NCF On The Trail: Colorado Buffaloes

Another wild week in Pac-12 

December, 19, 2014
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The Pac-12 and the West region are capable of producing some wild weeks during the lead-up to signing day, with so many prospects in the area waiting until that day to make their commitment and rivals going after so many of the same prospects.

Top sleeper recruits: Pac-12 

December, 18, 2014
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Five-star and ESPN 300 prospects create the most buzz, but with more than a hundred FBS programs competing for talent, it takes more than just those top-rated prospects to have success. Rosters are built largely with prospects who enter college with little fanfare, but their development and contributions are key. Every year we see prospects who flew under the radar but developed into some of their conference's top players.

Throughout our evaluations, we come across many players who show promise and are great additions based on their upside for development and/or scheme fit.

Here are five commitments in the Pac-12 that we believe are unheralded, but great additions worth keeping an eye on.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

December, 14, 2014
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The final weekend before the month-long dead period saw a number of official visitors on Pac-12 campuses. Here is a look at those trips through the eyes of the recruits on social media.

Hollywood in Westwood

UCLA hosted ESPN 300 prospect Malik Jefferson and four-star athlete DeAndre McNeal from Texas, and the Lone Star State prospects were introduced to life in Los Angeles via an encounter with actress Kerry Washington. While McNeal tweeted about the meeting, Jefferson, the nation's No. 35 recruit, snapped a picture of his mother meeting the actress.
The visitors to UCLA were also treated to a basketball game at Pauley Pavilion, from where McNeal delivered this tweet. The Bruins have made their presence felt in Texas the past few years and grabbing commitments from these two would send a significant message about head coach Jim Mora's recruiting momentum.

UCLA also hosted wide receiver commit L.J. Reed on his official visit. Cal's big weekend

From the looks of the photo tweeted by Cal quarterback Ross Bowers, the Golden Bears hosted at least nine official visitors this weekend. The Golden Bears have 15 commitments with room for several more. Bowers was joined on the trip by juco defensive end and Washington State commit DeVante Wilson, Duke commit and dual-threat quarterback DePriest Turner and tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe, among others. Utes host local linebacker

It's a big year for talent in Utah and the Utes look like they'll miss out on the three big ESPN 300 prospect in state -- Andre James, Osa Masina and Porter Gustin. After losing a commitment from four-star offensive tackle Branden Bowen, it'll be important for Utah to land several in-state prospects, as they have just one commitment from any of the top-10 prospects in Utah.

This past weekend, the Utes hosted linebacker Christian Folau -- a former Stanford commit -- and are among the top three programs for him. Trojans chasing Ross

USC gained a significant commitment from ESPN 300 tight end Tyler Petite on Friday, then hosted a trio of recruits over the weekend, including ESPN 300 athlete Ykili Ross. Capable of playing cornerback or safety, Ross looks to be a primary target for USC head coach Steve Sarkisian down the stretch. The Trojans also brought in athletic director Pat Haden during the trip. Buffs bring in commits

After an impressive showing last weekend that eventually netted two commitments, Colorado posted another big weekend, with a number of verbal commitments making the trip. ESPN 300 lineman Timmy Lynott is the most important commitment in Colorado's class, and was on hand. The Buffs also received an official visit from four-star running back Donald Gordon, who appeared to very much enjoy the trip.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

December, 12, 2014
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It's the last opportunity for college coaches to host official visitors before the month-long dead period begins Monday, and Pac-12 campuses will be full of top prospects this weekend. Virtually every Pac-12 program is hosting an important weekend, with ESPN 300 prospects scheduled to visit at least four schools in the conference.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

December, 7, 2014
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While Arizona and Oregon spent last week focused on battling for the Pac-12 title, several other conference teams were preparing to host significant recruiting weekends. Colorado, USC, Washington and Washington State all had a number of official visitors on hand, as the recruiting season ramped up another notch following the conclusion of the regular season. Here is a look at those visit weekends through the eyes of recruits on social media.

Buffs' weekend stampede

Colorado coaches made a dedicated push to bring in a number of uncommitted visitors -- along with a couple committed prospects -- in what turned out to be their biggest recruiting weekend of the year thus far. Buff commits Lausii Sewell and T.J. Fehoko were in attendance and looked to help the coaches make headway with ESPN 300 defensive end Mika Tafua, along with junior college prospect Afolabi Laguda and linebacker Gabe Sewell.

