signed in February because there were concerns that Carter would be heading to junior college. Carter has, however, improved his test scores and is now a full qualifier.

    Carter was scheduled to come to Boulder this weekend, but could not board the plane. His wallet was either lost or stolen (I’ve seen it reported both ways), so he did not have identification to get through security at the airport. Carter does, though, hope to reschedule. “I am thinking they are going to reschedule with me,” Carter told BuffStampede.com. “I have been talking with (recruiting coordinator Darian) Hagan the most.”

    “I am just looking for a chance,” Carter said. “I can play at the D-1 level … I can fit in at a number of different spots. I am very versatile.”

    Carter accounted for more than 2,800 yards of offense and accounted for 31 touchdowns last fall as a senior. While a quarterback in high school, Carter also played wide receiver, safety, cornerback, and kick returner … all areas of need at Colorado.

    What about the multitude of high school juniors on hand for the Spring game?

    From what the recruiting services are reporting, most – if not all – of the prospects on hand this past weekend came away impressed.

    But no one is quite ready to commit.

    A sampling of quotes from players in Boulder this past weekend (thanks mostly to Adam at BuffStampede.com) …

    Joey O’Conner, a 6′4″, 285-pound offensive lineman from Windsor, Colorado. “I really like how dedicated the new coaches are to bringing back traditions and trying to turn the program around. I also like that they are going to try to be smash-mouth,” O’Conner told BuffStampede.com. “They told me on Saturday that they are going to focus on getting the Colorado guys before they go out of state. They asked, ‘Why not go to a program that is an hour away from your house and be part of the group that helps turn it around?’”.

    Justin Soles, a 6′3″, 300-pound defensive tackle from Westlake Village, California, said he was impressed with the Buffs’ coaches, and that the lure of immediate playing time was a draw. Colorado, Washington, Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA are his final five … unless USC offers. “I was really impressed with the coaches at Colorado,” said Solis, a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder. “[Head] coach Jon Embree and their defensive tackles coach, Coach Mike*Tuiasosopo, are great. They are trying to rebuild the program and I have faith that they will do a good job of it. I believe they will make Colorado one of the top contenders again”.

    Elijah Shumate, a 6′1″, 205-pound safety from Ramsey, New Jersey. “I thought Colorado was going to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing really there,”*Shumate told BuffStampede.com. “I had no idea how beautiful and nice it is. I didn’t think I was going to like it, to be honest, but it really changed my mind. Colorado is different from a lot of other places I have seen and I really like it. … The fans showed me a lot of love. It was just a great experience.”

    Yuri Wright, a 6′2″, 180-pound cornerback from Ramsey, New Jersey.*”I thought Colorado was just a plain state but we got to go up in the mountains (the group went to Estes Park),*and it was way, way better than I expected. I loved it out there,” said Wright.*”I have been to Rutgers because it is right there in my home state, but I haven’t really gone anywhere else except Colorado. I am going to wait and take my official visits and then make a decision.”

    Alquadin Muhammed, a 6′4″, 230-pound defensive end from Ramsey, New Jersey, who is only a sophomore, and so would be a member of*the Class of 2013. “I am only a sophomore they said we have time,” said*Muhammed. “I have also spoken to coaches at Rutgers, North Carolina and a couple other schools. But nothing too serious yet … It was nice. It was a nice experience. I met a lot of the coaches and a lot of the players there and they seemed to be like a big family. Even the fans were able to interact with the players so the whole community had a family feel to it.”

    Kyle Kelley, a 6′3″, 212-pound linebacker from Irvine, California.*Kelley said one philosophy the Colorado coaching staff espouses really stuck with him. “They say they play the best player, which I like a lot, knowing that the best player is in no matter if they’re a returning starter or anything,” Kelley told BuffaloSportsNews.net. “I really like them. Their personalities are great. I got a good feeling from them.” Kelley said he will study business in college and he is attracted to CU because of its solid academic reputation as well. “Definitely, Colorado is one of the choices,” he said.

    Is Logan Gray a Buff?

    Former Georgia wide*receiver*and quarterback Logan Gray was in Boulder over the weekend, and apparently liked what he saw.

