Put down the credit card and let’s take a look at how things may shake out following last weeks recruiting “dead” period. It's crunch time for college football recruiting, and the next two weeks will see a number of official visits as high school playoffs wind down.
There is not a certain number of how many scholarships CSU will have to offer. Right now CSU has 17 open (known) scholarships, but my guess is that at least four will open up from transfers, injury, etc. (could be more, although we may not know for another two months). That gives us 20 scholarships plus greyshirts. We have 14 commitments, but I will add one opening for a possible non-qualifier among commitments. I will list out 8 possible commitments, plus a few possible greyshirts. This is of course all speculation since a lot can happen over the next two months.
Top players who are still considering CSU
I will use the term “considering” loosely since I think some of our top targets who have visited, or are considering visiting, will probably not be giving CSU a strong look after another lack-luster season.
Mo Latu, C/NT, Gilbert, Arizona – Mo is the younger brother of Ram Nuku Latu, but at about 310lbs is not exactly a “little” brother. Latu has already visited CSU and Arizona State. He has a number of offers and may be leaning towards Oregon.
Trenier Orr, CB/WR, Oviedo, Florida – Orr was a high school teammate of Ram Nordly Capi. Orr was offered as a cornerback, but had a solid year as a receiver displaying good hands and speed. His preference is to play receiver. Orr has said he would like to set a visit up with CSU in December, but he also has an offer from Illinois and they look to be his favorite.
LaQuentin Smith, LB, Orlando, Florida – Smith is another in a long line of talented Dr. Phillips High School prospects. CSU has former Dr. Phillips players Nico Ranieri and Charles Favors on the roster, and CSU assistant Pat Meyer has basically set-up a second home in the Dr. Phillips gym. Smith is a 4-star recruit with offers from Arkansas and South Carolina (among others). Smith hasn’t ruled CSU out, but it would be a Festivus miracle for him to sign with CSU.
Brandon Wright, RB/Ath, Las Vegas, Nevada- Wright is a bit undersized for running back, but very fast. Wright could play running back, corner, or receiver at the next level. Wright may visit CSU, but is also sporting offers from a number of Pac-12 teams.
Eddie Yarbrough, DE/LB, Aurora, Colorado – Yarbrough is the nephew of former Ram great Ray Jackson which gives us a shot. Yarbrough is an all-stater for Grandview, and posts offers from CU and Arizona State.
Daniel Davis, LB, Norman, Oklahoma – Davis was committed to Stanford, but had his offered pulled in what he was told was a change in defensive philosophy by the Cardinal coaching staff. CSU has jumped in the fray along with a number of other schools to get Davis.
Chris Gallon, WR, Orlando, Florida – Gallon transferred to Dr. Phillips this off-season, and helped them to a #1 ranking in Florida this year. Gallon was suspended from the last Dr. Phillips playoff game due to a hazing incident, although that should not affect his recruitment to any great extent. Gallon has been holding out for an offer from Michigan.
Mike Thomas, WR, Woodland Hills, California – Thomas is the nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, and has received an offer from Johnson’s college coach, Mike Reilly at Oregon State. Thomas has visited OSU, and is also waiting on Washington State to schedule a visit.
Who are the potential commitments to fill out the 2011 class for CSU:
1) Jaleel Awini, QB, Aurora, Colorado - Awini is a fast rising prospect. The Rangeview QB has decent size, arm strength, and can run. He would probably be best served in a spread offense, but sounds like SF will give him a shot at QB if he comes to CSU, but he could be an effective receiver at the college level too. Air Force offered last week.
2) Paul (PJ) Dawson, S/WR, Dallas, Texas – Dawson comes from the Skyline High School talent factory that produced current Ram Tony Drake. Dawson played linebacker as a junior, and receiver as a senior. He may be too small to play linebacker in college, but could play safety or receiver if that is where he could help the most.
3) James Boone, WR, St. Cloud, Florida – Boone signed with CSU last February, but had a problem with one of his classes getting approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Boone had to take a math class at a junior college back in Florida this semester, but should be free to come back to CSU for the spring.
4) Drew Reilly, S/LB, Valley Center, California – Reilly signed with CSU two years ago, but left for a LDS church mission before enrolling at CSU. Reilly is scheduled to enroll at CSU for the spring semester.
