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OLB Kaden Ludwick excited for future with CU Buffs

Oregon recruit signed letter of intent with Colorado in December

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Outside linebacker Kaden Ludwick, from Clackamas, Ore., signed his letter of intent with the Colorado Buffaloes on Dec. 15, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Kaden Ludwick)

By the time Kaden Ludwick visited Boulder in November, he was already locked in on becoming a Colorado Buffalo.

Taking in the game-day atmosphere — including Ralphie running and a Buffs win against Washington — only made him more excited.

“It was amazing,” said Ludwick, who signed his letter of intent with CU last month. “Actually seeing Ralphie run, too, was definitely the most special thing, I’d say, for me. It was awesome and I know my parents loved it just as much, so it was definitely awesome.”

An outside linebacker from Clackamas, Ore., the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Ludwick was one of 21 players to sign letters of intent with the Buffs last month. Ludwick had verbally committed to CU in June, so making it official with his signature was a big moment.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “You kind of get a sense of relief. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

During the recruiting process, outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski visited Ludwick at his home in Oregon. He was eager to play for Michalowski, but CU recently decided to not bring him back to the staff. CU hasn’t announced who will coach outside linebackers, but it’s possible it will be defensive coordinator Chris Wilson.

Although he won’t get a chance to play for Michalowski, Ludwick is still excited about his decision to come to CU and play for the Buffs and head coach Karl Dorrell.

“He’s a very honest guy,” Ludwick said. “I haven’t spent a crazy amount of time with him, but the few times I’ve had to sit down and have dinner with him and whatnot, he’s a nice guy. He has a nice mannerism to him. He’s just a really cool dude and I’m sure I’ll get to know him a lot more as I’m playing for him.”

Rated by 247Sports and ESPN as one of the top recruits in Oregon, Ludwick was a four-year varsity player at Clackamas High School. He played both outside linebacker and tight end.

This past season, he was named first-team all-state and was the Mt. Hood Conference defensive player of the year. He was also named the 6A co-defensive player of the year by Prep Redzone. Ludwick helped Clackamas to a 9-2 record and said it was a relief playing the season while knowing he was committed to CU.

“I didn’t have to get on the phone all the time (with recruiters) anymore,” he said. “I knew where I wanted to go. I got a lot more time to just kind of focus on the season, rather than myself. I had more breathing room and more time to just enjoy my high school career.”

Ludwick is now excited to enjoy the last few months of high school before arriving in Boulder in the summer. From there, he said he’ll be ready to work.

CU is losing its top outside linebacker, Carson Wells, to the NFL Draft, but seniors Jamar Montgomery and Guy Thomas and fourth-year sophomore Joshka Gustav are slated to return. Redshirt freshmen Devin Grant and Zion Magalei will also be back and Ludwick is one of three true freshmen joining the mix, along with Shakaun  Bowser and Eoghan Kerry.

“It’ll be good competition,” Ludwick said. “I’m excited.”

During Dorrell’s first two seasons as head coach he has shown a willingness to play true freshmen if they are ready, and Ludwick hopes to put himself in a position to get on the field.

“When I’m ready, I’m ready,” he said. “When I get into the college weight room and get bigger, faster and stronger, I’ll be ready to do my thing.”

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