    But is he going to be a Buff in 2011?

    When asked by Kyle Ringo of BuffaloSportsNews.net, the text message came back, “That’s what it looks like as of now”.

    That would leave some opening for speculation … which was clarified Monday night. Gray told BuffStampede.com basically the same thing, “As of right now, it looks like I will be transferring to Colorado for my senior year.”*

    Why the holdup?

    For Gray to be eligible, he has to transfer to a graduate program which is not offered at his current school. Gray has applied to, but has not yet been accepted by, the Colorado School of Education graduate program. When that happens, Gray will become a Buff.

    Much more on Gray – who was a highly recruited quarterback*before switching to receiver while in Athens (he played in all 13 games last year, catching nine passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, but was little used after NFL-bound A.J. Green returned from his suspension) – after the announcement that Gray has been accepted to CU and will be a part of the 2011 team.

    “They told me that they have a couple pretty strong wide receivers like Paul Richardson and a couple other guys, but they could definitely use some help,”Gray said. “And then obviously returning punts. They’re looking for another guy to help make an impact on offense and special teams.”

    April 8th

    Who made it to town

    There are some junior*prospects*who did not make it to Boulder this weekend, but there are some others who were not on the list before which are in town.

    Jeremy Castro, a defensive end from Murrieta, California, decided to go to UCLA this weekend, instead of coming to Boulder. (Castro was a long-shot anyway. He is holding out for an offer from USC). Another highly ranked recruit, Stefon Diggs, a five-star wide receiver prospect from Olney, Maryland, did not come out, but, according to Adam at BuffStampede.com, the reason was not a lack of interest, but a family emergency. Diggs will make an official visit this fall, though, according to Buff 2011 commit Sherrard Harrington.

    On the good news side of things, two additional high profile prospects from New Jersey were in town for the Spring game. Safety Elijah Shumate and cornerback Yuri Wright did make the trip.

    In addition, many of the top Colorado juniors have also confirmed that there were walking the sidelines this weekend. Cyler Miles, Paul Thurston, Shane Callahan, Clay Norgard (already a CU commit), Arthur Flores, Tyler Henington (already a CU commit), Alex Kozan, Evan Baylis, Daniel McQueen, and Nate Sheperd all confirmed that they would be in Boulder.

    The Buffs’ third verbal commitment from the Class of 2012, running back Benjamin Catalon, was also on hand.

    Potential Georgia transfer Logan Gray confirmed his attendance, as did defensive end Kyle Kelley from Irvine, California, and quarterback Travis Wilson from San Clemente, California.*(Wilson is considered to be the No. 17 quarterback in the nation by Scout (Cyler Miles is considered to be the No. 14 quarterback). *

    April 6th

    More info on*players for Junior Day

    In addition to high school juniors*Stefon Diggs, Elijah Shumate, Jeremy Castro, and Cyler Miles (discussed below, April 4th), potential Class of 2011 recruit Thomas Carter (discussed below, April 3rd)*, and potential transfer Logan Gray (discussed below, April 1st),*there are a number of other juniors who are expected to be amongst the 26-27 players taking in the sights and sounds of Boulder this weekend (BTW, the forecast has gone from ugly – 50 degrees and rain – to down right pleasant – 65 degrees and partly cloudy – in the past few days. Keep your fingers crossed for great Folsom Field weather!).

    One of the other players coming to town who is sparking interest is New Jersey cornerback Yuri Wright. Rivals bio* Scout bio *Wright has offers from over a dozen BCS schools, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Wisconsin. On April 9th, though, he will be in Boulder, checking out the Buffs. “I’m just going out there to take a visit. It’s just an unofficial,” Wright told Rivals.com. “A player that went to my school is out there (running back Tony Jones), and he told me it’s a very good school, so I just want to go out there and see what it’s like.” Wright doesn’t expect to make a commitment until his senior season, after he has had a chance to take some official visits. Alabama and Notre Dame are on the lists of schools he would like to visit. According to a story at Scout.com, Notre Dame and Rutgers are his current favorites. “I like all the schools who have offered me so far,” said Wright. “But those two stand out a bit.”

