BOULDER — If Mel Tucker was looking to lock the gates to recruiters from outside the state, the scoreboard — CU Buffs 34, Nebraska 31 — last Saturday didn’t just send a message to prospective high school prospects.
It sent a statement.
“A huge statement,” Blair Angulo, Mountain region recruiting analyst with 247Sports.com, told The Denver Post.
“Not only because they’re in the first year (of Tucker’s era) and it’s a rivalry game. But from a recruiting standpoint, both of these programs battle it out in some of these battleground states — Colorado being one of them.”
The Huskers (1-1) feature nine former Colorado high school players on their roster, including 247Sports’ No. 1 in-state prospect for 2019 (former Valor quarterback Luke McCaffrey) and the state’s No. 2 prospect for 2018 (Legend’s Tate Wildeman).
“Obviously (Nebraska) is looking to go into the state of Colorado to recruit players, and Mel Tucker’s job is going to be to try to hang on to some of these top players within the state border,” Angulo said. “This was a really big step with some top players in the stands to watch it all unfold.”
A landmark win had a bonus that could pay dividends down the road, as CU reportedly had a number of high-profile recruits on hand to witness the Buffs rally from a 17-0 halftime deficit. Including, Angulo noted, Brenden Rice, son of NFL legend Jerry Rice, a 3-star wideout out of Chandler, Ariz.
“This one really opened his eyes,” Angulo said, “and he got a good sense of how the offense operates and whether he would fit into their whole attack from a passing standpoint.”
Meet Mini Mel: CU giving out Mel Tucker bobbleheads on Saturday
CU Buffs defensive coordinator Tyson Summers can already smell what Air Force is cooking
Mel Tucker: I don’t expect a Nebraska hangover for CU Buffs
Pac-12 coaches under fire: Petersen, Shaw, Kelly face national media scrutiny following bad losses
AP college football poll: Colorado sits just outside Top 25 after OT win over Nebraska
Another notable reported attendee, Angulo said, was Highlands Ranch quarterback Jake Rubley, 247Sports’ No. 1 in-state prospect for the Class of 2021, a junior with offers from CU, CSU and at least 15 Power Five programs.
“This win was big for some of the younger guys,” Angulo said, “the 2021, 2022 classes.”
The Buffs have offers to eight of 10 of the top in-state recruits in the Class of 2020, according to 247Sports. Only one, Cherry Creek offensive lineman Carson Lee, was committed to join the Buffs as of Wednesday afternoon.
“One of the biggest issues has been keeping the top players in-state,” added …read more
Source:: The Denver Post