With camp season nearly upon us, Inside The Rams takes a look at fifteen of Colorado State's top recruiting targets at the moment. The staff has worked tirelessly this spring, traveling all over the country to offer prospects, evaluate some in person and talk to countless coaches in an effort to secure yet another talented recruiting class under the direction of head coach Mike Bobo.
While the Rams have offered many dozens of prospects at nearly every position for the 2018 class, ITR profiles several handfuls to help Rams fans gain a better understanding of who CSU is targeting this cycle. The reality is CSU's recruiting board likely holds hundreds of names, many of which hold CSU offers. However, below are fifteen names that are CSU priorities to join current 2018 commits Zach Schlager and Nick Martin-Morman.
Cape Fear (NC) HS
6’2, 242 lbs.
CSU has offered more than half a dozen quarterbacks in the 2018 class, but Galloway-Velasquez might be the most intriguing one of the bunch. He’s still a bit raw in terms of technique and footwork, but he’s a true dual-threat quarterback with the ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs. Built like a tank, Galloway-Velasquez is listed at 6-foot-2, 242 pounds by scout.com with a reported 4.68 40-time. This past season at Cape Fear, he led his team to a state championship appearance while throwing for 2,467 yards and 26 touchdowns, in addition to 1,912 rushing yards and 26 more touchdowns on the ground.
He would give CSU a second dual-threat quarterback alongside 2017 signee Justice McCoy, but the Rams will have to battle Appalachian State, East Carolina, Louisville and others for his commitment. Joe Cox is among several staffers that have done an outstanding job recruiting the big athlete.
Legend (CO) HS
6’3, 195 lbs.
Muma is one of the top-10 in-state prospects in the 2018 class, and the second-best safety behind Highlands Ranch standout and Colorado commit Ray Robinson. After tallying 64 total tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble as a junior last fall, Muma has picked up offers CSU, Nevada, Wyoming and Hawaii. The Rams are recruiting Muma to play linebacker, but his versatility could lend itself to playing time at multiple different spots in CSU’s 3-4 scheme. When Inside The Rams caught up with him at the beginning of April, Muma said CSU was definitely one of his favorites and he looks to have his commitment wrapped up by the end of this summer. He visited during spring ball along with Legend teammate Tate Wildeman. CSU likely was hoping to secure an early commitment from Muma, who picked up his first offer from the Rams in February of 2016.
Windsor (CO) HS
6’5, 270 lbs.
One of the more underrated prospects in the 2018 in-state class is Watts, a massive two-way standout at nearby Windsor High School. As a junior last season, Watts racked up 56 tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss on the defensive side of the ball, but is being primarily recruiting to the offensive line by Marty English. He’s garnered a total of seven offers, including Colorado State and Wyoming, and has received high interest from Colorado. The Rams and Cowboys are among his recruiting favorites now, and Watts told Inside the Rams he would prefer to stay close to home.
There’s no timetable for his commitment, but Watts hinted he would like to have a decision made before his senior season begins in August. Close buddy and former Windsor teammate Corte Tapia is in Watts' ear trying to sway Watts to join him at CSU.
St. Edwards (OH) HS
6’2, 180 lbs.
CSU reached into the talent-rich state of Ohio to offer Shields, a long, athletic safety from Lakewood. Shields holds more than a dozen offers, including Cincinnati, Colorado State, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan. He plans to take unofficial visits to CSU and Cincinnati this summer, and list those two as his recruiting favorites. Rams safeties coach Jamie Bryant is the lead recruiter on this one.
Central Catholic (FL) HS
6’0, 220 lbs.
Fitz-Henley could be the steal of CSU’s recruiting class if the Rams can land his commitment. At 6-foot, 220 pounds, he’s slightly undersized for major Power 5 programs, but Fitz-Henley makes plays all over the field, similar to current Ram Deonte Clyburn. CSU has had a lot of success with undersized backers in recent years (Myke Sisson, Max Morgan, Aaron Davis and the aforementioned Clyburn). He could realistically play three of the backer spots, but likely fits inside at the ‘Mike’ spot best. Toledo and Colorado State are leading for the nations 32nd-ranked inside backer, but expect the Rams to have some serious competition for him in the next few months.
Defensive end/Tight end
Fort Morgan (CO) HS
6’4, 235 lbs.
CSU already has one Ram legacy on board in the 2018 class with McCook (Neb.) ILB Zach Schlager, and they’re hoping to land another with Fort Morgan (CO) DE/TE Trey McBride, younger brother of current CSU defensive lineman Toby McBride. Trey has been more highly-recruited than his brother, reeling in offers from Cal, Colorado, Kansas State, Utah State, Wyoming, Navy and CSU. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, McBride is considered a “jumbo athlete,” meaning he could likely see playing time at tight end, defensive end or even outside linebacker depending on where Marty English wants to use him.
Older brother Toby has been in his ear about joining him at CSU, and Trey has the Rams high on his list, but it’ll be tough to keep him away from the allure of the Pac-12. Trey has been on numerous unofficial visits to CSU in the past, which include games the last couple of years and junior day visits, the most recent of which was this spring.
Waunakee (WI) HS
5’9, 205 lbs.