    There is one more*in-state prospect who is*known to be on the Junior Day list. Offensive tackle Arthur Flores is another star from Mullen high in Denver. Flores is 6′6″, 295-pounds, and has offers from UCF and Utah, though he has indicated that he has also heard from Penn State, Kansas State, Oregon, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Another commit from Mullen, to go with 2011 recruit Brady Daigh and 2012 recruit Tyler Henington … could quarterback Cyler Miles be far behind? Rivals bio**Scout bio

    Another potential great get would be strongside defensive end prospect Kyle Kelley. A 6′3″, 205-pound recruit from Irvine, California,*Kelley has offers from a number of Pac-12 schools, including Arizona State, Utah, and both Washington schools. Kelley also has interest from Florida. “I love Colorado’s coaches,” Kelley said. “I have talked to Coach Cabral and he seems like a really good guy. And I know [head] coach Jon Embree is very enthusiastic. I know the school is great academically. I have seen pictures of the campus and Boulder and it looks beautiful. It is a really good location.” Rivals bio*Scout bio**
    *

    April 5th

    Junior Day to be busy for Buffs

    Colorado head coach Jon Embree said Wednesday that he expects 26 or 27 juniors to be in attendance this weekend. “Between parents and (recruits), around 45-50,” said Embree. “If you want just kids, say 26ish; 26 or 27, so a good amount.”

    April 4th

    Scout 300 for 2012 posted

    Scout.com has put out its list of the*Top 300 recruits for the Class of 2012, and Colorado is in play for a number of those recruits. *

    Colorado has made offers to several dozen of these players, and there will be a few on hand for Junior Day and the Spring game this weekend.

    One of the top players on the list coveted by the Buffs is Stefon Diggs, a five-star wide receiver/safety from Olney, Maryland. Diggs, considered to be the No. 2 safety prospect nationally*(and the nation’s No.*16 prospect overall)*has offers from all over the country, from Ohio State to Florida to Alabama to California. The Buffs’ “in” with Diggs is that he is friends with incoming freshman cornerback*Sherrard Harrington, who signed with Colorado in February. This spring break alone, though, Diggs intends to visit Michigan, New Mexico, Florida, and Florida State in addition to Colorado. Rivals bio*Scout bio

    Another east coast prospect making the trip to Boulder this weekend is safety prospect Elijah Shumate. A four-star player from Ramsey, New Jersey, Shumate is considered to be the 91st-best player in the nation this year (and the 9th-best safety). Shumate also has connections in Boulder, and will*be visiting Colorado on April 8. “My coaches say that Colorado is a good school and wanted me to check it out,” he said. “I know two guys from this area that go there too. They’ve got (former teammate) Tony Jones (redshirt freshman tailback) and Paul*Vigo, (CU’s sophomore defensive back from New Brunswick, New Jersey). “I’m cool with them.”* Rivals bio*Scout bio

    **A third player further down the Scout 300 list who will be in Boulder this weekend*is Jeremy Castro, a defensive end prospect from Murrieta, California. Considered to be the 214th-best overall player in the country, Castro is listed by Scout as the 21st-best outside linebacker in the country. Castro has offers from several other Pac-12 schools, including Arizona, UCLA, and Washington. Castro visited the Arizona schools last weekend, and will be in Boulder this weekend. Right now, Castro is holding out for an offer from USC. If the Trojans offer, Castro has said, he will commit. Rivals bio*Scout bio

    Interestingly enough, one recruit many Buff fans hope to sign, almost above any other, is quarterback Cyler Miles. The Mullen star, though, is considered to be no better than the 265th-best player in the nation on*Scout’s initial list, the 14th-best quarterback. Miles took a trip last weekend to visit Washington, and came away impressed. “For me, it was just the city and the coaches and the players and the atmosphere they are creating up there,” Miles told Dawgman.com. “You can tell they like to have fun, but at the same time, they were all business and got the work in they needed to.” Miles was reportedly on campus last week to watch the Colorado practices, and it is anticipated that he may wander up to Boulder for the Spring game as well. Rivals bio*Scout bio

    April 3rd

    One more recruit for Class of 2011?

