Signing day is drawing to a close, and while there isn't much drama around the Buff commitment list this year, it's always fun to see the next generation of future All-Pac players. However, the honeymoon doesn't last long for us here at Ralphie Report. It's time to dissect, inspect, and project this recruiting class with some lists and rankings. Let's get this show on the road!
Instant Impact- The players that will step on the field in fall camp and just go bananas, or at least we think they will.
Patrick Carr, RB
Much like Shay Fields last year, this is pretty much a pick based on hype. His tape shows a fantastic runner that can be a homerun hitter and has power. While he's stepping into a crowded backfield, the assumption is that he's too talented to keep off the field. One of the freshmen running backs will probably play, and I'd much rather Gordon redshirt rather than Carr, as Carr looks physically ready right now.
Justin Jan, WR
I really hope Jan gets to redshirt, as he could really use an extra year to put on pounds. However, T.Y. McCulloch has left a big hole in the middle of the field that needs to be filled, and with Dylan Keeney still recovering from surgery, it looks like Jan may be the person the Buffs count on. He can probably still make an impact, but I'd much rather see a ripped redshirt freshmen Justin Jan than sophomore Justin Jan next year. Here's to hoping that CU can finally build depth!
N.J. Falo, LB
I apologize to my fellow writers on this post, as I have taken the three most likely guys to play earlier, but I have no regrets. it needed to be done. Falo's likely instant impact is not going to happen because of his superior talent (though he does have that in spades), but because of a lack of playmakers at his position. The LB depth chart is... top-heavy at best, ridiculously thin at worst, and with Falo being the only 'backer coming in, he has a chance to play early. He's already bigger than a lot of people on the current roster, and he has a motor that won't quit. I expect to see his hair flying on Saturdays.
Sleepers/Overperformers- your classic "chip on the shoulder guys". people who weren't given enough respect early, so they're going to earn it for the Buffs.
I have made it no secret that this is my favorite commit this class, and I will continue to trumpet him as the most underrated prospect the Buffs have. He has smarts, speed, explosiveness, and the "want to" that you like to see in any football player, especially in a CB prospect. I expect him (after his redshirt season of course) to play extensively in his 4 years of eligibility. Keep working, Nick.
Much like Hayden Jones last year, Bounds' high school last year didn't like to use the TE in the passing game, so his stats aren't great there, and he's developed some nice blocking ability. He has a nice body with some good weight, and seems to move well for his size. I think he's going to be the Sean Irwin of this class, quietly productive. He should redshirt though, no reason to use up a year of eligibility.
A local product, which always wins my heart, Umu has the perfect frame for a 3-technique DT. He wears 290 pounds right now like it's nothing, so just imagine when he gets up above 300. I shudder to think of the offensive linemen in the PAC-12 and how they'll fare against this beast. Umu should do well in his career here.
Best Name- Afolabi Laguda
I pity the Folsom Field announcer, but I love saying it right now. Afolabi Laguda. Sounds like a nice blend of coffee.
Best Profile Pic- Aaron Haigler
"Aaron, look at the camera" "what?" "Aaron, look it's for your profile" "I'm not getting it" "*sigh* just look at me real quick" "Alrig-" CLICK.
Patrick Carr, RB
Like Jack said, this guy is the Shay Fields of last year. When you watch film of this guy and see that he is the fastest player on the field in Texas 6A football (which has some serious speed) how can you not be excited? With his raw talent, he should see playing time immediately. I see him being used like Tony Jones- or maybe even a good replacement for D.D. Goodson- catching swing passes in the flats to get him into open space to use that speed.
Alex Kinney, K/P
Unless something weird happens or an injury comes up, Fort Collins product Alex Kinney will be the starting punter. The ball seriously explodes off of his foot, and oh yeah, he also kicks 50 yard field goals with ease. If Diego Gonzalez still shows he needs more time to develop and get technique down, Kinney might be kicking and punting for the Buffs and I have no worries about that. He is the real deal, I've never been so excited about a kicker before!
Any player that wants to be a Buff this badly, probably will get some playing time. Coach Mac revealed at the Football Luncheon that Oregon came in and tried to swipe him away in the final weeks of recruiting, so that's exciting to know, but Falo committed over a year ago and has family that played for MacIntyre in the past. This guy looks like a young Rey Maualuga and boy, can he come up and make a hit! His highlight tape will make you feel sore afterwards.
