The Buffalo family just got a whole lot bigger.
CU head football coach Jon Embree signed 28 high school recruits on Wednesday.
Feb. 1 was the first day recruits were allowed to sign the national letters of intent to play football at the school of their choice, and the Buffs signed their largest class since 1978.
Freshman Keenan Canty resturns a punt during Saturday's game against Oregon at Folsom Field. (CU Independent/James Bradbury)
“Today, we got better,” Embree said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “The Buffaloes got a lot better.”
The 2012 class, which has been ranked No. 29 in the country by Scout.com, includes 11 players from California, seven from Texas, three from Washington, D.C., and others from around the country.
One of the notable facts about this year’s class is that there are only three recruits from the state of Colorado, something Embree said he wasn’t happy about.
“There was three areas that we wanted re-establish ourselves, and we got it done in two,” Embree said. “The third area was Colorado. We didn’t do a good enough job, and by we, I mean me.”
The Buffs’ biggest recruiting success this year is the controversial acquisition of defensive back Yuri Wright. Wright, who hails from Spring Valley, N.Y., is ranked as the 18th best player in the country, according to the Sporting News.
But Wright also comes to Boulder with some baggage. He was expelled from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., because he posted tweets that contained racial slurs and sexually graphic material. Some other schools dropped his scholarship offers, but Embree said he never thought twice about extending an offer to Wright.
“I didn’t have any reservations,” said Embree. “I understand he made a mistake, but I don’t think that’s a reason you bury a kid. Yuri Wright had a ton a friends before this incident, and what I told Yuri is ‘now you know who really is for you.’”
Another top recruit joining the Buffs is defensive back Kenneth Crawley, who is coming to Boulder from H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. Crawley is considered the No. 2 prospect from the D.C. area according to SuperPrep and other news services.
Embree said he is looking forward to the personality Crawley will bring to the team.
“He’ll make [secondary coach Greg Brown]‘s meeting room a little bit more lively,” said Embree.
Joining Crawley in the fall will be two of his high school teammates, John Walker and De’Jon Wilson. Fans are affectionately calling the group the “D.C. Three.”
Embree also received praise for recruiting running back Donta Abron. Embree said the Upton, Calif., prospect reminds him of another running back he recruited during his time at UCLA.
“It was scary when we watched his tape,” said Embree. “Eric [Bieniemy] and I were laughing because his tape looked a lot like Maurice Jones-Drew’s did.”
A full list of football recruits can be found here.
Football wasn’t the only team that added players on Wednesday.
The CU women’s soccer team and new head coach Danny Sanchez had five players sign letters of intent.
Jenna Glad, Madison Krauser, Carly Manso, Olivia Pappalardo and Heather Ward will join the Buffs in August, as Sanchez looks to get his career at CU off the ground.
The most talked-about player in the class might be the offensive-minded midfielder Pappalardo, who Sanchez said could remind Buffs fans of players they have seen before.
“I won’t compare [Pappalardo] to former Buffs,” Sanchez said. “Once you see her, you’ll see some of the qualities of the great players that Colorado’s produced in the past.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mark McNeillie at Mark.McNeillie@colorado.edu.
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