BOULDER -- Roy Edwards has signed his seventh recruiting class as the University of Colorado men's golf coach, and the four prospects who will become Buffaloes next fall arguably represent his best group since he took over the reins of the program in the summer of 2006.
The quartet includes one of the state's top prep players, Ethan Freeman (Kent Denver), one of the nation's top juniors, Andrew Bonner (Central Catholic, Modesto, Calif.), and some international flavor with twins Jeremy and Yannik Paul (Viernheim, Germany), both members of the German National Junior Team.
All four recently signed in the early November period.
"I couldn't be more pleased with how recruiting went this season," Edwards said. "This class of four really complements our current team. Individually, and as a group, these guys have an opportunity to be a part of a team that can accomplish some special things. With extremely hard work, a willingness to learn, and great attitudes from each of them, I am confident that will happen."
Freeman, who resides in Greenwood Village, is a two-time 3A state champion (2010, 2011, his sophomore and junior years), and just missed the "hat trick" with a runner-up finish as a senior this past October. Counting his freshman year when he tied for fifth, he's one of a just a handful of players in Colorado history to post four top five finishes in state championship play. In doing so, he led his high school, Kent Denver, to four consecutive state titles.
He won the 2012 Colorado Golf Association's Collegiate High School Invitational, with his 69-69-71-209 scorecard good for a 16-stroke victory on what will now be his college course, Colorado National Golf Club, home of the Buffaloes. He also tied for sixth in a pair of American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events (Aspen, Fox Hill) and has multiple Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) wins and top three finishes.
A life-long CU fan, Freeman selected Colorado over Wake Forest, Indiana, Colorado State, Purdue and Virginia Tech.
Edwards on Ethan: "Ethan has been one of the top junior players in Colorado for a very long time. He was our first commitment in the class. We have had a lot of success with Colorado players and he continues our strong tradition of attracting the best from in-state."
Bonner has an impressive resume on the national and regional level, capped by his selection as the 2012 Junior Golf Association of Northern California (JGANC) Player of the Year. He won the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier at Stanford by six strokes (64-70-134), and reached the round of 64 in both the 2011 and 2012 national events. He was the 2010 and 2011 San Francisco City Junior Champion, and also claimed titles in the JGANC NorCal Players Championship and the Tournament of Champions. He has shot three rounds of 63 in tournaments.
In 2011, he had runner-up finishes in the Junior America Cup and the Hogan Cup, and in high school competition, he was the only two-time most outstanding and most valuable player at Ripon (Calif.) High, where he attended as a freshman and sophomore; he then transferred to Central Catholic, where he actually could not compete last spring as a junior due to transfer rules, and thus he is looking forward to a big senior spring.
A top national recruit, Bonner opted for the Buffaloes over Oregon, Washington, UCLA, SMU, Oregon State, UC-Davis and USC, among others.
Edwards on Andrew: "We consider Andrew to be one of the top (national) players in the class of 2013. He approaches the game in a very mature way and really understands his own strengths and weaknesses. He has shown the ability to shoot very low scores and he has won many tournaments. We targeted him early in the process and are very pleased to have him join our team. "
Edwards started recruiting the 17-year old twins over two years ago and has seen them in competition on five occasions; current assistant coach, Jon Levy, and former assistant, Jim Grady also observed the twins in tournament play. Thus, this wasn't a case of a program taking a risk on two players off resumes; the twins fell in love with Colorado and committed to Edwards on their way back to Germany after their recruiting visit to Boulder in September.
Yannik reached the round of 32 at the 2012 British Boys Amateur Championship, and placed seventh in the 2012 German International Men's Amateur, where his third round 68 was the low score in the entire field for all rounds. He was the 2011 Hessen State champion with a 70-70-140 performance.
Edwards on Yannik: "We are very excited to have Yannik. He is one of the top players in Europe. His experience on the German National Team will help him immensely once he is here. He and Jeremy both have had excellent coaching, and he is a high-achieving student as well who will fit in really well here at CU."
Jeremy was a semifinalist in the 2011 British Boys Amateur Championship, captured third in the 2011 Harder German Junior Masters (67-73-67-207), was fourth in the 2012 German Championships (71-74-70-215) and the runner-up in the 2011 German Under-18 Championship.
The twins also helped their prep school, Albertus-Magnus Schule, to second-place finishes in Germany's National School Team Championships in both 2011 and 2012. They were also recruited by Oregon State, San Diego and North Carolina.
Edwards on Jeremy: "Jeremy and his brother are very similar players. Along with Yannik, Jeremy is an extremely talented and successful player. He has experience playing all over the world with the German National Team. He is an excellent student who is very well-rounded."