Stoppin’ By for a Visit, January 28th-29th
Less than a week remains before National Letter of Intent Day, Wednesday, February 2nd.
[Program Note: On Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. MT, "The Ticker" will be returning to CU at the Game. Updates on commitments will be posted throughout the morning, along with a time stamp when there is new information. That way, you can check in at any time, and, at a glance, see if there has been a new addition to the CU Class of 2011].
Colorado has much of its class in place, but there is still room for four or five players. While several higher-profile recruits have already taken their visits, and have the Buff Nation anxiously awaiting their final word, there are several players visiting this weekend who could fill the last slots of the Class of 2011 …
Kyle Washington is a 6′1″ 190-pound cornerback from Florence, Arizona. Washington is considered a 2-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. While Colorado is recruiting Washington as a defensive back, he was a star on offense for his high school team.
This past season, Florence went 11-2 and advanced to the state semifinals. Washington rushed for more than 700 yards, and had more than 700 yards receiving as well. He also scored four special-teams touchdowns—three returning punts and one returning kicks— though Washington told BuffaloSportsNews.net that he had three other punt returns for touchdowns which were called back by penalties
In all, Washington accounted for 25 touchdowns last season. On defense, Washington recorded 29 tackles, forced four fumbles, and had three interceptions. Washington earned All-Arizona honors…as a receiver. Rivals bio Scout bio
Washington is uncommitted, and doesn’t mind that the schools interested in him are not recruiting him as a wide receiver.
“I don’t mind. I just want to get on the field,” Washington said. “I like to hit. I like the defensive side of the ball as well as the offense. When I get to camp, I’m going to try and get in the mix on offense a little bit and see what I can do, but if they want me to play defense, I’ll play defense.”
Washington has already taken official visits to Hawaii, Utah State, and New Mexico State. Though Washington holds offers from other schools, his choice will come from amongst those three schools and Colorado.
“A lot of colleges like that I am versatile, and I feel like that will give me more of a chance to get on the field somehow,” Washington told BuffStampede.com. “If it doesn’t work out at corner, or there are a lot of players at that position, I can go help out at receiver. I can help out the team more because I do a lot of different things well.”
As Colorado is the first BCS conference school to offer Washington a scholarship, he may even commit to the Buffs this weekend.
“If I like every [sic] there, and I feel really comfortable there, I don’t have a problem committing because it is my last trip, and I have already seen everything,” said Washington.
“If Colorado is really impressive to me, and I feel like that is the place where I can thrive, then I will commit.”
The Buffs may even have an “in” with Washington.
“My high school coach actually coached Jalil Brown, who was a starting cornerback there and is going to be a draft pick this year,” noted Washington. “So I have heard a [sic] quite a lot about the school.”
Andrews is a 6′1″ 180-pound athlete from El Centro, California. He is not rated by Rivals, but at least shows up as a prospect. Scout does not even have Andrews listed as a prospect in its database.
For his high school team, Andrews started both ways, catching 48 passes for 783 yards and six touchdowns on offense, while on defense he recorded 58 tackles and three interceptions.
Andrews was named first-team All-Imperial Valley on offense, and second-team on defense. Andrews would not be an eligibility risk, as he is carrying a 3.8 GPA in the classroom. Rivals bio
Andrews is uncommitted. Colorado is late coming to the party, but apparently so is everyone else.
“Arizona is entertaining the idea of offering [a scholarship to] him, and New Mexico State has shown interest,” Central Athletic Director Steve Evangelist told BuffStampede.com.
“Brandon is a multi-talented kid, just a very good all-around athlete. He was our best player, and I thought the best player in our league. He is currently playing basketball, and it is the same thing there. He is by far the best player in our conference.”
Accolades aside, however, Andrews currently only holds an offer from South Dakota State, and has yet to receive a scholarship offer from Colorado.
In his Pac-10 blog for ESPN.com, Ted Miller did a list of recruiting needs for each school. For Colorado, the three listed needs were: speed, cornerback and wide receiver [Link]. The two athletes discussed here who are taking official visits to Colorado this weekend, Kyle Washington and Brandon Andrews, seem to fit all three of those needs.
While the Buffs may have preferred to have Stefan McClure sign next Wednesday, the 4-star cornerback gave his verbal commitment to Cal this week, so the coaching staff may be trying to fill the roster with versatile players who can help plug gaps at wide receiver and cornerback until more talented players can be recruited to those positions.
Martin is a 6'3" 357-pound offensive guard from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles. Despite his enormous size, he has been timed at a 5.2 in the 40-yard dash.
Both Rivals and Scout list Martin as a 3-star prospect. Rivals ranks Martin as the 28th-best guard in the nation; Scout puts him at No. 20 nationally.
Martin’s evaluation on Scout.com notes his strengths as: tenacity and aggressiveness, quickness off the ball and drive-blocking skills. Martin’s weaknesses are considered to be his technique and his pass-blocking skills. Rivals bio Scout bio
Martin gave his verbal commitment to USC last summer.
”I’m a solid verbal commit,” Martin told SuperPrep.com this week. “I don’t want to rate it, but I’m solid at the moment. I’ve been solid to USC the whole time.”
Still, Martin took an official visit to Arizona this past weekend, and will visit Boulder this weekend. If he is a solid verbal for USC, why bother?
“I just wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and get out of California for some visits. I wanted to see what else is out there and get a new experience.”
