Shaun Simon, a 6-foot-2, 310-pound player from the talent-laden program at Tulsa Union High School said he loved the family vibe around the Colorado program during his visit and he knew it was the right place for him.
"Everybody there was a big family," Simon told Scout.com. "From the academic people to the coaches wives to the coaches. Everybody in the whole town. Everybody on the team. There ain't really no big cliques. Everybody is just one big family."
Simon said he was one of four players making official visits to CU this weekend. He said he didn't know if any of the others committed. Simon said he is excited to get to Boulder this summer and hopes to compete for playing time right away.
Simon played center throughout his high school career and was recruited to CU to be the man in the middle. CU coaches will be trying to find a replacement for departed senior Daniel Sanders during the spring and summer practices.
Simon's size and attitude on the field give him a chance to at least be in the conversation.
"If I come in a work hard and learn the system and everything, I believe I can go in and play," he said. "They said it's open and the best five is going to play."
Another factor that might help him be successful at an early stage is how similar his high school offense is to what the Buffs do. Simon said he talked with interim offensive line coach Brad Bedell about those similarities during his visit.
"Our offense is basically exactly like Colorado's," he said. "Coach Bedell and I went over all that scheme-wise and it came out that ours is almost exactly the same to everything they do. One or two things are different, but that was another reason that I chose Colorado because it's not a big adjustment from what we do to what they do."
Simon said Colorado began recruiting him in the middle of his senior season. He said tight ends coach Kent Riddle and defensive coordinator Ron Collins have been his primary contacts with the program throughout the process. He said he has solid relationships with both.
Simon said coach Dan Hawkins was interviewing a candidate for the offensive line position this weekend and Hawkins told him there are several men being considered for the job. Simon said he trusts Hawkins will hire a solid coach.
"He's going to hire the right person for the job," Simon said. "Coach Bedell is going to be there regardless. It's not like everybody is going to be different. I like him a lot. He's a real cool dude.
Simon says his best skill is his run blocking but he is improving all the time in pass blocking. He said his long arms are a big asset. He described himself this way when he's on the football field.
"My mentality is aggression all day," he said. "I like to play hard and play physical."