Colorado added three new players to the herd on Wednesday, including a highly recruited running back out of New Orleans.
CU kicked off the regular signing period by announcing the additions of running backs Ashaad Clayton and Jayle Stacks and safety Will Anglen.
The Buffs now have 25 players in their 2020 football recruiting class, including 22 that were added during the early signing period in December.
Clayton, from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, has a four-star rating from both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com. His .9284 rating on 247Sports is the highest in CU’s class and the second-highest rating by a CU signee in the last eight years; only lineman Jake Moretti, from the 2017 class, had a higher rating.
“We feel like he’s a difference-maker type of back,” CU head coach Mel Tucker said. “CU is a really good fit. Academics are important to him. Getting a degree from here he knows is going to mean something; it’s going to carry some weight. From a football standpoint, he knows he has an opportunity to play right away. We’re going to play the best players; we want to play multiple backs. That’s something that appealed to him.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Clayton had been verbally committed to CU since November, but recently took an official visit to Florida and was also considering Kansas. He had 17 offers and is considered one of the top 20 running backs in the country for the 2020 class. Clayton rushed for 2,264 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior, including 1,186 yards and 18 touchdowns in five playoff games for the Eagles.
“It doesn’t really matter to me where he is or who else is recruiting him,” Tucker said. “I don’t know what that says to other programs, but you’re not going to get those caliber of players if you don’t go after them. They’re not just going to drop in your lap. You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to recruit them. We have confidence in our program that we can sign players like Ashaad from places like Louisiana.”
Anglen, from Glenville High School in Cleveland, is projected to play safety for the Buffs, although Tucker said he has the versatility to play cornerback, as well. Anglen also played quarterback and returned punts and kickoffs for the Tarblooders, who went 7-4 and won the Senate Conference last fall.
Like Anglen, Tucker grew up in Cleveland and played quarterback and defensive back in high school before playing defense in college.
“He’s a way better player than I ever was, I can tell you that,” Tucker, who played at Wisconsin, said of Anglen.
Anglen has a three-star rating from 247Sports.com and Rivals.com and chose the Buffs over Cincinnati, taking his decision down to the wire. He had nine total offers, with CU being his lone Power 5 conference offer.
At Glenville, Anglen played for head coach Ted Ginn Sr., who has had a long relationship with Tucker. In 2004, Tucker recruited Ginn’s son, Ted Jr., a five-star receiver, to Ohio State from Glenville. Tucker recruited several other players out of Glenville, as well.
“I’ve had a lot of success in that school in the past,” Tucker said. “A lot of great football players come out there with Ted Ginn Sr., being the coach and I believe (Anglen) is going to be one of those types of guys.
“When you get a kid out of Glenville, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’re going to get guys that love football, that are tough, hard-nosed kids that are going to compete and that have high ceilings.”
Stacks, who helped Cherry Creek High School to the Class 5A state title last season, is joining CU as a blueshirt, meaning that he will delay enrollment until the fall semester and his scholarship will count ahead to the 2021 class.
As a senior at Cherry Creek, the 5-foot-11, 230-pound Stacks rushed for 1,155 yards and 15 touchdowns, while catching 14 passes for 196 yards and five touchdowns.
“We targeted him because we wanted a big back,” Tucker said. “We wanted a guy that can move the pile and get those tough yards and we want to be able to hammer people with the run game. He’s going to be one of the bigger backs in this conference. He’s a guy that we’re really excited about.”
Stacks joins Cherry Creek teammate Carson Lee in the Buffs’ 2020 class. Lee, an offensive lineman, signed with CU in December and enrolled last month.
With Lee and Stacks on board and three in-state players committed for 2021, the Buffs are making strides with in-state recruiting.
“In our state and outside of our state, it’s a prove-it deal,” Tucker said. “You have to show people over time what you’re capable of doing. I think people – players and coaches in our state – have been paying close attention to what we’re doing. I think we’re moving the needle with a lot of our in-state prospects, which is a good thing, because we’ve got to do a better job of keeping our best players here at home.”