Just before midnight on Tuesday, Deion Smith, a running back from Houston's Second Baptist High School who had been verbally committed to Colorado since June, was getting calls from other schools.

"He was getting offered at 11:30 last night by other teams in our league," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said.

Such is life in the world of recruiting, which got even more interesting this year with the first-ever early signing period.

Football players around the country were allowed to sign as early as Wednesday morning. That led to plenty of phone calls from coaches trying to hold onto their commitments, or opposing coaches trying to convince players to not sign and wait until the February period.

"It was a lot more intense this year the last three days and the last weekend," MacIntyre said. "A lot more intense. I'm calling kids all night last night and they say, 'So-and-so just called and offered me.' It was kid after kid after kid."

Smith honored his commitment to CU and signed his letter of intent with the Buffs, but the pressure certainly got to some, and plenty of top players remain unsigned.

Pomona High School running back Max Borghi, a former CU commit who flipped to Washington State this summer, got a late push from Stanford. Borghi informed Wazzu he won't be signing this week, as he now reportedly considers the Cardinal.


Several schools tried to sway CU's commits, as receiver Dimitri Stanley took a trip to Washington last weekend, tackle Frank Fillip visited Notre Dame and cornerback Delrick Abrams got a Tuesday night offer from Oregon. All of them wound up signing with the Buffs.

"It was a little bit more than usual," MacIntyre said of the pressure from other schools. "That's also says a lot for the kids that we have."

CU did lose one late commit, as junior college tackle Josh McMullen took a late trip to Central Florida and signed with the Knights. The Buffs also benefited from the late push, adding former Oklahoma State commit Israel Antwine in the final hours.

On hold

The Buffs had expected to sign safety Hasaan Hypolite, from Missouri City, Texas, on Wednesday, but he has decided to wait until the regular signing period begins Feb. 7.

Hypolite wrote on Twitter in the afternoon, "After several conversations with my family, coaches and others I seek advice from I have decided it's best I don't sign until February. I am still committed to Colorado and hope everyone can respect my decision."

The Buffs had also hoped to land Jordan Allen, a highly regarded defensive end from City College of San Francisco, but on Wednesday night, he picked Tennessee. Allen was reportedly down to CU and Tennessee before making his choice.

Walker transferring

CU receiver Lee Walker, who would be a senior in 2018, has been granted his release to transfer.

Walker is graduating this week and is eligible to go anywhere that offers a major that CU doesn't. During his career at CU, Walker played in 25 games and caught three passes for 36 yards. He played in 10 games this past year, mostly on special teams.

Walker is the second receiver to leave the program this month, as Johnny Huntley previously announced he would transfer. Huntley is eligible to transfer to all but 13 schools: the other Pac-12 schools, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

QB coach update

The Buffs are still in the process of finding a new quarterbacks coach, after co-offensive coordinator/QB coach Brian Lindgren left for Oregon State this month.

With recruiting, however, MacIntyre hasn't had a lot of time to devote to that search.

"We've had a tremendous amount of interest in our quarterback coach position," he said."Now that (signing day) is over, I'll be able to settle in on it and focus on exactly what we want to do."


Adding in the 19 players signed by CU on Wednesday, the Buffs are now at 86 projected scholarship players for the 2018 season, one above the NCAA maximum of 85. Factoring in some attrition, which happens every year, the Buffs should still be able to add a couple of players to the 2018 class. ... The Buffs will start spring practices on Feb. 16, with the spring scrimmage/game set for March 17, tentatively at 1 p.m.

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