As the dust settled during college football’s National Signing Day on Wednesday, the Colorado Buffaloes found themselves in a position they hadn’t been in in nine years: With a top-30 finish in Rivals’ recruiting rankings.
The Buffaloes, who signed two four-star players and 21 three-star players, reeled in the recruiting website’s 29th-best class. It was Colorado’s highest finish in Rivals’ rankings since it was rated 15th in 2008. The Buffaloes were just ahead of Michigan State, Baylor, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State.
Signing a bunch of talented high school players doesn’t automatically translate into wins — Colorado’s 2008 class was a disaster — but it sure does make winning easier. Alabama, which has signed Rivals’ top-ranked class eight times in the last decade, is a testament to that.
K.D. Nixon, a wide receiver from DeSoto High School in Texas, and Jake Moretti, an offensive lineman from Pomona High School in Arvada, were the two four-star signees. Nixon caught 63 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. Moretti, who missed his senior season with a torn ACL, flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Colorado in November.
Colorado’s 2017 class was heavy on Texans. Nixon was one of eight players from the Lone Star State who signed letters of intent to play for the school. Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre also signed eight players from California and five from Colorado.
“The fun thing about getting kids from Texas here (is) they can’t stop talking about the mountains,” MacIntyre said. “Back home they just have water towers.”
MacIntyre is entering his fifth season as Colorado’s head coach. He went a combined 10-27 from 2013-15 but broke through with a 10-4 season in 2016. The Buffaoes won the Pac 12 South, played in the Pac 12 Championship game and reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2001.
“We had a really good class before the season,” MacIntyre said. “What the season did was solidify those guys.”
The Buffaloes begin spring practices March 18.
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