Andy Colwell / The Denver Post
Andy Colwell / THE DENVER POST
After putting together one of its best recruiting classes in several years last spring, the Colorado football program is working hard to complete what it hopes is another strong class.
The early signing period, which runs from Dec. 20-22, is rapidly approaching and the Buffs are hoping to have most of their class on board at that point. As of Friday, CU had 17 players verbally committed.
“I’ve got a lot of good feedback from our guys,” co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. “I feel like we have a really good class coming together and we have to finish it strong.
“I thought last year’s class was very impressive. We keep stacking good players on top of good players and keep upgrading your roster, good things are going to happen for us.”
The Buffs (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12), of course, didn’t have the type of season they wanted, but coaches are still optimistic that they’ll be able to keep most— if not all — of their current commits and continue momentum on the recruiting trail.
“I think that things are going good,” said defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, who, like others on the staff, has been busy making in-home visits the past couple of weeks. “We’re in on some really good players. We have a lot to sell here and guys are excited about the possibilities that they have here in the future.”
This weekend, the Buffs have 10 players on campus making official visits, including nine of their current commits. That group includes all three of the Buffs’ in-state commits, Valor Christian quarterback Blake Stenstrom, Cherry Creek athlete Dimitri Stanley and Highlands Ranch safety Ray Robinson.
Receiver Daniel Arias (Bothell, Wash.) and running backs Jarek Broussard (Dallas) and Deion Smith (Houston) are also in town this weekend.
The one player visiting who is not committed is guard Chris Murray, from Mater Dei (Calif.) High School. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Murray has a four-star rating from 247Sports.com and has 17 scholarship offers, including from nine Pac-12 schools.
Adding Murray would be huge for the Buffs, who recently lost a verbal commitment from tackle Walker Culver, from Chattanooga, Tenn. The Buffs currently have two offensive linemen committed, but would like to add at least one more.
Tackle Josh McMullen, from East Central (Miss.) Community College, could also join this class. He visited CU a week ago.
“You’d like to be close to three guys per year,” co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Klayton Adams said.
The Buffs will also bring in Casey Roddick, who grayshirted this year, and they had six true freshmen linemen on the roster this past season.
In addition to adding another offensive lineman, the Buffs want big guys on the other side of the ball.
“We have a priority on recruiting defensive line and I think we’re on some really good players right now,” Eliot said.
The Buffs do have one defensive lineman committed – end Tava Finau from Sacramento – and will also add grayshirt Jalen Sami in January. Sami, from Vista Ridge High School, is a 6-foot-6, 320-pound nose tackle that could get into the rotation immediately.
Aside from Finau and Sami, the Buffs could get help from the junior college level.
Defensive tackles Caleb Tremblay, from American River (Calif.) Community College and Mustafa Johnson, from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College are among the top targets, along with end Jordan Allen, from City College of San Francisco. Allen visited CU last weekend.
Between now and Dec. 20, the Buffs hope they can keep their current group on board, while adding muscle to the trenches.
“I think we’re going to close this thing out and put together a good class,” Eliot said.
Chris Schmaedeke: 303-473-1303, email@example.com