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Signing Day Live (Part 2)
Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo welcomed his third signing class on Wednesday, bringing 26 student-athletes to Fort Collins. The signing class features players from 12 states, including five JUCO additions and a University of Tennessee transfer. Bobo's first announcement came at 5:14 a.m. MT, when he welcomed Luis Lebron and Jadon Walker to the Rams family. He closed the day by announcing Nikolas Maka shortly after 3 p.m. The class will be the first to play their entire careers at CSU's new on-campus stadium, which will open this fall to replace Hughes Stadium (1968-2016), which was located three miles west of campus.
SPANNING THE COUNTRY
The 2017 signing class hails from 12 different states, with Bobo's home state of Georgia being the most plentiful (5). The Rams had four additional states produce at least three signees, including Colorado. Below is the state-by-state breakdown:
- Georgia - 5
- California - 4
- Colorado - 3
- Florida - 3
- Louisiana - 3
- Pennsylvania - 2
- Indiana - 1
- Illinois - 1
- North Carolina - 1
- South Carolina - 1
- Texas - 1
- Washington - 1
- Quarterback - 1
- Running Back - 1
- Wide Receiver - 3
- Tight End - 2
- Offensive Line - 7
- Defensive Line - 3
- Linebacker - 3
- Cornerback - 4
- Safety - 2
Four student-athletes are already on campus and enrolled for the 2017 spring semester. The group is several weeks into spring classes, and has been taking part in the Rams' 4th Quarter workout program.
- Bjorklund - Trasferred to CSU after two seasons at College of the Canyons (California)... Played in 13 games for the Cougars, who averaged 25.76 points and 316.86 yards per game over the past two seasons... Is a 2015 graduate of Valencia High School.
- Hammer - Is a December graduate of St. Charles North High School in Illinois... As a senior, recorded 24 receptions for 424 yards and eight touchdowns, helping the North Stars to a 9-2 record.
- Knox - Transferred to CSU after playing the 2016 season at Independence Community College and the 2015 season at South Florida... Rated as the 73rd-best junior college prospect... Is a 2014 graduate of DeLand High School in Florida.
- Williams - Began his collegiate career at Tennessee (2015-16), catching 16 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns for the Volunteers... Out of Lovejoy High School (Georgia), in 2015 he was Scout's top-rated receiver and a five-star prospect.
CSU has posted four consecutive winning seasons, and the Rams' incoming class look to continue that trend. Based off of their prep careers, there's reason to believe they will. The combined 2016 winning percentage of the Rams' 20 high school signees is .765 (186-57). Six players won conference titles during their senior seasons (Firment, Hubbard, Lebron, Moody, Phillips and Scott), while four others played in their state championship or semifinals (Firment, Hubbard, Paogofie and Phillips). Hubbard helped Grayson High School to the 2016 Georgia Class 7A state championship and a No. 4 national ranking. Meanwhile, Corte Tapia led the Windsor Wizards to a 2015 Colorado 4A title.
CSU's signing class includes two sets of teammates: Christian Cumber and Marcus McElroy (Mullen) and Christian Howard and Ben Knox (Independence Community College).
Additionally, it includes several sets of former teammates: Patrick Moody and Arjay Jean (St. Thomas Aquinas), Livingston Paogofie and Anthony Hawkins (Bowie) and Corte Tapia and Landon Schmidt (Windsor). Additionally, Ellison Hubbard is from the same high school as recent CSU graduate Fred Zerblis (Grayson).
Among CSU's signing class are several three-star commits, according to various recruiting sites. 247Sports lists 17 of the Rams' 26 signees as three-star prospects, while Scout named 14 - both are the most in school history. ESPN has 13 while Rivals has 10. Overall, there are eight consensus three-star prospects among the four recruiting sites.
The Rams continue to focus on players inside the state, signing three Colorado prep stars. The trio includes Mullen teammates Christian Cumber (No. 4 Colorado prospect, Rivals) and Marcus McElroy (No. 7, Rivals), plus 2014 state champion Corte Tapia (No. 11, 247Sports) from Windsor High School. Cumber recorded 215 career tackles and eight interceptions, while McElroy rushed for 1,175 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016 alone. Tapia is the state's all-time career sacks leader. All three earned first-team all-state honors in 2016.
Additionally, Patrick Moody began his prep career in Colorado, playing his first two seasons at Chaparral High School.
CSU signed plenty of talent in this year's class, but what should fans expect from the group? Perhaps the best place to start is to dive into the impact last year's class made in just its first season.
- 14 players who saw action
- 8 true freshmen who played
- First-team all-conference receiver (Michael Gallup)
- CSU's all-time true freshman sack leader (Toby McBride)
- Mountain West's true freshman rushing touchdowns leader in 2016 (Marvin Kinsey, Jr.)
- The nation's fifth-ranked true freshman for passer efficiency rating (Collin Hill)
The 2016 class combined for:
- 124 games played
- 31 games started
- 1,210 passing yards
- 1,502 receiving yards
- 938 rushing yards
- 26 receiving/rushing touchdowns
- 9 passing touchdowns
- 73 tackles
- 7.5 sacks
- 1 interception
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY LIVESTREAM
For the second consecutive season, Colorado State produced a Signing Day Live stream. The five-hour show brought fans inside the CSU football program, with live interviews, pre-produced content and highlight film. In addition to head coach Mike Bobo and assistant coaches, current Ram Michael Gallup and November transfer Preston Williams - a former five-star recruit from Tennessee - plus three #NextLevelRams who are now in the NFL - Shaquil Barrett (Broncos), Kapri Bibbs (Broncos) and Cory James (Raiders) joined Voice of the Rams Brian Roth on set. Fans can re-watch the entire livestream at CSURams.com/signingday.
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