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2008 Colorado Signing Day Central

Continue to check back here to see the latest news from the Colorado football office regarding the 2008 Buffaloes.

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Buff fans who do not yet have season tickets, now is a great time to join Your Team!  Call the CU Ticket Office at 303-49-BUFFS weekdays between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or click here to get your name added to the waitlist now. 

7:01 a.m. - The football office is up and running. There have already been four National Letters of Intent faxed in. Stay tuned to CUBuffs.com for updates on these student-athletes, as we will confirm the names once they have been verified!

7:35 a.m. - And the first LIO is from...Rodney Stewart, a tailback/kick returner from Westerville, Ohio! The other confirmed signees are: LB Jon Major, Paker, Colo. (Ponderosa); TE Will Pericak, Boulder, Colo. (Boulder); WR Chance Blackmon, Tatum, Texas (Tatum); DB Steven Hicks, Tyler, Texas (Whitehouse); TE Ryan Wallace, Bowling Green, Ky. (Bowling Green); and DB/LB Paul Vigo, New Brunswick, N.J. (New Brunswick). 

7:47 a.m. - A couple more LOIs have come in. The football staff has started queuing the Fight Song when the fax machine rings. "That's what I'm talkin' about!" Hawk just said.

7:58 a.m. - OT Bryce Givens, Castle Rock, Colo. (Mullen) is the latest signee!

8:15 a.m. - Strike the band! Another LOI just came in.

8:23 a.m. - Two more confirmations: DL Curtis Cunningham, Littleton, Colo. (Columbine) and OL Ryan Dannewitz, San Jacinto, Calif. (San Jacinto). That brings the total number of confirmed signees to 10, and the fax machine is still humming!

9:01 a.m. - A quartet of recruits has just been confirmed: TE Ryan Deehan, Poway, Calif. (Poway); QB Tyler Hansen, Murrieta, Calif. (Chaparral); S Patrick Mahnke, Parker, Colo. (Mountain Vista); and LB Shaun Mohler, Newport Beach, Calif. (Corona del Mar/Orange Coast).

9:15 a.m. - Two more LOIs are being taken to the compliance office for comfirmation. Stay tuned!

9:20 a.m. - The two LOIs were from S Vince Ewing, Carlsbad, Calif. (Carlsbad) and OL Maxwell Tuioti-Mariner, Corona, Calif. (Corona).

11:18 a.m. - We are back up and running. We have several more LOIs to confirm: TB Ray Polk, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Brophy Prep); LB Doug Rippy, Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison); and TB Darrell Scott, Oxnard, Calif. (St. Bonaventure).

Click here for the 2008 Colorado Signing Day Roster with bios and video of each player 

11:57 a.m. - FYI, any Buff fans who have been waiting to get new season tickets for the 2008 season can do so now. Come check out the Class of 2008 and the rest of your Colorado Buffaloes by calling the CU Ticket Office at 303-49-BUFFS weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m to get on the waiting list.

12:22 p.m. - The atmosphere in the football office remains electric, but the pace has slowed a little as many of the staff members have started to eat lunch.  We're going to try and get with some of the assistant coaches before the press conference to give you guys a little more insight into the new student-athletes.

12:54 p.m. - We just had the opportunity to catch up with long-time linebackers coach Brian Cabral and he shared with us his thoughts on the incoming linebackers:

 

ON JON MAJOR—“I’m very excited that Jon chose to come to CU, especially with him being an in-state guy.  It is great to have a linebacker of his caliber coming from in the state, and he has the ability to come in and play right away.  I have high expectations for him, but he has high expectations for himself.  It’s exciting because he is going to come in and play right away for the Buffs next year.”

 

ON LYNN KATOA—“Lynn is a very exciting player for us, especially having him in school right now.  That gives him a head start which will help him because he’s only been playing football for two years.  He has a tremendous amount of potential, having him here already is going to give him a head start and he is another guy who is going to help us next year.”

 

ON LB SHAUN MOHLER—“I’m very excited to get Shaun in here, he was a Junior College All-American and he can come in and help us right away.  I’m real excited about him and the class in general.  In particular, he played at a level higher than high school and he can come in and without a doubt help us right away.”

 

ON THE LINEBACKING CLASS—“I’m very excited for this particular class in general.  The linebackers coming in are incredible and I have never been more excited for a group of incoming recruits then I am for this class.  They are coming into a position of need for us and they are very talented and an overall great group of kids.  I can not wait to get started working with them.”

