Wide receivers were a top priority in the 2009 cycle, and while CU successfully landed three players at the position, coaches wanted more. Players such as Diante Jackson, Emory Blake and Markish Jones flirted with CU right up to signing day and then went elsewhere.
CU landed two highly regarded prep prospects from the Dallas area in Jarrod Darden and Terdema Ussery but those two are the only sure bets to join the roster in the summer. Junior college wide receiver Andre Simmons has a lot of academic work to do to make it to Boulder and play next fall.
So CU coaches have spent the past two months scouring the nation and talking with their contacts searching for wideouts who may have slipped through the cracks somehow. They have literally searched from Miami, where they found one possibility, to Hawaii.
Scout.com asked CU wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau this week if he is still actively recruiting wide receivers to sign this spring or summer.
"Absolutely. And I think we will," Kiesau said. "We've got some guys and there is some interest out there.
"That's the one thing with me and just our style in recruiting. I'm going to go after big-time players. A lot of schools don't do that when you win five games. You don't go after the top guys in the country. I'll role the dice and I'll do that. I've done it everywhere I've been and Hawk has done it.
"Yeah, we did miss on a few, but that doesn't mean it's over. That's kind of where we are now. We've got some guys we're kind of looking at and evaluating. We don't want to take a guy just to take a guy. We want to make sure it's the right guy. As you know, with us we like to take a little bit longer and get to know the kid and get to know their high school program and kind of figure out what they're all about. We're not just looking at tape and going, ‘Oh, that guy's a baller. Let's offer him.' We're in the process of doing that right now. When that will happen? I don't know. But is it a high priority for us? Absolutely."
Stanley JeanBaptiste is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound receiver who grew up in the Miami area and moved between several high schools. He spent much of his junior and senior years working to improve his academic situation and took an extra semester to work on it last fall when he attended North Carolina Tech Prepatory Christian Academy, where he also played football.
North Carolina Tech assistant head coach Chi-Emeke Worthington confirmed CU has been in touch and is considering offering Jean-Baptiste a scholarship.
"He came up here and did a great job and got his test scores up and everything, and now he's ready to go out there and play some football," Worthington said.
Jean-Baptiste played alongside another former CU recruit last season. Ed Tinker, a prospect from the Pittsburgh area, signed to play at Pittsburgh in February. Worthington said there weren't enough balls to go around last season or Jean-Baptiste's numbers would have been better than the 30 or so catches he made for about 500 yards and six scores.
"He's a very fluid athlete," Worthington said. "He's deceptively fast. With his frame, sometimes it doesn't look like he's running very fast, but he's pulling away from everybody. He's so long. He definitely is a guy who can be a vertical threat, and he will go up over defenders and get the ball."
Kiesau said speed is the key ingredient he is looking for in this particular search. He has tall receivers in Ussery and Darden and doesn't want to add another player with similar ability. One prospect who fits into that description would be Jewel Hardy, a lanky wideout from Compton Community College, who visited CU late in the recruiting process. Hardy is likely not in the mix because he so similar in style and ability to the two players who are already signed.
We will continue to follow the situation in the coming days and weeks.