It's never easy to make a recruiting trip all the way out from Hawaii, and Tafua -- along with Utah commit Tuli Wily-Matagi -- definitely took a red-eye out to visit Colorado.
For several other commitments, donning the jerseys and checking out the locker room proved to be a high point. Cougars stock up on juco defenders

Washington State landed commitments from four junior college teammates this weekend. It started with cornerback Treshon Broughton, who flipped his commitment from Oregon State. The Cougars then hosted DeVante Wilson, Jonah Moi and Jeremiah Mitchell on official visits and landed commitments from all three. The Cougars also had defensive end Mufi Hunt on campus for an official visit. Hunt has offers or interest from a number of Pac-12 programs, but his connection to several members of the Washington State staff is strong. Huskies host prospects

Across the state, Washington played host to several official visitors as well. Two-way standout Octavius Spencer has seen his recruitment take off following his senior season, as Cal, Oregon, UCLA and Washington have now all offered. This past weekend, Spencer took his official visit to see the Huskies. Also at Washington this past weekend was a very interesting visitor, in ESPN 300 running back Austin Joyner. The standout running back and cornerback initially committed to the previous staff of the Huskies, but eventually pulled back when Steve Sarkisian and company left for USC. Joyner then made a commitment to Washington State, but took that back when two Cougars defensive coaches were let go. The visit to Washington this past weekend will be followed by a trip to Boise State this coming weekend. While the Cougars are still in the mix for Joyner, this recruitment could get interesting, with several programs looking to land an ESPN 300 prospect who could play on either side of the ball. Big weekend for Trojans

USC didn't receive official visits from ESPN 300 prospects Christian Kirk or Porter Gustin, which had been planned, but the Trojans did get six official visitors on campus this past weekend -- four of them from uncommitted prospects.

The farthest traveler was ESPN 300 athlete Terry Godwin, the nation's No. 38 prospect, who shared this photo from inside the Coliseum. Also on hand was the nation's No. 24 juco prospect, wide receiver Isaac Whitney, who has USC among his final choices and will announce his decision on Dec. 18.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

December, 5, 2014
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The regular season might be over, but that just means the recruiting season will be heating up, and the Pac-12 will host at least two significant weekends. Also, the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect is scheduled to be on a Pac-12 campus this weekend

Colorado


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UA jersey tour: Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

November, 20, 2014
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The Under Armour All-America Game jersey presentation tour hit the Aloha State for the third day in a row, as ESPN 300 offensive guard Fred Ulu-Perry Jr. was awarded his jersey in front of friends and family in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

Ulu-Perry Jr. joins good friends and fellow ESPN 300 prospects Canton Kaumatule and Breiden Fehoko as participants in the game and players to have been honored this week.

"It was great," Ulu-Perry Jr. said of the presentation. "It was great to have all my family here and all my brothers from St. Louis [School]. It was pretty cool and something I'll always remember."

The 6-foot-3, 307-pound Ulu-Perry Jr., the nation's No. 4 guard, committed to UCLA over the summer, but his recruitment rolls on. He will use all five of his official visits and has already gone to UCLA and Texas Tech. He'll visit Oregon State for the Civil War on Nov. 29 and will visit Colorado and Texas A&M in January.

"When I go on trips, I want to take everything," Ulu-Perry Jr. said. "It's supposed to be fun, but it's a business trip. I'm really evaluating the coaches, players the area and how the program is run."

Ulu-Perry Jr. said he'll ultimately have a final decision in late January or early February, whether to stick with his UCLA commitment or flip elsewhere.



Six questions with Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

"There are so many people I would take. Definitely Canton and Breiden. I would take Kanawai Noa from Punahou and Salanoa-alo Wily from Kahuku. There are too many."

What was your earliest football memory?

"I started playing football in sixth grade. I remember I was just a young kid running around trying to learn the game. I got the hang of it my first year and from there it's been fun. My goal from the start was to dominate everyone."

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

"I really look up to Olin Kreutz and Samson Satele. Those were the best centers out here and Kreutz is probably going to the Hall of Fame."

If you could take on any pro in their sport, who would it be?

"I'd want to take on Haloti Ngata. He's probably the nastiest defensive tackle I've seen."

Why do you wear your number?

"I wear No. 64 because my favorite car is a 1964 Impala."

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

"I'm a pretty basic person. I just love working hard, dedicating myself to the lord, my family, school and football. I think everybody pretty much knows everything about me."

