There's nothing like Boulder in the spring, with its exceptional weather and scenery perhaps at its peak.

Colorado football coaches are using that to their advantage this spring, with a new NCAA rule that allows high school players to take official visits earlier than in the past.

"For us to be able to pay for them to come up with their family and see Boulder in the spring time, when the weather is really nice and the (beauty of the) Flatirons and Folsom Field, it's great for the University of Colorado," co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said.

Prospects previously had to wait until Sept. 1 of their senior year to take official visits, but can now take those visits from April 1 to June 24. That is ideal for CU, which has a better opportunity to show off its campus to prospects, as opposed to when they visit during the season.

In-season visits are difficult, with personal time between coaches and the prospects and their families limited. Coaches are obviously pre-occupied with games, and prospects are often rushing in and out of town around their own game schedules.

In addition, the earlier visits allow CU an opportunity to sell itself to a prospect that might have otherwise not had the financial means to see the campus before his senior year.

Also, many players are already committed by Sept. 1 of their senior year and may not take a visit to CU if they're already committed to another school.

"I think the spring official visits are a game changer for us," co-offensive coordinator Klayton Adams said. "The ability for a kid that doesn't have the means to travel to Boulder, who is from another state, in the spring is life changing.


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"In years past, kids were making their decisions in the summer, but they were only able to visit the schools they could afford to drive to or afford to fly to. For us to be able to bring kids on official visits (in spring) is a really big deal."

CU is allowed to use 62 official visits for the class of 2019, and head coach Mike MacIntyre said CU will use "in the 20 range" during the early visit period.

According to 247Sports.com, the Buffs had five players on official visits the weekend of April 27. Two of those five — four-star receiver Braedin Huffman-Dixon and three-star cornerback KJ Trujillo — verbally committed to the Buffs shortly after that visit. Both are from southern California.

"We've had some top prospects in the country on our campus early," Chiaverini said. "Even if a kid doesn't commit, if he has a great time on our campus, he goes home and tells his friends, 'You have to go see Boulder; it's a great place.'

"It's definitely been a benefit for us to get kids on our campus earlier and have them see what the University of Colorado has to offer. I want to get those top prospects to see what it's all about."

According to 247Sports.com, CU has three visitors lined up for the weekend of June 8 and three others for the weekend for June 22.

Among those slated to visit in June are four-star receiver Kyle Ford of Orange, Calif.; four-star defensive tackle Jacob Bandes of Antioch, Calif.; and three-star offensive tackle Taylor Miterko of Carlsbad, N.M.

CU currently has six players committed for 2019, and with the caliber of players interested in the Buffs, this is shaping up to be as good, if not better, than the 2017 and 2018 classes.

"I think this class a chance to be special," Chiaverini said. "I think we've done a good job the last couple of years of stacking good class on top of good class. If you're going to have a good football team, you have to continue to recruit top players to your program and keep building those classes year after year and I think we're doing that."

Stillwater loves in-state OL

Oklahoma State has become a big fan of the offensive line prospects in Colorado. Cowboys offensive line coach Josh Henson is one of many coaches to have visited SixZero Strength and Fitness, owned and operated by former CU star Matt McChesney, this spring.

McChesney works with several of the top line prospects in the state, and Henson has been impressed with the talent in the trenches. In the past six weeks, Oklahoma State has extended scholarship offers to eight in-state line prospects - five for the class of 2019 and three for 2020.

On Thursday, Eaglecrest teammates Jake Wiley (2019) and Reece Atteberry (2020) both received offers from the Cowboys.

Six of the eight players offered by OSU also have CU offers, including Highlands Ranch guard Austin Johnson, who is committed to the Buffs.

Notable

Six Buffs are on the Athlon preseason All-Pac-12 team, although none are among the first two teams. Athlon lists linebacker Rick Gamboa, safety Evan Worthington, kicker James Stefanou and punter Alex Kinney on its third team. Receiver Juwann Winfree and lineman Tim Lynott are on the fourth team.

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