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Friday, March 28, 2014
Early Offer: In-state targets key for CU

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Colorado has struggled on the field and in recruiting since its transition to the Pac-12, but this season is going to be key for the Buffs to turn things around with local prospects. And don’t be surprised if there’s some major news out of Texas A&M this weekend with the Aggies hosting their Friday Night Lights practice.

MacIntyre has to win locally
Mike MacIntyre inherited a situation with high school coaches in Colorado that one opposing Pac-12 assistant coach described as “toxic.” Another Big 12 assistant agreed. “Colorado has been wide open the past five years because of the Buffs' lack of success,” the coach said. “We knew we could go in there and basically get anybody we want.” MacIntyre has worked diligently to change that perception with his Four F's -- foundation, family, future and football -- and the Buffs saw some success in 2013 finishing with a 4-8 record after winning only four games total in the previous two seasons. CU still struggled, however, finishing No. 71 overall in the 2014 class rankings. 2015 is going to be a key recruiting year for MacIntyre. The Buffs only have one early commitment and unfortunately the top two players in the state -- ESPN 300 prospects Eric Lee and Avery Anderson -- have committed to former Big 12 rival Nebraska. But there is hope. The Buffs are in good shape with highly-recruited in-state offensive tackle Tim Lynott, who also has offers from Oregon, Arizona State, Colorado State, Kansas State and others. And all eyes are on Austin Conway, a two-sport star, who has football offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska and Kansas State and basketball offers from Indiana, Wyoming and Montana State. He’s been to CU “five or six times” and the Buffs are putting on the full-court press. If they can get Lynott and Conway, it would go a long way toward erasing the questions locals have about the Buffaloes.

Aggies expect big crowd
Texas A&M hosts its Friday Night Lights practice on Friday, which means a number of star recruits will flock to College Station, Texas, to visit with the Aggies and coach Kevin Sumlin. Last year the practice featured a DJ, video presentations and star-studded group of prospects, and it is expected again to draw a who’s who of Lone Star State prospects. A few recruits to keep an eye on: cornerbacks Roney Elam and Jaylon Lane, linebackers Landis Durham and Jaylen Waters, offensive lineman Joshua Jones and safety Prentice McKinney Jr. There’s also a chance that highly-regarded receiver DaMarkus Lodge will make it to town, and many believe the Aggies are battling Baylor for his commitment. Don’t be surprised if a few new names pop up and the Aggies decide to extend offers to some 2016 and 2017 prospects at the practice. Sumlin is a master at perfect timing, and Friday Night Lights has turned into another marquee event he uses to draw prospects in.