Colorado Class of 2010 - Offense
Wide receiver Donnie Duncan
Donnie Duncanis a wide receiver/athlete from Hamilton High school in Los Angeles, California. Duncan is a little taller than some of the other Buff receivers, coming in at 6'0", 185 pounds, with a 4.6 timing in the 40 yard dash. The services don't agree on Duncan, with Rivals seeing him as a three-star player, rating him as the 72nd-best "athlete", while Scout sees Duncan as only a two-star prospect, the 148th-rated wide receiver nationally.
For the Hamilton Yankees in 2009, Duncan scored 12 touchdowns, playing cornerback, wide receiver, and kick returner. "I liked everything about Colorado," said Duncan of his official visit November 6th. "It wasn't what I expected going into the trip. I felt real comfortable, real quick."
Buff fans will have to keep an eye on Duncan, to make sure he qualifies. "Coach Hagan just keeps telling me to focus on my grades, so I will be eligible," Duncan told BuffStampede.com in December. "I will show up in game shape and everything, but they just want sure I take care of my grades so that it is not a problem."
Just so you know, Duncan's high school, Hamilton High in Los Angeles, has produced the likes of Warren Moon, Al Michaels, and Laila Ali.
Running back Corday Clark
If there is a team with worse problems than the Colorado Buffaloes, it is Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. In 2009, in its first year as a Division 1-A school, Western Kentucky went 0-12, going 0-8 in its debut as a Sun Belt Conference member (so naturally, you can find the Hilltoppers on the 2010 schedule of the Nebraska Cornhuskers). Still, Western Kentucky had an official visit last weekend planned from an Alabama running back Corday Clark. That was, at least, until Colorado came calling.
The 6'2", 220-pound Clark liked what he saw in Boulder, committing to play for the Buffs three days before signing day. "I felt so comfortable with the players and coaches and environment at Colorado," Clark told BuffStampede.com. "I really liked everything about my visit, so I decided to commit."
In addition to Western Kentucky, Clark had offers from other 1-A schools, including Army, Tulsa, Alabama-Birmingham and Arkansas State. While the Buffs were likely looking for an inside runner to complement the smaller backs already on scholarship, Clark reportedly runs a 4.5 40. "I am a good, hard runner," says Clark. "I also have good hands."
Tight end Harold Mobley
The first pleasant surprise of 2010 Signing Day came from tight end prospect Harold Mobley, from Corona, California. The three-star player had offers from Nebraska, UCLA, Fresno State, Arizona, UNLV and Nevada. Mobley did not give a verbal commitment to any school, opting to wait for signing day to make his announcement, with Colorado and Nevada considered to be his finalists.
Mobley is 6'4", 225 pounds, and is reported to run a 4.55 40. Mobley is considered the 41st-best tight end in the nation by Rivals.com; 66th-best by Scout.com. A versatile player in high school, Mobley had 978 yards passing, 336 yards rushing, and 216 yards receiving his senior year. Mobley also played defensive end and linebacker for Eleanor Roosevelt high in Corona, California. "Ever since my first year playing football, I've played both ways," said Mobley. "They didn't really know where to put me because I could do so many things." His coach, though, sees Mobley as a tight end. "I do think tight end would be his best position in college," said Bill Stacy. "He will be a natural fit there."
Tight end Justin Favors
Looking to make an early impact on the Colorado depth chart is Justin Favors from Trotwood, Ohio. Favors, who is 6'4", 228 pounds, runs a 4.87 in the 40, and committed to the Buffs after making his official visit the weekend of the Texas A&M game. Favors is considered a just a two-star prospect, the 73rd-best tight in the nation in the eyes of Scout.com.
Though Favors gave Colorado his commitment in November, he was considered to be a "soft verbal" by Scout.com during the entire recruiting season, Favors took an official visit to Syracuse in mid-December, and held offers both Syracuse and Cincinnati from the Big East, as well as from a number of MAC schools).
"When I went up there, they showed me love," Favors told Scout.com after his visit to Boulder. "I like the campus, and they told me that there is a chance for me to play". The Buffs had an "in" with Favors, as he has a classmate from Trotwood high, linebacker Doug Rippy, already wearing a Colorado uniform.
Favors was first-team all conference, but he didn’t post great stats - 26 catches for 400 yards and one touchdown. This was largely due to the fact that high school team was primarily a running team - Favors blocked for a 2,000-yard rusher and a quarterback who ran for seven scores. "He had to do a whole lot of blocking," said Favors’ high school coach, Maurice Douglas. "He’s gotten much better with his blocking skills, that’s for sure."
