True freshmen making major impact at CU

Mike MacIntyre believes in the evaluating skills of himself and his coaching staff. Several prospects only had offers from San Jose State and MacIntyre before making the move to Boulder when the new coaching staff was hired. Go "Inside" to see what a lot of first year players have accomplished so far for the Buffs.

Mike MacIntyre believes in the evaluating skills of himself and his coaching staff.

Several prospects only had offers from San Jose State and MacIntyre before making the move to Boulder when the new coaching staff was hired.

While some fans wonder if MacIntyre can recruit in the competitive Pac 12 conference, you only have to look as far as some of his true freshmen recruits that are already making an impact at Colorado.

Middle linebacker Addison Gillam only had one offer from San Jose State, currently he leads the Buffs in tackles with 77, including 53 solo tackles and three sacks. He is No. 6th in the Pac 12 in tackles behind two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore. No one can say that Gillam isn't deserving of playing Pac 12 football.

Several other true freshmen are making major impacts on this football team, show current prospects that Colorado are recruiting that the best player will start at CU, no matter what class he is in.

Quarterback Sefo Liufau is a prime example of this.

Liufau came out of fall camp as the No. 2 signal caller behind junior quarterback Connor Wood. Wood had more experience, and understood the offense better, as time went on, the Buff coaching staff decided to make the switch to go with the talented freshman during the Arizona State ballgame. Liufau has responded, showing a lot of promise and definitely shows he is the future for this Colorado football team.

Another youngster that has earned a starting role for Colorado is California native Michael Adkins. It was evident that the Buffs had a definite need for speed at the position. MacIntyre and his staff turned to Adkins, who is currently the No. 2 leading rusher on the team, missed one game with a concussion two weeks ago. Adkins has played in six games, rushing for 410 yards on just 70 carries and five touchdowns.

Ryan Severson is another first year player that played high school football last year. He was named as one of the starting kickoff returners due to his speed and toughness. He has returned 27 kickoffs for 616 yards for a 22.8 average.

MacIntyre joked that he wished that Severson didn't have as many returns as he does.

"I'm waiting for his parents to charge me with child abuse for having so many returns," MacIntyre said. "He has done a good job, I just wished we didn't have to use him as much."

One of the most talented young athletes on this team is San Jose native Chidobe Awuzie. He has been starting in the defensive backfield and has shown this season that there is a lot of Pac 12 schools he could play for.

Devin Ross has also seen action at his wide receiver position.

When asked at today's press conference if there was a big difference in recruiting at San Jose State compared to recruiting at Colorado, MacIntyre had this response.

"I think it's relative," MacIntyre said. We are recruiting a lot of good football players that we are excited about. You have to keep working to get to know them, their parents. I have always said it's very important to get the right 22 players for our program. I thought the class we brought in this past class is a good class, especially based on how late we got started in the process. We have a lot of quality young men on this team, several we red-shirted that needed to get bigger and stronger, that will help us next season."

You can bet one thing MacIntyre and his coaching staff are selling to recruits is the fact on how many true freshmen came in this year and is making a major contribution. Also the fact that the Buffs need a lot more talented youth to come in next fall and challenge for a starting role.

MacIntyre and his staff did an outstanding job recognizing talent at San Jose State, if you don't believe so, just go back to the beginning of this story and read it again.


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