    Despite*the*need for more help at wide receiver, the Colorado coaching staff was able to lure only one recruit from the wide receiver prospect pool to come to play for the Buffs, Nelson Spruce.

    In the next week or so, that number may double.

    Thomas Carter is a 2011 recruiting prospect from San Bernadino, California. Despite throwing for 2,121 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushing for another 709 yards and six touchdowns last fall, Carter went through the recruiting prospect without an offer. Scout bio *You Tube video

    Carter, who is 5′11″, 180-pounds, told BuffaloSportsNews.net that there was some confusion over his test scores which led team to shy away, but that those issues have been rectified. Carter thought he had earned a qualifying test score on his ACT’s, but it turned out he did not. Carter has done so since, and is now an NCAA qualifier.

    Carter has talked with Arizona State, Mississippi, San Diego State and Missouri, but has yet to receive an offer of a scholarship. He hopes that will change this weekend when he visits Boulder for the Colorado Spring game.

    “They said when I come out there and meet the coach, if he likes me, then they will offer me a scholarship,” said Carter.

    Carter has played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner in his high school career, and believes he is being recruited by Colorado as a wide receiver and punt returner. “I’ve got tremendous hands,” said Carter. “That’s one thing I do have confidence in about myself.”

    If Carter is offered a scholarship during the Spring game weekend, he has indicated that he will “definitely” accept, and be on campus this summer after graduating June 2nd.

    So, the books may yet to close on the Recruiting Class of 2011 …

    April 2nd

    California Defensive tackle interested in Boulder

    Colorado has had its share of injuries to the defensive line this spring. Curtis Cunningham, Nate Bonsu, Nick Kasa, Forrest West – all have missed practice time with injuries.

    Even though all of the above players are expected to be ready for play this fall, the Buffs are certainly going to be in the market for defensive linemen from the Class of 2012. Four scholarship players, including starters Cunningham and Josh Hartigan, are seniors.

    One high school player on the Colorado short list is Justin Solis from Westlake Village, California. Solis, at 6′3″, 300-pounds already has an offer from the Buffs, and will be in Boulder for the Spring game April 9th. Rivals bio* Scout bio *

    The interest appears to be mutual. “The location is perfect for me because, to be honest, I can’t do hot weather,”*Solis told BuffaloSportsNews.net. “So that type of climate would be perfect for me to live in. And it’s close to family here in California and close to my support base … We’d be in California quite a few times.”

    Solis, whose teammate Nelson Spruce is a part of the Colorado recruiting Class of 2011, has heard from most of the teams in the Pac-12 and Big 12, along with Nebraska from the Big Ten. “At first, it was all overwhelming,” said Solis. “It was like a lot to handle at one time, but I’m looking forward to the whole process. It should be fun. I’m excited about it.”

    In addition to visiting Colorado on April 9th, Solis plans on visiting Oregon, Washington, and Washington State this April. He has already visited USC and UCLA. Solis doesn’t expect to make a final decision until this summer or early in the fall. “Right now, I’m just focusing on next season,” said Solis.

    April 1st

    Buffs in the lead for Logan Gray?

    BuffStampede.com is reporting that Logan Gray is definitely going to transfer out of Georgia for his last year of eligibility.

    Gray is on pace to graduate this May, and, as was the case with CU’s Demetrius Sumler last summer, can transfer for his final year of eligibility without having to sit out a season. Gray will be in Boulder next weekend for the spring game, and may be primed to commit at that time. Gray reported that he has talked with other colleges about transferring, but does not currently have any other trips planned.

    To save you from having to scroll down, here’s the*story on Logan Gray from the March 18th Recruiting update, below …

    Logan Gray*was *a four-star quarterback prospect in 2007, considered to be the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Gray was in a three-way battle for the starting job, ultimately losing the starting position to Aaron Murray. Gray ultimately moved out to wide receiver, playing in all 13 of Georgia’s games, collecting nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.

    Relevance?

    Gray will graduate in May, and still have a year of eligibility remaining (under NCAA rules, if a player graduates in four years, and still has a year of eligibility remaining, they can transfer and play their final year without having to sit out a year. CU fans will recall that this is what running back Demetrius Sumler did last season). Gray announced last month that he would be leaving Georgia after graduating, and would be pursuing a master’s program closer to his home in Columbia, Missouri. “I plan on playing my last year of football while pursuing my master’s degree at another school,” said Gray in a released statement. Gray’s preference would be “close to home, where my family can attend all of my games.”

