With 15 known verbal commitments on board for the 2017 recruiting class, Colorado State could possibly sign up to ten more recruits. InsideTheRams.com reviews CSU's verbal pledges and takes a hard look at the Rams' remaining targets to provide our members a comprehensive and organized look at where things currently stand on the recruiting trail.
Colorado State Commitments
Glover is CSU's lone QB commit and a good one. He's led his Woodward Academy (Ga.) squad to a 10-1 record while recording 2,547 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. He is considered a dual-threat having also rushed for 311 yards and 4 scores, but he likes to do the majority of his damage through the air, whether he stays in the pocket or uses his feet to buy more time. Glover committed to CSU after an unofficial visit in July and will take his official visit to Colorado State on December 9 (he will also be here this weekend unofficially). He earned a dozen FBS offers prior to the 2016 campaign, but added a Minnesota offer after a hot start to his senior season. Glover might visit Minnesota, but for now he is a solid CSU pledge, as the Rams appear set on taking one quarterback this cycle.
One of the most productive receivers in the country this season, Reddix has absolutely blown apart the stat sheet. In 12 games, Reddix accumulated 91 catches for 1,774 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns, putting him among the nation's top pass-catchers statistically. At 6-foot-1 and close to 200 pounds, Reddix is a physical receiver who can earn bunches of yards after the catch, or go up strong and grab the ball at the highest point. He committed to CSU over 11 other offers in October having never set foot on campus, but he will take his official visit to CSU on December 9. The three-star is among four highly-regarded receiver commits this class that, at least on paper, help form one of the top-rated receiver classes in recent CSU history.
Another 3-star pledge, Kitt was rated a 4-star coming out of high school in Georgia two years ago. Kitt signed with Clemson and played in a handful of games for the Tigers before transferring. He was heavily recruited out of high school by Mike Bobo at Georgia, which is the primary reason he jumped on a CSU offer this fall. CSU signed Darnell Thompson and Nicho Garcia out of Highland, while former CSU GA Walter Vaughn is now the defensive line coach there, so there are previous connections to the Kansas junior college. Kitt has decent size, strong hands and is a smooth route-runner, which helped him net first team all-Jayhawk League honors this fall at Highland after catching 7 touchdown passes. Having spent time at four colleges in two years, Kitt is hopeful he has finally found a home at an FBS school. The plan is for Kitt to sign in December and enroll in January.
Williams is perhaps CSU's top overall commit since recruiting services came into being in the early 2000s. Aside from highly regarded signees Steve Cutlip and Justin Holland, and transfers Marcus Houston (Colorado), Nnamdi Ohaeri (UCLA) and Dee Hart (Alabama), Williams may be the most highly recruited and regarded addition of them all. Williams was tabbed Scout's top wide receiver in the 2015 class, ranked as the 15th-best prospect overall. Mike Bobo was his lead recruiter at UGA, but even though the Bulldogs were a finalist and received an official visit from Williams, he ultimately chose Tennessee. At a legitimate 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Williams has prototypical size, hands, speed, route-running, and overall big-play ability. He caught two touchdowns at Tennessee as a true freshman in 2015 and decided to part ways with UT in mid-October due to a decreased role in the offense. Williams took a surprise official visit to CSU for the Fresno State game and signed with the Rams a day later. He will enroll in January to begin taking classes and working with the football team. He must sit out all of 2017 as a transfer, but will suit up as a redshirt-junior in 2018.
CSU's fourth receiver pledge of the class is E.J. Scott from McEachern (Ga.). Scott took a visit with his family to CSU in October and committed within a few days of returning home from the trip. He is a lanky athlete at 6-foot-2 and is in the Braylin Scott mold - an uber-athletic playmaker who is oozing with potential. While there is talk of him playing on either side of the ball, CSU likes Scott's abilities as a receiver best. His commitment means the Rams are probably done taking receivers, unless something unforeseen happens. CSU is, however, bringing in a handful of WR official visitors next month as possibilities, too. So Scott could be slotted in as an athlete, while there is a chance another receiver could be brought aboard the class.
