CU's MacIntyre Meeting Recruiting Challenges Head On
By Alex Schultz
Life is unfair.
Wait, scratch that ... Recruiting in college football is unfair.
Some have it easy while others have to labor endlessly for any kind of positive results. Some are born into success while others have to create it on their own.
I’m not talking about life here; I’m still talking about recruiting.
Let me explain.
Take, for example, Butch Jones. Jones in December was hired away from Cincinnati to become the head coach at Tennessee. He’s now recruiting to a Southeastern Conference university that boasts six national titles, 16 conference championships and an overall winning percentage of .684.
In other words, Jones was born into a successful family because a solid foundation had already been laid for him.
And it’s paying off on the recruiting trail as Tennessee’s 2014 class is currently rated No. 3 in the country and includes four of the nation’s top 250 prospects, according to recruiting website Rivals.com.
Such is not the case for Mike MacIntyre, who was introduced as Colorado’s head coach three days after Jones gave his introductory press conference in Knoxville.
MacIntyre is recruiting to a Pac-12 university that has a record of 25-60 since 2006, hasn’t produced a winning record in eight years, hasn’t won a bowl game in nine years and hasn’t reeled in a conference championship in a dozen years.
In other words, MacIntyre is going to have to create his own success at CU and lure recruits there by selling his accomplishments, nobody else’s.
All things considered, MacIntyre and his staff have done a good job of landing decent talent and filling holes on the Buffs' roster.
Here’s a look at those who are orally committed to CU so far as part of the 2014 cycle and why MacIntyre and his assistants went after them.
Isaac Miller: Most important to note about the 6-foot-7, 250-pound offensive tackle is the fact that he’s an in-state product. In recent years, the state’s best high-school players have rejected offers from CU to play out their college careers elsewhere. Miller may not be the state’s No. 1 player — he’s rated the seventh-best prospect in Colorado by Rivals — but his decision to play for the Buffs shows that MacIntyre and his staff are committed to doing their best to keep local talent home. A three-star prospect, Miller’s best offer from the four others that he received came from Washington State.
Grant Watanabe: San Antonio’s 2012 Defensive Player of the Year gave his oral pledge to play for the Buffs five days after Miller did. Come the 2014 season, a pair of quality CU linebackers in Derrick Webb and Paul Vigo, who combined to make 134 tackles last fall, will have graduated. Needless to say, coaches will be looking for players to step up and make similar contributions. Watanabe is a 5-foot-10, 225-pounder, so packing a little more protein onto his frame probably wouldn’t hurt. Utah was the only other school to make the three-star prospect an offer.
Chance Waz: The 5-foot-11, 173-pound cornerback out of Pflugerville, Texas, possesses good speed and tackling abilities, both of which are of crucial importance to any defender in the Pac-12. CU’s defense was among the worst in the nation last year, surrendering one yard-eating pass play after another. Waz will be joining a young defensive-back group, so if he’s able to mature quickly and impress coaches, he should see playing time early and often at CU. Waz, a two-star prospect, received offers from four other schools, including Utah.
Cade Apsay: The 6-foot-2, 176 pound quarterback tossed for 3,333 yards and 33 touchdowns – weird, right? – as a junior at Canyon High (Northern California) last year to become the Foothill League’s 2012 Offensive Player of the Year. Apsay has demonstrated the ability to stand in the pocket and make quick throws in tight spaces. That combination will certainly come in handy if he’s ever given the nod to direct MacIntyre’s quick-fire Pistol offense. Arizona was the only other school to throw an offer at the three-star prospect.