 

1:20 p.m. – Defensive secondary coach Greg Brown just stopped by and we were able to get some insight on the incoming defensive backs.

 

ON VINCE EWING—“Vince is a heads up guy and a very heady player.  He is instinctive and comes from a championship program.  He’s a great open field tackler and he really fits in with our team and I am really looking for great things from Vince.”

 

ON STEVEN HICKS—“Steven is an exciting prospect from Tyler, Texas.  He is very aggressive, especially when he is tackling.  He may have the ability to play cornerback for us as well as safety—we’re excited to see what he can do when he gets here.  (Coach) Eric Kiesau went down and saw him play and he really jumped on the table for Steven and said this guy is a guy.  I’m looking for really big things from him.”

 

ON PATRICK MAHNKE—“Pat, he’s a kid from right down the road here.  We had him in some of our camps, so out of the three guys we signed in the secondary we know the most about him.  He is a terrific athlete, has good size and can run very well.  Much like Vince (Ewing) he is a terrific open field tackler.”

 

1:36 p.m. – We were able to track down defensive line coach Romeo Bandison to get his thoughts on the incoming defensive lineman.

 

ON CURTIS CUNNINGHAM—“We think that he is the kind of guy who can come in and help us early.  He has a great motor; he plays fast all the time.  He’s a very smart guy and a great student, which will help him understand the defense.  Because he is so smart and always going 100 mph he will figure things out fast and guys like him find their way on to the field early because they figure things out quickly.  I expect great things from him, he’s a great kid and I look forward to working with him.”

 

2:47 p.m. – We caught up with tight ends and special teams coach Kent Riddle after his lunch break and a few games of pick-up basketball.  Here is what he had to say about some of the new student-athletes:

 

ON RYAN WALLACE—“I love his mindset, he knows coming in that we aren’t deep at tight end and he’ll have the opportunity to play.  He’s the son of a coach, he’s a very smart player, has great technique, he can run, he can catch and he can make plays.  Ryan comes from a very successful program and knows what it takes to improve as a player and a team.  He has an opportunity to play early but a lot of it will come down to how fast he learns our system.”

 

ON RYAN DEEHAN—“Ryan is a big, physical and well developed kid.  He comes from a great program, they won the San Diego division championship this year and he is exactly what you want from an incoming tight end.  He can run really well, he can make plays down field and he can make plays after the catch.  Beyond that he is a very strong and physical blocker and knows how to work in the off-season.”

 

ON PAUL VIGO—“He is a big, physical, tough guy who can run.  He has sprinter speed, a great body and comes from a great program.  His team won the state championship his junior year, played in the state championship his sophomore year and lost in the playoffs his senior year.  He’s very versatile and can do a lot of things, he’s going to be a big fast guy that is going to help us a ton.  Right now he is projected to play defensive back but he may move to linebacker down the road.  He really knows how to work, he really gets after it and knows what it takes to be successful—he understands the importance of the off-season and how to improve during it.”

 

5:00 p.m. - We caught up with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and got his thoughts on the incoming offensive line class:

 

ON OL RYAN DANNEWITZ—“All of these guys are good players, that is why we recruited them.  In particularly with Ryan, we got to know him well because he came out to one of our camps.  He comes in with two things you can’t change, and that is size and flexibility.  You can make guys stronger and you can make guys a little quicker, but you can’t make someone taller or longer.  He’s in the neighborhood of 6’5” and 280-285 pounds and he has a lot of room for growth.  He’s very smart, he has good grades and he has some flexibility in what we want to use him at tackle or guard.  He was the captain of his football team which says a lot to me because it takes a lot for an offensive lineman to be named a captain.  He was ranked the fifth best offensive lineman in California, and rating don’t mean a lot but we had a lot of competition getting him because a lot of other teams thought highly of him as well.  He’s the right kind of kid and we’re happy to get him.”

 

ON OT BRYCE GIVENS—“Bryce is a kid I worked a long time on getting and worked really hard to get.  He was one of the first guys I heard about when I got here a year ago, and he was initially committed to Nebraska but wanted to keep talking to us.  I never thought we were out of it, and eventually it actually came down to us and Texas.  He is a tremendous talent, one of three four star prospects from Colorado.  He’s an instate guy, he was an All-American and the captain of his team.  He’s everything I’m looking for in an offensive tackle, he his big, he is tall, he has a long frame, long arms, good hands, quick feet and he isn’t that heavy but he has the frame to get much bigger.  He has the mindset I’m looking for in an offensive lineman; he doesn’t just want to block a guy, he wants to knock them to the ground and bury them in the ground once he gets them there.  I’m thrilled that we got him and he’s just a great kid and I think that playing here will mean a lot to him, just as it does with our other in-state players.”