    There are about 20 graduate school options available at Colorado that are not available at Georgia, and the Buffs have another “in” – Gray’s younger brother is a freshman at Colorado.

    “That was a place that intrigued me,” Gray told BuffaloSportsNews.net about Boulder, a place he visited as a member of the Bulldog roster in 2010 (one punt return for a yard; no catches). “Then I ended up getting in contact with some of their coaches and stuff, and they said that they want to bring me out there on a visit and go from there.”

    Gray will be in Boulder for the Spring game on April 9th. He is being “recruited” as a wide receiver, not as a quarterback.

    “I’d say Colorado is probably the biggest Division 1 school that has shown a lot of interest so far,” said Gray. “I honestly just want to get on the field and try to make an impact for whatever team I go to, and really just try to help them win games. I obviously have one year left, so I’m trying to have as big an impact at a school as I possibly can.”

    While Boulder is not particulary close to Columbia, Missouri, and the Buffs are no longer in the Big 12, having Gray’s brother in town would have to be seen as a big plus for the Buffs. Plus, it’s a “no lose” situation for Colorado. The Buffs need immediate help at wide receiver, and Gray has experience at the BCS level. If it works out, great. If not, Gray’s scholarship will be available again come next February.

    *

    March*31st

    Cyler*Miles sighting

    When Colorado is in desperate need of a quarterback, and the top recruit in the state (and one of the top recruits in the nation) is a quarterback – there’s going to be a following.

    So, Buff fans, here’s a bit of good news …

    Adam from BuffStampede.com is reporting that Cyler Miles was on campus Thursday for an unofficial visit. Along with Miles was CU commit Tyler Henington and a couple of other Mullen high teammates. No word on whether Miles is planning on attending the Colorado spring game on April 9th.

    Just a tidbit, but if Miles is hanging out with a teammate who has already committed to play for Colorado, and hanging out at a Buff practice …

    … beats the alternative.

    March 27th

    Elite cornerback to be in Boulder for Spring game

    There will be a number of eyes on the players on the field at the Spring game on April 9th.

    There will also be a number of eyes trained on the sidelines …

    The number of elite 2012 prospects who will be in Boulder for the 2011 Spring game continues to grow (anyone keeping an eye on the long range weather forecast?). Joining the list this week is Yuri Wright, a 6′2″, 180-pound cornerback from Ramsey, New Jersey. Rivals bio* Scout bio

    Wright has offers from over a dozen BCS schools, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Wisconsin. On April 9th, though, he will be in Boulder, checking out the Buffs. “I’m just going out there to take a visit. It’s just an unofficial,” Wright told Rivals.com. “A player that went to my school is out there (running back Tony Jones), and he told me it’s a very good school, so I just want to go out there and see what it’s like.”

    Wright doesn’t expect to make a commitment until his senior season, after he has had a chance to take some official visits. Alabama and Notre Dame are on the lists of schools he would like to visit. According to a story at Scout.com, Notre Dame and Rutgers are his current favorites. “I like all the schools who have offered me so far,” said Wright. “But those two stand out a bit.”

    Will Wright become a Buff? Perhaps not.

    But the experience in Boulder should prove different than the other schools listed above, so perhaps Tony Jones and the Flatirons can make it work for the new coaching staff.

    March 21st

    So, how’d we do?

    Jake Schany was in Boulder over the weekend (see bio and YouTube highlights, below). The linebacker prospect from Blair, Nebraska, had been to Boulder for summer camps, but this past weekend, he was given individual attention. Schany even got a golf cart ride around campus with CU linebacker coach Brian Cabral.

    Well …?

    “The campus is beautiful. It was fun going around on a golf cart, getting a chance to see everything,” Schany told BuffStampede.com. “It was even better than I remembered. I was really impressed with all the nice facilities. It was a good time.”

