Head Coach Previews Incoming Recruits
BOULDER - The University of Colorado held its 2003 recruit signing day Wednesday at the Dal Ward Athletic Center, as head coach Gary Barnett addressed the media about the incoming freshman class. The following contains quotes from the afternoon press conference.
ON THE CU RECRUITING CLASS--"This has been a day of no surprises. Everything went as planned. This is a class that really started almost a year ago. We had a lot of early commits, almost 20 to be exact. If we could take this class and recruit some quality guys for the next 20 years, this class would be the standard. We feel better than good; we feel really excited about this class. Overall, we are really excited about this class. "I personally think this is the best class we've brought to Colorado since I've been here. Personally, this is the best class across the board that I've maybe ever had. That includes Northwestern.
"I think we have got depth from top to bottom. There is no one I think is a risk here, a reach. I think all the players will come in and contribute for us at some point."
ON THIS CLASS COMPARED TO 2002's--"I think it measures up in the speed category with out question. We covered every position in this class, which is one thing we weren't able to do last year."
ON ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION--"I don't think we'll have any problems with anybody qualifying. This group academically is really strong. We are relatively sure that the guys you see on this list today will be here in the fall."
ON DE ALONZO BARRETT--"We don't usually go into (Alabama), but he showed interest so we went and evaluated him. He's a pass rusher and he'll play defensive end. He's going to be a big kid--his dad is 6'5". He's got great quickness and upside. We're really impressed with him."
ON ILB TRAVIS BERRY--"He has a great upside. He is a player a lot like (CU linebacker) Thaddaeus Washington. He is a guy who has always been interested in Colorado. He's a guy who fits the kind of linebackers we play with on this defense-guys who run well, have good size and tremendous athleticism."
ON ILB WALTER BOYE-DOE--"He played defensive end his whole career until this past fall. We offered him as an athlete and he's got some work to do at ILB. He has great strength, runs well and really fits into the way we play linebacker."
ON DB DOMINIQUE BROOKS--"This young man has a tremendous upside. He is one of those guys that just developed into his body. He is going to be a terrific player for us. He runs really, really well and we are really excited about him."
ON DB ISIAIAH CRAWFORD--"He's listed at 5'10" and he's probably more like 5'9." He's like (CU safety) Clyde Surrell. He's just a football player. We looked at him to play all over."
ON K MASON CROSBY--"We had Mason in camp here and we were thoroughly impressed with him. He kicked the ball 75 yards on kickoffs. I look for him to come in and immediately compete at placekicker and be the backup punter."
ON OL BRIAN DANIELS--"He called us last year on this day and he accepted two days later, so he was our first sign. He's one of the few players I've seen at the offensive lineman position that can come in as a true freshman and play early. He's an overall good football player. He has all the things necessary to play early."
ON K KEVIN EBERHART--"We have been watching Kevin for a couple years. We just sort of took care of our kicking problems for the next four or five years, with Kevin and Mason (Crosby).
ON DE CHADD EVANS--"He committed to UCLA and then called us to explore his options. He was also a great tight end and tremendous athlete. He'll play defensive end and be a pass rusher. He'll have a chance to play if his strength is what we expect it to be."
ON DB LIONEL HARRIS--"He is probably the sleeper in this class. He reminds us of (former CU safety and current Philadelphia Eagle) Michael Lewis. He is very physically mature, probably ready to play right away. He's a guy I think you will see right away; a guy who will contribute right away."
ON OL EDWIN HARRISON--"He's a big kid at 6'5" and 300-pounds and moves very well. He's going to be an explosive football player for us down the road."
ON QB BERNARD JACKSON--"He's got great mobility. We had him in camp and were really impressed with him. We didn't do any kind of running, we were just focusing on passing drills. We were impressed with his arm speed, ball speed and how he threw. He's a great athlete from a good program in California. He realizes he has a chance to play with our situation here. We knew he was a good thrower (in camp), but we did not know he could run around like he did (on film)."
ON RB DANIEL JOLLY--"He's a guy who will probably be a captain for us. He's probably 6'2", 230, now and looked tremendous in camp and in combines. He's ready. He'll be on the field. He's mature enough to go right away. He is a big athlete that has great ability and courage. I just don't see him standing on the sideline next to me for 11 or 12 games."
ON OL KHARYLAKE MARTIN--"He's a guy we just got in on really late. He is not heavy; he's just a big person. He's a throwback, big bones, big hands type of guy. He has everything you need to play early. He's a guy we see playing as a redshirt freshman and being a four-year starter for us."
ON OL TYLER POLUMBUS--"He needs a year to put on some weight. He's got a lot of tenacity. We saw him in the fall and were really impressed."
ON WR STEPHONE ROBINSON--"This is a youngster who will come in right away and help us in the return game. He has a tremendous upside with great skill and great speed. We were really impressed with him in camp. He will right away fit in to the punt return and kick return game, maybe even at receiver."
ON DB CHRIS RUSSELL--"He was really late in coming to us. Coach (John) Wristen was down visiting (Joe) Sanders at Hillsboro. Russell and Sanders have been playing together since they were 11 and he expressed interest, too. The two tripped together and Russell fell in love. He's a big corner and tremendous athlete. He wants to play cover corner. He's a big get in an area that we usually don't get into."
ON TE JOE SANDERS--"We see this guy along the lines of being (former CU tight end and current New England Patriot) Dan Graham. He's the same kind of athlete, probably a little faster. He is a tremendous athlete and fell in love with Colorado on his trip."
ON DB LORENZO SIMS--"He's the No. 3 corner in California. He's in a position to come help right away. He's a bright young man and a physical player."
ON WR DUSTY SPRAGUE--"He has always played running back or quarterback, never really receiver. He came in (to camp) and worked at receiver. That's what we see him at. He's a tremendous punt returner. He has great feet for a guy his size (6-4)."
ON RB TERRY WASHINGTON--"He's the only guy at his position who was left that we were really interested in. He has great cutting ability and is just a really good football player."
ON DB TERRENCE WHEATLEY--"We were tremendously impressed with him and his ability to run and jump. He has great speed. I think Terrence will come in right away and play as a freshman and contribute early."
ON QB BRIAN WHITE--"He's the other quarterback we recruited. He's a prototypical drop-back passer. He's got great size and is a late developer. We like the way he fits into the offense. He's eager to come in and understands the opportunity he has."
ON J.C. TRANSFER DTs JOHN GUYDON AND McKENZIE TILMON--"John was one of those guys that took care of business (in junior college). He is very bright and has taken all the right classes. He has a tremendous upside and may play for us next year, or may redshirt. We placed McKenzie in a JUCO for a couple years. He took care of business and took the courses he needed to succeed. One of these two guys will help us next year. We really helped our inside game by getting these guys, though."
ON THE CU QUARTERBACK BATTLE--"It's too early to say right now (who will start next season). You have to figure the starting quarterback will be a guy who's here now. All I can predict is that they (Jackson and White) will both go into the starting mix right away."