Kaden Ludwick barely had time to exhale after his final classes in high school before making the trek to Boulder.
One of 19 newcomers joining the Colorado football team this summer, Ludwick’s last day of classes at Clackamas (Ore.) High School was on Thursday. On Saturday, he traveled to Colorado.
On Monday, he and the rest of the Buffaloes’ freshmen moved into their dorms at CU. He began summer workouts Tuesday while his Clackamas classmates went through graduation.
“A little bit,” Ludwick said when asked if he wanted to walk at graduation, “but I’m not really disappointed. I didn’t want to get on campus later. I didn’t want to be a day behind.”
Ludwick had waited long enough. A 6-foot-4, 240-pound outside linebacker, he committed to CU on June 16, 2021, and signed his letter of intent on Dec. 15. As he went through his final weeks of high school, Ludwick was eager to officially join the Buffs.
“I’m more than excited, I’ll just put it like that,” he said. “I’m ready to kind of go on my own a little bit and experience Boulder by myself and figure out what I’m trying to do.
“I do feel like I’m very ready for it, but I also think that no one’s ready. I feel like you’re gonna get there, and it’s gonna be a whole different shock. My dad went to college (playing football at Oregon State) and he kind of told me how it went. I definitely think I’m gonna get shocked, but I do think I’m ready personally. I’ve been grinding.”
Rated by 247Sports and ESPN as one of the top recruits in Oregon, Ludwick was a four-year varsity player at Clackamas. He played both outside linebacker and tight end.
Last 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. He helped Clackamas to a 9-2 record.
Since then, he’s been preparing for CU, skipping a lacrosse season to focus on training. Ludwick said he’s been lifting weights five days a week and running on weekends.
“I feel the best I’ve felt, even throughout high school,” he said. “The most athletic and flexible I’ve been.”
Like many of his incoming freshmen teammates, Ludwick was eager to get into CU’s summer program.
“I’m excited just for the meal plans and a lot of stuff because I’ve been kind of doing it on my own, but it’s definitely a lot easier when you have a lot of people that are trying to help you,” he said.
“Obviously I want to get bigger, faster, stronger, but I really want to keep working on my technique.”
Throughout the spring, head coach Karl Dorrell and his assistants often praised the performance of the edge players. Veterans such as Terrance Lang, Chance Main, Jamar Montgomery and Guy Thomas lead the group. Sophomore Alvin Williams and freshman Devin Grant have also shown their potential, along with freshman Zion Magalei. Sophomore Joshka Gustav (injured in spring) and incoming freshman Shakaun Bowser are also in the group.
“I like to have a competitive room,” Ludwick said. “Obviously, I want to go out and play, but I just want to pick up everything from the veteran guys that I haven’t learned yet and I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m excited. I think it’ll be good. (Defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Chris Wilson) told me that ‘You’ve gotta work for it,’ and I totally agree with him, but I’m up for a challenge.
“I’m just ready to get rolling.”