CSU's first tight end pledge of the class was Illinois 3-star Griffin Hammer. At 6-foot-5, Hammer has great size and is a tremendous athlete. Hammer possesses great hands and is a quality route-runner, making him a dangerous redzone threat for his St. Charles North offense. Hammer committed to CSU this summer on an unofficial visit after seeing the new stadium, the upcoming facilities and the overall commitment the University is pledging to the football program. Hammer has helped his team to a 9-2 mark while producing 8 receiving scores on 24 catches for 424 yards. Hammer is a bit of a mix between Dalton Fackrell and John Freismuth in that he is essentially a giant receiver, but the plan is for him to learn to play with his hand in the dirt as a do-everything tight end. As such, he has a high ceiling as a slot receiver or possession receiver, but will need time to develop into a full on tight end. He will, however, get a head start on things by signing in December to enroll for classes in Fort Collins in January.
Butler also pledged his allegiance to the Green and Gold this summer on an unofficial visit with head coach Perry Parks and two-way star teammate Latheron Rogers-Anderson of Columbia (S.C.) Ridge View. Butler has drawn comparisons to Isiah Pannunzio, both in size and playing style. Butler reportedly measured in at 6-2.5, 219 pounds on his visit this summer, while Pannunzio was 6-2, 209 during his visit to CSU as a recruit. And like Pannunzio, Butler is a pure pass-catcher who will need to learn to become a blocker in Mike Bobo's tight end-heavy run offense. He is very athletic for his size and could present matchup problems for opposing defenses, much like Hammer will. Butler is a fantastic kid who will bring more athleticism to CSU's tight end position.
Perhaps CSU's most talented line commit, Sincere David will join CSU with the intention to play offensive guard. He flourished as a defensive tackle at Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood, even securing a pick-six this year, but his best days may be at guard because of his body type and mauler mentality in the trenches. He played along one of Florida's top prep offensive lines, which includes fellow CSU commit Luis Lebron. David has a chance to play immediately as a freshman for several reasons. One, he is already all of 6-3, 300 pounds. Next, he's strong and athletic, and Bobo and Will Friend have already proven they aren't afraid to play true freshmen guards, as Colby Meeks and Jeff Taylor played in their first college seasons. David could be the best of the bunch, however, as he collected offers from Louisville, North Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia earlier in his recruitment. He will take his first trip to CSU on an official visit set for December 9.
David's teammate at Sandalwood, Lebron is a name that was widely unknown until CSU's bye week. Graduate assistant coach George Helow took a recruiting visit to Sandalwood during CSU's off week in October to see David and came across Lebron, who hasn't been playing football long (he moved to Jacksonville from Pennsylvania three years ago and has only played since arriving in Florida). CSU subsequently offered that week and Lebron committed quickly thereafter. Lebron is massive at 6-5, 350 pounds. He is a high-risk, high-reward type player who could turn into a superstar with the strength and athleticism he possesses. He will certainly need to develop his body more in CSU's weight program and continue to develop his hand technique and footwork. But he could turn into something special at a position of need. He played right tackle for Sandalwood but is looked at as a strongside guard in this year's class. He will visit CSU along with David in December.
Firment is another interior offensive lineman in this year's class who can play either center or guard, but will likely end up at guard. He extends CSU's commit base to Pittsburgh, where he started for West Allegheny. He also committed following an unofficial visit with his mother this summer after seeing the resources being pumped into the program, meeting with the staff in person, and after watching a fall practice in person. He is 6-4, 285 pounds and possesses a nice blend of strength, quick feet and a tenacity to finish blocks. He may fly a bit under the radar compared to other commits this class, but he could be a solid contributor on CSU's line for years to come.
Brooks is yet another 3-star guard in this year's class with potential to slide inside to center. Brooks committed following an unofficial visit to Fort Collins in May with his family. He took another unofficial for the win over Utah State and came away convinced more than ever that CSU was where he wanted to be. In fact, he has told other schools he is completely on board with Colorado State and will only take the one official visit to CSU. Brooks is a big mauler in the trenches, but he showed nimble feet on a screen pass in a playoff game against Calabasas, in which he hauled a pass in and scampered about 25 yards down the sideline for a score. Brooks was an early pledge and will give CSU four interior offensive line commits for the 2017 class.
