Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Courtesy of University of Maryland Athletics
Sleep is not the top priority for Mike MacIntyre and his assistant coaches this week.
On the eve of Wednesday’s national signing day, the Colorado head football coach said the Buffaloes are doing all they can to put the finishes touches on what they believe is a very good recruiting class.
“Our staff and everybody is working as hard as they can,” MacIntyre said. “We’ll be talking to them tonight and I have a whole calling system where coaches call and have to check back in with me, and I’m talking with the kids. We’ll be in here 4:30 tomorrow morning waiting on faxes and waiting on e-mails. It never ends.”
MacIntyre spoke with Buffzone.com on Tuesday about a variety of topics, including recruiting.
As of Tuesday, CU had 15 players verbally committed, in addition to junior college receiver Kabion Ento, who has already signed. The Buffs were also reportedly in the mix for a few others, including four-star receiver Juwann Winfree from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
“Hopefully, a couple of these will finish off like we hope,” said MacIntyre, who is not allowed, per NCAA rules, to talk about specific recruits until they sign. “It’s always exciting, but some of them will come to fruition and some of them won’t.”
CU does not have a lot of scholarships to give but had several spots open up recently.
“That number is always a little fluid as you go through,” MacIntyre said. “We had four fifth-year seniors that went ahead and are graduating early. That surged our numbers a little bit more.”
MacIntyre declined to say which players have decided to graduate early.
The Buffs also plan to grayshirt a couple players in this class, meaning they won’t arrive until next January and therefore won’t count against CU’s 85-scholarship limit this coming season. MacIntyre especially likes to use a grayshirt for offensive linemen.
“You can really, really develop your linemen, so that when they finally get out there, they are 300-pound men and they’re close to 20 years old,” MacIntyre said. “That’s how you get good, I believe, in that area.”
With so much time being devoted to recruiting these days, as well as his father, George, passing away in early January, MacIntyre said he has not given much attention to the vacant assistant coaching position on his staff.
“I’m going to work on that after signing date,” MacIntyre said. “With my dad’s funeral and running right into (recruiting), there wasn’t any time to really do that correctly. I’ll have plenty of time after signing day. I’ll definitely have it in place before spring ball starts (March 4).”
The vacancy was created when special teams coordinator Toby Neinas resigned in December. MacIntyre, however, was noncommittal on what the new assistant will coach.
“I have a lot of people very interested and I’m going to try to figure out the best scenario for our program,” MacIntyre said. “I am looking for the best available guy that I feel like fits our program the best and the best scenario for our staff and for our program.”
Whoever MacIntyre hires will join co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson as new additions to the staff. So far, MacIntyre has been pleased with his new hires.
“Drew Wilson’s impact was immediate with our players on campus,” MacIntyre said. “He’s been in the weight room with them every day and working hard. I think they’ve been very responsive.
“Chev has been great. He’s brought a lot of energy to recruiting and he’s very passionate about the University of Colorado, which he exudes out of his pores. That’s been excellent for us in the recruiting area.”
Originally slated to start spring football this month, MacIntyre pushed it back to March to allow his new coaches more time to get themselves and players ready. MacIntyre said the later date will also allow “a few kids” to recover from injuries that would have prevented them from participating if spring ball was held early.
One player who won’t participate in the spring is senior quarterback Sefo Liufau. He suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot on Nov. 13 against USC, and while he hopes to return in the summer, MacIntyre said it’s too early to predict when Liufau returns.
“Any time you deal with a Lisfranc, you’re never sure exactly how long it’s going to take to come back,” he said. “I’ve dealt with six of them in my career as a head coach. Three of them were able to get back pretty much on time and three of them it kept lagging on. They all ended up being OK, but it’s an injury that’s very sensitive.”
While the Buffs have several things to get ironed out before the season begins in September, they got a major boost on Monday when they were able to use their new indoor practice facility for the first time.
“It was a special day,” he said. “The kids were exited, we were excited. Everybody was kind of pinching themselves. We had an excellent workout and a lot of energy.”
Energy that MacIntyre and his staff could use to get through signing day.
Brian Howell: email@example.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.