Hawkins adds three-star tackle as 13th offensive lineman for Buffs
Like a mason building a wall, Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins has built his offensive line brick-by-brick over the past two years.
And now his wall is getting tall.
Hawkins added the 13th offensive lineman in his two years at CU last week.
Three-star tackle Ryan Dannewitz of San Jacinto, Calif. made a verbal commitment to the Buffs, choosing Colorado over Arizona, Arizona State, Fresno State, Louisville, Oregon and Washington.
The Ryan Dannewitz File
Weight: 276 lbs
High School: San Jacinto (San Jacinto, Calif.)
Power Clean: 225
40-yard dash: 5.2 seconds
Shuttle: 5.6 seconds
“Ryan liked Oregon, but I think he just felt like he was more wanted by Colorado,” said San Jacinto High School coach Bill Powell. “That was where he felt he fit. He felt a connection there, and that’s usually the deciding factor.”
Dannewitz looks to fit in Hawkins’ wall as a pass blocker. After standout performances at camps this summer and a strong senior season, he is rated as one of the nation’s most-talented pass blockers.
He figures to work in at tackle, but his 290-pound bench press and 276 pounds on the scale make Dannewitz a little underweight to fit in immediately on the next level. Not to mention there are so many young linemen on the roster, he could be a shoo-in to redshirt next season while he bulks up.
When Hawkins took over as CU head coach in Dec. 2005, he inherited a team light on the big heavies. He wasted no time rebuilding the roster, though, as he recruited five offensive linemen in 2006 and seven in 2007.
He will likely recruit two or three more this year.
For the first time in Hawkins’ tenure, the Buffs look to head into next fall with a full complement of offensive linemen. The Buffs have had to change the format of their fall camps the past two years, thanks to rashes of injuries and a lack of depth on the line.
Colorado will lose just two major players at the end of the season in Edwin Harrison and Tyler Polumbus.
But they will return several young players touting major experience. Kai Maiava and Wes Palazzi will both return at the guard positions as sophomores. Ryan Miller will return as a sophomore at tackle, and Daniel Sanders will return as the senior center.
Behind the major players, Colorado looks to return 11 other linemen. Some, like sophomore Devin Head, also have game experience.
The depth in the line, and Hawkins’ commitment to building a strong wall to protect his quarterback, is some of what sold Dannewitz on Colorado, Powell said.
“He believes in the direction of the program,” Powell said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Justin Coons at firstname.lastname@example.org.