Colorado State University football. (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Colorado State Rams will welcome 15 new football recruits to campus after Early Signing Period began on Wednesday, December 19.
The Rams signed four wide receivers and five defensive backs, including four cornerbacks.
The class of 15 recruits come from a total of nine states, including three from Colorado: DE Aidan Cullen from Palmer Ridge HS, ATH Cian Quiroga from Valor Christian HS and TE Kyle Heiberg from Holy Family HS.
Wednesday afternoon, Rams head coach Mike Bobo joined Mike Rice and Andy Lindahl on KOA NewsRadio's Lewis & Logan show and talked about the class, the quarterback situation, his health and more.
Check out CSU's class here.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl and his staff signed 18 student-athletes. Get information on the Cowboys' class here.
New CU head coach Mel Tucker will unveil his Early Signing Period recruits on Thursday, December 20.
FORT COLLINS, Colo.--Colorado State head football coach Mike Bobo welcomed the addition of 15 student-athletes on Wednesday as the Early Signing Period began for 2019 football prospects. This marks the beginning of Coach Bobo's fifth signing class, with the National Signing Day still to come on Feb. 6, 2019.
SPANNING THE COUNTRY
The initial 15 members of the #F19HTON signing class hail from nine different states, with Colorado (3), Florida (3), California (2), Ohio (2) and Texas being the most plentiful, and one each from Georgia, Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina producing one each. Bobo and his staff continue to make the most of their southern connections with five players hailing from the South.
Colorado – 3
Florida – 3
Ohio – 2
Texas – 2
California – 1
Georgia – 1
Maryland – 1
Michigan – 1
North Carolina – 1
Wide Receiver – 4
Tight End – 1
Offensive Line – 3
Defensive Line – 1
Cornerback – 4
Safety – 1
Athlete – 1
INFLUX OF YOUTH, SPRINKLED WITH EXPERIENCE
CSU's 15 signees today include 11 high school seniors, three transfers from junior colleges and one transfer from an FBS school -- wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers -- who played his first two seasons at Auburn in 2016-17 before deciding to transfer after starting the first three games of the 2018 season. Two junior college offensive linemen -- T.J. Storment (Fullerton College/Old Dominion) and Desmond Noel (Fort Scott CC/Ohio) -- will each have two seasons of eligibility to play for the Rams beginning in 2019, while junior college cornerback Andre Neal (College of San Mateo) will have one season of eligibility in 2019.
The Rams continue to focus on players inside the state, signing three Colorado prep stars. All three earned first-team all-state honors, and two won state championships to cap their senior seasons. DE Aidan Cullen from Palmer Ridge was named first-team 3A all-state as a team captain who helped lead his team to its second consecutive state championship. Defensive standout Cian Quiroga from Valor Christian is designated as an "athlete" at 6-1, 215 pounds, and used his exceptional skill to earn first-team 5A all-state and help his team to a state title in 2018. TE Kyle Helbig from Holy Family High School was a first-team all-state choice after scoring 22 touchdowns (7 rec., 14 rush., 1 INT-ret.) and throwing nine more TDs. In his career he scored 45 total touchdowns.
Head coach Mike Bobo and his coaching staff have significant ties to the southeast, and it has helped to bring some top talent from that part of the country to Fort Collins. Five of the 15 early signees in #F19HTON hail from three different states in the southeast -- Florida (3), Georgia (1) and North Carolina (1).
#B18HORNS AND #RamPAGE17 IMPACT
The #B18HORNS class introduced in December 2017 and February 2018 included 23 members, 19 of whom saw game action in 2018, indicating a young, talented nucleus for the Rams to build from, and a nod toward expectations for the #F19HTON class.
In particular, six true freshmen from last year's class combined to make 30 starts for the Rams in 2018: CB Rashad Ajayi (12), DT Devin Phillips (10), TE Trey McBride (5), LB Cam'ron Carter (1), S Quinn Brinnon (1) and DB Tywan Francis (1). In 2017 the Rams had seven combined starts by true freshmen (TE Cameron Butler -- 6, LB Emmanuel Jones -- 1) and in 2016 the Rams had 15 total starts by true freshmen (QB Collin Hill -- 4, WR Anthony Hawkins -- 4, DE Arjay Jean -- 1, DT Toby McBride -- 1, S Jamal Hicks -- 5). In Mike Bobo's first year as head coach, only one true freshman started a game (WR Olabisi Johnson -- 1).
