Overlooked coming out of high school a year ago, Kary Kutsch went the junior college route, hoping it would open more opportunities.

Colorado gave the versatile lineman the opportunity he wanted.

On Friday, the Buffaloes made it official that the offensive lineman from Butte College in Oroville, Calif., has joined the program. Kutsch signed a financial aid agreement on Friday and will enroll at CU this summer. He will have four years to play three seasons.

Kutsch, listed by CU at 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, is being brought in as a tackle, but he has the versatility to play guard, as well.

"I wanted to go to the highest level," Kutsch said. "I always felt like I had something more. I wanted to get the coaching to see how good I could be."

CU had a scholarship open up when tackle Isaac Miller medically retired this spring after battling knee injuries the past two years. Adding Kutsch puts the Buffs at the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarship players for next season.

"We are excited about Kary; he is a big, athletic offensive lineman," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said in a press release. "He can play offensive tackle, he can play guard, he can play center, but we're looking for him to come in and compete at our tackle spot.

"He will bring a powerful presence for us on the offensive line."

For Kutsch, signing with CU is a reward for a bit of a gamble he took a year ago.

Kutsch is a 2017 graduate of Shasta High School in Redding, Calif., an area that he said "is not scouted at all.


" His high school is located about 10 miles from Palo Cedro, Calif., where former CU linebacker Addison Gillam grew up. Kutsch and Gillam are the only known Buffs to sign from that area.

After earning Eastern Athletic League all-conference honors as a senior at Shasta, Kutsch received a scholarship offer from Sacramento State, but turned it down to go to Butte.

"I thought at Butte I would get the exposure that I thought I deserved," he said.

This spring, Kutsch has drawn interest from several schools, including Kent State and Alabama-Birmingham. He said he got an offer from Indiana, which wanted him to sign in December. He was looking to move on from Butte sooner, however.

"Colorado came to see me and then brought me in on a visit and offered me," he said.

Kutsch visited Boulder last week and was blown away by the facilities, the city and the spring weather.

"It was hard to say no, so I didn't," he said.

Kutsch said he has connected well with CU co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Klayton Adams.

"He was a cool dude," Kutsch said. "He brought me in and showed me some of the film and stuff. I like the way he does it. He wants the talent to shine through, so you don't have to think too much. You just get it done."

Kutsch was also drawn to the opportunity to play right away at CU. With Miller's retirement, senior Josh Kaiser and junior Aaron Haigler are the only players with experience at tackle.

"They said that obviously I'm going to have to earn it but I could come in and (compete to) start right away," Kutsch said. "That was probably one of the biggest factors."

Whether he starts or not, Kutsch brings good versatility to the line.

"They said I have the athleticism to play tackle and the size to play guard," he said.

Kutsch played tackle at Butte and has played guard in the past, but his high school ran a wing-T offense. Because of that, he said he's never really played a game at guard in a traditional offense.

His one season at Butte, however, helped him develop his technique. He was named to the All-California Community College Region I first team - an honor that also went to recent CU signee Mustafa Johnson.

"I had a good coach out here that taught me and moved me along pretty quickly," Kutsch said.

Kutsch is built a bit like Haigler, who also has guard and tackle experience. The two have something else in common: track and field. Haigler competes in the throwing events at CU and Kutsch throws the hammer, shot put and discus at Butte.

Haigler was Kutsch's player host for his visit last week, and Kutsch said he's already talked to CU's track and field coaches about competing for the Buffs next spring.

Of course, his main objective will be to compete for a starting job and help to solidify the Buffs' offensive line.

"I'm excited to see what I can do at Colorado," he said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.