Offensive lineman Kaiwi Crabb
The Brian Cabral pipeline from Hawaii continues in 2010, with the signing of offensive lineman Kaiwi Crabb. A three-star prospect, Crabb is considered to be the 42nd-best guard in the nation by Rivals.com; the 65th-best guard by Scout.com. Crabb is 6'4, 272 pounds, and had offers from a number of schools, including Arizona, Hawaii, and Washington.
Crabb’s relationship with the coaches was a deciding factor. "What did it for me was basically the coaching staff," Crabb told BuffaloSportsNews.com. "I really like Dan Hawkins. I really like my O-line coach, Denver Johnson. The linebackers coach is Brian Cabral, and he is from Hawaii, and so I just felt really comfortable with the coaching staff." It also didn’t hurt that Crabb’s older brother, Kaione, lives in Golden, and that Kaiwi has attended camps in Boulder the past two summers.
Crabb plans to red-shirt next fall so that he can add weight. Crabb says his goals are to compete for playing time as a red-shirt freshman, and be starting by the time he is a sophomore. If he is ready to compete as a red-shirt freshman, his first game as a Buff will be on the road against ... Hawaii.
Offensive lineman Daniel Munyer
Daniel Munyer, from Sherman Oaks, California, committed to the Buffs back in September. Munyer, who is 6'3", 265 pounds, is considered a three-star performer, and is rated as the 63rd-best guard in the nation by Scout.com. Munyer only took one official visit, committing to the Buffs after being on campus the weekend of the Kansas game. "There are a lot of nice people out there in Colorado. I really liked that about my visit there," said Munyer at the time. "I just felt really welcomed."
Munyer, who is slated as either a guard or center, is excited about becoming a Buff. "I'm pretty agressive," Munyer told BuffStampede.com. "What I like to do is set the tone on the first play of the game. I like to drive my guy off the ball and pancake him. I have a lot of lower body strength."
Munyer was being courted by a number of Mountain West teams, including Colorado State, UNLV, and New Mexico, as well as Nevada from the Big West Conference.
Tight end Henley Griffon
A mid-January commitment came from a Florida tight end, Henley Griffon from Apopka high. Griffon played for a running offense, limiting his touches his senior year to around seven per game. Still, at 6'5", 217 pounds, Griffon has a tremendous upside. Griffon had been an early commitment to Memphis, but de-committed after the Tigers fired head coach Tommy West, the Tigers’ head coach for nine seasons.
Griffon did not have many catches in his senior season, but that did not prevent Griffon’s high school coach, Rick Darlington, from saying that he had never coached a player who catches the ball better than Griffon. "That makes me feel good, because I respect coach Darlington," Griffon told BuffStampede.com. "That is one thing I really worked on, not dropping the ball, having really good hands."
Despite the loss of three senior tight ends (Riar Geer, Patrick Devenny, and Devin Shanahan (Luke Walters was also a senior in 2009, but has been granted a medical red-shirt season), Griffon is not looking to be on the field in 2010. He is hoping to use this season to put "good weight" on his 6'5" frame.
Running back Justin "J.T." Torres
Former Colorado quarterback Mike Moschetti (1998-99) is fifth in Buff history in passing yards (4,797, with 33 touchdowns). Now Moschetti is helping his former team in a new way. As head coach at La Mirada high in California, Moschetti spent the last few months singing the praises of his quarterback, Justin "J.T." Torres. "Justin is one of the best all-around athletes I’ve ever been around," said Moschetti. "And when I say ‘all-around’, I’m talking about understanding concepts, catching, blocking, tackling." Colorado listened, making an offer to Torres when he visited the final weekend before signing day.
In 2009, Torres, who is 6'1", 230 pounds, rushed for 827 yards and 16 touchdowns (on only 104 carries, a heady eight yards/carry average), catching 23 passes for 318 yards and two more scores.
While considered only a two-star recruit by the services (as a middle linebacker prospect by Scout.com), Moschetti sees Torres’ versatility as an asset. "He is a downhill runner," said Moschetti. "And what schools are really intrigued about is the fact that he causes a lot of personnel problems, because he can play H-back, fullback, tailback, or you can even put him out at wide receiver."
