rock: mike macintyre told the prized offensive tackle to wait.
When 6-foot-4, 270-pound Pomona’s coveted prospect Jake Moretti began to think twice about his verbal commitment to the national power of the state of Ohio, the emerging program in his backyard began to seem increasingly attractive.
So Moretti called Macintyre, Colorado’s coach, in November to tell him he was considering staying home.
macintyre was delighted to hear of the player he and his staff had recruited before the lineman committed to joining the buckeyes. But when Macintyre gathered Moretti and his parents in his office overlooking the Folsom Field and the irons beyond, the coach preached patience.
“I told him, ‘I don’t want this to be a knee-jerk reaction,'” Macintyre said. “I don’t want it to be an emotional decision. I want you to come to colorado because you want to put both feet in the boat. I said, ‘don’t tell me an answer now’. I want you to go home and think about it.’”
moretti went home. he woke up the next morning and went to see macintyre again. the boy from his hometown was all in.
“It’s safe to say I didn’t send him home again,” Macintyre said.
- february 1, 2017 national signing day: the colorado class of 2017 division i football recruits
- photos from february 1, 2017: national signing day sign in colorado
On Wednesday, National Signing Day, it became clear that Moretti wasn’t the only high-caliber prospect the fans were attracting. Macintyre fielded a class of 27 players (22 from high school, five from college) that ranked 29th in the country and 6th in the pac-12, according to scout.com, by far cu’s best performance in years.
Fresh off a season of remarkable change that resulted in a pac-12 southern division title, fans recruited a peppered class of players who were coveted by other major programs.
“There really isn’t a school that has anything better to offer than Colorado right now,” said Macintyre, the reigning National Coach of the Year.
Todd Peterman, the coach at Desoto High School outside Dallas that produced two four-star CU recruits in receivers KD Nixon and Laviska Shenault Jr., read a list this week of schools that had recruited and offered to both players. he was a who’s who of many of the nation’s top shows.
“Colorado came in here and beat out some good ones,” Peterman said. “Laviska sat across from (Alabama coach) Nick Saban and didn’t take (his offer). He sat across from (former LSU coach) Les Miles on campus and didn’t take it. He just felt comfortable with (CU co-offensive coordinator and recruiting director Darrin) Chiaverini and wants to be coached by him.”
moretti, nixon, shenault and grant polley, an offensive lineman from denton, texas, were the highest-rated prospects in the class of 2017, but there is depth, talent and versatility throughout the group, macintyre said. linebacker jonathan van diest (cherry creek), defensive linemen dante sparaco (cherry creek/img academy) and jalen sami (vista ridge), and offensive linemen moretti and heston paige were part of the state tour.
Fans also signed round 6-foot-5, 205-pound quarterback Tyler Lytle, of Beach, California, and he arrived on campus in January to begin preparing for spring practice. Steven Montez, who played well in several games while replacing starter Sefo Liufau last season, “has a head start” in the race for the starting quarterback job, Macintyre said. but lytle will have a good chance of making a good impression.
“i just saw a great opportunity,” lytle said of his decision to choose cu from a long list of offerings that included shows like miami, baylor and california. “I drafted in June before Colorado had all that success, and I really believed in it at the time. when they got off to a great start, it really came to fruition.”
macintyre was full of energy on Wednesday as he told stories about his new players. he talked about chris mulumba, the defensive end who became finland’s judo champion after his family fled war-torn congo. He spoke about Sebastian Olver, the 6-5, 250-pound former rugby player from Australia who came to the United States about 18 months ago to pursue a football career. The coach smiled as he talked about linebacker Carson Wells of Bushnell, Fla., the son of a rancher who raised his own steer named “Ralphie” that he plans to sell before going to CU.
“me,” macintyre said. “It’s about the stories of these children.”
5 facts about the cu class
Interesting nuggets about Colorado’s recruiting class, which wrapped up on Wednesday:
— Jalen Salami, a 6-foot-6, 320-pound defensive tackle from Vista Ridge in Colorado Springs, is a man of many talents. among them is the affinity for playing instruments. salami excels at playing the piano and ukulele.
: Cherry Creek linebacker Jonathan Van Diest performed hundreds of hours of community service during high school. He spent time volunteering at Mile High Workshop, a program that helps addicts and ex-convicts find jobs.
— Nate Landman, a 6-3, 210-pound linebacker from Danville, California, was born in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and his father played rugby for the national team.
— Four-star offensive lineman Grant Polley, from suburban Dallas, has athletic genes. His uncle, Greg Breaux, was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 47th round of the 1988 amateur draft.
— Sunday’s super bowl, played in houston, should bring back fond memories for new running back alex fontenont. The 6-foot, 190-pound running back scored three rushing touchdowns for George Ranch High School in the Class 5A Texas State Championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston.