CU Now Attractive to In-state Recruits

Mike MacIntyre's program is no longer hard to sell to local prep stars. The Buffs are set to sign four Colorado-bred players in February, and two in-state juniors are already on the commitment list for 2018.

During Colorado's long nine-year bowl drought, some local media members seem to obsess over the fact the Buffs were not able to keep top talent home for college. Their own criticisms of the state's flagship University were likely heard by those same recruits.

Carlo Kemp, JoJo Domann, Eric Lee and Kalen Ballage are among the talented in-state prospects Mike MacIntyre and his staff previously slaved over in their attempt to get them to sign with CU. In most cases, the Buffs were the first to offer the top in-state recruits before out-of-state programs came in and made their move.

“You can't overcome the undercurrent in recruiting,” MacIntyre began to explain at his press conference earlier this week. “Let's say Adam decides he wants to commit to us and he is at a Colorado high school back when we weren't very good, because most of the younger kids haven't seen Colorado be very good until now. He might commit and he'll be walking down the hallway and someone might say, 'Hey, man, I heard you are going to Colorado.' And three or four people will say, 'Why do you want to go to Colorado? They're terrible.' You can't overcome that.”

The last time the Buffs signed the top prep player in Colorado was all the way back in 2009 with Nick Kasa. The next seven No. 1 in-state prospects all decided to go out-of-state. That will change this cycle because blue-chip offensive tackle Jake Moretti recently decided to switch his pledge from Ohio State to Colorado.

The Buffs are set to sign three other Colorado-bred players in February, all of whom have a three-star rating on Scout. And two of CU's first three early pledges for the 2018 class are from in-state recruits.

10 wins and a Pac-12 South title can change perception in a hurry.

“Now when they walk down the hallway, they hear, 'Man, did you see that game? You ought to go to Colorado!' The uncles, the aunts, all those people are helping that undercurrent and that is what I have noticed more and more,” MacIntyre said. “I notice it when I go out somewhere to get dinner. More and more people are just excited about Colorado football. You can't underestimate that in recruiting. You just can't.”

Tuesday football notes -

*** MacIntyre decided they would switch to a 3-4 defense before Jim Leavitt arrived. Following Leavitt's departure, you can expect the Buffaloes' scheme to remain the same.

“I ran the 3-4 when I was with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets so I know the whole thing,” MacIntyre said. “I realized with all the spread teams we went against in this league, I felt that was the best fit. … We're going to call it the same way we call it now. We'll tweak a few things but we're not changing anything [drastically]."

*** MacIntyre said quarterback Sefo Liufau has not been limited at all during recent bowl practices, after he re-injured his right ankle in the Pac-12 Championship game. Liufau owns 98 school records going into the Alamo Bowl, his final contest with the Buffs.

“I am talking to the trainers every day. They say there are no issues at all and I haven't noticed anything, either, which is great,” MacIntyre said of Liufau.

*** After practicing at both receiver and defensive back during his first camp with the Buffaloes in August, Anthony Julmisse has settled in at cornerback and kick returner this fall. MacIntyre confirmed he will be on the defensive side of the ball moving forward.

“Anthony is a heck of a defensive back; a really gifted athlete,” MacIntyre said. “He is physical, he has good ball skills. He can do a lot of things for us but I think his best potential is at defensive back.

“He has all the tools to be an excellent defensive back. We just have to get him in the weight room, get him a little bit bigger so when he is hitting those guys all the time, he will stay healthy.”

*** The Buffs players went to Top Golf in Centennial on Monday during the team's day off, with defensive back Chidobe Awuzie drawing some flak from his teammates for his unique golf swing. They are set to go to the Children's Hospital after practice on Wednesday.

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