The Buffs don't play this Saturday, and while that may be bad news for CU fans on Saturday, but it's necessary for this hurting team to gain some rest before heading down the home stretch. Instead of the weekly preview, I took a look at some of the Buffs' newest commits. Judging by the newest pledges to the Black and Gold, and who the staff's top targets are, the future's so bright, we gotta wear shades.
This is one commit that many Buff fans have been clamoring and pleading for. After not taking a scholarship running back in last year's class, they locked up a very promising prospect for the 2015 cohort. Donald Gordon should be an early contributor at RB, which is sorely needed for his team. He has nice burst into the hole, and if he can get rid of his false step before the snap, he can hit the hole with even more explosion. Running downhill is his strong suit, and every one of his moves is predicated on going forward as fast as possible. he can turn the corner with ease and frequently outruns safeties in a pretty competitive league. Of course, there's his famous spin move, which seems to give him an extra five yards every time, and sometimes more. Gordon has prototypical size, great speed, and some power to go along with that. He looks to be the complete package, and there's a reason ESPN rated him as a 4-star. I would say his body size and speed gives him a poor-man's Melvin Gordon look, and I can't wait to get him in the Black and Gold.
I LOVE this commit. While his offer list doesn't turn any heads, he is a classic HCMM recruit. Unheralded, under the radar (how many times have we heard that?), and no offers from other P5 schools, but damn it if his tape isn't impressive. He looks like a legit player at both RB and DB, could help CU in multiple ways, and has ridiculous acceleration. The first two plays on his HUDL showed me all I needed to see on defense. He is literally a blur to the ball, crushing the receiver and limiting the YAC. His closing speed (much like Gillam's) is insane, and he reads plays very well (2:07 on the tape should show you what I mean). He isn't the most explosive athlete, but he is a fluid one, and he never seems to be out of position. CU likes him at CB, which makes sense given Coach Mac's preference for rangy athletes there. One of my favorite parts about his commit is that he reads the QB as much or more than he reads the wideout he's lined up against. This gives him a jump on the routes, and also protects him from a lot of PI calls that he's sure to get in the future (*cough* PAC-12 refs *cough*). Nick Fisher seems like a redshirt candidate to me, but oh boy, does he have me excited. He could be an all-PAC performer when all is said and done.
Unheralded Commit: Nathaniel Robbins
This JUCO recruit offers some quality size, speed, and strength at a position desperately needing all three, defensive end. Robbins is 260 right now, and has a motor that just won't quit. He plans to join the team in the spring, giving him a jump on the playbook.
This is the highest rated realistic target left for the Buffs. He recently visited for the OSU game, and the Wyoming native has said he enjoyed the visit. CU's competition for this QB/LB prospect is mainly Oregon and Wyoming, though a few other schools are in the mix. It seems as though he would like to stay close to home, but also wants to play big-time football. Guess which school offers both?! Anyways, Mr. Bartlett would be an absolute coup for the program. The fact that CU already has a semi dual threat QB commit and that Bartlett is a great all-around athlete makes me want him at LB. At QB, while the ball fires off his hands, and he has some speed and size, he seems unpolished compared to Montez. However, at linebacker, he is an absolute machine. While these highlights are mostly at QB (still impressive), his body type, the fact tat he's a state wrestling champion, and the glimpses we see of him on D show that he could be a game changer at LB. Imagine him and Gillam out there in a 4-2-5 defense. Two rangy, fluid athletes that can lay the wood and cover (last year's Gillam, not this year's). If CU can convince him to stay close to him while shining on the big stage, 2015's defense just got a lot brighter.
Fair warning, this is my favorite of the CU targets, committed or uncommitted. Tony Brown has a top 4 of Nebraska (yuck), CU, Utah and WSU, which is a list that CU can and should win recruiting battles against. And Brown is a recruit worth starting a battle for. He has fantastic measurables at 6'1 with a 4.41 electrically-timed 40, and his tape is fantastic. Unlike Bartlett, who plays the best Wyoming has to offer, Brown plays the best the country has to offer at La Mirada, a Cali powerhouse playing other powerhouses. He has the speed to run past people, has great open field vision, and the most impressive to me is how he shields the ball with his body. On those curl routes that he runs, he oftentimes "posts up" the defender, putting himself between them and the ball. This makes life easy for the QB, and makes the catch more likely. CU has a bit of an advantage in recruiting him, as his head coach is former Colorado Buffalo Mike Moschetti. With DD Goodson and T.Y. McCulloch graduating, the Buffs will need at least one receiver this class, and with Josiah Blandin having some academic trouble at his JuCo, Brown becomes an even higher priority. Here's hoping that Coach Mac can convince Tony to don the Black and Gold.
Unheralded Target: Frank Umu
While he is committed to CSU at the moment, CU offered him a while ago and they think they have a good chance to get him. Umu moves very well for a man his size, and could play OL or DL in college.