CSU's lone defensive line commit so far is Howard, who committed after an official visit in July to Bobo and lead recruiter Ricky Logo. Howard is tremendously talented and versatile at 6-5, 275-pounds. He should fill in nicely at either nose tackle or strongside tackle in CSU's 3-4. He has taken official visits to CSU and Northern Illinois and may take all three remaining trips. Houston is a strong contender, as are Kentucky, Arkansas and Kansas State. Howard flashed big play potential earlier this fall with a 2.5-sack effort in a win over Iowa Central. He is big, highly athletic and utilizes several spin, swim and rip moves to his advantage in consistently getting by single blockers. The 3-star could very well start in his first season next year and is planning to sign his letter of intent with CSU in December to enroll in January.
Colorado's Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 was CSU's first in-state pledge. Tapia received a CSU offer in July following the Rams' individual skills camp on campus after he not only proved to lead recruiter Marty English and Bobo that he was highly skilled, but all of 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. He committed soon after, spurning offers from rivals Air Force and Wyoming. Tapia may be limited in his movements laterally, but his strength is in getting after the quarterback. He smashed Calais Campbell's state career sacks record and now sits at 45 quarterback takedowns for his prep career with a playoff game against Denver South still ahead of him. Tapia gives CSU a great local talent commit and a blue collar kid, as well as a playmaker at a position of need at the Buck outside linebacker position, which Shaq Barrett and Cory James previously starred at for the Rams.
Another in-state kid (well, kind of) is Patrick Moody. The big linebacker burst onto the scene as a freshman and sophomore at Ponderosa in Parker before moving to Florida last year. He played alongside CSU's Arjay Jean for one of the country's top prep teams, St. Thomas Aquinas, before moving halfway through the season again to join Vero Beach. Moody looks bigger than 6-2, 220, and he plays downhill in punishing ball carriers. As a senior, he notched 117 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. Word has it that CSU believes they've found a real steal in Moody, whose only other offer is from Southern Illinois. Moody is expected to play inside linebacker at CSU and will take his official visit to CSU on December 9.
Glover's teammate at Woodward Academy outside Atlanta also committed to CSU this offseason following an unofficial visit to Fort Collins. Hubbard is a pure playmaker. He's not tall, but he has a solid frame to work with in not only keeping up with receivers on routes, but also being a physical tackler. Hubbard's best asset may even be as a punt returner, which is a role he could take hold of as a true freshman. Hubbard chose CSU over numerous FBS offers including Boston College, Cincinnati, Kansas State, and Purdue. He will take an official visit to CSU along with Glover on December 9 with hopes of possibly bringing several other top targets on board to the class that weekend.
With Glover already in the fold, CSU has no plans to take other quarterbacks at the moment. If things change in either Glover's commitment or CSU sees attrition at quarterback other than Faton Bauta's graduation, there are other options. CSU is still keeping tabs on Purdue commit Nick Sipe and FAU pledge Justice McCoy. The latter visited CSU unofficially this offseason and considered CSU strongly. With Purdue's uncertain coaching situation, Sipe may also come into play if things change. But, for now, Glover is CSU's lone guy this class.
Inside The Rams prediction: CSU doesn't take any other QBs, as Glover remains committed. But if he pulls a big surprise and goes elsewhere, McCoy flips to CSU.
Having taken three quality backs last cycle and with the return of all three top backs next season, the Rams are not pressed to take a running back this cycle. That hasn't stopped them from pursuing any this cycle, however, as the likes of Cyrus Habibi-Liokio and Jacob Kibodi were in the picture before blowing up with Power Five offers. At this point, the Rams don't need to sign a tailback, but one guy they would probably be more than pleased to add to the class is Mullen star Marcus McElroy. The big, well-rounded back has received heavy recruiting attention since his freshman season. CSU remains a top option, while Kansas State and Purdue are the primary threats to the Rams, as Colorado has more or less moved on. McElroy has been to CSU countless times for junior days and football games, so he is well-acquainted with the program. Marty English has ensured McElroy from day one he is a top target for CSU. He is expected to OV to CSU December 9 with teammate Christian Cumber. He would be a great in-state addition to the class, but provided he goes elsewhere, CSU may not take a tailback in 2017.
