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Signing Day Central

Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
Release: February 07, 2007
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By CUBuffs.com

7:31: Good morning Buff Nation! It's early Wednesday and most of the lights are still out in the football offices at the Dal Ward Athletic Center on the University of Colorado campus (Scratch that! Coach Hawk himself just lit up our corner here). The coaches and staff are here, and six letters of intent have already been faxed in from players who will play college football at CU. As soon as the paperwork is official we will fill you in on our new Buffs and get some feedback from coaches. Stay tuned! 

7:59: Coach Hawk is working his cell phone and we're all waiting for more letters of intent as the fax machine keeps ringing.

8:09: Director of Sports Video Jamie Guy is dismantling the fax machine as we type, trying to use his technological expertise to get the machine to work.  Has anybody seen the movie Office Space?!?

8:18: The fax machine is back up and working and we’ve received three more letters of intent.  Again, as soon as everything is official we will fill you in on the newest Buffs.

8:34: The letters of intent just keep rolling in, we have one more confirmed bringing the total to ten.  The atmosphere here is exciting, with the coaches and staff eagerly awaiting the next ring of the fax machine.

8:51: Three more letters of intent have been faxed in and with the total now at 13 the excitement in the office is evident.  Keep checking back and hopefully we’ll have some more exciting news to relay to you soon, as we can hear Coach Hawkins getting excited about something.

9:02: Again, we’ve seen three more letters of intent come in bringing the total to 16.  It’s getting hard to hear the fax machine, but the cheers from the coaching offices more then make up for the quiet ringing of the fax machine.

9:14: We heard some people head to the fax machine a few minutes ago, and sure enough our 17th letter of intent has rolled in and we’re eagerly awaiting more.

9:26: That’s right Buff fans, No. 18 just came in and the football office and the staff is all busy on the phones.  The staff is talking to the players who have already faxed in their letters of intent and readily awaiting phone calls from other recruits calling to alert us that their letters are on the way.

9:40: The coaching staff members are all in a conference room awaiting more commitments, but you could hear the cheers from here when they received a surprise coffee and donut delivery from Blake Kiesau.

10:00: The coaching staff is still meeting behind closed doors, but more letters of intent are expected to be faxed in soon.

10:12: The doors maybe closed, but the roar that just arose from the conference room got the attention of everyone in the office.  A new recruit must have just committed, we’ll just have to wait and see what all that commotion was about.

10:24: The cheering the office heard from the coaching staff moments ago was because of a phone call from a prospect turned commit.  His letter of intent and one other just came through the fax machine, bringing the total to 20 letters of intent received this morning.

10:32: We just got word that we just received the 21st letter of intent of the morning.  You can see and hear the excitement and enthusiasm coming from around the office as the 2007 recruiting class is beginning to take shape. 

10:42: Unfortunately we have to take about an hour break, but we’ll be back giving you up to the minute updates around noon.  We should have plenty to report when we come back, so be sure to check back soon.

11:20: The faxes that have been received have now been logged in and certified by our compliance staff, so here's a quick rundown of the newest Buffs; and now that we have a green light, stay tuned for some comments on each right here on CUBuffs.com ahead of the group announcement and press conference by Coach Hawkins. 

To view a complete roster of your new Colorado Buffaloes click here. Come back to this link throughout the afternoon as we will have bios on each player linked as they become available.

A reminder that the roster includes four previously announced in December: Josh Hartigan, Jonathan Hawkins, Drew Hudgins and Nick Nelson.

We are still expecting more letters of intent shortly, so there's much more to come... stay with us!

11:40: Two more faxes are in and we were able to catch up with a few of the coaches on some of the new Buffs:

Secondary Coach Greg Brown on DB Lamont Smith

“Lamont has a great deal of speed and quickness, ball skills and change of direction. It is evident when you watch the film on Lamont he has the tools that you are looking for to play corner at this level.”


Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Mark Helfrich on QB Matt Ballinger

“We’re excited to get Matt in.  He’s a guy who played in a little bit different high school offense.  Statistically he’s not a guy whose statistics are just going to explode in your face.  He’s a very good athlete overall, on the basketball court he was the player of the year in Idaho.  Just that competitiveness and his size are things that we are excited about.  He has plenty of arm strength and all the competitiveness that comes along with being a successful all-around athlete.  He’s a guy that we think is going to be a great quarterback.”


Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser On OL Mike Iltis

“He’s a tough guy, a very smart guy on the football field.  He’s definitely passionate about football and has the other things we look for in our players, he’s been a great leader throughout this whole recruiting process.”


Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser On OL Ryan Miller

 “Miller is obviously a top national recruit and that part is great for the program, but he is also a pretty unique guy, for a guy of his size to move like he does is phenomenal and he is just a strong, strong person.  He’s very grounded and ability wise there is no question on what he can do, and I think the thing that people don’t know about him is how great of a person he is.”


11:50: There is a sense of relief with all the excitement around the football offices as it seems like all of the projected signees have come through. We are still waiting on some paperwork for some players. Signing Day Central will continue to update you on official signings and coaches’ reactions leading up to head coach Dan Hawkins’ Signing Day Press Conference at 3:30.


12:06: We tracked down running backs coach Darian Hagan who gave us some insight on a few recruits:


Running Backs Coach Darian Hagan on FB/HB Devan Johnson

“He’s a very athletic and versatile player.  He could be a fullback or an H-Tight End for us.  He can come in here and he makes us a better football team right away.


Running Backs Coach Darian Hagan on DB Anthony Wright (Recruited by Hagan out of Compton, CA)

 “He’s a kid who has been playing football for about five years, he’s a team leader and a Moore League Defensive Player of the Year, and that’s a league with Long Beach Poly, Dominguez High School, etc.  He went in there and to get MVP out of that league, coming from a school that had not produced a D-1 player in 20 years speaks volumes for this kid and their program.”