    Considering that Schany has been to Lincoln, and has seen the Cornhuskers’ facilities, this is an important comment to hear. Schany has been to Nebraska’s Junior Day (”I like Nebraska quite a bit”), and still has plans to visit Iowa State this spring (”There might be some more schools that I go check out, but Iowa State is the only one I know I am visiting for sure right now”).

    So, no early commit for the Buffs. “I don’t want to commit too early, and change my mind later,” said Schany. “When I commit, I want to be sure.”

    Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but my reading of Schany right now is that he is waiting to hear from Nebraska. If he gets a scholarship offer from the Cornhuskers, the life-long Nebraska fan will stay in state. If Nebraska doesn’t make an offer, Colorado might be Schany’s first choice as a backup …

    … but I’ve been wrong before.

    March 19th

    As long as we’re no longer rivals …

    Colorado might as well steal away some Nebraska in-state talent.

    Jake Schany is a 6′2″, 204-pound linebacker prospect from Blair, Nebraska, and Rivals.com is reporting that Schany is on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit. Colorado was the first to offer Schany a scholarship, though he has drawn interest from a number of other schools, including Nebraska, Kansas State, and Iowa State. Rivals bio***Junior year YouTube highlights

    “I have a good nose for the ball,” Schany told BuffStampede.com. “I like to hit people a lot. I am very physical. Just wanting it more than the other guy helps me out a lot. I think I have pretty good game speed, too. I seem to run better in pads.” In his junior year, Schany broke a 46-year old school record for solo tackles (83), and also set a new school record for total tackles (127).

    Schany won’t have any difficulty qualifying. As a junior, Schany has a 4.125 weighted GPA, and a 4.0 core GPA. Schany was academic all-state off the field, and all-district and all-conference on the field.

    Does Colorado have a chance competing for Schany’s services if Nebraska offers? Schany attended the Cornhuskers’ Junior day in February, but has been to summer camps in Boulder each of the past three summers. “I like Nebraska quite a bit. It is a good school with a great football program and nice facilities,” said Schany, who is also fond of Colorado. “Every time I go to Colorado, I just can’t believe how beautiful it is right there with the campus by the mountains. Their campus is just beautiful”.

    Sounds as if Colorado has a decent chance at Schany. He has been to Boulder a number of times, loves the campus, and CU was the first to offer him a scholarship.

    Let’s hope he has an enjoyable weekend …

    March 18th

    Georgia quarterback going the way of Demetrius Sumler?

    Logan Gray*was *a four-star quarterback prospect in 2007, considered to be the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Gray was in a three-way battle for the starting job, ultimately losing the starting position to Aaron Murray. Gray ultimately moved out to wide receiver, playing in all 13 of Georgia’s games, collecting nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.

    Relevance?

    Gray will graduate in May, and still have a year of eligibility remaining (under NCAA rules, if a player graduates in four years, and still has a year of eligibility remaining, they can transfer and play their final year without having to sit out a year. CU fans will recall that this is what running back Demetrius Sumler did last season). Gray announced last month that he would be leaving Georgia after graduating, and would be pursuing a master’s program closer to his home in Columbia, Missouri. “I plan on playing my last year of football while pursuing my master’s degree at another school,” said Gray in a released statement. Gray’s preference would be “close to home, where my family can attend all of my games.”

    There are about 20 graduate school options available at Colorado that are not available at Georgia, and the Buffs have another “in” – Gray’s younger brother is a freshman at Colorado.

    “That was a place that intrigued me,” Gray told BuffaloSportsNews.net about Boulder, a place he visited as a member of the Bulldog roster in 2010 (one punt return for a yard; no catches). “Then I ended up getting in contact with some of their coaches and stuff, and they said that they want to bring me out there on a visit and go from there.”

    Gray will be in Boulder for the Spring game on April 9th. He is being “recruited” as a wide receiver, not as a quarterback.

    “I’d say Colorado is probably the biggest Division 1 school that has shown a lot of interest so far,” said Gray. “I honestly just want to get on the field and try to make an impact for whatever team I go to, and really just try to help them win games. I obviously have one year left, so I’m trying to have as big an impact at a school as I possibly can.”