Running back might be CSU’s deepest position right now, with Dalyn Dawkins, Izzy Matthews, Marvin Kinsey Jr., Darius May and Rashaad Boddie all competing for playing time this year. But with Dawkins graduating after this season, the Rams will look to replace his speed and elusiveness with Johnson, a stud back who averaged 7.5 yards per carry as a junior last season. Johnson has some serious football pedigree in the family with his father Lawrence Sr., who played at Wisconsin before a nine-year NFL career.
Rated as the No. 45 RB nationally by Scout, Johnson holds offers from CSU, Central Michigan, Ball State and Northern Iowa, but has received substantial interest from Iowa, Iowa State and his father’s alma mater, Wisconsin.
Miami Central (FL) HS
5’10, 173 lbs.
The defensive backfield will again be a big priority for CSU in the 2018 class, and Jones is at the top of the list for the Rams. Playing at powerhouse Miami Central, Jones has garnered offers from Louisville, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina. Despite a long list of Power Five offers, the 5-foot-10, 173-pound corner has been impressed by Colorado State and hopes to take a visit to Fort Collins this summer.
CSU coaches have told Jones they like his natural athleticism and technical ability, particularly his coverage skills. Those things could make a candidate for very early playing time if Jones chooses the Rams this summer when he expects to choose his college destination.
Juan Henry, Jr.
Cibolo Steele (TX) HS
6’1, 228 lbs.
CSU has cranked up its recruiting in the state of Texas, and Henry is a perfect example of that. Playing at 6A state runner-up Cibolo Steele, Henry racked up 66 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season as a junior, earning first-team all-district honors. Those numbers should improve even more during his senior season, and Henry is also likely to see his recruitment heat up. But after visiting Fort Collins this spring, Henry came away extremely impressed and lists CSU as his clear leader heading into the summer. He has no plans for an immediate commitment, but said he plans to take an official visit to Fort Collins again this fall.
Woodlawn (LA) HS
6’3, 285 lbs.
Defensive line will again be a position of need for CSU in this year’s class, especially with how thin the Rams now are after the departure of signee Christian Howard. Mims likely projects as a nose tackle, but can also slide into one of the defensive end spots on run downs as well. Mims holds offers from Louisiana Monroe, South Alabama, CSU and a handful of others, but is another player that will likely see his recruitment hit high gear this fall. The Rams have boosted their recruitment of 'The Boot' since Bryan Applewhite's arrival on staff and he is Mims' lead recruiter on this one.
Moreau Catholic (CA) HS
5’11, 185 lbs.
Pullum was a jack-of-all-trades at Moreau Catholic last season, racking up 469 all-purpose yards on the offensive side of the ball while also collecting 47 tackles and three interceptions from his safety position. Mountain West rivals Nevada and Hawaii were Pullum’s first two offers, and he has substantial interest from Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State, too. Recruits all over Twitter have shown their appreciation for CSU's photograph design edits sent their way, and Pullum is certainly one who has been vocal in his appreciation for CSU's, specifically.
Allen (TX) HS
5’9, 193 lbs.
Like with Juan Henry Jr., CSU is hoping to tap into another perennial Texas powerhouse and steal Sturges away from a long list of suitors. As a junior last season, Sturges was Allen High School’s leading rusher, rushing for 1,138 yards and 16 touchdowns en route to being first-team 6A all-district.
The 30th-ranked back in the country, Sturges holds offers from Boise State, SMU, Arizona State, Colorado and Houston, among others. That list is likely to grow if Sturges has another breakout season this fall as a senior. It’ll be tough for Mike Bobo and Co. to hold off a number of of Power Five programs, but if they can, they just might have found CSU’s feature back of the future. Sturges will be a tough land for the Rams, but the staff has done a tremendous job recruiting him.
Hebron (TX) HS
5’9, 175 lbs.
With the upcoming graduation of speedy slot receiver Detrich Clark, CSU will be looking for a playmaker at wideout in the 2018 class, and Mitchell could be that guy. Mitchell hauled in 17 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown last season, and will only see his production improve as a senior.
Currently, Mitchell holds offers from CSU, BYU, Stephen F. Austin and Utah State. He was on hand for CSU's spring game and told Inside The Rams he was impressed with the Rams enough to name them one of his top recruiting leaders.
Orange Coast (CA) CC
6’4, 195 lbs.
CSU is no stranger to Orange Coast Community College, recruiting a number of players from there the past two years, including 2017 signee Zoauntarrious Brunt. The Rams will be looking to add another long, rangy athlete, just on the offensive side of the ball this time. Rutledge, a 6’4 jump-ball machine, caught 36 passes for 604 yards and four touchdown a year ago as a freshman. CSU was the first to offer Rutledge, with Iowa State not far behind.
Rutledge will have two years of eligibility left, and is on track to graduate in December, meaning he will be able to join whichever program he signs with for spring practice in 2018.
Independence (KS) CC
6’4, 285 lbs.
Mike Bobo and Co. are also no stranger to Independence Community College, where 2017 signee Benjamin Knox hails from. CSU will go a long way toward solidifying the interior of its defense if the Rams can land Barkley, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound behemoth in the middle. Barkley already holds offers from Colorado, South Carolina and Florida A&M. Originally from Charlotte, Barkley is high on the Gamecocks because of their proximity to home, but is not yet close to a decision.