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Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, high school seniors were allowed to sign letters of intent to play for Division 1A football programs. Head Coach Dan Hawkins held a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday highlighting new additions to the CU squad.
Among the 28 student athletes that signed letters of intent with CU football today, 16 are offensive players and 12 play defense. California produced the most players out of any state, with 11, followed by Colorado at four and Florida and Hawaii both at two. CU fared best at the offensive linemen position, picking up eight new players along with five defensive linemen and three receivers. Hawkins highlighted several of the key recruits CU signed.
Possibly the most notable out of the signees is Ryan Miller, an offensive linemen from Columbine High School in Littleton. Currently measuring at 6’8″ in height and tipping the scales at 310 pounds, Miller is currently tied at first for the tallest and heaviest player on the CU football team. As Colorado’s Gatorade player of the Year, a USA Today first-team All-America pick and a player on the U.S Army All-American Bowl team, Miller has no shortage of national prestige. Miller ended his high school career as a senior with 31 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a state championship.
“He is a guy that when he’s in your football program everybody knows that he’s a marquee player and marquee guy too,” said Hawkins at the press conference. “I totally see him as a guy that could come here and be an all-American and help us win a national championship.”
With the offensive linemen position at CU losing three of its starters for next season, Hawkins said Miller has a chance of starting in his first season.
Miller isn’t the only new player fans should keep their eye on. With the worst passing offense in the Big 12, first-team All-State wide receiver Kendrick Celestine may be just what the doctor ordered for CU.
Celestine comes from Mamou, La., where he attended Mamou High School. Celestine runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, has a vertical leap of 32 inches and can bench-press 325 pounds. As a senior, he played quarterback out of team necessity, but is listed as a wide receiver for CU.
Hawkins sang Celestine’s praise today after a question regarding the team’s three new wide receivers. He is “one of the top receivers out of the state of Louisiana–a very electric guy with the ball in his hands with speed to burn.”
The defensive side of the ball picked up key players in Conrad Obi, a defensive end out of Grayson, Ga.; Drew Hudgins, a defensive end out of Spring Hills, Kan.; and Christopher Perri, a defensive linemen out of Alameda, Calif.
“You’ve got some guys in there that are some big time sack guys. That’s an athletic crew, and they’re all good motor guys,” said Hawkins of the defensive bunch. CU lost two of its starters at defensive end for next season.
The football team signed no special teams players to its roster today. With the departure of the team’s leading scorer, place kicker Mason Crosby, Hawkins named returner Kevin Eberhart as a possible replacement.
“I think Kevin Eberhart is a very capable kicker. We have a ton of confidence in him. We’re excited that he’s going to get an opportunity to get his chance,” he said.