5) Ryan Comer, S, Cedar Hills, Utah – Comer is a safety for Snow College, which always seems to send a number of players on to Utah and Brigham Young. Comer has the eyes of CSU coaches and could enroll for spring to help the Ram defense.
6) Cordarius Golston, LB, Lancaster, Texas. Golston played at Kilgore Junior College this past season after spending a redshirt season at Arizona. CSU recruited Golston out of high school, and have given him an offer to come to CSU for next season. Golston would have three years of eligibility left. CSU may have to hold off Louisville and several other C-USA teams for Golston.
7) Eddie Yarbrough – Ray Jackson and Larry Kerr will have to do their best possible sales job to get Yarbrough into the fold, but it may happen.
8) Mike Menefield, WR, Big Spring, Texas – West Texas standout has CSU coaches attention. There may be other more highly touted receivers out there, but Menefield could become a gem if he signs with CSU.
Who might surprise and commit? These players could commit and push some of the other recruits out of the picture.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, S, Del Rio, Texas – Pierre-Louis has taken official visits to Colorado and CSU. He may wait to see who becomes the next coach at CU before making a decision.
David Whitmore, CB, Port Arthur, Texas – Whitmore is a tall corner who signed with Nebraska out of high school, but ended up enrolling at Iowa Western due to academics. He was on the CSU radar out of high school, and has an offer from CSU on the table now. Whitmore has taken official visits to Wyoming and Ohio in addition to interest from several other programs.
Darius Johnson, OT, Orlando, Florida – The Dr. Phillips star offensive lineman committed to CSU in the summer, but offers from Washington State and Marshall made him reconsider. Who knows where he might ultimately sign at this point.
Javante Berry, LB, Mount Dora, Florida – Berry is in the small yet fast mold of linebackers. He is waiting for offers from some smaller FBS schools in Florida to offer as the idea of playing in Colorado fall weather conditions is tough for some Florida prospects to swallow.
Terry Johnson, LB, Clearwater, Florida – At 5’11” Johnson is similar in make up to Berry, which has caused some FBS schools to take a wait and see on the Countryside High School linebacker. Johnson had a good season as a running back as well.
Aaron Almond, DB, Pomona, California – Almond has played running back and safety, but has the speed to translate to corner, especially for a cover-2 type defensive scheme like what CSU runs. Almond was holding out for an Oregon offer, which has not come yet.
Marquise Hood, LB, Orlando, Florida – Hood signed with CSU last February, but academic requirements led him to Grand Rapids Community College. It is possible Hood is could come back to CSU, but he is free to enroll anywhere he chooses.
Greyshirt candidates may not know for sure they will greyshirt as a lot can happen between February and August. Some players who have been offered may be given a wait and see approach from the CSU coaching staff. This is an approach Fairchild and staff seem to favor to sign a larger class.
If you have a tip to share about prospective CSU recruits, feel free to shoot me an email at: email@example.com
Josh Scarlett, DE, Wylie, Texas – Scarlett is a bit undersized at 6’2”, and plays similar to current Ram CJ James. Scarlett’s only offer so far is from CSU.
Phillip Rhodes, RB/S, Mesa, Colorado – Rhodes is in the Derek Good mold, and despite being a hard nosed running back, a switch to safety may be his ticket at the next level.
Tyler Higbee, WR/TE, Tarpon Springs, Florida – Higbee at 6’5”/200lbs is likely going to move to more of a tight-end/h-back type in college. He has the same frame as former Ram Kory Sperry so adding weight shouldn’t be a problem. Higbee’s speed isn’t where most FBS schools would want for receiver, but Higbee impressed coaches enough at the CSU summer camp to get an offer. Western Kentucky recently has offered Higbee, which may make if difficult to talk Higbee into a greyshirt even though time to add weight may prove beneficial for Higbee.
Matt McCrary, LB, Orlando, Florida – The Timber Creek High School product showed up for CSU summer camp at about 225lbs and still rattled off a 4.52 forty-yard dash. McCrary for some reason has not been offered, but makes an inviting greyshirt candidate as a middle linebacker.