College Football Signing Day marks the start of a new season and part of the ongoing rebuilding process for the Colorado Buffaloes. The 2015 recruiting class under head coach Mike MacIntyre features quality, hardworking players that could contribute to the program from day one in Boulder. Arguably, it's the best class for MacIntyre in three short years at the helm with three 4-star recruits on some recruiting services and a feat that hasn't been reached for the Buffs in over 10 years. "I am excited about this class; I truly am. I'm excited about where they are and we have some guys that are ready to walk in and play", MacIntyre said about the incoming recruits. The focus is long-term and it's that excitement the CU coaching staff hopes can carry for the future. "For you to build a program you better start having a lot of players that are mature in their junior and senior, 4th and 5th year, and that's where we are getting to and that's exciting. These young men have the ability to do that."
Buffaloes 2015 Recruiting Class: Staff Picks
The Ralphie Report takes a look at the recruiting class to see who could play right away (No JuCo's allowed!), who could be play above their rankings, and who has the best name.
One of those recruits was the most sought after player in the state of Colorado, offensive lineman Timmy Lynott from Regis Jesuit HS (Aurora, CO). The 6-foot-4, 295 pound guard made the decision to stay home over sixteen other schools pursuing him, including Pac-12 conference foes Arizona State and Oregon, who were Lynott's second choices. He's a solid, physical addition to Colorado's offensive line and feels being a Buff was the "best decision" for his future. It's expected Lynott will bulk up past 300 pounds for offensive line coach Gary Bernardi and would like to make a run at the starting position as a freshman. The most attractive factor in choosing CU was quite simple with the weather being the main reason. "This was the only place I could have enjoyed all four seasons", Lynott said. "In Oregon, you have too much rain and in Arizona there's too much heat. Here it's perfect year round and much better to train in all the elements". In addition to being well-rounded, attention to detail is a quality the lineman takes pride in having. Two things that are mandatory for Lynott during his game day routine are his gloves and his music. "If I'm without my gloves, I don't want to play and I always need great hip-hop music to amp me up."
The Semper Fi All-American and all-state standout is currently being trained by former two-time Super Bowl champion defensive end for the Denver Broncos, Harald Hasselbach and Loren Landow from the Steadman-Hawkins clinic; they've been working with Lynott to improve his agility since the age of 14. The move to Boulder pairs him again with Hasselbach's son, Terran, who was a high school teammate of Lynott's at Regis and part of last year's class of recruits for CU.
Another top recruit on the offensive side of the ball is running back Patrick Carr from The Woodlands HS (The Woodlands, TX). The 5-foot-10, 185 pound rusher brings power to the Buffs backfield along with 4.4/40-yard dash speed. Carr prides himself on being very humble with a "quiet storm" presence and is known for "Keeping everything on the field." He compares his game on and off the field to Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, saying "I don't get involved with social media or talk off the field. I've made it a habit to not talk and keep my focus on the field." The Texas all-state runner turned down TCU, Texas, Arkansas, and eight other schools to sign with Colorado, where he said "Was the best fit with an outstanding coaching staff." Carr was impressed with coach Troy Walters through the entire recruiting process and was courted by the Buffs since his sophomore season. "It's truly a blessing and a new step towards life being a Buff. I got a great vibe from Coach Walters and Coach Mac and it didn't feel like they were trying to put on a show like other universities".
He also set the all-time rushing record at The Woodlands HS with 4,586 yards, averaging 7.42 yards per carry in his career along with 50 touchdowns. He gives credit to breaking down game film of Barry Sanders and Walter Payton that has helped improve his performance on the field. Carr is excited to be reunited with two high school friends on the offensive line with Jonathon Huckins and Sam Kronshage, both are entering their sophomore seasons at CU. He will be a great addition to the Buffs' backfield, as MacIntyre noted. "Last year, we got beat up a little bit at running back even though we were trying to play a few different guys. So, going into it last year, we definitely wanted to sign two. Then, Coach Walters had done an unbelievable job of recruiting (Pat) Carr."