Offensive lineman Alex Lewis
One of the final recruits of the 2010 class to commit, offensive lineman Alex Lewis came to Boulder the final weekend of recruiting, saying "yes" three days before signing day. It was quite a turnaround for Lewis, as Colorado wasn’t even on his radar a few weeks ago. Lewis took official visits to Michigan State and UNLV, and had an official visit set up for Air Force before meeting with Colorado offensive line coach Denver Johnson on January 27th. "Going out there to CU, I wasn’t even thinking that I was going to commit," Lewis told BuffStampede.com. "But I loved my trip there. The campus at Colorado is just awesome, and I like their coaches."
Lewis is 6'6", but only 255 pounds. He is also 17 years old. That combination led to the decision for Lewis to grey-shirt, joining his new teammates in January . "My dad (former Nebraska Cornhusker and ten-year NFL veteran Bill Lewis) and I figured (grey-shirting) would give me an extra half year to grow, mature into my body. I think it will be great."
Lewis is, despite his young age and still developing frame, is considered the 86th-best offensive tackle prospect in the nation. He was first team all-state as a senior.
Tight end Kyle Slavin
Slavin did miss some time this fall with a sprained MCL, but he reports that he is fully recovered. "I need to get up there to visit this spring and enroll in summer school so that I can start to get the playbook and the terminology down," said Slavin.
The scouts for PrepColorado.com liked what they saw in the Chatfield high star. "A legit 6'5", Slavin has the ability to line up all over the place and create matchup issues," wrote Jeff Stroud. "Slavin finishes runs, finds the sticks for first downs, and often takes tacklers with him."
is a three-star tight end prospect from Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colorado. Slavin, who is 6'5", 230 pounds, is considered by Rivals.com to be the 11th-best recruit from the state of Colorado. For its part, Scout.com has Slavin rated as the 45th-best tight end prospect in the 2010 class. Slavin was not dissuaded by the Buffs 3-9 record in 2009 - he's eyeing playing time. "They talked about that I am going to come in and already be battling for the number three spot on the depth chart," Slavin told BuffStampede.com after his official visit December 12th. "So I really need to bulk up and get as strong as I can."
Wide receiver Keenan Canty
The first wide receiver in the 2010 class to say "yes" to the Buffs was Keenan Canty, from Edna Carr Magnet School in New Orleans. Canty is 5'9", 180 pounds, and has been timed at 4.74 (though he reports that he will time faster this spring. "I haven’t run one (a 40-yard dash) since my the beginning of my junior year", said Canty, "and that was before I learned my technique.").
Both of the recruiting services have rated Canty low (two stars), but he did have ten touchdowns and over 600 yards receiving this past season. Edna Carr won 11 games, losing in the state quarterfinals.
Canty also has experience as a punt and kick returner. While noting Canty's size will limit his opportunities, Rivals.com analyst Barton Simmons does allow "Canty is a quick athlete that has good explosiveness and acceleration".Canty, for his part, is not averse to returning kicks. "I just see myself as going there and performing," said Canty upon his commitment. "They were telling me they also need some help at returns, and I do returns as well as receiver."
Canty believes that he is fully qualified. He reports a 3.2 GPA in his junior year, and similar grades so far his senior year. He has already taken the ACT, scoring a qualifying 18 on the test.
Running back Tony Jones
Tony Jones was a late Christmas present for the Buffs, committing on January 5th after not being on anyone’s list the day before. Jones is a three-star running back prospect from Ramsey, New Jersey, with only his size being the limiting factors. Tony Jones is only 5'8", 175-pounds, but he did rush for 1,387 yards and 34 touchdowns on only 174 carries in 2009, a per carry average of almost eight yards. Jones was the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year, and is considered by Rivals to be the 14th-best all-purpose back in the country.
Still, Jones did not have an offer from a Division 1-A school when Dan Hawkins, running backs coach Darian Hagan, and tight ends coach Kent Riddle went to visit in early January. As it turned out, Michigan and Boston College had offered Jones, but wanted early commitments. Tony Jones wanted to wait, and the offers were withdrawn, which worked out to Colorado’s advantage. Said his assistant high school coach, Billy Lopez, "I think Colorado stole a real good kid from Jersey," Lopez said, "Tony’s done everything we’ve asked of him here, and he has earned this opportunity." Plus, according to an article in the Bergen Record, Jones’ hometown newspaper, the day after the announcement, Jones is fully qualified academically.
Jones committed before he had a chance to set foot on campus in Boulder. His official visit in mid-January solidified his belief that he had made the right choice. "It was like what I thought it was going to be," said Jones. "Everything was good, from the coaches to the players to the area."
