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Thursday CU Buff Bites - Rashaan Salaam is coming back to Colorado

Not to play, mind you; but he'll be a guest speaker at the CU Football Preview that happens the day after National Letter of Intent Day..

Colorado_mediumRashaan Salaam speaker for CU Recruiting Luncheon - Denver Post - In case you were wondering, Larry Scott will also be a speaker at the luncheon, alongside Coaches Embree and Bienemy.  And you can be there.

Colorado_mediumCU 2011 Verbal Commitments " CU At the Game - A CU Football blog by Stuart Whitehair - We're now tracking 14 Verbal Committments to CU (Including QB-Burnette and OL-Lewis).

An in-depth look at those players already committed to Colorado ... (updated to include Oliver, Hall, and Clark)

Colorado_mediumRecruiting Update " CU At the Game - A CU Football blog by Stuart Whitehair

Washington picks up a running back, which might clear the path for Creer to become a Buff Until Tuesday night, four-star running back Bishop Shankey of Spokane, Washington, was a Washington State commit. Shankey took his official visit to Seattle this past weekend, however, and Shankey spurned the Cougars in favor of the Huskies.

What does this mean for Colorado? Well, running back Malcolm Creer was in Boulder this past weekend, and had a great time. "I like the new staff. I really like their vibe from the staff and seeing the other recruits that committed this year", Creer told about his visit. "It was a good feeling and a good experience to encounter at this age." Creer was still scheduled to take an official visit to Washington this weekend, and may still (he has been taken off the official visit list for Washington by Scout, but not by Rivals).

However, now that Washington has landed its preferred running back prospect, interest in Creer may have waned. Which opens the door wide open for Colorado.

Colorado_mediumEmbree Adds Scherer To Football Staff - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Embree officially added his final assistant coach to his first staff Monday, naming Rip Scherer an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

"I'm very excited to get Rip Scherer to be our quarterbacks coach," Embree said. "I called five different coaches around the NFL and his name came up with each of them, and three of them had never coached with him, so his reputation speaks for itself. He's a great teacher, a great technician which I feel you have to have at that position, and he has the right temperament. It's a great addition; he's the icing on the cake to complete my staff."

Colorado_mediumPac-12 offseason to-do list - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN

What tops the to-do list in the newly formed Pac-12 this offseason? Read on.

Solving the QB intrigue: Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State are set at quarterback. Oh, and Stanford, too. five schools have varying degrees of intrigue...At Colorado, Tyler Hansen returns from an injury and will try to fight off a challenge from junior college transfer Brent Burnette this spring.

Where's the beef? Most Pac-12 teams take significant hits on their offensive or defensive lines -- or both, in the case of Arizona, Oregon and Stanford. Colorado loses just one lineman, but that's left tackle Nate Solder, a likely first-round NFL draft pick...

Colorado_mediumBuffs Pull Away, Win Utah Invitational - - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

On the strength of an impressive victory for Vegard Kjoelhamar and two podium appearances on the women's side, the University of Colorado ski team pulled away from host Utah and won the 2011 Utah Invitational after briefly losing the lead earlier in the day.

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs' Blacken changes training strategy - Buffzone

"There are some guys in the NFL that can't power clean 300 pounds, but let me tell you this, they will put on that helmet and shoulder pads and knock a guy out who can power clean 400 pounds," Blacken said recently during an afternoon interview in his new Dal Ward Center office.

"It's all about can you transfer it, and that's why we do functional things in here because if you can't transfer it on to the field, it doesn't matter if you can power clean 350 if you play like you power clean 170."

"We love him," Hansen said. "He's a lot different and he does a lot more different exercises. I think it's a big change and it's a good change." Hansen said his early impression of the offseason program is that it appears to be much more competition based as well. He said there was a lot of competition during the offseason program under Pitman in the past, but under Blacken, there is competition down to each repetition.

"The one thing we don't like is the runs are a lot harder," Hansen said when asked to name something that the team might be struggling to adjust to. "That's good though. We don't mind them, but they're harder. It's just a lot more stuff. With coach Pit, we ran, but we did some work and we got out of there. With coach Blacken, it's a lot more."

Buffs Basketball Op-Eds and the Ski Team goes to the collegieate Olympics... in Turkey?  After the jump.

Colorado_mediumAcademic committee plays role in recruiting for Colorado - Buffzone - An Interesting article about CU's academic committe that Clough chairs.  Emphasis added in brackets.

Colorado already is one of few major colleges with no special admissions policy to allow for recruits who clearly don`t measure up academically but are exceptional in their sport.

Even future Pac-12 partners such as California and UCLA -- more prestigious academic institutions than CU [citation needed] -- have special admissions policies for athletes and other students. Looking for ways to help its coaches and programs avoid similar stumbles with the APR, which tracks student-athlete retention and eligibility, athletic department administrators formed the Athletics Academic Assessment Committee (AAA for short). The panel reviews the academic credentials of any prospect who falls below a predetermined academic threshold. "The underlying purpose of the committee is to assist ourcoaching staffs in all sports in being successful in their recruiting efforts," said Dr. David Clough, CU`s faculty athletic representative who chairs the committee. "Successful meaning, the recruitment of outstanding athletes who will be successful students here."

Colorado_mediumPaige: Buffs can't beat KU, but they're for real - The Denver Post

Almost always, CU and KU were this               far apart. On Tuesday night CU and KU were thisclose together.Kansas is a national championship contender again. Colorado, at least, and at last, belongs in same conference. "Except for rebounding, we did everything else right," he said. "We're scratching and clawing. And our fans have been absolutely terrific. They can grow with this team. We may have a few setbacks along the way, but (the fans) will continue to help us get better."

Colorado_mediumSpears becoming CU's 'Ironwoman' - Boulder Daily Camera

If Brittany Spears` ambivalence toward all of the school records she`s taking down wasn`t genuine, her answers in regard to the feats would be merely cliché. But for a Colorado basketball player who has more than once said her sole focus is on closing out her career with a winning season and some postseason flair, post-game exchanges like Wednesday`s only seem to affirm Spears` tunnel vision.

Colorado_mediumRingo: Coors can rock even without Jayhawks - Boulder Daily Camera

During a timeout of an entertaining college basketball game Tuesday night between Colorado and No. 6 Kansas, someone suggested it will be hard to replace the Jayhawks on the home schedule in the future with the Buffs moving to the Pac-12. My first thought? Why would you want to replicate the Blue Scourge that completely takes over the Coors Events Center for the game in some years and is at least an annoyance in others, as was the case Tuesday with the Buffs falling just short of victory? If it's 100 years before echoes of Rock Chalk Jayhawk are heard again inside the building, it will be too soon.

Colorado_mediumSeven Skiers, Rokos Headed To World University Games -

Seven University of Colorado skiers along with head coach Richard Rokos arrived in Erzurum, Turkey, Wednesday ahead of the 25th World University Games. The equivalent of the Olympic Games for athletes enrolled in colleges and universities around the world held every other year, the games officially start Thursday and end on February 6. A total of 1,880 athletes and 850 officials from 22 sports are participating in the games from a record 57 countries. "The World University Games gives athletes an opportunity for global competition in an Olympic or Pan-Am Games-type situation," Rokos said. "It's the perfect opportunity for all involved to measure mutual strengths and weaknesses. We will continue to train for our ultimate goal of the NCAA Championships while we are here, but this is both an athletic and social event on the level of the Pan-Am Games or the Olympic Games."

Go Buffs!