The last true freshman before Ajayi to start every game for the Rams was wide receiver Rashard Higgins (2013). The last time the Rams had two true freshmen make at least nine starts in a season was 2010 (QB Pete Thomas -- 12 starts, CB Shaq Bell -- 9 starts).
In addition, redshirt freshman Barry Wesley started every game of 2018 on the offensive line (eight starts at LT, four at LG). Wesley was one of 13 freshman (true or redshirt) offensive linemen in FBS to start every game this year Looking back to the #RAMPAGE17 class, 17 signees saw action in their first year, including 13 true freshmen. Among them was punter Ryan Stonehouse who has earned All-Mountain West recognition in both seasons as a Ram--honorable mention in 2017 and first team all-conference in 2018.
The last two signing classes figure prominently in the Rams' regular 2018 two-deep and in particular in the starting lineup.
Four members of #F19HTON are expected to enroll in January for the 2019 spring semester; two junior college transfers and two high school seniors who will graduate early. All four will be able to participate in the offseason workout program and in spring football practices with the Rams, and three are offensive linemen, a unit from which three starters depart from 2018. Alex Azusenis (T)Xavier Goldsmith (CB)Desmond Noel (OL)T.J. Storment (OL)
ALEX AZUSENIS | T | OLENTANGY LIBERTY H.S. | POWELL, OHIO | 6-5, 285
- Helped lead Olentangy Liberty High School to a 10-6 record and participation in the Ohio state football playoffs as a senior in 2018
- Played tackle and defensive end
- Named first-team Division I All-Ohio by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association in 2018
- Earned all-county, first-team all-district and first-team All-Metro in 2018
- Also participated in track and field
KEEVAN BAILEY | CB | SALEM H.S. | CONYERS, GA. | 5-11, 164
- Had a career-high seven interceptions as a senior at Salem High School in 2018, along with a team-high 42 solo tackles among 68 total stops, and added three forced fumbles
- Caught a touchdown pass on offense
- Named Class 4A all-region by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Was invited to participate in the 2019 Elite Raw Talent All-American Bowl
- Father, Champ Bailey, was a 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback in his 15-year career with the Washington Redskins (1999-2003) and Denver Broncos (2004-13) after being drafted 7th overall in 1999 out of Georgia.
- Reported 22 DI offers including Tennessee, Clemson, Louisville, Indiana, West Virginia and Syracuse
CALEB BLAKE | S | BISHOP MOORE CATHOLIC H.S. | ORLANDO, FLA. | 5-10, 174
- Helped lead Bishop Moore to a berth in the Florida 5A state high school playoffs as a senior in 2018 with 96 tackles, including 8.0 TFL.
- Senior-year totals also included two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns (61 & 85 yds.) and three interceptions (2 returned for TDs; 57 & 68 yds.)
