Colorado football coach Jon Embree said this week he does not expect to sign any junior college players in the 2012 recruiting cycle.
It's not for a lack of trying.
Embree and his assistants scoured the nation looking for junior college players who could help fill gaps on the CU depth chart and also qualify academically to be admitted to school in Boulder. They found a few but those players have either opted to go elsewhere or CU decided to pursue a high school standout at the same position instead.
The signing period for midyear junior college transfers began this week. It's possible a situation could materialize that ultimately brings a junior college player to Boulder in this cycle but it's unlikely.
Being able to add a few older players from the junior college ranks would be helpful considering the makeup of the roster heading into 2012.
Colorado had 28 seniors on the roster this fall and a small junior class of just 11 players. Only six of those 11 juniors played regularly this season, meaning next season's team figures to be dominated by underclassmen.
Embree discussed the difficulty of successfully recruiting junior college players to Colorado earlier this fall.
"We would like to in some situations, but again they have to be able to do the work academically and what transfers in, because of what we are as an academic institution, it makes it a little more difficult to get junior college kids in because we don't accept P.E., we don't take D's, and there are other schools out there that do take both of those and that makes it a lot easier," Embree said. "A lot of the good ones want to enroll in a college in January and there is usually a little extra work that you have to do to get into here, so you wouldn't be able to come in until the fall."
Colorado has 22 high school players committed to sign with the program on national signing day Feb. 1. Embree has said he expects to sign as many as 28 players to scholarship offers, with three of those players enrolling for spring classes and counting back to last year's class. The NCAA limits the number of players a program can sign in any one year to 25.
Colorado could be in jeopardy of losing one of its committed recruits.
Ma'ne Manaea, a safety from Lakewood, Wash., committed to CU in September but recently learned CU coaches would like him to grayshirt next fall, delaying his enrollment to January 2013.
Manaea told Rivals.com he is re-evaluating where he will sign, but he left open the possibility of sticking with the Buffs.
"Colorado kind of threw a curveball at me with this whole grayshirting situation so I have just been keeping an open mind lately," Manaea told Rivals. "This whole situation I am going through right now, I guess it is a sign from God that maybe I wasn't supposed to go to Colorado but when it comes time to sign, who knows?"
Manaea is a three-star prospect and the only safety currently committed to CU. Embree and his assistants have made defensive linemen and cornerbacks priorities in this cycle and have numerous safeties returning next fall.