I'm gonna be honest- I LOVE recruiting. It's like a soap opera with less violence, more cheating, and better actors. The drama never ends, the Twitter stalking feels like detective work, and best of all, it revolves around the next set of Buffaloes. However, the past few years have been calm, relaxing even. Coach Mac and Co. usually found their guys around August, kept most of them until February, and then they signed. Obviously there are exceptions, but the gist of the class was calm and under-recruited. And while I loved following the players and coaches, the news wasn't flying around like some of the other Pac-12 teams.
That all changed this year. Joe Tumpkin, Jim Leavitt, and Darrin Chiaverini (as well as the other assistant coaches) seemed to completely reinvigorate recruiting. Suddenly recruits were talking about the Buffs! Nationally, people began to take notice. CU was on some big time recruits, and I followed with absolute joy. Every day I was digging on Twitter, trying to find the next offer, the next prospect, the next commit. This last month, things got really exciting. It was a bit of a roller coaster (landing Davis Webb, but losing Sheriron Jones is a great example), but that's why recruiting is exciting. It's impossible to predict what's going to happen accurately, and no one predicted the jump that the Buffs had in the last month. Since the end of December, CU added a new starting QB, WR, LB, and RB, while holding onto their most prized high school commits, fending off other Pac-12 teams and even Emperor Saban himself.
This class is built to contribute immediately. Juwann Winfree will step in to a starting wideout slot. Beau Bisharat will immediately become an option in the backfield, and should work as an H-back, too. Johnny Huntley and Anthony Julmisse are athletic enough to help immediately. On the defensive side of the ball, Trey Udoffia has all the skills to cover Pac-12 players right away, and Drew Lewis should be a plug-and-play at inside linebacker. Even Akil Jones and Pookie Maka, while slight of build, are huge steps up athletically. There are some players that will redshirt or grayshirt (mainly the linemen), and there are some that will mainly contribute as upperclassmen. But for the most part, the players brought in represent an immediate upgrade to the roster and will receive playing time as such. All of the new recruits mentioned the facilities as a big plus, and many talked about the relationships with the coaches. Suddenly, a bowl game doesn't seem like a possibility anymore. It seems like a probability.
I know it's early on NSD, and all of our commits aren't in yet, but this certainly FEELS like a turned corner. The Buffs are stampeding back— RalphieReport (@RalphieReport) February 3, 2016
I tweeted that during the middle of the morning's crazy proceedings, and I stick with the sentiment. I don't know, there's just a buzz around the program, and it's not just manufactured. It feels like a big time program again. The Buffs beat big time schools for big time players today. The Buffs have some of the best facilities in the country. The Buffs have an AD committed to winning and coaches committed to bringing in the best players possible to make that happen. it seems everyone in the Champions Center is on the same page: to bring the Buffs back.