CU Football News and Notes

With signing day less than five weeks away, the Buffs are close to being done with earning verbal commitments from prospects. Inside, news and notes about recruiting, and the football program in general.

Dan Hawkins expects to add 24 players on scholarship, a combination of prospects signing letters of intent on Feb. 6, or financial aid agreements prior to that. As well, two players included in that 24 are safety Daniel Dykes and receiver Scotty McKnight, players who started in 2007 as walk-ons.

Also among that number are a handful of mid-year enrollees. Hawkins said Friday the Buffs could have "three or four" such players, who would enroll at CU by Jan. 14, then be able to participate in spring ball.

Though Hawkins, per NCAA rules, did not talk about specific players, three of them are likely to be running back P.T. Gates, athlete Devan Johnson and linebacker Lynn Katoa.

Three scholarships are expected to open up due to attrition. Two players — wide receivers Alvin Barnett and Jarrell Yates — are not expected back with the team. Linebacker R.J. Brown will take a medical redshirt due to several concussions during his career.

Hawkins said the staff is nearly finished with filling the class of incoming players.

"We're pretty close to being done," Hawkins said.

January, then, is a month of focusing on keeping those who have given verbal commitments to the Buffs. Hawkins said he's never shocked by last-minute changes in prospects' intentions, but his staff does a good job of limiting that kind of movement.

"Typically, how we recruit, our style and how we do things, generally there's not a huge shift there," he said. "It's because of the way we approach things. It's not so much the used-car (salesman) thing or the ‘Hey, get in or you're out' (approach)."

Hawkins said he expects most of the incoming players to have a chance to see playing time as true freshmen.

• Talk about wide-eyed, 98 players traveled to the bowl game in Shreveport. Of those, 35 had been to a bowl game before as CU Buffs, and only 21 had played in a bowl game.

• The practice bubble, erected in October, should benefit the players in the coming weeks as they can conduct player-led 7 on 7 drills no matter the weather. The strength and conditioning staff will also utilize the facility as they implement their off-season workout regimen.

• Again, utilizing the bubble if necessary, Colorado will conduct its 15 spring practices (and spring game) the third week of March, and the first three weeks of April. (Players will have the final week of March, spring break, off). The spring game is tentatively scheduled for April 19.

• Asked to name some freshmen who redshirted this past season who he expects to make an impact on the depth chart in the spring, Dan Hawkins on Friday said defensive backs Anthony Perkins, Lamont Smith (possibly as a returner) and Anthony Wright. He also said to watch for defensive linemen Eugene Goree, Conrad Obi and Lagrone Shields, wide receiver Markques Simas, all the offensive linemen and quarterback Matt Ballenger.

As is Hawkins' policy, all jobs are open for competition in the spring. There are no incumbent starters.

• Sophomore linebacker Michael Sipili, who was expected to start before being suspended from school last fall, is expected back in school and on the team this spring.

Tyler Cope, who handled most of CU's kickoff duties in 2007, will transfer to Oregon State. The Oregon native was a walk on at CU, and probably wouldn't have had a scholarship down the road, so he decided to play in his home state where he won't have to pay out of state tuition.

• At this point, Jordon Dizon, Tyler Polumbus and Terrence Wheatley have received invitations to the NFL Combine, which takes place in February 20-26 in Indianapolis.

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