Colorado Football: Why Buffs Are Still Chasing 2011 Wide Receiver Recruits
Wide Receivers Not Flocking to Colorado
Wondering why Colorado keeps signing wide receivers as part of the 2011 recruiting class, long after the books on this year's class have been closed elsewhere?
Concerned that the Buffs continue to fish in the shallow tide pools of the 2011 class, rather than take on the big fish of the Class of 2012?
There may be a good reason why Colorado signed Tyler McCulloch and D.D. Goodson (who had no offers from any other schools) after national signing day in February, has taken a flyer on senior transfer Logan Gray and is willing to take a chance on Austin Vincent, who broke his leg midway through his senior season in high school.
These may be the best players Colorado can hope to sign.
Colorado needed wide receivers this recruiting cycle to supplement a relatively weak corps, but largely whiffed in February. The Buffs had their sights set on the likes of Devon Blackmon (who signed with Oregon), Devin Lucien (UCLA) and Cameron White (TCU). Instead, Colorado's only signing day wide receiver was Nelson Spruce, whose status remains in flux after he was arrested for marijuana possession at his high school.
Jon Embree has stated that he is looking for 3-4 wide receivers from the recruiting class of 2012, but if the status quo holds, there may be more disappointment next February.
Here is the status of some of the wide receivers Colorado has offered ...
Stefon Diggs is one of the top receivers in the class. The 6'1", 189-pound prospect from Virginia was in Boulder for the spring game, but that may have been just a courtesy visit. Diggs ventured west with his good friend, Sherrard Harrington, who signed with Colorado in February. "Sherrard is a friend of the family. He has told me about Colorado's program," Diggs told BuffStampede.com in April. "I actually talked to their head coach, and he seems like a really nice guy, like a real man of his word."
Since then, Diggs, who holds offers from over three dozen Division 1-A schools, has been making the rounds. Diggs has plans to visit Florida, Miami, and Florida State, and has visited Maryland. "Right now, all the Florida schools - FSU, Florida, and Miami - are standing out," Diggs told MDHigh.com. "Then Cal, USC and Maryland are in there, too."
Bryce Treggs is another top-rated wide receiver holding an offer from Colorado. The St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) prospect is considered by Scout to be the No. 12 wide receiver prospect in the country and plans to stay in Pac-12 country...unless he commits to Notre Dame.
"I'm definitely taking (an official visit) to Notre Dame. I know that," Treggs told IrishEyes.com. "They're definitely in my top five."
Other than Notre Dame, Treggs is looking at the freshly expanded Pac-12, but perhaps neither of the new members. "Oregon is showing me a lot of love, (and) Cal, Oregon State, Washington and UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and Notre Dame," said Treggs. "I'm still checking things out. I haven't cut my list down yet."
Notably absent from Treggs' list of eight schools ... the University of Colorado.
Gabriel Marks is a 4-star wide receiver from Venice high in Los Angeles, California. The 6'0", 175-pound prospects has offers from all over the country, from Boston College to SMU, to Pac-12 members Utah and UCLA.
After a visit to Dallas last week, Marks was happy with SMU. "I'm still keeping my options open because I want to go and check out my other visits, but SMU is definitely the front runner out of all the schools right now," Marks told BruinBlitz.com. "I have visited UCLA already. I'm going to take a visit to Utah and we will see from there." Depending on how things go after his Utah visit, Marks will decide whether he wants to take a trip to Colorado.
Javon Williams is 6'5", 175 pounds, and is one of the top prospects of the state of Arizona. Williams is considered by Scout to be the 48th-best wide receiver from the 2012 class and has offers from at least 10 schools, from Nebraska and Oklahoma State to Washington, Oregon State, and both Arizona schools, with Oregon, TCU, and Notre Dame also showing interest.
So far, Arizona State is the only college has visited this spring. "I am just sitting back and watching the offers pile up for the time being and think about how blessed I am to have this opportunity, because most people don't," Williams told BuffStampede.com in early May. This summer, Williams plans on visiting Arkansas and Oregon. The Ducks have an "in," as Williams' cousin, Dion Jordan, is a junior tight end for the Ducks.
Williams does, though, like Colorado.
"I like the area of Boulder, it is nice," said Williams. "It is the type of area that you can focus on football, and the new coaches are real friendly and I get along with them well. They are in the mix."
Safety, apparently, is a factor for Williams (while living in San Francisco before moving to Chandler, Arizona, Williams' two uncles, three cousins and a boyfriend of his mother's were killed). "Colorado told me that Boulder is one of the safest areas in America," said Williams. "They told me that I could walk around at three o'clock in the morning, and I wouldn't have to worry about anyone bothering me or anything bad happening."
Jeffrey Thomas is the No. 77 wide receiver in the nation, according to Scout. Thomas is 6'3", 180 pounds and plays in Duncanville, Texas. In the chase for Thomas' services are schools like Georgia, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Cal, but Thomas likes Colorado. Thomas' interest is thanks to Colorado's wide receiver coach, Bobby Kennedy, who was the recruiting coordinator for Texas for the past seven seasons, and met Thomas at a Texas camp last summer.
"When he changed schools he kept up with me," Thomas told BuffStampede.com. He came out to spring ball (in early May) and offered me on the spot ... I'm very interested in Colorado. They're at the top of my list right now."
Thomas hopes to visit Boulder this summer, and perhaps attend camp. "I still have to learn more about Colorado, but I like everything about it so far," said Thomas. "I like the opportunity to play early, the Pac-12 is a great conference, and I like coach Kennedy. He has a lot of energy."
Conner Crane is another wide receiver who does have Colorado on his short list. The 6'4", 185-pounder is considered a 3-star prospect by Scout, but is not considered to be in the top 100 of wide receiver in the nation. 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 in April. “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”). Lately, Northwestern has entered the picture. "Northwestern is definitely one of my favorites right now," Crane told WildcatReport.com. "The only thing that separates them from Colorado and Kansas is that I haven't visited them yet."
Jordon Vaden is a wide receiver who wants to play for the Buffs, but does not yet have an offer. The 6'3", 170-pound prospect is considered to be a 3-star prospect by Scout, the No. 97 wide receiver nationally, while Rivals considers Vaden to be the 12th-best player in the state of Colorado this cycle.
Still, Vaden does not have an offer from the Buffs. "I've been getting more mail from the schools who have been recruiting me," Vaden told BuffaloSportsNews.net. "So I think the schools are really starting to gain interest. "Growing up in Colorado, it's CU and CSU," said Vaden. "Those are the top two Division 1 schools. So there is no doubt I would have interest in going to CU." Vaden does have interest from Kansas State, Boise State, Utah, Oklahoma State and TCU.
If the Buffs don't take Vaden, Colorado State might. "He grabbed a lot of attention and got one of the top honors at the CSU camp," Rocky Schneider, Vaden's high school coach, told BuffStampede.com. "I believe he was named the best wide receiver in the camp. So Colorado State has definitely taken a huge interest in him. They have communicated that they hope to sign him."
So, where does that leave the Buffs?
Colorado has offered a number of quality receivers, but to date has not received a verbal commitment from one, and the top receivers in the nation do not seem to be all that interested.
Just as was the case this past February.
Which may leave the Buffs hoping that the flyers they have taken on Tyler McCulloch, Logan Gray and Austin Vincent work out ...
More on Colorado football at www.cuatthegame.com
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