Any chance for Colorado to lure Martin away?
“[Defensive line] coach Mike Tuiasosopo was recruiting me when he was at Arizona, and now he’s at Colorado,” Martin explained. “I’ve got a really good relationship with him, and most of the new coaches seem cool…Colorado has always been a program I kind of liked.”
It sounds as if Martin is doing just what he says he is doing—taking a few visits while he has the opportunity—and is very unlikely to switch his commitment.
“It’s not up to them now,” Martin said of Arizona and Colorado. “It’s all on me.”
Perhaps the best chance Colorado has is if USC decides that it will lose its appeal to the NCAA (the appeal was heard last weekend, but no decision is expected for at least a month), and has to limit its scholarship offers.
If USC suddenly decides to pull its offer to Martin, then Colorado would be back in the running for Martin’s services…but that does not appear likely.
Harlos is a 6′4″ 200-pound linebacker from Somerset, Texas. Harlos runs a 4.54 in the 40, and may play safety at the college level, at least until he gains enough weight to play outside linebacker.
Harlos is considered to be a 3-star prospect by Scout and a 2-star prospect by Rivals. Scout ranks Harlos as the 118th-best outside linebacker in the nation.
Harlos was a unanimous selection as his district’s defensive player of the year, recording 157 tackles, 18 sacks and four interceptions. Harlos came into view for the Buffs when his teammate, quarterback Stevie Dorman, brought along a tape of Harlos when Dorman came for his official visit last weekend. Rivals bio Scout bio
Harlos has been committed to Wake Forest since March 22, 2010, but had offers from SMU and Arkansas and interest from other BCS schools.
“I am still committed to Wake Forest, definitely,” Harlos told BuffStampede.com. “Their coaches came down and they recruited me hard…My family grew close to their coaches.”
Then why the visit to Boulder?
“As soon as Colorado saw my film, they offered,” explained Harlos. “It is late in the game, but they just kind of threw that offer out there, and I am going to visit Colorado this weekend…I know they have seven safeties on scholarship, and are talking about one more with this recruiting class.”
Harlos would be a nice steal for the Colorado coaching staff, but it doesn’t sound likely that Harlos will stray from a commitment he made to Wake Forest almost a year ago. It may come down to whether Harlos and his high school quarterback, Stevie Dorman, are close enough that Harlos will want to go to school with his teammate.
It appears to be a long shot, but the Buffs did have a number of official visits left to extend, so it appeared that Harlos’ discussions with head coach Jon Embree and tight ends coach J. D. Brookhart were enough to convince Harlos to give Boulder a look.
CU 2011 Verbal Commitments
One of the official visitors this weekend has already given his verbal commitment to the Buffs. Kicker Will Oliver’s bio has been reproduced here for convenience.
Will Oliver, Kicker
Just the facts
Committed January 25th…Oliver is a kicker prospect from North Hollywood, California. Oliver is 5′10" and 190-pounds, and is an honor-roll student (3.2 GPA) who will have no difficulty qualifying academically. Rivals bio Scout bio Will Oliver’s own website, complete with multiple videos
What Others Say About Oliver
Chris Sailer is a kicking guru who runs camps for top high school kicking prospects. Sailer ranks Oliver as the 12th-best kicker in the nation this year.
“We have trained Will for many years so we’ve seen him grow,” Sailer told BuffStampede.com. “He put himself in a position to be ranked high in the nation because he is extremely accurate and he is very good mentally.
"He kicks his best when the pressure is on. He has always done so in camps and in games. He has got a great mental strength when it comes to kicking field goals and I expect that to translate to the next level, being able to handle the pressure of playing in the Pac-10.”
Oliver’s main attribute, at least at first blush, is his ability to generate touchbacks on kickoffs—85 percent of the time this past season. (In case you were wondering—and I knew you were—last season, 77 percent of Aric Goodman's kickoffs were returned, and all of Justin Castor's five kickoffs were returned, as well.)
In field-goal accuracy, however, Oliver remains an unknown. He kicked six-of-nine this past season, with a long of only 42 yards. Oliver’s website does state that he had field goals of 50 and 51 yards in his junior season, and his website has a video of him hitting five consecutive 60-yard field goals…in warm-ups.
Oliver Had Other Offers from
Fresno State. That’s apparently it.
Granted, kickers are not always offered scholarships at the outset. (Aric Goodman famously, or infamously, was awarded his scholarship after kicking the winning field goal in overtime against West Virginia. Then…well, you know the story.)
According to Chris Sailer, Oliver had “countless” other FBS schools which were interested in having Oliver enroll as a preferred walk-on.
“Fresno State would have been a good fit, but it wasn’t the same conference of football,” said Sailer. “So when Colorado came along, he did his research on them, and found out that it is an even better fit for him.”
In His Own Words
“I live for pressure. It’s one of the biggest reasons I (play football)”, Oliver told the Los Angeles Times this past summer.
"I’m super-cool under pressure. I hit the best balls under pressure.”
Oliver is also good at time management, earning letters in football, soccer, and lacrosse in his sophomore and junior seasons (and likely his senior season as well).
He was the most valuable player on his lacrosse team last year, plays the viola, participates in a peer-support program, and was elected to the Student Athletic Advisory Council.
“I just keep going, because the more I do, the more energy I get,” said Oliver.