Recruiting Talk

The past three years, Colorado has made a mark as one of the leaders in early recruiting among college football programs. The Buffs have shifted away from that emphasis this go around. The Buffalo Sports News recently spoke with director of football operations <b>David Hansburg</b> to find out about the reasons for that.

Assistant coaches hit the recruiting trail last week and will be out visiting high schools the remainder of this week, as well.

Buffalo Sports News: At this point, how many scholarships will you be able to give for next year's class?

David Hansburg: We anticipate 13 to 15. We've got to wait on Jeremy Bloom, and see what's going to happen to him. We had two left over from last year. Conceivably we could fill one of those spots with a kid currently on the roster or a late JC qualifier. You never know.

BSN: With that small a number, are you going about recruiting differently this year?

DH: Yeah, we're going to be a little more picky. And there will be less early offers.

BSN: Colorado was one of the leaders in early recruiting two and three years ago. So you're saying your emphasis on early recruiting has changed a little bit?

DH: The new academic requirements by the NCAA make it a little harder to early offer because fewer kids project as qualifiers. There are still a lot of qualifiers out there, but you're less willing to take a risk this early on a kid who may be marginal at this point. That's one piece of it.

The other piece is really just the lower number of scholarships that we have available. We want to be sure that we don't miss with that few of a number. With 25, if you miss on one or two, you're all right. But will 13 to 15, if you miss on two, that hurts. You really want to be a little more cautious with what you do early.

BSN: How many official offers do you think you will have made by the end of May?

DH: We're probably looking at somewhere between 50 to 70, as compared to about 100 on a full-boat year.

BSN: Can you take me through the contact periods over the next several weeks?

DH: The only contact you can make in May is you can initiate one phone call to them. They can call you all the time. But when you're on the road and you're going into the schools, you can watch them practice, you can pick up a transcript, you can watch and pick up tapes, you can talk to the coach, talk to the guidance counselor, but you can't be face-to-face with a kid.

If they're having spring practice, you can stand on the sidelines and watch, but they can't come over to you and shake your hand and introduce themselves to you. That's the bumping thing.

BSN: Will being down one assistant hurt you this month?

DH: No. You can only send seven coaches out at a time, and we have eight eligible. So we're really not at any disadvantage. What's nice is that all the coaches will have plenty of time to get to their area. There won't be any coaches who can just go out two weeks. They all get three weeks. It won't hurt us at all, really.

BSN: Which coaches are taking which areas this go around?

DH: Everybody's the same. Our California guys are Dave Borbely, Shawn Simms and Brian Cabral. And Simms is going to take Detroit for this spring.

Our Texas guys are Shawn Watson, Ted Gilmore, John Wristen and Chris Wilson. And then Mike Hankwitz is going to focus in Colorado. Wristo will also have a big part of Colorado.

And then every other coach will have at least one school in Colorado. Most of them have a conference or a group of schools. So everyone has some in Colorado.

Peripherally, Wristen still has Arizona and New Mexico. And then we'll go by position. So a kid out of those areas — say it's St. Louis or Chicago — if it's a wide receiver, it'll be Gilmore. We're going to go by position on those kids.

BSN: What are your areas of major need for the next class?

DH: Offensive line, particularly offensive tackle. We're definitely looking for a fullback; we always want to take at least one quarterback; looking for a big-play wide out, and a couple of interior defensive linemen.

We could take a corner, but we're pretty good at safety. And then one linebacker. But I'd say the most important areas are two o-linemen, a fullback and the two interior defensive linemen.

BSN: As coaches have talked to high school players, what's their perception been about the off-the-field stuff that's gone on the past three months?

DH: Everything's been positive. The local kids get all the perspectives. Nationally, the media has been mostly negative. …But this is the first week our guys have been out, so I haven't heard feedback yet. It'll probably take a few weeks. We'll have a meeting and I'll get feedback (from coaches). But so far I haven't heard any major issues.

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