California safety visiting Buffs

Colorado has targeted defensive backs as one of its three primary need positions in the 2009 recruiting class along with wide receivers and the defensive line. This weekend the Buffs will host a three-star safety prospect from California who says he's anxious to see Boulder and find out more about the program.

Nathan Fellner, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect from Clovis West High School in Fresno, Calif., who calls himself "a soft commit" to Washington, is scheduled to be in Boulder on Friday on what is expected to be a light recruiting weekend for coach Dan Hawkins' program.

Colorado's offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is the primary recruiter working with Fellner, who first heard from the Colorado staff about two months ago during a stellar senior season.

Fellner earned all-conference honors as his team won the Valley championship. Defensive coordinator Ron Collins watched him play in that game after reviewing film of the rest of his senior year and contacted him the next day with a scholarship offer.

Fellner said Helfrich has made two in-home visits with him, the second occurred on Monday night (Jan. 5). During those visits, Fellner said Helfrich has come equipped with a full power point presentation on Colorado, comparing the school with Washington and others.

He has seen plenty of photos of one of the most picturesque campuses in the nation during those visits with Helfrich and he said he is looking forward to his first visit to the real thing in a few days.

So what would have to happen during his visit for him to change his commitment?

"I guess if I just feel really comfortable there with a lot of the players and coaches," Fellner said. "I guess if it just feels like home there.

"That's mostly it. If it's where you feel the most comfortable at and where you feel you can be the best at for the next four years. That's pretty much what would sway me."

Three years in to Hawkins' tenure in Boulder, the program doesn't have as much early playing time available as it once did, but coaches have told Fellner he would have a good chance of playing as a true freshman on defense and special teams if he becomes a Buff.

"That's what I'm looking for, too, in a school," Fellner said. "I mean I'm up for competition, but I'd like to be able to play right away, if not second year or something like that.

"It looks like they're young at safety, but they've got some good players there. They also talked about if it doesn't work out at safety, they would move me to WILL (linebacker) or something like that. But I prefer safety."

Fellner said he knows several students who attend Colorado, but he doesn't have any previous relationships with current members of the team.

"I just want to check out Boulder and see what kind of place it's like, and, hopefully, just kind of get good vibes I guess," Fellner said.

With a 3.6 grade-point average and a 1530 score on his SAT, Fellner will be fully qualified academically when he graduates from high school later this year.

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