Pac-12 South recruiting roundup 

October, 16, 2014
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At the halfway point of college football's regular season, there is still plenty to be decided both on the field and on the recruiting trail. The Pac-12 placed six programs among the top 40 recruiting classes in Wednesday's updated class rankings Insider and conference recruiting classes contain as many as 24 -- Arizona -- and as few as nine -- Stanford -- commitments. This update offers a look at where each Pac-12 South program stands with its 2015 recruiting class, including its top prospect and position of strength, as well as a look at where things are going well for each class.

Arizona

Total number of commitments: 24

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Help is on the way: Pac-12 

October, 8, 2014
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Through six weeks of the 2014 season, every program has flashed at least one weakness or one position where depth is needed in a hurry. While the incoming batch of 2015 recruits won't help the prospects of the 2014 team, some will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact the following year, as they'll provide depth -- or perhaps jump into starting roles -- at positions of need. Here is a look through the Pac-12 at the biggest areas of need for each program, and the 2015 recruits on the way to provide help.


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With Alabama coming to town, Ole Miss coaches plan to make the most of the weekend by hosting official visitors. Plus, will Florida State be able to lure away two highly ranked corners that have previously committed to LSU and Alabama?

1. Coaches have different mindsets about the importance of hosting official visitors during a game weekend. Some coaches hate it because you’re not able to give prospects and their family your undivided attention. But there are others like Maurice Harris, Ole Miss' tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for offense, that think official visits on game weekends are a tremendous recruiting tool. "You want them to see actual game-day atmosphere, whether it's in the stadium or whether it's in The Grove," Harris said. "Also, too, you want them to see you coaching your players on game day as well. You want them to see you coaching during the good times and coaching during the bad times. That helps a lot of recruits judge if that's something they want to be around. It’s a great opportunity for them to evaluate us." For the record, the Rebels will host five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson and ESPN 300 receiver Ryan Newsome on official visits this weekend for the Rebels' Saturday matchup against No. 3 Alabama.

2. Speaking official visits on game weekends, Florida State plays host to two of the nation’s top cornerbacks this weekend when No. 5-ranked Kevin Toliver II and No. 27-ranked Minkah Fitzpatrick visit for the Noles’ game against Wake Forest. Toliver, a five-star recruit and the No. 1 cornerback in the country, has been a longtime LSU commitment, but he is still taking all five of his official visits. He’s already tripped to Ohio State and Virginia Tech, and will check out LSU and UCLA in November. Fitzpatrick is the fourth-best cornerback in the country and has been pledged to Alabama for quite some time. With all of Florida State’s success at cornerback over the years, don’t be surprised if either player comes back from Tallahassee talking big about the Noles.

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3. To win in the Pac 12, you have to have a talented running back, and that has been something that has been sorely lacking at Colorado for years now. However, the Buffs landed a big recruiting victory Tuesday night when four-star running back Donald Gordon picked CU. Gordon fills a big need for Buffs, especially when you consider CU hasn’t taken a true running back at the position in the 2014 and 2015 classes.

Social Studies
With Wyoming off this weekend, the Cowboys’ coaches are hitting the recruiting trail. This was a neat way to help visualize where the Wyoming coaches will be.

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Boy, have times have changed in the recruiting world. Thanks to YouTube, fans are now able to see a Colorado State recruiting video from 1977. The first thing the Rams sell in the video is the beautiful scenery in Colorado and the tape job after you’re hurt. Now we’ve got schools Photoshopping recruits into pictures with Beyonc.

ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Trayvon Mullen picked up another impressive offer on Thursday. This time the nation’s top junior cornerback added an offer from Oklahoma. The Sooners join the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and around 15 other schools.

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Best of the visits: Pac-12

September, 21, 2014
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Despite no Pac-12 game being held in California this weekend, the conference saw a number of important visitors, as Oregon State, Washington and Washington State were just three of the conference programs to host impact recruits.

