We're continuing to analyze the 2015 Colorado Buffaloes recruiting class here at Ralphie Report and no look back would be complete without talking to the folks over at Buff Stampede, the best Colorado recruiting site out there. Ryan Koenigsberg, the best dressed member of the staff, was happy to help us with our questions. Make sure you follow him on Twitter if you aren't already.
Who is your darkhorse in the 2015 class that could see some unexpected early playing time this season?
I don't know if there is a true "darkhorse" in this class, but I think Nick Fisher has a chance to see the field right away, which might not be expected.
The Buffs depth at corner is a bit of a concern, and on film, Fisher looks to have the explosiveness needed to play that position in the Pac-12. MacIntyre mentioned in his presser on signing day that Fisher and Issiah Oliver have an opportunity to help them right away.
Is this class complete or are there any other JUCO or unsigned players that Colorado may still be pursuing?
As far as I know, this class is complete. With such a small graduating class next season, there is a benefit to baking a couple scholarships, giving them to some well deserving walk-ons this season, and saving them for 2016 prospects.
Who in this class is most ready to see the field this season and who will benefit most from a redshirt year?
I think JUCO DL Jordan Carrell will step right into the defensive line rotation this season, he is physically ready at 6-3, 275 and obviously fills a position of need instantly. Strength and conditioning coach Dave Forman has already been raving about Carrell and his work ethic.
I think there are a lot of prospects that will benefit from a redshirt year, and fortunately for Colorado, for the first time in years, they have the luxury of redshirting most of them. If I had to chose one, I would say Aaron Haigler, just because he is the biggest project in this class. He will have his redshirt year and then probably two years after that before he figures to see the field.
What is your take on Patrick Carr? Where you surprised he landed at Colorado?
Carr is seriously explosive. Maybe the best film of anybody in this class, and he is probably going up against the toughest competition of anybody in Texas 6A. He has that breakaway speed that CU has lacked in recent years. MacIntyre said in his signing day press conference that at least one of the three running backs they signed would see the field this year, and if I had to pick, I would guess it will be Carr.
I wasn't surprised he landed at Colorado on signing day, because BuffStampede users learned the story on Carr early last weekend when Adam Munsterteiger got the scoop on his visit. With Colorado being his only visit, it seemed likely he would end up with the Buffs.
If I would have had a little more time for it to marinate Carr may have ended up being my favorite player in this class, he is going to be a great player at CU.
Which JUCO signee are you expecting to have the best spring?
I'll stick with Carrell here, I think he is the best of the JUCO signees and from everything we have heard on him so far, nothing leads me to believe he won't perform as such in the spring.
Are you satisfied with how the in-state recruiting went this class? Is this a sign that things are improving?
Definitely. Things are trending upwards for the Buffaloes in the state. I think getting the two offensive lineman is a really big deal. The additions of Tim Lynott and Dillion Middlemiss means the Buffs have now landed four of the six in-state offensive lineman they have offered in the last two years. Compare that to landing just three of the 15 in-state OL that went to power conference schools between 2009-20013 and you have to be happy. Offensive line is the one position that the state of Colorado has been able to pump out consistently, so being able to keep them in town is really important.
On top of that, I think Frank Umu will end up being a good player for the Buffs, his work ethic mixed with his athleticism for his size is a great combination. He has been steadily trending upward for the last year and I don't expect that to stop any time soon. Very high ceiling.
Which decommitment were you most upset to see go?
Probably Fehoko, any time you see stats like the ones he was putting up (50+ sacks) you get excited to see if that can translate to the next level. Hockaday has a chance to be a good player, but I don't think that is a huge loss.
Favorite signee's this class?
Anyone who follows me on twitter or listens to our BuffStampede podcasts will know the answer to this one. I am extremely high on quarterback Steven Montez. Many have already heard me tell this story, but I'll expand on it a bit to freshen it up.
While covering one of CU's camps this summer Adam and I were going over which prospects we needed to watch out for and he mentioned that four-star QB, Kyle Kerns and Elite 11 QB, Ross Bowers were at the camp.
When you go to these camps you can usually pick out the top talent pretty easily so as I go over to the QB's I start watching this kid just absolutely ripping the ball across the field, most beautiful spiral I've ever seen from a high school kid.
While I'm standing there a member of CU's staff sees me and comes over to say hi, as soon as he gets there I ignorantly ask, "The tall QB looks like the real deal, is that Kerns or Bowers?" (The players don't have names on their jerseys so sometimes you have to guess.)
"Neither," the staffer responds with a laugh. "That's Steven Montez."
"Who," replied back.
"Exactly," he says and walks away with a smirk.
When I met back up with Adam after being across from the field, he said something before I even could, "This Montez kid looks serious."
We spent a lot of the rest of that camp watching as Montez consistently out performed the two recruits who were rated much higher.
That day Montez earned his offer and the rest is history.
I am very weary of naming anybody "the savior" since I've watched as names like Shane Dillion and Connor Wood got trashed because they could never live up to expectations, but I think the Buffs may have ended their long QB draught with the signing of Steven Montez.
On Jim Leavitt
Heck of a hire. Heck of a hire. I remember liking that name when I saw it on Adam's original hot board which seems like it was ages ago. Pretty crazy that CU is able to bring in a guy to coach the defense who has won more bowl games in the past decade than CU has been to. The more I read about him, the more I like him. He is seemingly loved by everyone he has been around, and has received ringing endorsements from all-pro's such as Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
After all this time, CU fans have to be impressed with the hire, and thus far it sounds like they are.
Also, I don't think it should be overlooked that Leavitt has experience in bringing a program to prominence from the ashes.
Add in the fact that the Buffs added Tumpkin, another former DC, to the staff, and now you have three guys on the staff that have defensive coordinator experience.
There is no doubt that Colorado's staff got stronger today.