BOULDER, Colo. (AP) – This is how much times have changed at Colorado: Coach Mike MacIntyre actually had to say no to some quality recruits. He just didn’t have the room.
The once-downtrodden Buffaloes attracted a whole new level of player after a 10-4 season and a Pac-12 South title.
Colorado brought in eight players from Texas – never really their hotbed – had a highly recruited offensive lineman (Jacob Moretti ) spurn Ohio State for Colorado and even added a linebacker (Carson Wells) who works on his dad’s ranch in Florida. That’s notable because he has a steer named “Ralphie,” just like the team’s mascot.
“We had to turn away some really good football players, which we really haven’t done in the past,” MacIntyre said. “You have to make sure you’re making the right decisions.”
All set on joining perennial power Ohio State, Moretti sat out his senior season after undergoing ACL surgery. Given the Buffaloes’ turnaround in 2016, Moretti, who’s from a suburb of Denver, had a change of heart.
“It was hard to pass up an opportunity like this,” said Moretti, who graduated early from high school and is enrolled in classes at Colorado.
Other things to know: Colorado picked up a pair of receivers out of DeSoto High School – K.D. Nixon and Laviska Shenault Jr., who helped the team from Texas win a state title. “It just happened they were good friends and wanted to come here,” MacIntyre said.
Top 25 Class: No.
Best in class: Moretti and quarterback Tyler Lytle, who could challenge Steven Montez for the starting job.
Best of the rest: Chris Mulumba (pronounced muh-lumb-buh) is a 280-pound defensive end from Helsinki, Finland, who didn’t play football in high school but was a national judo champion. The Buffs saw enough of him at Diablo Valley College in California in 2015 to bring him into the fold as an early enrollee.
Late addition: Jared Poplawski, TE, Scottsdale, Arizona. He was looking at Arizona State.
One that got away: Tight end Josh Falo signed with Southern California. He’s the brother of Colorado linebacker N.J. Falo
How they’ll fit in: Lytle threw for 2,759 yards and 19 TDs his senior season at Servite High School in California. Lytle, who zeroed in on Colorado in June, also helped recruit other players to town. “I really think when Colorado started having success people really bought in, and I think that’s why we carried so much momentum,” Lytle said.
For the full list, visit cubuffs.com.
– By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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