This is one of my favorite commits as well. Fisher looks like a possible star for the Buffs in coming years. This kid is very quick, and the coaching staff really want him at cornerback and he could be in the lineup at the end of the season, if there are struggles at that position again or injuries with the lack of depth. I would love to see him redshirt, but he might earn a spot if he catches the coaches attention during fall camp.
This guy did just about everything statistically in his senior year of high school. Oliver had 50 catches for 1,352 yards and 12 touchdowns at wide receiver. At cornerback, he had 60 tackles (including four for a loss), seven interceptions and eight passes defended. On special teams, he blocked five kicks! He will more than likely play at cornerback, but he is deceptively fast. The Denver Post did a great article on how the Buffs are recruiting Arizona very hard and I think Oliver and Justin Jan are two great athletes that a lot of big schools missed out on. Give both of those guys time to develop and they may just be household names.
Best Name- Frank Umu, DT
Oh c'mon! He just sounds like somebody that we need to plug into the line and get his big body in the way to stop the run!
Best Profile Pic- Tim Lynott
I'm pretty glad I never played defensive line because I might've quit football if I had to go up against this "kid". I hope I never meet him in a dark alley. He is built already to play right away, but if the coaching staff gets him a redshirt and into the strength program...watch out!
Patrick Carr, RB
Both of you have mentioned his name first and it's obvious why. He can step right in and contribute on the ground as it appears that he has the breakaway speed to match the power and toughness, somewhat akin to Hugh Charles. I was really high on Donald Gordon early but looking at the tailback crew now I think it's more likely Carr gets the majority of the early game reps and makes a difference for this team in 2015.
Alex Kinney, K
James also mentioned Alex, but I have to give him a shout as a fellow Rocky Mountain Lobo. It's almost certain that he'll be punting in Honolulu come September and I think he's more than capable of filling Darragh O'Neill's golden boots. Although I expect noticeable improvement on the defensive side of the ball, they're going to need all the help they can get, and the Buffs will need to continue making Pac-12 offenses go the length of the field as often as possible. It would not shock me at all if he wins the starting placekicking job as well, I really like Diego but Alex may have the right stuff to be the #1 option right away.
Steven Montez, QB
Now, I know he won't be playing right away. In fact, I fully expect Sefo to finish out his career in Boulder as the starter but I think Montez will make an immediate impact in the locker room and on campus. Everything that's been said about this kid points to him being the complete package. A guy a team can rally around and build on. Even if he doesn't see a down this year (and let's hope he doesn't, unless it's in mop-up duty which what even is that?) Steven will begin to positively impact this team with his work ethic and his talent. His play in practice can even help the defense improve. While Buff fans await Montez's playing days, his impact will begin to take shape this fall.
Isaiah Oliver, DB
I am all about Isaiah, I think he'll be a very solid corner throughout his career in Boulder. As James mentioned, he played both ways in high school and stood out in a big way. The general "knock" on him was that he didn't have next-level speed but I think his turn at wide receiver proves that he's speedy enough. It also appears that he has terrific football instincts. I know Hudl tape only features the highlights but it looks like Oliver knows where to be and judges passes quickly and accurately. I could see him becoming a stalwart in the defensive secondary, maybe even as early as next year.
Lyle Tuiloma, DL
First of all, Tuiloma is a massive human being. He weighs in at 315 pounds and stands 6'3". At that weight he's still shifty and moves his feet very well. If Jim Leavitt plans on running any kind of 3-4, odd stack defense there's a very good chance that Tuiloma plays a central role. Even if the Buffs do stick with 4 down linemen, Lyle can be a difference maker plugging up the line and drawing double teams. We all know how badly CU's run defense has to improve, I have high hopes that Tuiloma can contribute significantly to that improvement down the road.
Donald Gordon, RB
Gordon was one of my favorite commits this cycle and I think his potential to be a gamebreaker is very real. With the additions of Aaron Baltazar and Patrick Carr it looks more likely that Gordon will receive a redshirt and be given some additional time to develop in CU's program. Although he won't likely see action this season, this staff wisely utilizes a stable of running backs so after 2015 Gordon will get his shot. I think he has the ability to be the 1st or 2nd option, we'll see if he can find time in a crowded backfield going forward.
Best Name-Dillon Middlemiss, OL
Because he'll make the middle linemen miss the quarterback! (Rim shot) (I'm sorry)
Best Profile Pic-Alex Kinney
I've got nothing but love for Alex (Go ‘Bos!) but this particular head shot is a dead giveaway. With no other information, you can immediately guess which position Alex plays. Whoever took this made the poor kid look right into the sun, too.