For Colorado fans looking for a reason to get excited about the 2010 recruiting class, Tony Jones has given them fodder. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell has nothing but praise for Tony Jones. "He may be short and lack great size," said Farrell, "but he has a powerful lower body. He runs with an attitude and anger, and he is very shifty." Farrell’s quote, "Colorado could have landed the surprise of the 2010 class," is music to Buff fans starved for positive news.
Jones had attracted interest from a number of ACC schools, being named Conference Player of the Year after rushing for 1,651 yards and 17 touchdowns in fourteen games this past fall. North Carolina, Wake Forest, and North Carolina State were amongst those scouting Jones, who fractured an ankle in the third round of the state playoffs. "I am still rehabbing the injury, but I'm off crutches," Jones reported. "I am walking on it and it is getting a lot better."
The Buffs must have been satisified that Jones' health was not a major concern, because Colorado needs immediate help at the running back position - down to three with the losses of Darrell Scott and Demetrius Sumler. Jones is excited about the possibilities . "With their running back situation, I have a good chance to get on the field if I work hard over the summer and going into the school year," he said.
Jones is the first player Colorado has signed from the state of North Carolina since 1981. He is also a solid student, and is not expected to have any issues qualifying.
"I think I run with a lot of power," Jones told BuffaloSportsNews. "I’ve got good break-away speed, but I think I can improve my speed. I always want to get faster." (Which is not bad for a back already timed at 4.53 in the 40 yard dash).
Quarterback Nick Hirschman
Hirschman committed to Colorado back in June, when "ten wins, no excuses" was still a possibility for 2009. Hirschman is 6'2", 212 pounds, and played for Los Gatos High in California. As a senior, Hirschman threw 22 touchdowns - and no interceptions - in his first seven games in a pro-style offense. Hirschman led his team to a 7-3 regular season record, and then dominated in the playoffs. Los Gatos won its first two playoff games by a combined score of 93-6. In a 45-6 thrashing of Aragon in the Central Coast Division II playoffs, Hirschman went 11-of-17 for 286 yards and two touchdowns in limited playing time.
In the finals against Wilcox, Hirschman led the Wildcats to a 20-19 victory in overtime. The three-star college prospect hit Jake Hackman-Salazar for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the seven yard line, with the extra point giving Los Gatos the championship. "They out-played us most of the game," said Los Gatos head coach Butch Cattolico. "Hirschman has been our team all year, and he came through when we needed him again." Hirschman went 14-of-25 for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the title game, which included a 70-yard drive in the final three minutes to tie the score and send the game into overtime.
For his senior season, Hirschman completed 68.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,887 yards and 34 touchdowns against only three interceptions (feel free to read over that stat a second time). The 41st-best quarterback in the nation in the eyes of Scout.com (48th by Rivals), Hirschman had offers and interest from a number of Pac-10 schools, including Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon and Cal.
Hirschman was a "sure-thing" on signing day, having arrived on campus in Boulder on January 6th, and having been in classes since January 11th. "This is just a very exciting time for me," Hirschman told BuffStampede.com on the eve of his departure for Colorado. "It was sad to say bye to all my friends, but the excitement outweighs the emotions at this point." Hirschman will be available for spring practice.
Offensive lineman Eric Richter
The first signed letter of intent did not come in early on the morning of Wednesday, February 3rd. Rather, it came to the Colorado athletic department on Wednesday, December 16th, when junior college offensive lineman Eric Richter became the first member of the CU Class of 2010.
Richter comes to Boulder from Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, California. He is 6'4", 315-pounds, and is considered a three-star prospect. "This year (2009), I started every game at right guard. Last year, I started six games at left guard ... I also backed up some at center," Richter told JCFootball.com. "I feel I could play almost anywhere on the inside if they needed me to."
Richter, who had interest from schools like Auburn, San Diego State, Kentucky, and Tennessee, committed to Colorado the weekend of his visitation. "I’m excited to get up there in January," said Richter after signing on with the Buffs. "I have a lot of work to do, and I want to compete for that starting spot."
"That starting spot" would be the left guard position, shared in 2009 by three juniors-to-be, Ethan Adkins (nine starts), Blake Behrens (two) and Mike Iltis (one). "They like my footwork and how I use my hands, and how I play real physical and aggressive," said Richter.
Eric Richter will have three years to play two at Colorado.