2016 QB in Boulder

Colorado received an unofficial visit from 2016 quarterback Kevin Davidson over the weekend. While the 2015 California quarterback crop is almost comically loaded, the 2016 group has some talent as well. While Davidson doesn't yet hold an offer, it should only be a matter of time for the strong-armed 6-foot-4, 222-pound signal-caller. Chico checks in with Huskies

Few recruits deserved a day off more than four-star running back Chico McClatcher on Saturday, just a day after rushing for five first-half touchdowns and game totals of 14 carries for 286 yards. But McClatcher took advantage of Washington's home game to make the trip to see the Huskies. Washington has commitments from the Nos. 5 and 6 players in the state, but keeping McClacher, the state's No. 3 prospect, at home would be a significant win over a number of Pac-12 programs for head coach Chris Petersen. Getting McClatcher on campus at any time this season is a big win. Dawg Pounds

Washington had a nice group of official visitors in town this weekend, as uncommitted defenders Quinten Pounds and D.J. Beavers joined running back Cameron Scarlett. While Scarlett is a top tailback target for a number of Pac-12 programs, Pounds holds Pac-12 offers from Cal, Colorado, Utah and Washington State, in addition to the Huskies. Commit sees "Hill Mary"

They're calling it the Hill Mary -- Arizona's last gasp touchdown pass from Anu Solomon to Austin Hill in the Wildcats' come from behind, 49-45 win over Cal. At least one recruit was on hand to see it, as defensive tackle Finton Connolly stayed through the end of the game and snapped a shot of himself during the aftermath. Recruits see impressive showing from Cougars

Washington State hosted a number of official visitors, including cornerbacks Cameron Haney and Darreyl Patterson, along with offensive linemen Noah Myers and Darrin Paulo. The Cougars nearly pulled off the upset of the young season, as they battled Oregon to the final whistle. Haney, who holds other Pac-12 offers from Arizona State and Washington, showed his perspective of the game.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

September, 16, 2014
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The early weeks of the high school and college football seasons slow things down a bit when it comes to Pac-12 recruiting. Only a handful of official visitors made their way to Pac-12 campuses, while a junior college commitment to Arizona was the first addition to the conference in nearly two weeks. But there were still interesting developments at a number of conference schools as Stanford hosted a huge visitor, UCLA made an important statement, and Colorado looked ahead to the 2016 class.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

September, 14, 2014
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A fairly uninteresting slate of games provided for some notable outcomes and entertaining storylines for Pac-12 official and unofficial visitors this weekend. Despite a somewhat sluggish start and less than capacity crowd, Stanford put up a big win in front of some important visitors, while Colorado hosted a few in-state commitments and UCLA overcame adversity in front of some notable out-of-state targets.

Stack in the house at Stanford

The Cardinal had two ESPN 300 visitors in attendance in 2015 defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and 2016 defensive tackle Garrett Rand, but there was a famous father who took in the game as well: former NBA star Jerry Stackhouse and his son, Jaye Stackhouse, a 2015 cornerback from Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett, watched Stanford shut out Army. While Stackhouse doesn't hold an offer from the Cardinal, it's not surprising to see Stanford recruiting a player from Georgia, a state the program has found plenty success in over the past few years.

Big names, frames at Stanford

Speaking of Wilkins and Rand, the two standouts were joined by another fellow big man, ESPN 300 offensive lineman Nick Wilson, a Stanford commit who made an unofficial visit across the country this weekend. Wilson undoubtedly took his turn as recruiting coordinator while watching the game with the uncommitted defensive linemen.

Big lineman takes in Buffs game

Colorado held up well in a 14-point loss to Arizona State, and the Buffs took advantage of their first home game of the season by hosting top committed recruit and ESPN 300 offensive guard Tim Lynott on an unofficial visit. Lynott is the No. 2 player in the state, so getting him on campus often this season and keeping him engaged in the program will be a priority for Colorado.

Movin' on up

UCLA had an opportunity to impress a number of Texas recruits during its trip to Arlington to take on the Longhorns. The Bruins have done very well recruiting the state and already have two commitments from Lone Star State players in 2015. But head coach Jim Mora and staff have their sights set on pulling several more commitments from the region, including ESPN 300 linebacker Malik Jefferson, who has already said he will use one of his official visits on the Bruins. Luckily for UCLA, Jefferson had a great view of the Bruins' comeback win.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

September, 12, 2014
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It's a slow weekend in the Pac-12, as the conference doesn't host any real nonconference games of note. But the conference does have plans to host a significant uncommitted ESPN 300 recruit and has a team involved in one of the most intriguing non-conference games of the weekend, which could lead to significant gains on the recruiting trail.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news from across the country. Today's offerings: UCLA quarterback commitment Josh Rosen is off to a strong start in Week 1, showcasing why he will be a valuable recruiting tool for the Bruins this season. Plus, most of the Pac-12 attention has been on UCLA, USC and Oregon, but don't forget about the quality classes at UofA and ASU, and we continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.


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