Welcome to the third piece of our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at Colorado State.
The 2021 season was one forget for Colorado State players and fans. Seemingly it was one defeat after another, whether that was on the field or off the field. The defense was inconsistent, the offense struggled more often than not, and special teams were really the only bright spot from week to week. The series of unfortunate events mercifully ended when head coach Steve Addazio was fired at the end of the season, and his last image was leaving the field following his in-game ejection.
Then coach Jay Norvell was hired, and he went from having no verbal commits (with him anyway) to signing an entire class in about a week. To learn a bit more about how the class came to be, read below.
The Road So Far:
In Coach Norvell’s class on the fly, the emphasis was put on offense, mainly because he has yet to hire any defensive staff. Also, it was balanced between high school players and college transfers pretty evenly. Since he came from Nevada, a fellow Mountain West school, many of the players in this class were either Nevada recruits or Nevada players who entered the transfer portal. They made it a point to emphasize quarterbacks and wide receivers in order to have the personnel to run the air-raid offense.
Looking at the offense, the Rams added three quarterbacks, and all appear capable of seizing the starting spot, although Clay Millen may have the upper hand being a year older and having an extra year in the system. Avery Morrow is a transfer who came over from Nevada at running back, and tight end is in good hands with the duo of Jordan Williams (HS) and Peter Montini (Nevada transfer). The offensive line was a huge area of focus, with seven players entering the fold. Aubrey Scott and Aaron Karas are the high school players, while three of the five transfers come from Nevada and the air-raid system. Wide Receiver is the critical position in the offense and was in this recruiting class as well. Some familiar names are here, as Melquan Stovall and Tory Horton come from Nevada. Justin Ross-Simmon and Louis Brown were former Nevada commits, but the other two are newer. Ky Oday is a holdover from the former CSU class, and Mekhi Fox is an incredible get for this class, as he instantly becomes one of the best commits in the conference.
Turning to the defense, there are three players who signed, two defensive backs and one pass-rusher. AJ King is a former Nevada player, while Corey Lambert was a former Nevada recruit who flipped over. Then Marshon Oxley, who flipped from San Diego State and is high on potential.
Number who signed in December: 22
Number who will enroll early: 13
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 74th
- Recruiting: 78th
- Transfer: 42nd
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: DB, LB, DL
Colorado State’s current signing class is a tale of two sides. The offense is pretty much complete, although Norvell said they are always looking for more wide receivers. However, the defense side of the class is pretty much bare, and that is where the focus will be between now and February.
Coach Norvell said they have about ten spots remaining in this class. He specifically mentioned going heavy on defensive backs, with an emphasis on corners who can play tight man-coverage. It would not be surprising to see half of the spots go to DBs. As for the rest, some combination of defensive linemen and linebackers. Nevada played a 3-3-5 defensive scheme, but it remains to be seen if the new-look Rams will do the same.
Expect the rest of the class to continue to be a mixture of high school and college players. This will restock the Ram roster while also allowing the new system to come to fruition immediately. Also, don’t be surprised if another Wolf Pack player becomes a Ram before too long if the past few weeks have been any indication.
Coming Tuesday: Fresno State