While the Colorado football team would rather be preparing for a bowl game, the coaching staff will devote a lot of its time over the next few weeks to work on its 2018 recruiting class.

It's a class that got smaller on Tuesday evening, as offensive tackle Walker Culver, who verbally committed to CU more than a year ago, announced on Twitter that he is no longer committed to the Buffs, who wrapped up a disappointing 5-7 season with a 34-13 loss to Utah on Saturday.

"After a lot of soul searching, I have come to the realization that I need to decommit from Colorado," Walker wrote in a statement on Twitter. "I will always be grateful to Coach (Mike) MacIntyre and Coach (Klayton) Adams for believing in me and offering me the chance to play at Colorado. ... Colorado has first class facilities, academics and fans and I will always hold a special place in my heart for the Buffs."

Culver could be on his way to Ohio State after taking an official visit there on Nov. 18. After the Ohio State visit, 247Sports predicted the 6-foot-6, 273-pound Culver, from Chattanooga, Tenn., will sign with the Buckeyes.

The Buffs appear to be on the verge of losing another commitment, as well.

Linebacker Davion Taylor, from Coahoma (Miss.) Community College, committed to CU in June, but now appears to be leaning toward Ole Miss.

According to 247Sports.com, Matt Luke, named the head coach at Ole Miss on Monday, went from his introductory press conference to a visit with Taylor, who is set to take an official visit to the school this weekend.


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"They are on top now," Taylor told 247Sports.com about the Rebels.

Without Culver and Taylor, the Buffs would be down to 16 commits, and given the early signing period that was approved this year, these next few weeks could be crucial in keeping the rest.

Rather than waiting until Feb. 7, the Buffs and other teams can sign high school seniors to national letters of intent from Dec. 20-22. Those who don't sign by Dec. 22 will have to wait until February.

"It's totally different," CU co-offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said of the new recruiting calendar. "It speeds up those in-home visits, it speeds up the contact period, and when we go on the road it's really about sitting them down and understanding that, 'Hey signing day is coming for you guys.'"

On Monday night, Chiaverini made an in-home visit to Cherry Creek High School receiver Dimitri Stanley, who verbally committed in July. Head coach Mike MacIntyre spent Monday night with Highlands Ranch safety Ray Robinson, who committed in October of 2016.

The Buffs, who went 2-7 in the Pac-12 and ended the year on a three-game losing streak, hope to not only keep the rest of their commits, but add others to the list.

"We want to do a good job of locking our commits up, because there's always movement with (coaching) jobs and there's always movement with recruits because that's the nature of the this business that we're in," Chiaverini said. "The key thing is to really secure our relationships with our commitments and get as many of them signed. Hopefully all of them sign, but this is going to be the first year everybody's doing it (in December), so we'll see how it plays out."

Chiaverini said he expects some surprises, because there usually are in the recruiting process, but overall feels good about the 2018 class and how it fits with the group the Buffs signed last spring.

"Last year's class was really, really talented and it's showing up in games and on the practice field, so I'm excited about where we're headed," he said.

Outside of Taylor, CU's other commitments for 2018 include:

QB: Blake Stenstrom, Valor Christian H.S.

RB: Jarek Broussard, Bishop Lynch (Texas) H.S.; Deion Smith, Second Baptist (Texas) H.S.

WR: Daniel Arias, Jackson (Wash.) H.S.; Dimitri Stanley, Cherry Creek H.S.; Dylan Thomas, Cathedral (Calif.) H.S.

OL: Frank Fillip, Clear Lake (Texas) H.S.; Josh Jynes, DeSoto (Texas) H.S.

DE: Tava Finau, Luther Burbank (Calif.) H.S.

LB: Joshka Gustav, Aquinas (Calif.) H.S.; Clyde Moore, Corona Del Mar (Calif.) H.S.

DB: Delrick Abrams Jr., Independence (Kan.) C.C.; Kahlef Hailassie, Cosumnes Oaks (Calif.) H.S.; Hasaan Hypolite, Hightower (Tex.) H.S.; Ray Robinson, Highlands Ranch H.S.; Lavon Wallace, Buhach Colony (Calif.) H.S.

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