Five to watch

CU is still looking to add a few more commitments by Wednesday. Here are a handful of players to keep an eye on in the coming days:

DE K'Lavon Chaisson, Galena Park, Texas, 6-4, 220 (5 stars): Regarded as one of the best pass rushers in the country for the 2017 class, Chaisson visited CU this past week. He is visiting Florida this weekend, and has had LSU and Texas high on his list.

S Trajon Cotton, Sacramento, 6-1, 180 (3 stars): Cotton visited CU in October and has remained impressed with the Buffs. He has listed CU and Oregon State as his final two, and said on Twitter that he would announce his choice Sunday.

DT Damion Daniels, Dallas, 6-2, 320 (3 stars): CU would love to add a big defensive tackle before signing day, and Daniels would be a great fit. He took an official visit to CU in December, but it also considering Nebraska and UTSA.

TE Josh Falo, Sacramento, 6-5, 230 (4 stars): A high school teammate and close friend of Cotton, Falo has CU in his final five, along with Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and USC. Falo's brother, N.J., is a linebacker at CU and the two could play two seasons together. His older brother, Nate, played for current CU coach Mike MacIntyre at San Jose State from 2011-12.


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OG Casey Roddick, Ventura, Calif., 6-4, 342 (3 stars): Earlier this month, Roddick de-committed from Cal. He took his official visit to CU this weekend. He has Cal, CU, San Diego State and Utah in his final four and will announce his choice on Wednesday.

The next few days are sure to cause a roller coaster of emotions for Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff.

Wednesday is national signing day, and after nearly a year of focusing their recruiting efforts on the class of 2017, the CU coaches are trying to complete what is expected to be a highly rated group.

Essentially, they are entering the fourth quarter with a lead and doing all they can to protect it — or even add to it.

"I feel real good about where we are recruiting wise," MacIntyre said. "These last few days are always crazy. There's always good times and bad times in it, but I'm always concerned about the guys we get, not the guys we lose."

Coming off its best season in more than a decade, the Buffaloes (10-4, 8-1 Pac-12 South) are in the process of building their best recruiting class in years.

As of Saturday, Scout.com ranks CU's class at No. 24 nationally. Rivals.com ranks the class at No. 30. The last time CU had a class that ranked among the top 30 was in 2008, when Rivals.com and Scout.com both had the Buffs in the top 25.

CU's class includes four players with 4-star ratings from Scout.com. In his four previous classes at CU, MacIntyre signed a total of two four-star recruits.

Offensive linemen Jake Moretti and Grant Polley are both four-star recruits expected to bolster an area of need for the Buffs. Four-star receivers K.D. Nixon and Laviska Shenault have played together at DeSoto (Texas) High School and are planning to sign with the Buffs on Wednesday, as well.

Including junior college players and early high school enrollees, CU's class currently sits at 24 players, filling needs throughout the roster.

What makes the next few days nerve-racking for coaches is that unsigned players could have a last-minute change of heart and sign with another school.

In recent weeks, CU had two commits — offensive lineman Xavier Newman (Baylor) and cornerback Morrell Osling (UCLA) — flip to other schools. Other commits, including linebacker Nate Landman and cornerback Chris Miller, have visited other schools recently.

Of course, CU is also working on landing a few players are who verbally committed elsewhere. Tight end Jared Poplawski, from Scottsdale, Ariz., is committed to Arizona State, but is in Boulder this weekend on an official visit.

"You want them to have both feet in; you want them wanting to be at Colorado," said MacIntyre, who is not permitted to talk about unsigned players, per NCAA rules. "We don't do any trickery or any type of making them feel guilty about not coming; we just want to show them what we're about and be honest with them.

"I believe when you do that, kids will stay for a long time, just like we have had in the past."

One thing that has MacIntyre breathing easier about the 2017 class is the amount of players already on campus.

The Buffs signed four junior college players this winter and had five high school players graduate early and enroll this month, including Moretti and quarterback Tyler Lytle. Add in a pair of gray shirts from the 2016 class, and the Buffs have 11 new players already on campus.

"They look good in the workouts and they're excited about being here," MacIntyre said. "We have a ton of guys in now that are going to help our team right now. Signing day is big. It's really big, but getting those kids in class on Jan. 17 was gigantic."

The ability to get players on campus early is crucial to maintaining success, MacIntyre said.

"The beauty of what we've done academically here at the University of Colorado is we've been able to graduate young men in three and a half years," he said. "That's enabled us to bring in more kids (early). Next year we'll be able to do the same thing, and that helps you.

"The more guys you can have in spring practice, winter workouts and summer, and then be ready to play, you'll have more guys ready to play next year, and that's important."

While not everybody that signs this week will be ready to play right away, MacIntyre and staff are building a class that looks capable of keeping the Buffs on the winning track for years to come.

Now, the Buffs just have to get those players signed.

"You just keep working at it and talking to them," MacIntyre said. "Remember, you're taking to 18- and 17-year-old young boys.

"Our staff has done a great job and we'll just keep going and see how it all unfolds on Feb. 1."

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.

Colorado's 2017 recruiting class

A list of the players CU has signed or received verbal commitments from for the 2017 football recruiting class (star rating from Scout.com):

SIGNED PLAYERS

Junior college players who have signed letters of intent and enrolled earlier this month:

DT - Javier Edwards, Blinn College, 6-foot-3, 350 pounds (3 stars)

DE - Shamar Hamilton, ASA College in Miami, 6-4, 230 (3 stars)

DT - Chris Mulumba, Diablo Valley College, 6-4, 280 (2 stars)

DB - Dante Wigley, Holmes CC, 6-2, 188 (3 stars)

EARLY ENROLLEES

High school players who enrolled earlier this month at CU:

WR - Jaylon Jackson, Cedar Hill, Texas, 5-10, 171 (3 stars)

S - Isaiah Lewis, Granite Bay, Calif., 6-0, 195 (3 stars)

QB - Tyler Lytle, Anaheim, Calif., 6-4, 210 (3 stars)

OL - Jake Moretti, Arvada, 6-5, 290 (4 stars)

DE - Dante Sparaco, Englewood, 6-5, 245 (3 stars)

VERBAL COMMITMENTS

Players expected to sign letters of intent on Feb. 1:

Junior college

CB - Kevin George, Georgia Military College, 6-3, 177 (3 stars)

High school

WR - Maurice Bell, Murrieta, Calif., 6-0, 170 (3 stars)

DE - Jacob Callier, Bellflower, Calif., 6-2, 247 (3 stars)

RB - Alex Fontenot, Richmond, Texas, 5-11, 185 (3 stars)

OLB - Nate Landman, Danville, Calif., 6-3, 210 (3 stars)

CB - Chris Miller, Denton, Texas, 5-11, 173 (3 stars)

LB - Chase Newman, La Mirada, Calif., 6-2, 210 (3 stars)

WR - K.D. Nixon, DeSoto, Texas, 5-8, 175 (4 stars)

ATH - Sebastian Olver, Kentfield, Calif., 6-5, 248 (3 stars)

OL - Heston Paige, Highlands Ranch, 6-5, 270 (3 stars)

OL - Grant Polley, Denton, Texas, 6-4, 285 (4 stars)

WR - Laviska Shenault, DeSoto, Texas, 6-1, 203 (4 stars)

OL - William Sherman, Allen, Texas, 6-3, 294 (3 stars)

LB - Jonathan Van Diest, Englewood, 6-1, 235 (3 stars)

DE - Carson Wells, Bushnell, Fla. (2 stars)