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Recruiting Spotlight: DT Edward Nuckols

You, the readers wanted to know more about DT Edward Nuckols, who as of yesterday sent a little bit of a shockwave down Colorado's back. That news was Arizona has now entered the big man's list and in a big fashion. The scary factor is that now Florida has also entered the mix and obviously Nuckols is listening. Meyer and Co. haven't really put the full court press on Nuckols yet so that could be a new development in the month of January.

Before yesterday, though, Nuckols was thought to be all Colorado. He even thought about committing to the Buffs on his official visit the weekend of the Texas game. This is what Nuckols said based on his conversation with Greg Biggins of ESPN:

Although his coach hinted about a possible commitment, defensive lineman Edward Nuckols (San Marcos, Calif.) had yet to pull the trigger as of late Sunday night.

"I thought about it but I'm not ready to make a decision yet," Nuckols said. "I want to think about this more and make sure I don't make an emotional decision."

As of November 18th on this Scout.com headline, Nuckols still said his top choice was Colorado. Like Diante Jackson, now Nuckols has sat on the Buffs and for whatever reason, Nuckols is answering to other suitors and CU has seemed to fallen off the rock a little.

Bill Conley of ESPN wrote that Nuckols was a sleeper in the California recruiting scene:

At 6-foot-2, 290 pounds, Nuckols is a short, compact lineman with a powerful lower body. He gets a great push at the line of scrimmage and creates havoc in opposing offensive backfields. Nuckols displays surprisingly nimble feet and is quick in a limited area.

He is no longer a sleeper with Florida calling on him.

Enough with the actual gossip game that is going on with Nuckols "favorites" on the recruiting scene, how about the player himself. Nuckols is a rare blend of strength, size and agility. Yes, their is room for technique improvement but any time a coach allows a 290 pound defensive lineman to carry the ball on offensive situations, you know you have an athlete. He has had more than seven offensive touchdowns as a back. Here is what I said about Nuckols when he came on his recruiting visit against Texas.

Commentary on Nuckols: Probably one of my favorite recruits for the Colorado Buffaloes this cycle. I think this kid has great potential. As ESPN says "He is an athlete trapped in a big man's body." Nuckols is nimble enough to line up at running back in goal line situations which is always impressive for a big guy. Of course, a common criticism of all big men is keeping his pad level down but like I always say, that is something that can be taught be a good positional coach in college. ESPN has him ranked as the 12th best DT prospect while Rivals has him at 25. You can tell this kid is strong and has the ability to be very distruptive. Getting Nuckols and Kasa in this years class would go a long way in adding strength and speed to a rather non-impact defensive line currently at CU.

It is that "bowling ball" shape to Nuckols that makes him special. The low center of gravity makes up for some of his shortfall in pad level. Definitely what seperates Nuckols from other big pluggers in the middle is his athletic ability. Sort of like a Warren Sapp, he is just a run stopper but can play a role in getting pressure on the quarterback; something the Buffs absolutely need.

Edward Nuckols' Key Statistics:
Rivals Star Rating - ****
Defensive Lineman - San Marcos, CA - Mission Hills High School
ESPN - 12th Best DL, Rivals -  25th Best DL, Scout - 31st Best DL
Recruiting Sites: Rivals - Scout - ESPN.com
Measurables: 6'2" 290lbs 5.1 forty time
Other offers - Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, USC, Colorado, San Diego State, Minnesota