Earlier today, all of the major college football coaches in Colorado gathered in Colorado Springs for their annual kick-off luncheon. Later, Brian Howell fired off a pair of tweets that made me stop rewatching Game of Thrones and start dancing. Let’s display them here in all their glory.
#CUBuffs Head coach Mike MacIntyre said freshman DL Terrence Lang is expected to report July 28 with the rest of the team— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) July 12, 2017
As of now, #CUBuffs planning to have OL Casey Roddick and DL Jalen Sami gray shirt. That would get the buffs to 85 scholarship players— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) July 12, 2017
This is excellent news twice over! The big boon is Terrance Lang arriving for fall camp. Lang was a late recruiting win for the Buffs, and is a gargantuan. You may have thought I left out the word “gargantuan”, but you, dear reader, are mistaken. Lang is gigantic. 6’5 and all of 270 pounds in HIGH SCHOOL. Now, CU fans and coaches can breathe easily when he gets on campus, because if his recruitment were to reopen, that would be a hard fight. Now, the giant athlete can come to Boulder, learn the scheme in fall camp, and make an impact. In case you forgot what a special athlete Lang is, here’s a refresher.
The second tweet is a bigger deal to me. If you count Lang, Sami, and Roddick together, you are dealing with almost half a ton of mean muscle. Both Sami and Roddick were late pickups as well, with Sami hailing from Colorado Springs as a DT and Roddick from California as an offensive guard. They both hover around 350 pounds, with Sami stretching his over a 6’6 frame and Roddick a more stout 6’2(ish). They are obviously mammoths that push piles. The sign of a good program is to let these mammoths develop. The fact that the Buffs can squeeze another year of eligibility out of these before they’ve stepped on campus, while also gaining a spring semester for them is quite something.
A gray shirt, which allows recruits to delay their enrollment to the spring semester to preserve their 4 years of eligibility, is an essential tool for linemen. It gives them more development time while also getting them on campus “early”. In the case of Sami and Roddick, who are already far along in their physical development, the grayshirt basically is a cheat code. They are now ahead for their “freshman” year in the 2018 season and can preserve their eligibility for when they are more likely to play. In two years, having Sami, Lang, and Roddick stock the lines will make those games against the hogs of Washington and Oklahoma State much easier to deal with. This is how you sustain success.