What is next for CSU football on the recruiting trail?
The recruiting trail never sleeps.
After signing 15 players to its 2019 class in the early period, there are still multiple positions of need for the Colorado State football coaches to address over the next two months, including running back and linebacker.
“Offensively, it’s the running back position,” Mike Bobo said on Wednesday.
Between the departure of Rashaad Boddie last October, and the loss of a four-year contributor in Izzy Matthews, CSU is fairly thin in the backfield. So, with two months until National Signing Day, Bobo and his assistants will be looking to add two, or potentially three running backs to the roster.
Despite needing depth at the position, according to Bobo, the coaches knew that their top targets were not going to sign in the early period. Some of the guys on CSU’s board were still competing in the playoffs in states like California and Texas, so the Rams’ coaches focused more heavily on positions like wide receiver and cornerback.
“If a guy is in a state championship, he’s not going to visit,” Bobo said. “We don’t want to bring in a kid after a game, and have a short week when the kid wasn’t going to sign. We’re going to wait. So, I feel really, really good about the running backs we have on the board.”
Along with no running backs being signed in the early period, many fans were surprised that the Rams did not sign a high school quarterback for a second consecutive year. But, with Nebraska-transfer Patrick O’Brien on the roster and counting towards CSU’s 2019 scholarship total, Bobo felt it was unnecessary. As it currently stands, CSU has four quarterbacks on the roster: Collin Hill, Justice McCoy, Judd Erickson and O’Brien.
“There just was not a guy out there that I felt good about and I’m not going to sign a guy just to sign a guy because that’s the number,” Bobo said. “I feel good about the guys that are on the roster and I wanted to use that number for another spot.”
Bobo explained that by not signing another QB, the staff had the flexibility to recruit guys like Kyle Helbig, a 245-pound tight end out of Holy Family High School in Broomfield, Colo. Bobo stated that Helbig’s scholarship is not a direct result of not signing another quarterback, but is an example of a player that the coaches desperately wanted to add, even if tight end was not a glaring need for the offense.
“We weren’t going to sign a tight end, unless it was Kyle,” Bobo said. “We’ve been on this kid for two years…Great ball skills, great frame, and he’s got really great awareness in the passing game…I saw this guy play basketball a month ago and this was a guy that I wasn’t going to let him get out of this state. He had offers from teams in this conference and some in other conferences, and you could say I spent that number on him.”
With roughly two months until the 2019 recruiting cycle officially comes to an end, it will be interesting to see how Bobo fills out the rest of the signings on offense. The Rams added quite a bit of speed in the early period and picked up three new offensive lineman, all of which will be on campus this spring, but replacing veterans is never easy. Considering CSU lost four offensive lineman, one of the nation’s leading receivers and a four-year contributor in the backfield, it is safe to assume the Rams will have a much different look on the field in 2019.
PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian