This 2017 Buffalo class is one of the deepest classes in years. This is a talented group of kids who can affect the game in many different ways. This is especially true from the offensive side of the ball. Big hosses, game breakers, signal callers — 2017 has it all. And for our money, we at the Ralphie Report cannot come to a conclusion over who we like the most. Too many choices. So we all picked three. Here they are:
Ok, in my recruits I love a sense of humor, a fun-loving attitude, and a willingness to try new things. Wait, wrong website. Anyways:
I love my running backs. To me, running backs and linebackers are the two positions that exemplify football the most. Athletic, tough freaks who are good at hitting other athletic, tough freaks. And in this class, CU has a great running back in Fontenot. First of all, he has four inches on every running back on the roster not named Bisharat, and he’s no lightweight either. A solidly built 6 footer, Alex has size to compete right away. Then we get to his running style. Smoooooooooth like butter, baby. He’s more than fast enough, strong enough, and quick enough to get to edge or through the hole. But his best attribute? His footwork. He’ll make people miss in a phone booth. People will line him up, and like me using the Hit Stick in Madden, will end up clutching air. He’s fun to watch.
Speaking of smooth, no recruit personifies that better than Maurice Bell. He may have been a bit overlooked because of the stellar class of wide receivers that is joining him, but Maurice Bell is a fantastic player. In one of the toughest Cali leagues, Bell shined. He’s a different receiver than the others in the CUin17 class. Jaylon Jackson, already on campus, is pure speed. K.D. Nixon, explosion. Laviska Shenault, physicality. Bell just glides. His routes are clean, his hands are soft, and his strides lull you into touchdowns. He’s a joy to watch.
You have to give love to the big uglies up front, especially when they come in packages like Moretti. At 6’5 and 280 pounds, he is going into college ready to rumble, and as an early enrollee, he’s ahead of the game. Simply put, Moretti punished defenders for having the gall of being placed in front of him. He pushes people into the ground, and when his arms are locked on someone, they don’t often move forward. Not much else to say, just watch his clips.
Colorado’s 2017 class has offensive firepower with speed. A trio of wide receivers will be worth watching in the years to come. Two words to describe these three would be “Texas Strong.”
A product of Desoto HS (Desoto, TX), the state champion wideout decided on coming to CU over Texas and Baylor. He might be “undersized” at 5’8” and 170 pounds, but that’s a deceiving factor to his style of play. Nixon can flat out fly on the field, being clocked at 10.7 second in the 100 meter dash (One second slower than Olympic world record holder, Usain Bolt)
Last season was Nixon’s best with a 1,534 yards and 16 touchdowns of total offense. He can adapt to the next level of play easily coming from competing against some of the best defenses in Texas. Nixon has the ability to breakaway into the secondary for huge chunks of yards. No doubt that offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini will utilize his talents.
A Desoto teammate of Nixon’s, Shenault has an impressive offer sheet with Alabama at the top of the list. He decided to come to Colorado early in the process by way of Chiaverini closing the deal.
Shenault’s range of stretching the field will come into play in Boulder. At 6’2” and 205 pounds, he can play physical with the right amount of speed to create separation between defenders. A much needed weapon for CU’s offense will be receivers that are able to break tackles in open space, something Shenault has developed in his game.
He averaged 17.3 yards per catch last season along with nine touchdowns. Chiaverini will challenge both Shenault and Nixon, don’t be surprised if either one leaves CU breaking records on the way to the NFL.
One of the first commits for Colorado’s 2017 was the wide receiver from Cedar Hill HS (Cedar Hill, TX). As a four-star athlete, Jackson, like Nixon and Shenault were all highly recruited by top ten teams. He turned down Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and eleven other schools by committing to CU.
He’s a wild card in the Buffs plans for the future after being sidelined with a torn ACL twice in the past two seasons. When healthy, Jackson is one of the most explosive players on the field and can change the outlook of any game.
Laviska Shenault & KD Nixon
No, you’re cheating. Landing both of these receivers out of the powerhouse DeSoto program in Texas was a major coup for Brian Lindgren and Darrin Chiavirini. One smaller and quick, one bigger with great hands and body control, these two will be making life hard for opposing Pac-12 defenses for years to come.
If you’ve been reading this site for any period of time then you already knew this was coming. Any player from my alma mater is instantly one of my favorites. Sherman is a big lineman who played tackle in his senior season at Allen but may move to guard in Boulder. The 6’3, 290 lb lineman has a very high ceiling and should be a mainstay on the line in a few seasons.
If this were any other year, losing the all-time leading passer in school history would hurt the Buffs. But recruits like Tyler Lytle have bought in to last season’s success. Lytle is a 6-5, 205-lb pocket passer who threw for 2,759 yards and 19 touchdowns in his senior season at Servite High School (CA). An early enrollee, Lytle will get to prove himself this Spring in Boulder.
With Shay Fields, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo all returning, the Buffs will be loaded at receiver in 2017. Add the “DeSoto Duo” into the mix at wideout and this may be one of the best receiving corps in the nation. K.D. Nixon and Laviska Shenault Jr. led DeSoto High School (TX) to a 16-0 record and their first title in school history. Nixon is a 5-8, 182-lb speedster who reminds me a lot of Fields. The 6-1, 205-lb Shenault, who hauled in 6 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in that state title game, choose Colorado over Alabama. Both will fit right in with the ‘The Blackout Boyz.’
It was a very good year for Colorado quarterbacks; Sefo Liufau captained the Buffaloes to the brink of a PAC 12 championship and Steven Montez showed great promise in his limited playing time. The Buffaloes have a guy in Tyler Lytle who is a higher ranked recruit than both of those two were out of high school. The kid definitely looks the part of a D-1 quarterback with his big frame, athleticism, and great arm talent. He played with pretty good success against some insanely talented teams in California. Tyler brings even more young talent to the quarterback position, and Buffs fans should be excited about his future.
It would be hard to keep KD off of this list. He is an unbelievable athlete with a rare combination of quickness and speed. When he touches the ball fans hold their breath, as each one of his touches has a legitimate chance of resulting in a touchdown. He will be an instant contributor on special teams and probably at wide receiver and running back as well. Brian Lindgren and Darrin Chiaverini are licking their chops getting a weapon like KD to put into their offensive gameplan, and he has a chance to be a star in black and gold.
To me, Jackson is like a forgotten man in this recruiting class. With the likes of top 300 recruits in Nixon and Laviska Shenault it seems that Jaylon Jackson got overlooked. Make no mistake though, this kid can flat out ball. He started at Cedar Hill High School as a sophomore and unfortunately his career was cut short due to back to back knee injuries. He has very good quickness and a fluent athlete. He rounds out a stellar group of incoming receivers who all seem to have very bright futures at CU.