12:32: We ran into wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau and he gave us his input on three of the incoming freshman wideouts.


Wide Receivers Coach Eric Kiesau on WR Markques Simas

“We’re fired up to get him, he was a big time get out of California for us.  He’s a big, strong, physical receiver who can run and stretch the field which is definitely what we need.  He has big time playmaking ability which is what we need to be able to do what we want in the passing game.”


Wide Receivers Coach Eric Kiesau on WR Joshua Smith

“He was kind of tagged as a sleeper guy, but he is very elusive, has very good hips, is very fast and is kind of a sleeper because no body really knew about him.  He transferred from Florida to California and he played both sides of the ball.  He had Arizona State and Washington State after him and Southern California offered him two weeks ago, so he was picking up steam in these last couple of weeks.  He’s another guy who is very, very raw but he is going to have a bright future here.”


Wide Receivers Coach Eric Kiesau on WR Kendrick Celestine

“Celestine is another guy who is just all speed.  He’s probably a 4.4 guy.  He’s another guy that has to make that transition after playing quarterback a lot.  He played wide receiver his senior year, but with his speed he will help us.  He can take a 5-yard curl or a 12-yard hitch and take it to the house.  We haven’t seen that around here in the last couple of years.”


12:48: We saw secondary coach Greg Brown walk by and stopped him to get his thoughts on a couple of the newest Buffs.


Secondary Coach Greg Brown on DB Nate Vaiomounga

“He is an extremely physical defender.  He has proven his worth over the years to Coach Hawkins and this staff as we had known him previously from summer camps at Boise State.  Nate excels at playing the eighth defender in the box.  He’s an extremely aggressive tackler and I’m excited to work with him.”


Secondary Coach Greg Brown on DB Anthony Perkins

“He’s a local talent from right down the street.  We’ve known about him since the beginning of his junior year.  He’s got top notch speed, change of direction and vision.  The thing that is impressive about Anthony when you watch him is that he is able to see where he needs to go on the field and out run angles.  He’s an impressive guy and we’re fortunate to get him.”


1:08: Some of the coaches have taken a break to go shoot some hoops while others have gone to lunch. We'll continue to keep you updated on coaches' reactions to players and the entire signing day process.


2:06: We caught up with assistant head coach and offensive line coach Chris Strausser after lunch to get his thoughts on four of the CU’s newest offensive lineman.


Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser on OL Ethan Adkins

“Obviously, we’re excited that Ethan is a local guy.  We had him at camp and had a chance to evaluate him pretty closely.  He comes from one of the top programs in the state.  He’s a great athlete, he’s a physical player, he does very well in the weight room, he appears to have a pretty strong passion towards the game, he is a leader and was a captain on their team so all those things that we look for in a player he has.”


Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser on OL Matt Bahr

“Matt Bahr, in my mind is potentially the sleeper in this group of offensive lineman.  He’s very athletic, moves his feet very well, he’s explosive and likes to finish his blocks.  His leadership, his work ethic, his passion for the game, his drive to be successful those things are all off the charts.”


Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser on OL Blake Behrens

“Blake is along the same lines as the two guys before.  He is a great kid and comes in from a winning program.  He won a state championship as a junior and went deep into the playoffs as a senior.  We had him in camp as well, a very athletic guy, explosive, has a desire to come in and compete from the beginning and he has the ability to come in and do that.”


Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Chris Strausser on OL Shawn Daniels

“Shawn has a little bit of history here, with his brother Brian being a four year starter here.  I think he is going to outgrow his brother’s legacy here pretty quick.  I’m not saying that he is going to come in here and be a better football player, but he will be his own player here in a short period of time.  He’s a very strong guy in the weight room, a smart football player, a solid, solid person, academically he’s very strong and again in terms of knowing what it takes to be a champion he has that as well.”


2:12: Running Backs coach Darrian Hagan stopped by to give us a little insight on Brian Lockridge.


Running Backs Coach Darian Hagan on TB Brian Lockridge

“He’s an explosive kid and a great person, I’m really looking forward to coaching him.”


2:36 We were able to talk to Linebackers Coach Brian Cabral about a few of this years recruits and this is what he told us.


Linebacker Coach Brian Cabral on OL Sione Tau (Recruited by Cabral out of Honolulu, HI)

“We are very pleased to have Sione, he has the potential to be a great offensive tackle.  I don’t think that we’ve had a lineman like that since Chris Naeole, being from the islands and he’s that kind of player.  It will be interesting to see him come along.  He’s a big guy, and he can also sing and play the ukulele.”


Linebacker Coach Brian Cabral on OL Kealakai Maiava (Recruited by Cabral out of Wailuku, HI)

“He is a neat story because we came back to him late in the recruiting process.  I’ve had him in a camp in Maui the last couple of summers and I really like him.  He is really competitive, very athletic and very quiet but he’ll get the job done.  I’m happy for him.  His dad was an offensive lineman for us here, Scott Mahoney (1969-71), they are really excited.”


Linebacker Coach Brian Cabral on LB Tyler Ahles

“We had Tyler in camp, he played linebacker for just one year and when I saw him last year I really saw something in him.  He came to camp and made a big impression on all of us.  I look to see great things from Tyler.”


3:28:  Coach Hawkins comes in a couple of minutes early to start his press conference.  This will conclude our running blog, if you will, of today's events.  Our sincere apologies with the malfunction with our host server company on the issues at the start of the press conference; it can be replayed in its entirety for free by clicking the above link.


Thanks for spending some of your day with us!  -- CU Athletics 

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