In the two weeks since Mel Tucker was officially announced as the head coach of the Colorado football team, he's been busy putting together a coaching staff, meeting players and administration, going through countless media obligations and trying to somewhat settle into the job.

As if that wasn't enough, perhaps the most important part of the last two weeks is the large chunk of time he's spent on recruiting.

The Buffaloes' first-year head coach hit the ground running and faces one of his biggest days on the job Wednesday, when the early national signing period begins.

While it's been a whirlwind of a recruiting cycle for the Buffs, it appears that Tucker and his (partial) staff have done a nice job in getting the 2019 class off to a good start.

"He did as well as he could have in just such a short period of time," said Adam Munsterteiger, who covers CU and recruiting for BuffStampede.com and 247Sports.com. "He basically had one full week on the road before the early signing period. He did a good job."

Under previous head coach Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov. 18 after nearly six full seasons on the job, the Buffs' 2019 class was ranked among the top five in the Pac-12, with 20 players committed.

"MacIntyre and his staff were putting together probably their best class in Boulder, on paper at least," Munsterteiger said.


Advertisement

In the month since MacIntyre was fired and many of the assistants were not retained, CU lost eight verbal commitments. That includes Palmer Ridge High School quarterback Ty Evans, who last week announced he would sign with North Carolina State instead of CU.

In addition to Evans, CU has had previous commits change pledges to UCLA and Wisconsin, while others have been sought after by numerous schools.

"Mel Tucker came into a tough situation, because after Mike MacIntyre was fired, their commitment list was under siege," Munsterteiger said. "On the one level, if you're a Colorado fan, you like that because that means your commits, for the most part, are sought after by other power conference programs."

With a coaching change, many recruits take a wait-and-see approach as teams hire a new coach.

It took more than two weeks for CU to officially announce Tucker as head coach, and it took more than a week after that for assistant coaching positions to be made public. Even now, the Buffs don't have a complete staff, with only seven of 10 assistants hired — and only five that have been officially announced by CU.

That's created challenges for Tucker in building his first recruiting class.

"Tucker came in and he's having to build his staff while trying to hang on to recruits, and it's hard to convince a recruit to stay on board if they don't know who their position coach is going to be," Munsterteiger said. "It was a tough situation Mel Tucker walked into."

Despite that, Tucker has already had success on the recruiting trail, especially in keeping Mark Perry, a four-star safety from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Perry announced on Twitter on Monday that he would be signing with the Buffs on Wednesday, adding that he would be "a leader in this class to help take Colorado football back to championship level where it should be."

Tucker and the Buffs hosted several players on official visits last weekend, and it appears that 12 players committed under MacIntyre are planning to still sign with the Buffs.

"I'm excited," said Eaglecrest High School offensive lineman Jake Wiley, who committed to CU in June. "(Tucker) is coming from a very good program (Georgia) and he knows what it's like to win multiple games and be in big bowl games and I'm excited that he can bring that winning mentality to Boulder."

In addition to the 12 pledges potentially being retained, Tucker and staff have added four players to the class in recent days.

CU got defensive tackle Austin Williams, from Tifton, Ga., to flip from Colorado State to the Buffs. Junior college defensive end Jeremiah Doss and guard Vaatofu Sauvao have committed to the Buffs, as well. Another addition is tight end Jalen Harris, a graduate transfer from Auburn.

Most of the players committed to CU are expected to sign Wednesday, rather than waiting for the later signing period in February.

"We heard (Tucker) has that closing ability as a recruiter and does a really good job in living rooms," Munsterteiger said. "He definitely showed some of that ability (in the past two weeks).

"It'll be interesting to see what he can do with a full staff and a full recruiting cycle. I would imagine they'll be able to have an uptick with recruiting (in future years) when he has the time to really build these relationships. It's really hard to do that in one week."

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

Colorado's 2019 class

A look at the players committed to Colorado for the 2019 football recruiting cycle:

High school players

RB Joshia Davis, Littleton, Colo. (Valor Christian)

WR Braedin Huffman-Dixon, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei)

OL Austin Johnson, Littleton, Colo. (Highlands Ranch)

WR Tarik Luckett, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (J Serra)

RB Jaren Mangham, Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)

CB Jaylen Martin, Comona, Calif. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

OLB Alec Pell, Englewood, Colo. (Cherry Creek)

S Mark Perry, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga)

DT Na'im Rodman, Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco)

OL Valentin Senn, Austria

OL Jake Wiley, Aurora, Colo. (Eaglecrest)

DT Austin Williams, Tifton, Ga. (Tift County)

Junior college transfers

ILB Jashua Allen, Riverside (Calif.) Community College

DE Jeremy Doss, Hinds (Miss.) Community College

OL Vaatofu Sauvao, Modesto (Calif.) Junior College

Graduate transfers

TE Jalen Harris, Auburn