Class of 2016
Colorado's football recruiting for 2016:
WR — Kabion Ento, 6-3, 180 (Decatur, Miss./East Central C.C.)
CB — Ca'Ron Baham, 5-11, 180 (Marrero, La.)
ATH — Ronnie Blackmon, 5-10, 174 (Atlanta)
WR — Johnny Huntley, 6-3, 190 (Plantation, Fla.)
LB — Akil Jones, 6-1, 213 (San Jose, Calif.)
ATH — Anthony Julmisse, 6-0, 180 (Plantation, Fla.)
LB — Drew Lewis, 6-2, 224 (Coffeyville, Kan. CC)
OL — Chance Lytle, 6-7, 291 (San Antonio)
LB — Pookie Maka, 6-3, 200 (Murray, Utah)
QB — Sam Noyer, 6-3, 193 (Beaverton, Ore.)
OL — Colby Pursell, 6-4, 289 (Newhall, Calif.)
WR — Derrion Rakestraw, 6-3, 175 (Woodstock, Ga.)
OL — Terriek Roberts, 6-6, 255 (Denver)
ATH — Trey Udoffia, 6-0, 175 (Loomis, Calif.)
OL — Hunter Vaughn, 6-8, 260 (Parker)
QB — Davis Webb, 6-5, 224 (Proper, Texas)*
* Webb is a transfer from Texas Tech and will sign later in the spring.
The first time Derrion Rakestraw visited the Colorado campus, he knew he wanted to play football in Boulder.
A 6-foot-3, 175-pound receiver from Woodstock, Ga., Rakestraw wasted no time in telling CU coaches he wanted to be a Buffalo. At the time of his verbal commitment, on June 11, CU's 2016 recruiting class had just one other player - quarterback Sam Noyer.
With national signing day coming up on Wednesday, the Buffaloes now have 15 players committed and they're trying to add a couple more in the final hours.
For many players, coaches and fans, the countdown to signing day is like waiting for Christmas morning, and those final hours can be agonizing.
Rakestraw can't wait to finally put his name on his letter of intent.
"I'm really excited," he said. "I've been waiting for this moment for a while."
While eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make it official on signing day, Rakestraw and others in CU's class have enjoyed watching the class come together.
"I've seen some guys come and go, but I really think this class is going to be a big game changer for us," Rakestraw said. "I think we have a lot of really good athletes coming in. I'm excited."
CU coaches have made a strong push in the final weeks, but nine of the 15 verbal commits have been on board since at least October. Many of the players have had time to not only get used to being Buffs, but to get to know each other.
"We have a group chat and we all talk," said Johnny Huntley, a three-star receiver from South Plantation (Fla.) High School. "All of us are pretty close."
Every time CU adds another commitment, Rakestraw said he's quickly online checking out highlight footage of a future teammate.
"I always do," he said. "I'll usually follow them (on Twitter) and (direct message) them and get to know them a little bit."
Everyone in CU's class is aware of the Buffaloes' struggles in recent years, but they all believe they can do their part to get CU on a winning track.
"I definitely think they have something very special coming up pretty soon, actually this season," Huntley said. "I think we'll have a breakout year this year."
Huntley and his South Plantation teammate, running back/receiver Anthony Julmisse, are both expected to sign with the Buffs on Wednesday. Both committed back in the fall and continued to get pressured by other schools before making it very clear on Twitter that they were signing with the Buffs. Both said they don't even respond to other coaches now.
"I'm happy to spend the next three to four years there," Julmisse said. "Without a doubt. I'm ready to be a Buff."
CU's class is one of the smallest in the Pac-12 and it rates at the bottom of the conference. The Buffs don't have any five-star recruits on the way. They do have a very athletic and confident class, though.
"Everybody says they're not the best right now," Julmisse said, "but I just want our team to succeed and hopefully make it to a national championship."
Several recruits have been blown away by CU's new football facilities. Many of them have also talked about how impressed they are with CU's coaches and the camaraderie they feel among the current Buffs.
Despite CU's lack of success, this year's class is convinced the Buffs are on their way. In fact, that's a big reason why quarterback Davis Webb is on his way to Boulder.
A transfer from Texas Tech, Webb had his choice of several big-time schools, but picked CU.
"I would argue with those people who don't think that Colorado is back or close to it, then they should watch a game," said Webb, who, as a transfer student, won't be able to sign a letter of intent until later this spring. "I feel like they're very close. They should have won a lot more games last year. Hopefully the Buffaloes win this year and we can get over that hump."
This class believes it can get them there.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.