Arizona State and University of Arizona steal two of Buffs best
The Buffs may have gotten some golden opportunities in the form of football recruits – but they didn’t get everyone on their list.
CU football received signed letters of intent from 28 student-athletes around the nation. However, with many other Division 1-A programs competing with CU for top recruits, the football team was unable to sign everyone it wanted.
The University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Purdue signed four big-name athletes that the CU football team was actively recruiting. Two of these high school seniors had given verbal commitments to play at CU that were later retracted when they signed their letters of intent elsewhere.
Adam Tello and Garth Gerhart both attend Norco High School in California, are both offensive linemen and had both given verbal commitments to CU prior to national signing day.
What appeared to be a package deal that would have given the football team two highly sought after, three-star recruits turned out to be a lost opportunity. Both Tello and Gerhart signed their letters of intent to play at Arizona State University after being offered scholarships by the CU football team.
Robert Tucker, an assistant director of football recruiting and operations for the CU football team said the recruiting process doesn’t always work out if players see what they think will be a better opportunity.
“Think about it as a marriage. These guys are looking for the right fit in a football program and university, but we’re also looking for that right fit in a player,” Tucker said.
Tucker said that academics, proximity to hometown and program quality are all main factors in players’ decisions to play for a university. He also said the University of Arizona and Arizona State University are two schools that often recruit the same players as CU.
Apiata Tuihalamaka, an outside linebacker currently attending Junipero Serra High School in Hawthorne, Calif., was rated by rivals.com as a four-star recruit and the seventh-best high school senior at his position in the nation. Last Wednesday, Tuihalamaka turned down a scholarship offer from CU and signed his letter of intent to play football for the University of Arizona.
Nickcaro Golding, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive end from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill., was another player CU actively recruited. Rivals.com rated him as a three-star recruit and the 36th-best defensive end out of all current high school seniors. Golding submitted his letter of intent to play at Purdue University in Indiana.
During the recruiting process for any university, many offers are made and only some are taken. CU signed 28 players in its 2007 recruiting class, which was rated 31st out of all Division 1-A programs by rivals.com.
Contact Campus Press staff writer James Friendly Nicolson at James.Nicolson@thecampuspress.com