Big recruiting weekend in Boulder

The Colorado football program will host its largest recruiting weekend of the season this week with No. 5 Texas in town for the 94th annual Homecoming festivities.

Coach Dan Hawkins said this week's guest list will be the largest during the season and one of the biggest groups he has hosted since becoming coach of the Buffs.

More than a dozen recruits are expected to make official visits and a half-dozen or more in-state recruits will also be on hand visiting unofficially for the first sellout in Hawkins' tenure.

Hawkins continues to focus on building depth at several positions including both the offensive and defensive lines and wide receiver.

At least five players being recruited as wide receivers or "athletes" are expected to watch the Buffs and Longhorns tangle Saturday, including James Johnson, a 6-foot, 180-pound product of Valley Center, Calif.

One of those five players, Jarrod Darden, is already committed to CU and is recovering from a broken leg suffered during a practice last month. Other wide receivers prospects in town will be Emory Blake, a 6-1, 190-pound player from Austin, Texas, Diante Jackson, a 6-1, 185-pound product of Los Lomas, Calif., and Markus Wheaton, a 6-0, 180-pound speedster from Chandler, Ariz.

CU coaches are also expecting important prospects on the lines such as Jack Harris, one of the highest rated in-state players this cycle. Harris, a 6-6, 280-pound player from Chaparral High School in Parker could be the closest to announcing his decision. Harris is choosing between Colorado and Oregon.

The defensive line also is a need position for the Buffs and coaches hope Edward Nuckols, a 6-2, 290-pound tackle from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, Calif., will become the second defensive lineman to commit in this cycle.

Hawkins said recruiting weekends are always a little overwhelming no matter how many players he is hosting.

"It's unbelievable," Hawkins said. "You've got to schedule it basically minute by minute.

"It's extremely tough because you're so locked in on the game, at the same time, you've got to learn to kind of switch it off and go, 'OK, I've got to go do this and I've got to do that and I've got to weave in all of that other stuff.'You get used to it after awhile, but it's kind of split-brained stuff after awhile."

Colorado currently has 80 players under scholarship. That leaves five available scholarships. The team will lose 13 scholarship seniors when the season comes to end and wide receiver Kendrick Celestine recently decided to transfer, meaning coaches should have 19 scholarships to fill.

Hawkins generally likes to keep a few available scholarships to reward hard-working walk-ons or a player who might transfer from another school. So count on around 15-16 members in the 2009 recruiting class.

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