Mike MacIntyre is a nerd. He is the guy that would get his project done a month before it’s due and then ask the professor how to make it better. In no place is this more evident than his recruiting strategy. He evaluates early, offers early, and now that it’s possible, signs early. An overwhelming majority of CU’s class was signed in December and ready to go. The last month and change has been spent hiring coaches, putting in groundwork on the 2019 class, and tying the bow on the 2018 Buffaloes.
As such, I’m sorry to report that tomorrow will be boring for us Buffs.
The main event will be grad transfer Travon McMIllian signing a non-binding financial aid agreement. But as we learned with Davis Webb, that doesn’t mean anything until he’s on campus and ready to work. Alex Tchangam, the recently committed edge player, may also be officially announced on Wednesday, but this is another formality. Both players still have plenty of time to change their minds (they won’t) and even longer to step on campus. So, for now, relax and enjoy the fact that CU locked up the next class early. No sweating, no prognosticating, and no swears. The drama is gone which sucks, but also, the drama is gone, which is awesome.
Instead, let’s spend the day looking at CU’s opponents and how they’re doing in comparison.
Arizona didn’t have to scramble that much after hiring Kevin Sumlin as head coach. His recruiting chops and solid reputation meant that the class didn’t fall apart as predicted. In fact, he has done a decent job fixing some of Rich Rod’s messes this class. They are expected to sign at least five on Wednesday, with a possible surprise QB signing after Kevin Doyle decommitted from Michigan. Arizona’s class doesn’t have a lot of standouts or duds, just a lot of solid players. However, it is less instant-impact than CU’s. An OK transition class.
247 rank: 10th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Adam Plant, DE
Oh boy, I’m excited for Herm Edwards in Tempe. Arizona State has 11 players signed - 3 of them are running backs (with another listed as a hard commit). Todd Graham was doing a decent job recruiting before he was fired, and after he left, the Sun Devils lost some star power. The class that exists now is a skeleton. Transition classes aren’t pretty, and Edwards did not have a soft landing in CFB.
Jack’s favorite recruit: AJ Carter, RB
I’m a big fan of California’s class. Justin Wilcox has put a premium on physical players that can win individual battles. The line of scrimmage is a clear theme in the recruits, with 11/20 living within a yard of the line of scrimmage. They aren’t in any big battles coming down to the wire, so they are set. This is a class that will win more than they lose in the conference.
247 rank: 6th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Nick Alftin, DE.
Oregon recruits well once again. Moving from Willie Taggart to his henchman Mario Cristobal was about as smooth of a transition as you could hope for. With most of the staff intact and Cristobal just as powerful on the road as Taggart, the Ducks have started fast and finished strong. Currently, they are waiting on the decision of Devon Williams. The borderline 5-star WR is between USC and Oregon, and if he re-commits to UO, it will make for the best WR class Oregon has signed in the modern era. It’s also worth noting that their overall ranking is hurt because of their signed 2-star line snapper.
247 rank: 2nd
Jack’s favorite recruit: Steven Jones, OG
Oregon State is not last in the conference, by the grace of Herm and the Sun Devils. However, they are last in average star rating per recruit. It makes sense. They weren’t great before, and then they blew up their entire staff, which causes some strife. The fact that they are recruiting with a brand new staff is part of why this group of players skews so late. They have about half of the class signing on Wednesday. They aren’t in the running for any players late as everyone is already committed, but their patience paid off in a big way. They took a lot of good P5 players that were left without a spot. A great start to Jonathan Smith’s HC career.
247 rank: 11th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Matthew Tago, ATH
Stanford’s class is very ho-hum good. A lot of big, smart guys, and the only scholarship FB in the PAC-12 (in the 2018 class). It’s not a large class numbers-wise, but every player will play serious minutes for them.
247 rank: 7th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Caleb Kelly, OLB
This is the most back-loaded class in the Pac-12. Jim Mora had a fine class, but with the upheaval right before signing day, a bunch of the recruits decided to wait it out. Then they hired Chip Kelly, and there was a stampede to get it. Yes, they lost a lot of recruits, but they also added a lot of great players to the class. This is a sign of things to come and I don’t like it.
247 rank: 4th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Bryan Addison, ATH
USC has another very Trojan class. They rarely had to venture outside the confines of their home in L.A., and when they did they pulled a blue-chipper. USC is going to be one of the most active schools on Wednesday morning. They are in the running for wideout Devon WIlliams, as previously mentioned, but the big prize they are hoping to land is five-star DB Isaac Taylor-Stuart. He’s from L.A., and they are presumed the favorite.
247 rank: 3rd (for now)
Jack’s favorite recruit: JT Daniels, QB
Utah is suffering in the rankings this cycle due to a smaller class. They are right behind the Buffs in overall ranking, but their overall quality per recruit is higher. They have a strange class, as they have more early enrollees than they have signed LOIs. If they can convince Penei Sewell to stay home, he will be the crown jewel of the project at guard. Utah has a bunch of big dudes and as usual, their skill position lags behind in terms of overall talent.
247 rank: 9th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Malone Mataele, APB
Washington is closing strong, and they already had a great class. Chris Peterson is building a monster. They are going to finish in the top 10 easily, and they have a big players they are in the running for. They just flipped blue-chip DT Tuli Letuligasenoa from USC, and this comes off the heels of stealing Julius Irvin from deep in USC territory. The Huskies have solid, athletic players at every position.
247 rank: 1st
Jack’s favorite recruit: Julius Irvin, S
We get to Mike Leach and the Fightin’ Cougs, who finish the class with a whimper after a lot of offseason strife and change. Most of their class is already finished, and as you would expect from a Leach team, it is heavy on skill position players and offensive line. The Cougars got an absolute steal in Max Borghi from Pomona in Denver, and his skills catching out of the backfield are the perfect fit for that offense. Wazzu had a solid, Pac-12 level class, but it doesn’t move the needle for me.
247 rank: 5th
Jack’s favorite recruit: Max Borghi, RB