CU's First '14 Commitment An In-State Product
By Alex Schultz
On Friday morning, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound teenager, after consulting with his father, gave a sliver of hope to a college football program in a world of hurt.
Isaac Miller, out of Silver Creek High in Longmont, Colo., offered an oral pledge to play for first-year coach Mike MacIntyre and the Colorado Buffaloes. Miller is the first player to commit to CU as part of the 2014 cycle.
The offensive tackle made his announcement via Twitter, which did not create any major headlines, and frankly, it shouldn't have; nobody in his or her right mind would argue that Miller is one of the nation’s best players.
But he is one of the state’s top prospects. That’s reason enough for a crippled program and its fans to hope.
In recent years, most of the state’s best high school players have given CU the cold shoulder and fled the Centennial State to play out their college careers elsewhere. To the North, East, South and West they have gone, leaving their homeland behind to play for names like Brady Hoke (Michigan), Urban Meyer (Ohio State) and Bo Pelini (Nebraska).
Each year, sports reporters from The Denver Post rank who they believe are the 15 best prospects in the state of Colorado. From the 2012 and 2013 recruiting cycles, only three of those 30 players stayed home to play for the Buffs.
Names like Cyler Miles (the second-best quarterback in the nation and the 35th-best player overall, according to Rivals.com; committed to Washington), Joey O’Connor (102nd-best player overall; Ohio State) and Paul Thurston (147th-best player overall; Nebraska) all escaped CU in 2012.
This past recruiting cycle, the state’s top three prospects — Chris Fox, Mitch Parsons and Dan Skipper — pledged to Michigan, Vanderbilt and Arkansas, respectively. Parsons originally committed to CU, but began looking elsewhere after former coach Jon Embree was let go after two seasons.
Clearly, there’s plenty of good talent in Colorado, but it’s elusive talent to say the least. People have to remember that these are 18- and 19-year-old kids who are being told a lot of things by a lot of coaches — including, one has to believe, how bad and unstable CU’s program really is — during the recruiting period.
Still, when MacIntyre was hired in December, he promised that he would aggressively pursue the state’s best players and do his best to keep them home.
Miller’s pledge is a good start.
According to Rivals, the three-star athlete received a handful of other offers and is the state’s seventh-best prospect.
So what about the six prospects rated above him?
CU fans are hoping that MacIntyre and his staff have what it takes to not let history repeat itself.