CSU football coach Jim McElwain and his staff added 24 players to his roster today on his first National Signing Day at CSU.
As he unveiled that class, McElwain stressed team and balance.
â€œThis is not about an individual who we signed, this is about a group of Rams,” McElwain said. “This is about a group who is going to come in together with the rest of our team to help our program and our university be successful.”
The size of the class seemed fairly impressive considering McElwain was hired on Dec. 13 and had to prepare for the National Championship Game with Alabama before committing to CSU full-time.
The class of 24 includes three transfers. Running back Mister Jones, who starred at Littleton High School, was one of the top-rated prospects in Colorado when he signed with Texas A&M out of high school. He redshirted as a freshman, but transferred to DeAnza College in Cupertino, Calif., last fall but didn’t play because of an injury and now is completing his associates degree at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton. He will be able to play immediately.
Defensive lineman Calvin Tonga transferred from Arizona Western College. The 6-3, 320 Calif. native will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Offensive lineman Chuck Ragland comes to CSU from College of San Mateo. He committed to Cal originally out of Mullen High School in Denver. He didnâ€™t play on the offensive side of the ball until his senior year but was still second team all-state.
The rest of the class is fairly balanced, but there is a definite stress on the interior, on both sides of the ball.
The Rams signed three tight ends, five offensive lineman and four defensive lineman.
Every position other than quarterback and kicker saw more than one player added to the roster.
McElwain had four very clear areas of focus. California and Texas, which have been strong recruiting holds for CSU for years, continued to bring in players. Seven players committed from California and five from Texas.
Including Jones and Ragland, six players from Colorado came to CSU. And a potential new area of focus, Georgia, brought in three recruits.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of ball coaches right now sitting there telling you how great their classes are,â€ McElwain said. â€œIâ€™m going to tell you this, Iâ€™m really excited about the guys that are part of this class. And Iâ€™ll tell you how good they are in about three years.â€
Here is a full list of CSUâ€™s 2012 signing class:
K/P Keenan Adams, 5-10, 186, Bainbridge, Ga. (Bainbridge)
DB Josh Bowman, 6-0, 182, Abilene, Texas (Cooper)
OL Nick Callender, 6-5, 285, Hayward, Calif. (St. Maryâ€™s College HS)
LB Kevin Davis, 6-3, 226, Fountain, Colo. (Fountain-Fort Carson)
OL A.J. Frieler, 6-5, 295, Greeley, Colo. (Greeley West)
DL Mitch Frentescu, 6-4, 270, Walnut Creek, Calif. (Las Lomas)
WR Darran Hall, 6-0, 165, Chula Vista, Calif. (East Lake)
WR Joe Hansley, 5-10, 170, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch)
DB Nick Januska, 6-2, 210, Ventura, Calif. (Ventura)
TE Brett Jordan, 6-5, 265, Houston, Texas (Bellaire)
QB Craig Leonard, 6-4, 218, Fort Collins, Colo. (Fossil Ridge)
RB Tommey Morris, 6-0, 225, Odessa, Texas (Permian)
TE Danny Nwosu, 6-2, 217, Washington, D.C. (Dunbar)
LB Bryan Ohene, 6-1, 208, Arlington, Texas (Mansfield Summit)
LB Nolan Peralta, 6-3, 222, Murrieta, Calif. (Elsinore)
OL Tomas Rivera, 6-6, 315, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly)
TE Johnny Schupp, 6-5, 240, Vacaville, Calif. (Vacaville)
DB Dâ€™Arric Thomas, 5-10, 175, Dallas, Texas (Carter)
WR Jordon Vaden, 6-3, 180, Henderson, Colo. (Prairie View)
DL Shaq Walker, 6-2, 320, Barnesville, Ga. (Lamar County)
OL Fred Zerblis, 6-3, 295, Grayson, Ga. (Grayson)
RB Mister Jones, 6-2, 210, Littleton, Colo. (Texas A&M)
OL Chuck Ragland, 6-7, 295, Denver, Colo. (College of San Mateo)
DL Calvin Tonga, 6-3, 320, Inglewood, Calif. (Arizona Western College)
Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.