In the end, the Rams got their man.
David Porter, one of Colorado State's top remaining recruiting targets, ended a long recruitment on Tuesday night with his commitment to CSU, picking the Rams over offers from Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Rutgers, among others. The 3-star defensive end from Little Rock (Ark.) Joe T. Robinson took his one and only official visit to CSU over the weekend.
According to Porter, the trip surpassed his expectations.
"Colorado State is like a hidden treasure. Like, it was so much more than you would think it would be," Porter said of his visit. "The facilities are top-of-the-line. I love what they're doing with their program. They won seven games while playing a lot of freshmen last year. I think that them, plus with what we're bringing in now, I think that we could win a conference championship and go even further, really. I think Colorado State is moving in the right direction and I want to be a part of it."
Porter's relationships with the CSU staff included tight bonds with primary recruiter Ricky Logo, Bryan Applewhite and head coach Mike Bobo. Both Logo and Applewhite stopped by for in-home visits previously, which Porter said had a lasting impact on him.
Ultimately, Logo's heavy recruitment of Porter paid massive dividends for the Rams.
"Coach Logo was the one who extended the (scholarship) offer initially last summer. He came down to the school to see me a few times. He would call or check up on me every few days, or whenever he could. He was always in contact. Coach Applewhite, he would come by the school to see me. He'll be back down this week, I believe. Those were the main two, then Coach Bobo, of course," Porter explained.
"Something about them that stuck out would have to be seeing them for myself, because a lot of people can tell you a lot about their program, and I've seen a lot of different programs. But when I went to Colorado State, I was blown away. It seemed like the place to be."
It wasn't just his relationships with the coaches that sold him on committing to the Rams. Time spent with his player-host, freshman pass rusher Arjay Jean, and other Rams players, left Porter feeling like he meshed well with the team.
"I feel like I have a lot of similarities with the players. I feel like we're going to get along pretty good when I get there."
Porter earned first team all-state as a senior and was a James Street Award finalist, which honors outstanding sportsmanship. He amassed 105 total tackles, 10 sacks, 24 tackles for loss and one forced fumble in 2016.
At 6-foot-3, 233 pounds, Porter said many recruiters feel his ceiling is high because he just turned 17 in September and they believe he still has a lot of room to grow.
Not only that, but CSU told Porter he is raw and is only just scratching the surface of his potential. Porter agrees.
"They believe I have a really high ceiling because of how young I am. They think my potential is endless, almost. My pass rush is pretty good for someone who hasn't really worked on it that much. They believe they can put a lot of muscle on me."
It has been an arduous, yet fruitful recruiting process for the big defensive end. So just how excited is Porter to be a CSU Rams pledge?
"I'm very excited. I feel relieved and I feel like I know I'm headed in the right direction," Porter said. "I think Colorado State's going to do a good job of bringing the best out of me. However they have to do that, I know it's going to be done. That's reassuring."
With his commitment, Colorado State now has 20 verbal commitments for the 2017 recruiting class. 3-star offensive linemen Ben Knox and Tyler Bjorklund, 3-star tight end Griffin Hammer and former Scout 5-star receiver Preston Williams, a Tennessee transfer, all signed and enrolled with CSU in December. Of CSU's remaining 20 verbal commitments, 14 are rated 3-stars.