    While Boulder is not particulary close to Columbia, Missouri, and the Buffs are no longer in the Big 12, having Gray’s brother in town would have to be seen as a big plus for the Buffs. Plus, it’s a “no lose” situation for Colorado. The Buffs need immediate help at wide receiver, and Gray has experience at the BCS level. If it works out, great. If not, Gray’s scholarship will be available again come next February.

    We’ll see …

    (Thanks to CU at the Gamer Mike G for tipping me off to this story!)

    Texas wide receiver checks out Boulder

    Conner Crane is a 6′4″, 185-pound wide receiver prospect from Denton, Texas. He is attracting a great deal of attention, and has already made three unofficial visits – to Texas A&M, Kansas … and now Colorado. Crane was in Boulder for the latter part of the week before heading to Breckenridge with his family for spring break.

    Colorado was the first to offer Crane, but*several schools, including Kansas, Kansas State, Arizona, and Wake Forest, have already extended offers. Bobby Kennedy, Colorado wide receivers coach, has been in constant contact. “Coach Kennedy said he has been watching me for awhile, and he really likes what I have been doing, and just said that once he joined Colorado’s staff, he had to offer,” Crane told BuffStampede.com. “They don’t have a lot of receivers on scholarship right now, so I would have a chance to play early. So I like that.”

    Kennedy and the Buffs, though, might be fighting an uphill battle. “Colorado and Kansas are probably the two schools where I have the best relationship with the coaches right now,” Crane told BuffaloSportsNews.com. Kansas has the advantage of still being in the Big 12, so Crane would be playing close to home every season (”That’s definitely an advantage for Kansas”). Plus, Crane’s mother is a Kansas alumna (”She tells me how great it was … but she’s not really pushing me in any way”).

    “I’m totally wide open right now,” said Crane. “I went and saw Kansas and I liked it a lot. They are probably my favorite school that I’ve seen so far, but I’ll be in Boulder*a week*during spring break.”

    Buff fans will hope that he liked what he saw …

    (Thanks to CU at the Gamer “Joe in Denver” for the tip on Crane’s visit).

    March 17th

    Five-star wide receiver to check out Colorado spring game

    It’s often hard to keep track of official visits prospects take to a given school (remember all of the unconfirmed*”sightings” of players on the Boulder campus this past January?).

    It’s next to impossible to know for sure about “unofficial” visits – visits players make on their own time, and on their own dime.

    Still, there is a great deal of buzz about the number of players who will be in Boulder for the Spring game on April 9th. One name which will likely receive a great deal of ink over the next few weeks*is that of Stefon Diggs. Already afforded five-star status by Rivals (only one of 12*players*in the nation so far), the Olney, Maryland, prospect may wind up as the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the country.

    And he’s coming to visit Boulder.

    Before you get tooooo excited, please note that Diggs has received scholarship offers from over 30 schools, including Alabama, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, and USC. He is making the rounds this spring, and Boulder is just one of his stops. “I have been out to see New Mexico and Maryland this year so far, Diggs told BuffStampede.com. “And my sophomore year I went to check out Alabama and Miami. This upcoming spring break, I am going to visit Michigan, Florida State, Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico again.”

    The Buffs do at least one small “in” with Diggs – 2011 recruit Sherrard Harrington. “Sherrard is a friend of the family. He has told me about Colorado’s program,” said Diggs. “I actually talked to their head coach (Jon Embree), and he seems like a really nice guy, like a real man of his word. So I am excited to take a visit there to see what it is all about.”

    Don’t look for any monster announcements on April 9th from Diggs, who plans on waiting until at least the All-American Bowl next January to name his choice of school, and may wait until signing day next February. “I have an open mind because this upcoming season, things might change as far as which programs have a bright future,” said Diggs. “Playing time is going to be a key in my decision, because I want to get on the field as soon as possible.”

    While the Buffs’ chances at Diggs may be a longshot (Colorado hasn’t really had a presence in the mid-Atlantic states in terms of recruiting – the Buffs haven’t signed a player from Maryland since 1996), you do have to like that Colorado is even in the mix for such a top prospect.

    Perhaps a raucous crowd on a beautiful spring evening at Folsom Field will work some recruiting magic.



    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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