Less than three weeks ago, Legend High School's Trustin Oliver was working out and waiting for a great opportunity to come along.

Colorado head coach Mel Tucker watched Oliver's high school film and decided that opportunity needed to come in Boulder.

"There's always talented guys that come on the radar late in recruiting," Tucker said Wednesday on national signing day. "There's nothing on his film that says he shouldn't be recruited. We feel we got an outstanding player."

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Oliver starred at receiver, defensive back and as a returner at Legend, but the Buffs will put him on defense initially.

"Trustin is a unique athlete," Tucker said. "He, in my opinion, could be an NFL receiver. He could also be an NFL safety."

Oliver was one of three skill players highlighted by Tucker for their ability to play on both sides of the ball, including receiver Tarik Luckett and cornerback D.J. Oats.

For now, Tucker said, Oliver and Oats will be on defense while Luckett will play offense, but he added, "If they can help us on the other side of the ball, we'll do that."

2020 focus for QB

For the first time since 1997, CU's recruiting class did not include a quarterback.

The Buffs had Palmer Ridge star Ty Evans committed for several months before he flipped to North Carolina State in December. By then, the top quarterbacks were all committed, so the Buffs will look to fill that need next year.


"We have good quarterbacks on our roster now; guys that can play," Tucker said. "We will be in the market for a quarterback in the 2020 class."

Team bonding

Since Tucker was hired two months ago, he and his staff have spent most of their time on the road, which hasn't left much time to spend with the current players.

Now that signing day is in the review mirror, Tucker said he and his staff will get an opportunity to focus more on the current team.

"This is a great time right now because we're off the road," he said. "All the coaches are in the building, so we'll be able to attend the workouts, have more meetings with them, more team building activities with them. We'll get to know our guys and get ready for spring ball.

"That's one of the things I enjoy most about football is you're part of a team and it's a pretty big team. I really enjoy spending time with the players, spending time with the coaches, getting to know the guys. This is a great time of the year."

Selling CU

On the recruiting trail, Tucker would often hear from high school coaches who remember CU's glory days in the early 1990s.

It's been a while since the Buffs were a national power, but Tucker said selling CU really isn't much different from selling a recruit on current national power Georgia, where he spent the past three years.

"The prospects now, they're always looking for what's right now, what's more recent," Tucker said. "It's the Twitter age. It's really not about what you did a year ago, it's really about what you're doing right now and what they think you're going to do in the future. The players don't even care what you did two years ago; they really don't. They really want to know what you can do for them today."


Asked how many players from the newest class might play right away, Tucker said, "Everyone has a clean slate. We're going to play the best players and we're going to compete every day to earn that playing time." ... Defensive lineman Jaunta'vius Johnson, a graduate transfer from Auburn, is no longer enrolled at CU. He was briefly enrolled last month. ... CU is currently at 91 scholarship players, which is six above the NCAA maximum. As usual, though, attrition or other factors will help the Buffs get down to the 85 mark by fall camp. ... After signing seven junior college transfers last year, CU signed six more than this year. Prior to 2018, CU hadn't signed more than five JUCO transfers in a single class since 1984. ... Spring practices are scheduled to start March 18, with the spring game on April 27.

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