Embree talks recruiting

Buffs still doing well in recruiting, even as losses mount, coach says.

There's no question this season has been a struggle on the field for the Colorado Buffaloes.

On the recruiting trail, however, the Buffaloes like the direction they are headed.

"It's going real well," head coach Jon Embree recently said about recruiting. "(The response from players) has been favorable. I think people see the style we're playing and they see opportunity."

This season, 15 true freshmen have seen the field. Part of that has been out of necessity, because of injuries. But, it does signal to high school recruits that there's a chance to get on the field quicker in Boulder than in other places.

One area in which recruits could view as a great opportunity to play is at running back. Leading rusher Rodney Stewart is a senior, leaving the door open at that spot.

For the past several years, CU has had a variety of small backs -- Stewart, Brian Lockridge and Tony Jones among them. The 2012 recruiting class is likely to see a change in that philosophy.

The Buffs already received a verbal commitment from Davien Payne, a three-star recruit from Perris, Calif. Payne is 6-foot-0, 212 pounds. Terrence Crowder, a 5-10, 210-pound three-star recruit from Galena Park, Texas, has also given a verbal commitment.

"There's a couple other big guys we're in on," Embree said.

"That always helps you (to have big backs). When we had (Bobby) Purify, (Chris) Brown, Cortlen (Johnson), you had bigger guys and that helps you when you're running the ball, as far as wearing guys down. Later in the game you get bigger runs."

Who will block for those guys? So far, tackle Jeromy Irwin from Cypress, Texas, and guard Gerrad Kough from Pomona, Calif., have given verbal commitments. The Buffs, however, have missed out on all the top in-state linemen.

"A couple of them we're still recruiting," Embree said of the in-state linemen. "But for the most part, their reasons for leaving aren't going to change. What we're doing is not going to change their reason for wanting to go."

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