With nine more signed letters of intent collected Wednesday, the Colorado football team put the finishing touches on Mel Tucker's first recruiting class.
"What a great class to start this new era off with," Tucker said two months to the day after he was introduced as the Buffaloes' head coach.
Those rankings aren't going to grab national headlines, but this is just the second time in the last seven years that CU has ranked top 50 nationally and this matches the program's best class, in terms of Pac-12 rankings, since joining the conference in 2011.
Not that Tucker is too worried about those rankings. This is a class mixed with highly-recruited prospects and under-the-radar players who barely got a look outside of CU, but they all have one thing in common: They were wanted by the Buffs.
"We have great coaches and great recruiters here that know how to evaluate talent," Tucker said. "From a philosophical standpoint, it's important not to worry about what other people are doing in recruiting. If we look at a player and we evaluate him and we watch his tape and do his background check and we feel he's a player for us, it doesn't matter who else is recruiting him and it doesn't matter how many stars he has.
"I coached 10 years in the NFL and the NFL is full of guys who were undrafted free agents or they were two stars, three stars coming out (of high school) and now they're playing in the NFL and making a living playing football. I'm not worried about how many stars guys have. When they get here, all those stars go away anyway."
While the recruiting rankings should get CU fans excited, Tucker was fueled by the prospect of coaching the newest additions.
CU signed 16 players in the early recruiting period in December, with Wednesday's signees completing the class. Overall, the 25-player class fills some needs that Tucker identified when taking the job two months ago.
Nearly half of the class is made up of linemen — six on defense and five on offense. That group averages 6-feet, 4-inches tall and 295 pounds.
"We're always going to have big guys in the trenches, on offense and defense," Tucker said. "We're never going to be short in that department. We needed to get bigger, we needed to gain depth, so that was a point of emphasis. All the guys we have signed are big men. Football is a game for big people; big, strong, physical guys and that's going to be how we're going to play football."
Tucker also addressed a need at linebacker, signing five, including three from the junior college ranks.
"We need to build some depth at this position," he said.
The group signed Wednesday also includes dynamic playmakers in receivers Tarik Luckett and La'Vontae Shenault and defensive backs D.J. Oats and Trustin Oliver. Tucker said any or all four could help the Buffs right away.
Of the 25 players in this class, 12 were originally recruited by former head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff and 13 were recruited to CU by Tucker and his staff.
"I'm proud of our coaches, proud of our recruiting department," Tucker said. "Our coaches, they are great Xs and Os guys, they're great scheme guys, but they're also great recruiters. You can't be on this staff if you're not committed to recruiting, because recruiting, at the end of the day, is the name of the game. We recruit all day every day."
Which is why Tucker, as he closed the book on the 2019 class, laughed at the suggestion that he can now relax.
"Relax? There's no way," he said. "I don't plan on relaxing at all until sometime maybe a year and a half from now. Maybe I'll be able to take a breather (then). There's too much to do and it's so competitive that you relax, you're going to get passed up."