 

ON OG MAX TUIOTI-MARINER—“Max is a guy that we are thrilled to have.  He didn’t play a single down his senior year because he tore his ACL before the season and he is still ranked as the seventh best guard in the country.  Just like Bryce at the offensive tackle position Max is the prototypical guard.  He’s not as tall, he’s really thick and has excellent strength.  He’s a great drive blocker and has the mentality that I’m talking about.  He has a lot of drive, he’s not just trying to block someone he is trying to punish them.  He’s a great guy for us to get, I really recruited him hard and for a long time.  We really had to battle for Max because he’s tremendously talented and I’m excited to get him out here.”

 

ON THIS YEAR’S RECRUITING CLASS—“I’m excited about our entire recruiting class, especially the running backs.  As an offensive line coach, great running backs make your job a lot easier and really help the offensive line.  Darrell Scott is a great player and talent and he is deserving of every honor he has received but the other two are really impressive as well.  All three of the guys bring a lot to the table and unique things to the table.  Like Coach Hawk said you can’t have just one running back, you have to have depth and we have depth at that position now.  I’m really excited to see the linebackers as well, Coach Cabral did a great job putting together an amazing class and we brought in some really talented guys.  Top to bottom this is the best class I have been a part of; they aren’t just great athletes they are good kids and they have the right mindset.  They are coming in with a blue collar mentality and ready to work.”

 

ON THE PROGRESS OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE—“You can’t rebuild an offensive line in one year, and we were really decimated at the position when I arrived.  We only had five guys who were healthy when I got here and we signed eight offensive linemen last year but you can’t rebuild an offensive line in one year.  It takes three to four years to rebuild the position, get the right guys and get the depth you need.  You have to be able to put five guys out there who are capable and on the same page on every play.  The progress we are making is great and I’m really excited about the direction we’re headed in.  We’re still playing a lot of young guys but we’re definitely moving in the right direction.”

 

5:18 p.m. - We were able to catch wide receivers coach Eric Keisau and get his thoughts on the incoming wideout, Chance Blackmon:

 

 ON WR CHANCE BLACKMON—“Chance is a taller, slender, speed guy and he is coming from a very good football program.  They have won two of the last three state championships, he had over 40 wins in high school and he is just a winner and understands what it takes to win.  He is very elusive and has the size we wanted, he’s a bigger guy—about 6’3”.  He’s really raw, he’ll need to come in here and work and continue to develop, but I’m excited for him and expect big things from him in the future.  He’s a really good fit for our team and is really going to fit in well on this team.  We’re still building the group, we have a young core and I’m excited for the future.”

 

5:36 p.m. - Former Buffalo great and current running backs coach Darian Hagan stopped by to share his thoughts on a few of the incoming recruits:

 

ON TB RODNEY STEWART—“Rodney brings instant credibility to our return game.  He is going to be a fan favorite here, he’s lighting in a bottle.  He’s fast and he runs with power for his size.  I definitely think he is going to start in our return game immediately.  I see him doing some great things here and really being a fun player to watch.”

 

ON TB RAY POLK—“I think that right now our fans are a little unappreciative of what he brings to the table because of Darrell Scott.  Ray doesn’t take a back seat to anyone; he’s big, he’s fast and he is going to play a long time in the NFL.  When it is all said and done he and Darrell Scott are going to break a lot of records here and are going to go down as two of the best to ever play for the University of Colorado.”

 

ON TB DARRELL SCOTT—“When I look at Darrell, he brings instant credibility to CU.  He is an absolutely awesome person and if possible he’s an even better football player.  His combination of size, speed, strength and vision are on a level that we have never had here at Colorado.  When he’s done here, he is going to go down in history as one of the best Buffs ever to strap in on—in my opinion.”

 

ON LB DOUG RIPPY—“Doug is a kid that I recruited out of Trotwood, Ohio and a kid I got along with right away.  Like Darrell, he comes from a home with a single mom and a dad who was not involved.  I take a liking to kids like that immediately and really want to see them succeed and do something special.  Our fans our going to be proud that we went out to Ohio and recruited Doug and Rodney, Doug is really going to make some things happen at the linebacker position.”

 

 

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