- As a junior in 2017 made 70 tackles (62 solo) as a safety, including 4.0 TFL, and added 2 INT, one FR and 2 blocked punts
- Averaged 24.9 on 12 KOR, and scored two TDs rushing and one by KOR
- Chose CSU from among reported offers that included Georgia Tech, Louisville, N.C. State, Pittsburgh and Air Force
NATE CRAIG-MYERS | WR | AUBURN/TAMPA CATHOLIC H.S. | DADE CITY, FLA. | 6-2, 202
- Joins the Rams after playing two-plus seasons at Auburn (2016-18)
- In 28 games with the Tigers caught 22 passes for 394 yards (17.9) and 4 TDs
- Started first three games of 2018 and caught 4 passes for 70 yards (17.5) and a TD
- Regular starter in 2017 and caught 16 passes for 285 and 3 TDs as preseason 4th-team All-SEC by Athlon. Caught 6-yd. TD on opening drive of 2017 SEC Championship Game. Other TDs that season covered 57 yards at Missouri and 3 yards vs. Alabama
- As a true freshman in 2016 caught 39-yard TD vs. ULM after being named preseason 4th-team All-SEC by Phil Steele
- As a senior at Tampa Catholic had 1,018 receiving yards and 16 TDs for Coach Mike Gregory
- Played in Under Armour All-America Game, was Tampa Tribune All-Tampa area, Tampa Bay Times HomeTeam 100, Class 3A all-state and USA Today & MaxPreps All-America
- Tampa Bay Blue Chip player of the year and ranked among nation's top 10 WRs by ESPN (2), Rivals (3), 247 Sports (6), Scout (8)
BRANDON CROSSLEY | CB | LITTLE ELM H.S. | LITTLE ELM, TEXAS | 5-10, 159
- Earned Texas District 5-5A-I Two-Way Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2018
- Also played basketball, and participated in track and field
AIDAN CULLEN | DE | PALMER RIDGE H.S. | MONUMENT, COLO. | 6-5, 241
- Made 88 tackles (45 solo), including 6.5 sacks, with one interception and one fumble recovery as a senior in 2018 to earn first-team 3A all-state from CHSAA
- Returned his one interception for a touchdown
- Finished career with 152 tackles (68 solo), including 11.5 sacks, and one INT (TD ret.)
- Was team captain in 2018 football season, and named League MVP OL in 2017 and League MVP DL in 2018 in addition to all-conference both years
- 2017 and 2018 Class 3A Champion
- Also participated in wrestling (2 years) and in track & field (3 years), as a thrower, at Palmer Ridge
- Chose CSU over reported offers from Air Force, Illinois State, Incarnate Word and Montana State
XAVIER GOLDSMITH | CB | HARRISON H.S. | FARMINGTON HILLS, MICH. | 5-8, 159
- As a senior in 2018 recorded 24 tackles, 2 INT, 2 FF and 22 pass breakups for Harrison High School.
- Earned Detroit News all-state honors and all-league and All-North honors at Harrison
- Chosen among 67 to play in 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl Dec. 22 in Mexico City
- Previously attended Cass Technical H.S. (Detroit, Mich.) where, as a junior in 2017, he made 5 INTs and broke up 19 passes to earn MLive all-state, as well as all-city and all-area honors
- Played CB and WR at both Cass Technical and Harrison
- Chose CSU over reported offers from Temple, Mississippi State, Howard, Cornell, Cincinnati, Colorado and Army.
- All-state honorable mention selection as a junior
JAYLEN HEARST | WR | FOSSIL RIDGE H.S. | KELLER, TEXAS | 6-0, 177
- In 2018 caught 35 passes for 547 yards (15.6) and 4 TDs in the five games he played
- High game featured 10 rec. for 205 yards (20.5) and 1 TD (9/7 vs. Ryan)
- Earned first-team all-district as a junior in 2017 when he caught 47 passes for 896 yards (19.1) and 7 TDs in 11 games
- Chose CSU from among reported offers that included Arizona State, BYU and Texas Tech
KYLE HELBIG | TE | HOLY FAMILY H.S. | BROOMFIELD, COLO. | 6-3, 221
- Scored 45 total TDs (29 rec., 14 rush., 2 INT-ret.) in his career, including 22 in his senior year alone (7 rec., 14 rush., 1 INT-ret.)
