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2009 Colorado Buffaloes' Preferred Walk-On's

A reader asked us to put something up about who the walk-on's will be for the 2009 team and who we were most excited about seeing this fall. Below we have provided a few sentences from some press clippings of each player so you can have a little bit of a better idea who they are

As for who we are most excited to see play, that is a little bit of a tough question as many are not well known. I have seen Seth Lobato play and I have heard great things about Alex Wood from Steamboat Springs. Wood was a strong three sport athlete in high school and should have a chance to see playing time if he develops at the fullback position and for that matter, the tight end position, due to many graduating seniors in the next couple of years.

Seth Lobato is a very big quarterback, a little smaller than Clark Evans but had a very successful high school career for the perennial small school powerhouse, Eaton. Quentin Hildreth from Denver East has some great highlight videos, showing quickness and big play ability. Those are the three players I know the most about. Make sure you view the chart in our wide blog view located on the left side of the page.

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown (Prev School)
10   Lobato, Seth QB 6-5 200 Fr. HS Eaton, Colo. (Eaton)
Lobato, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound 2A Colorado all-state quarterback. Senior season: 158-of-276 passes for 2,741 yards, 34 touchdowns and four interceptions while showcasing a strong arm and solid mobility. He carried the ball 97 times for 594 yards and eight touchdowns. Lobato said Colorado coach Dan Hawkins was impressed with his physical abilities. "He told me I have really good athletic ability from what he's seen on film," Lobato said. "He said he'd offered kids some scholarships, but sometimes they make mistakes with the people they offer to. If I showed I could contribute and worked my tail off, I could fit right into the program." - Greeley Tribune
13   Slota, Jerry QB 5-10 215 Fr. HS Golden, Colo. (Chaparral)
Slota is an efficient, pro-style quarterback prospect who shows good command of the offense. He has a desired frame with his good height and layered bulk. Very polished in his ball-handling and play-action skills. Settles smoothly in his drops and is poised in the pocket. Puts good touch on his underneath passes and throws a very tight, catchable ball. Athletic showing good footwork moving outside of the pocket. Can slide and avoid the rush and throw well on the run. However, he lacks great downfield arm strength for a drop-back passer. Displays marginal zip on his intermediate passes needed to fit the ball into tight windows of coverage at the next level. Deep balls tend to float. We would like to see him utilize his good size by stepping into his throws, transferring his body weight and avoid throwing off his back foot. Lacks a quick release and natural wrist snap. Could struggle on timing patterns at the next level. That said, Slota is rarely rattled and does not force a lot of throws. Shows he can read coverages and make good decisions. Continued physical development and improved mechanics could help improve his throwing velocity. Potential late bloomer.
28   Hildreth, Quentin TB 5-8 165 Fr. HS Aurora, Colo. (Denver East)
Rushed for 1,100 yards+ in his junior and senior years of high school as teammates of DaVaughn Thornton and Zach Grossnickle, both 2009 scholarship players for the Buffs. Better known as "Quick", Hildreth went for 1,256 yards a senior on 183 carries, good for a 6.86 ypc average. Quick also made it into the endzone 14 times in 2008. He is undersized but could play a role in special teams, especially the return game due to his quickness.
35   Sissom, Geoff LB 6-5 220 Fr. HS Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)
Had an offer from Army but turned it down to come to Colorado. He also had interest from Stanford and Princeton according to
37   McAninch, Cody DB 6-0 210 Fr. HS Broomfield, Colo. (Broomfield)
McAninch was also a wrestler at Broomfield High, he was also first-team all-Northern League honors as a safety.
49   LaBarge, Trevor TB 5-11 220 Fr. HS St. Louis, Mo. (Chaminade Prep)
LaBarge created quite a reputation at Chaminade High School in St. Louis, clearing the path for one of the best running teams in the state. Labarge was named to the 2008 All MCC First team. "Trevor LaBarge, fullback from St. Louis-Chaminade College Prep, (Mo.), was a top combine performer. He went all out on every play and moved well in the drills. He was a fun player to watch" according to 
61   Fernandez, Scott DL 6-4 250 Fr. HS Broomfield, Colo. (Legacy)
Could not find any information on the web
80   Conte, Marion WR 6-0 175 Fr. HS Lakewood, Colo. (Mullen)
Mario Conte played cornerback for Mullen High School in Denver the past few years and has decided to join coach Dan Hawkins' program at wide receiver this summer. He passed on scholarship offers from smaller schools and a chance to play in the Ivy League at Dartmouth in order to play in Boulder. "CU just seemed like a really good fit for me," Conte said. "It's somewhere that I've always wanted to be and I've always wanted to play ball there. Growing up always in Colorado, I always watched CU." Hawkins, who is the primary in-state recruiter for the Buffs, was aware of Conte as a defensive back, but he first began looking at him as a wide receiver while watching his youngest son, Drew, at a summer camp. Drew Hawkins, who is now a quarterback at Boise State, threw to Conte at that camp. Conte then went to one of Colorado's camps last summer where the conversation began about the possibility of Conte playing wide receiver in Boulder. Conte said Hawkins and wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau emailed him a list of all the walk-on players they have developed over the years and went on to earn scholarships. A few even played professionally. Of the 95 players on the spring roster, 31 are walk-ons. "That actually did play a big factor," Conte said. "I didn't feel like, you know, everyone sees walk-ons as just extra bodies to fill out scout team, but they made it seem like that's not what I was getting into. That really helped." Conte said he is friends with fellow Mullen alums Bryce Givens and Shawn Daniels, two offensive linemen in Boulder. But his best friend on the team is another incoming player. Conte and Parker Orms, the Class 4A Player of the Year at Wheat Ridge High School last season, have been friends since they were in the fourth grade. They have played on numerous sports teams together growing up. Orms was recruited to CU as a safety. Conte said CU coaches have interest in some of his younger teammates at Mullen, including defensive back Erik Smith, running back Adonis Ameen-Moore, linebacker Leilon Willingham, and defensive end Nduka Onyeali. - BDC
84   Wood, Alex TE 6-2 190 Fr. HS Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Steamboat Springs)
Routt County Male athlete of the year. He was first team All-Wes­tern Slope League in football, basketball and baseball. He earned All-Colorado Class 3A tight end from The Denver Post and was an all-state selection in football and basketball. His 2.38 ERA in baseball was near the top of the league.