The other four-star running back the Buffs landed was Donald Gordon from Millikan HS (Long Beach, CA). Like Carr, Gordon is a physical back with 4.4/ 40-yard dash speed and has the ability to shred defenses single handedly. His highlight reel included a 335 yard, six touchdown performance vs. Artesia HS (Lakewood, CA). Gordon also excels at track and posted an 11.25 in the 100-meter dash at the Los Angeles county championships last year. Expect the Buffs offense to utilize both backs as receivers out of the backfield.
A fellow Texas recruit with a potential future of handing off to both Carr and Gordon is Steven Montez from Del Valle HS (El Paso, TX). He's a pro-style quarterback with a 6-foot-5, 200 pound stature and has the ability to be a game changer. Del Valle Head Coach Jesse Perales says "Steven is the best athlete to come out of the El Paso area in a long time. Colorado got a steal with him and three things that will stand out from day one- He's coachable, a winner and extremely humble." CU was the first choice for Montez and he admired the honesty that Defensive Line Coach Jim Jeffcoat and Offensive Coordinator Brian Lindgren showed him from the start. "After Steven signed his letter of intent with the university, I received a call from (Coach) Jeffcoat. He wanted me to know Steven was in good hands and that he would take care of him. It was a good feeling knowing that wasn't something that he had to do but did it anyway. I gained a great deal of respect for CU's football program after that."
Buffs starting quarterback and team captain Sefo Liufau was the host for Montez when he initially visited Boulder, the two played basketball and right away the competition level was established between the quarterbacks. Something that Perales said "I think Sefo will benefit from Steven and vice versa. The two will help each other out by pushing the team to be better." During Montez's career at Del Valle he completed 62 percent of his passes for 6,512 yards, 86 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He's also mobile under center with 1,637 yards and 25 rushing scores. The effort in his senior season was enough to make him a finalist for Mr. Texas Football.
Both quarterbacks could develop a relationship with newly committed wide receiver Justin Jan from Chandler HS (Chandler, AZ). Jan will become a prime target as a wide out to replace outgoing Senior Nelson Spruce. He was the top receiver last year in the state of Arizona and ranked No. 12 statically in the nation. Chandler Head Coach Shaun Aguano said "Justin was my go-to receiver and I could always rely on him to get the extra yards after contact. He's a humble kid and will contribute for CU from day one with a positive attitude."
Out of the remaining recruits, there's a special bond between outside linebacker N.J. Falo from Inderkum HS (Sacramento, CA) and Coach MacIntyre. The relationship started back in 2011, when Falo was in eighth grade and MacIntyre recruited N.J.'s Brother Nate as Head Coach of San Jose State. Inderkum Head Coach Terry Stark was very pleased with the development that Falo showed his senior season and "Noticed the development of his skills as a pass rusher." He also said that Falo was "One of the best run stopping linebackers he's ever coached." The defensive leader maintained a 3.6 GPA to earn a NHSS honor for his work in the classroom.
The Buffs rounded out this year's class with an additional nine high school and four junior college recruits. S Afolabi Laguda from Butler Community College (Snellville, GA), DT Jordan Carrell from American River College (Roseville, CA), DE Blake Robbins from Georgia Military College (Aiken, GA), RB Aaron Baltazar Southwestern College (Chula Vista, CA), CB Nick Fisher from Great Oak HS (Temecula, CA), OG Dillon Middlemiss from Pomona HS (Arvada, CO), K Alex Kinney from Rocky Mountain HS (Ft. Collins, CO), WR Isaiah Oliver from Brophy Prep (Phoenix, AZ), DT Frank Umu from Heritage HS (Littleton, CO), OT Aaron Haigler from Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA), TE Chris Bounds from Chaminade Prep (West Hills, CA), DT Brett Tonz from Centennial HS (Peoria, AZ) ,and DT Lyle Tuiloma from Nanakuli HS (Nanakuli, HI).