- 141 career rec. for 2,255 yards (16.0) and 29 TDs and earned two all-state honors, three all-region and four all-conference
- As a senior in 2018 caught 24 passes for 404 yards (16.8) and 7 TDs, rushed 53 times for 475 yards (9.0) and 14 TDs, and completed 60 of 128 pass attempts (46.9%) for 1,109 yards and 9 TDs to earn first-team All-Colorado from Mile High Sports Magazine and 3A all-state from CHSAA
- Also recorded 5.0 sacks and 3 INT at DE as a senior in 2018, and posted 8.0 career sacks among 11.0 TFL, plus 4 INT
- Junior-year totals included 27-573 & 9 TDs rec., 47-326 rush. and 53-113 for 662 yards and 5 TDs passing
- Also lettered all four years in basketball
- Chose CSU among numerous offers, including from Army, Air Force, Iowa State and Utah State
TY MCCULLOUCH | WR | RANCHO VERDE H.S. | MORENO VALLEY, CALIF. | 6-0, 163
- As a senior in 2018 caught 64 passes for 1,235 yards (19.3) and 21 TDs
- Helped lead Rancho Verde High School to the CIF Southern Section D2 playoffs
- Previously played at King High School in Riverside, Calif., where he caught 12 passes for 105 yards and 1 TD, and rushed for 448 yards and 4 TDs on 67 carries (6.7) as a junior in 2017
- Chose CSU from among reported offers that included Boise State, California and Hawai'i
ANDRE NEAL | CB | COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO/NEW TOWN H.S. | BALTIMORE, MD. | 6-0, 187
- Earned All-Bay Six Conference, all-state and All-America honors in 2018 as a sophomore at College of San Mateo
- Also earned the Bulldog Award and was student of the semester
- Helped lead the Bulldogs to an overall record of 8-3 and their third consecutive undefeated league slate at 5-0
- Played wide receiver at New Town High School in Owings Mills, Md., finishing his career as a senior in 2014
- Also played basketball and excelled in track and field at New Town, breaking the school record in the 100m (10.94; since broken) and holding the No. 2 spot in the high jump (5-10)
DESMOND NOEL | OL | FORT SCOTT C.C/OHIO/COLERAIN H.S. | CINCINNATI, OHIO | 6-3, 299
- Played two seasons, 2017 and '18, on the offensive line at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College
- Previously enrolled at Ohio University in 2016, where he redshirted as a freshman while being coached by current CSU offensive line coach Dave Johnson
- Played at OL and DL for Colerain High in Cincinnati, Ohio
- Named first-team all-Greater Miami Conference at tackle as a junior and was ranked No. 9 nationally by USA Today
CIAN QUIROGA | ATH | VALOR CHRISTIAN H.S. | DENVER, COLO. | 6-1, 215
- Recorded 74 tackles, including a team-high 23.0 TFL, as a senior to help lead Valor Christian to the Colorado state 5A title
- Totals also included 12.0 sacks, and added five forced fumbles to earn first-team 5A all-state from CHSAA
- Finished his high school career with 27.5 sacks
- Previous played for Cheyenne Mountain High School where he also participated in wrestling and track and field, and was all-league in football
- Ranked No. 23 in Colorado and rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com
- Won five Max Preps Semper Fidelis Player of the Game Awards
T.J. STORMENT | OL | FULLERTON COLLEGE / STATESVILLE H.S. | STATESVILLE, N.C. | 6-6, 320
- Started on the offensive line at Fullerton College in 2018
- Spent two years at Old Dominion, redshirting in 2016 and playing in 2017, mostly at RT
- Earned All-North Piedmont honors while playing for Statesville (N.C.) High School
- Also played baseball at Statesville H.S. and made the Dean's List as Top 10 in his class
DANTE WRIGHT | WR | NAVARRE H.S. | NAVARRE, FLA. | 5-10, 165
- Named Pensacola News Journal Player of the Year for the second year in a row in 2018 after area-leading 40 receptions for 852 yards (21.3) and 8 TDs and rushing for 405 yards and 10 TDs on 32 carries (12.7)
- Also played cornerback and intercepted four passes in 2018, including one returned for a TD, while also returning punts and kickoffs to amass 1,598 all-purpose yards
- Completed 3 of 5 passes for 93 yards and a TD, and handled field goals and PATs in his senior year, leading Navarre to the state Class 6A quarterfinals
- As a junior was named Northwest Florida Daily News Large Schools Offensive Player of the Year and Pensacola New Journal Player of the Year after catching 39 passes for 319 yards (23.4) and 15 TDs and adding 41 carries for 567 yards (13.8) and 10 TDs.
- In 2017 defensively, intercepted four passes and returned two for TDs, and added a punt-return TD to account for 28 total TDs