As far as the recruiting rankings are concerned, the Colorado Buffaloes didn’t impress anybody with their 2018 class.
Both sites had CU ranked 51st nationally.
Southern Cal had the Pac-12’s top class once again — the fifth straight year the Trojans have ranked No. 1. Rivals.com ranked USC at No. 3 nationally and 247Sports had it at No. 4.
The USC class is one that featured four five-star recruits and 13 four-star players, according to 247Sports. Rivals.com had USC with five five-stars and 13 four-stars.
Headlining USC’s class was Mater Dei (Calif.) High School receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who rated as the No. 3 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com. He’s rated No. 11 overall by 247Sports.
USC also landed one of the country’s top quarterbacks in JT Daniels of Mater Dei. He’s rated the No. 4 overall player by Rivals and No. 16 by 247Sports.
Aside from USC, the rest of the conference combined for zero five-star players.
Defending North champion Washington had the consensus No. 2 class in the conference, with Oregon at No. 3 and UCLA at No. 4. Both sites had Arizona State at No. 5 and Utah at No. 6.
The low rankings are nothing new to CU. From 2013-16, the Buffs had the lowest-rated class in the Pac-12 four years in a row by 247Sports. Last year, CU’s class ranked No. 8 in the Pac-12.
Although the Buffs didn’t rank high on the national lists, the rankings did not include CU’s additions of running back Travon McMillian — a transfer from Virginia Tech — and offensive lineman Kanan Ray.
A 2017 signee of UCLA, Ray grayshirted last year and chose to come to CU instead. Ray was a four-star prospect coming out of high school a year ago.
Seniors Terran Hasselbach, Michael Mathewes and Dylan Keeney will not be back with the Buffs this year.
Hasselbach and Mathewes, both outside linebackers, will graduate in May and have opted to end their playing careers at CU. Both saw time as reserves last year, with Hasselbach totaling 13 tackles in 217 snaps and Mathewes 10 tackles in 128 snaps.
Keeney, a tight end, is ending his career for medical reasons. He missed the entire 2017 season with a back injury. From 2015-16, he played in 24 games, catching seven passes for 79 yards.
CU also announced that several walk-ons from last year won’t return: quarterbacks Casey Marksberry and Tyler McGarry, receivers Xavier Cochrane and Cameron Frazier, tailback Riley Hillis, kicker Nick Porter and snapper Devin Noth.
In December, receivers Johnny Huntley and Lee Walker were granted their scholarship releases. Huntley has transferred to Liberty University.
CU now has 88 players projected to be on scholarship for the fall, three above the NCAA maximum.
CU head coach Mike MacIntyre has a record of bringing players back into the fold after they’ve been dismissed from the team, and having success with those players. Former Buffs such as Josh Tupou and Samson Kafovalu shined in second chances, and current player Evan Worthington is doing the same.
Outside linebacker Nu’umoto Falo is the latest, coming back last month after being dismissed last summer.
“I’ve seen a young man that realizes his opportunities, realizes his responsibility to his family, to himself,” MacIntyre said. “I’m seeing a new brightness in his eyes. I see that and I’m excited what Nu’umoto brings to the table.”
Falo has played inside and outside linebacker in the past at CU, but will remain on the outside this time around.
“He doesn’t react as well (at inside backer), but when he sees it from the edge and can run it and seek it down and do that … I really believe he’ll make a jump in his pass-rushing ability,” MacIntyre said.
MacIntyre said he’s excited about the addition of Cherry Creek High School safety Dustin Johnson as a preferred walk-on. … CU will open spring practices on Feb. 23. The spring showcase is set for 1 p.m. on March 17 at Folsom Field. … Players are scheduled to report for fall camp on Aug. 2, with the first day of fall camp on Aug. 3.