JUCO signings for CU?

Eligible junior college players hoping to jump to Division I programs can finalize those plans beginning this week with the arrival of the JUCO signing period for midyear enrollees. Will Colorado land any of these prospects? Get inside for more.

Colorado has a total of just eight commitments so far for its 2009 recruiting class. Only one of those players is a junior college prospect.

Wide receiver Andre Simmons from Independence Junior College in Kansas says he remains committed to Colorado, but Simmons won't be signing scholarship paperwork with the Buffs this week because he has work remaining in the classroom at the junior-college level before he is eligible to move to the next level.

Only junior college players who plan to enroll at the midyear semester break will be signing scholarship paperwork with programs across the nation this week.

Junior college players who were qualifiers out of high school and those who have earned their associate's degree can sign this week. All others must wait to Feb. 4 (National Signing Day) to make their college choice official.

Unless something materializes quickly, the Buffs won't have any midyear enrollees, meaning no newcomers for spring ball from the junior college or prep ranks.

Coaches continue to recruit a handful of junior college players and several could be visiting Boulder between now and signing day.

A junior college player who was a non-qualifier out of high school must earn an associate's degree and have 48 transferable credits to get in to Colorado. Simmons is expected to meet this criteria after completing further course work during the spring, and, if necessary, the summer.

Colorado linebacker Shaun Mohler was in a similar position last year and got through a massive workload. He became a mainstay in the CU defense this season. Simmons has plenty of work to do to make it to Boulder, but not as much as Mohler did.

Junior college players often have a difficult time adjusting to the academic expectations at CU and other similar schools. Some adapt and meet the challenge. Others don't.

"From an academic standpoint, it's a lot tougher here for the most part," former CU defensive end Drew Hudgins said. "There are a few classes that are pretty hard there, but most of them are a lot easier. I only had like 49 of my 85 credits transfer so I had to rush to get ready to be here."

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