Inside The Rams prediction: McElroy commits to CSU.
The Rams have a fantastic receiving corps already intact for the 2017 class, with Williams, Kitt, Scott and Reddix on board, therefore there may not be a need to add any others to the mix. While that may disappoint some Rams fans hoping to add 4-stars Sam Crawford and Braylon Sanders to the class, don't completely count them out. CSU may add a guy like Sanders as an "Athlete" to make room for him, while Crawford could slide in if anything unforeseen happens with any of the four committed receivers. Sanders is expected to be in Fort Collins for an official visit December 9, as is Crawford. CSU is also taking a hard look at versatile athletes Derrick Vickers (Bakersfield C.C.), Jadon Walker (Douglasville, Ga.), Larenz Deshazor (Lakeland, Fla.), Victor Bates (Buena Park, Calif.), and Chris Brooks (Newbury Park, Calif.), who are among the top receivers/athletes still in the mix.
Inside The Rams prediction: Sanders commits as an "Athlete" to give CSU its best WR class of the Scout era.
Two tight ends are on board in pass-catching studs Griffin Hammer and Cam Butler. As such, it's doubtful CSU takes any others at the position. Both will need to become better blockers, but there is no questioning their size, athleticism and catching ability. Hammer is expected to OV to CSU on December 2, while Butler will trip the following weekend.
Inside The Rams prediction: CSU is finished recruiting TEs with Hammer and Butler firmly committed.
Four interior offensive linemen are already on board for the Rams this class, so they are finished in that department. Tackle is a different story, however. CSU could take as many as three tackles, so this is an area to really watch for over the next month. CSU will host a half dozen priority targets at the position in the coming weeks. Fresno State commit Jesse Chamberlain will be in Fort Collins for CSU's home finale against New Mexico. Massive tackle and former USF Bull Ben Knox remains CSU's top target. Even though he will sign in one month, he is planning on taking all five official visits. San Diego State, FIU and FAU are among the schools also in the picture for his services. Tyler Bjorklund and Eleasah Anderson will most likely visit on the massive December 9 visitor weekend. Joctavis Phillips, Brian Thomas and Washington natives John Blasco and Wyatt Musser also remain in the mix. Jean Eason probably missed out on his opportunity to join the class by waiting too long to commit. CSU, though, should be in good position to land a healthy stable of tackles when it's all said and done.
Inside The Rams prediction: Ben Knox, Jesse Chamberlain and Tyler Bjorklund commit to CSU.
CSU is done in this area, as David, Lebron, Firment and Brooks solidify CSU's need up front.
Inside The Rams prediction: CSU is done taking commits on the interior of the offensive line.
CSU's defensive line is an intriguing position. While on one hand it appears CSU is lacking depth, the Rams may not have a real need to add many more defensive tackles or ends in this year's class. Reggie Howard fills a need at both tackle and end and will probably start at one of those positions next fall. The emergence of Toby McBride, Arjay Jean, Richard King and O'Shea Jackson means CSU has a solid corps to build on moving forward, especially when you add in redshirts Christian Colon and Anthony Smith. That being said, CSU will add one more defensive lineman to the class. A tackle would be great, but a solid end would also be welcomed. We'll detail the rush ends/Buck OLBs next, as CSU will take one or two more of them. At tackle, CSU has kept tabs of a dozen or so options, most of which were offered. For now, only a few remain in the mix. T.J. Mauga is one, as is Tulane commit Caleb Sampson, who will visit December 2. Dereck Boles and Joey Hobbs haven't received as much attention of late, but guys who have include Christian Howard (Knox's teammate at Independence), Livingston Paogofie (Anthony Hawkins' teammate at Bowie) and Quad Reed. Others may emerge over the next month, but CSU would probably like to solidify its DL this class following the December 9 recruiting weekend.
Inside The Rams prediction: Livingston Paogofie commits to give CSU another versatile defensive end.
