In trying to build a winning college football program, there may not be anything more important than recruiting.

For Colorado, recruiting is at the core of its quest to achieve national prominence once again.

"First of all, we want to build it from the ground up," offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "What does that mean? We've got to add depth. We've got to go out and find bigger, stronger, smarter and more athletic football players. On top of that, we want to make sure we're bringing in the right kids that understand two things: the importance of earning a degree and kicking a lot of tail on the weekends. That's your start.

"From there, now we just want to continue building our program with great kids who have great integrity that understand the importance of being an accountable and responsible student-athlete. That's what this is about."

Bieniemy said CU has to focus on finding the right fits for the University of Colorado. The Buffs can't deviate from that focus in an effort to sign a player who might be talented, but won't be a good representative of the university.

"We have to make sure we're recruiting the right people, and that's the beauty about this whole process," he said.

Head coach Jon Embree and the Buffs currently are working on their third recruiting class and they believe they've held to their plan in recruiting to this point. Embree said he doesn't see the staff changing its strategy any time soon.

"You see teams sometimes that catch lightning in a bottle, have a real good year and then they change their recruiting philosophy and try to go for a different kind of kid," Embree said. "They get them in there, but then they don't fit with their program, they don't fit with their system and it causes a lot of dissention and they take two or three steps backward."

So far that hasn't happened for the Buffs. Still, it takes several years of good recruiting for a head coach to truly have his mark on the program.

"I think until three of the classes or four of the classes are yours then I think you can do that," former CU head coach Gary Barnett said.

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