Buck OLB/Rush End
What's interesting is CSU could take up to two more linebackers. Larry Matkins and Connor Kaminski are no longer in the fold, so CSU could take another inside linebacker alongside Patrick Moody, or possibly two more pass rusher types in addition to Corte Tapia. CSU has offered several intriguing end/OLB hybrids of late to bring their target list to around ten recruits. Miami Carol City's Jamare Edwards is a top candidate, as are Highland C.C.'s Brandon Berry and Jamal Gates of Dwyer (Fla.). All three will take official visits either the 2nd or 9th of December. Peach County (Ga.) twins Kevin and Kyle Nixon (Kevin is a rush end, Kyle is a safety) will trip to CSU December 2. The Rams just offered Chris Brooks' teammate at Newbury Park, Jordan Flack. He should be in line for a visit. Emmanuel Jones of Woodland High (Ga.) and Deon Pate of Jacksonville are also top priorities, especially if Berry and Edwards commit elsewhere. A dark horse name is Marcus Haynes from Fork Union Military Academy. The 6-foot-4 athlete hauled in 12 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards as a senior receiver at Bowie in Maryland before transitioning to DE at Fork Union. Haynes has very limited contact with recruiters due to the tight restrictions at his school, but he should visit CSU December 9. One other name is Roman Kafentzis, a big-bodied safety who could grow into a linebacker.
Inside The Rams prediction: CSU adds Kevin Nixon, Deon Pate and Marcus Haynes.
The Rams will probably take two more corners. They'll host a boatload of visitors next month and should have a pair in hand by mid-December. Darius Wise from Beaver, Pennsylvania will visit Dec. 2. Christian Cumber and D.J. Thomas - Jamare Edwards' teammate at Carol City - will join CSU commit Jeff Hubbard in visiting Dec. 9. Other big time targets include Tre Person, Justus Harris, Antonio Howard, Deante Fortenberry, Amik Robertson, and Jalen Lane. A lot of names are certainly in the picture and the Rams would like to shore up depth and add talent at an area of need.
Inside The Rams prediction: Colorado State adds commitments from Justus Harris and D.J. Thomas.
CSU will take one, or possibly two safeties. They've targeted several newer recruits, each of which have received CSU offers. Big athlete Devin Lloyd, Trey Sterling, Zoauntarrious Brunt, Kyle Nixon, Elijah Walker, Ahman Ross, and Dawson Degroot are each names to zero in on for Rams fans. Brunt and Walker are JUCO targets, while the others are top prep targets. CSU needs help in the secondary, but going the JUCO route last cycle didn't pan out. However, Brunt would be a nice addition, while Walker could still end up at K-State.
Inside The Rams prediction: Colorado State receives commitments from Trey Sterling and Kyle Nixon the weekend of December 2.
CSU may actually take a kicker this class. Actually, more accurately stated, they're targeting a punter from Brentwood, Tennessee in Tucker Day. The U.S. Army All-American is slated to visit CSU on December 2. He is strongly considering CSU and the Rams would likely take his commitment, even with the possibility of Tavis Guerra taking over for Hayden Hunt next year. However, there's a reason CSU is targeting Day and they realize the importance of having a talented punter to flip field position.
Inside The Rams prediction: Tucker Day commits to CSU on December 4.
When it's all said and done, the Rams could sign a full class of 25 commitments. With the graduation 20 players and a fair amount of possible roster attrition following the season, the Rams will be able to fill a variety of needs - offensive line, receiver, pass rushers, and defensive backs. There are still plenty of big names on the board and the next couple of months, especially the big recruiting weekends of December 2 and 9, should prove to be very exciting.
We saw attrition in last year's class. There is a possibility of that this year, but don't expect there to be near as many academic casualties. If we haven't made it clear in this article, mark your calendars for the first two weekends in December, because the Rams will host a record number of official visitors. While the lists have yet to be finalized, CSU could host anywhere from 30-40 players those two weekends. So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a dramatic couple of months leading up to another important recruiting class under Mike Bobo, as the Rams get ready to play in their new on-campus stadium next fall.