With talks of a Big-12 expansion heating up by the day, fans of the green and gold are excited for what the future may bring to Fort Collins. Improvements in facilities, increased funding, a stellar academic rating and other factors have made Colorado State one of the front-runners for a chance to jump to the big leagues, and high school football recruits are taking notice.
The Colorado State football class of 2017 is already shaping up to be one of the most impressive recruiting classes in recent history, in August. With commits lined up from the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and South Carolina, it is clear that head coach Mike Bobo and staff are not only using their SEC roots to their advantage, but they are legitimately spreading the Ram brand across the country.
According to Green and Gold News, the Rivals.com affiliate site for CSU, the class of 2017 currently is up to a total of eight commits, four of which are rated as three-star athletes, and five of which are from SEC territory.
Impressively, the Rams class of 2017 currently ranks 78th nationally, which is higher than the defending conference champions San Diego State (82) and perennial Mountain West powerhouse Boise State (84).
What does this mean for CSU football? Bobo and company are out-recruiting the perceived best that the Mountain West has to offer and they are doing it by plucking talent from the nation’s most elite football conference’s backyard.
When Bobo and company arrived in Fort Collins nearly two years ago, he inherited a program coming off back-to-back bowl appearances and a 2014 season in which the Rams finished 10-3. Unfortunately for Bobo, by joining the program in January, the Rams were at a serious recruiting disadvantage for his first year as head coach.
Heading into the second year of the Bobo-era, it is clear that the coaching staff is not complacent with last season’s performance at 7-6, and that the expectations for CSU football are much higher than a run of the mill mid-major program.
On paper, the Rams class of 2017 is a perfect example of those elevated expectations. With the on-campus stadium set to open for the 2017 season, three straight bowl appearances and a school being mentioned as a viable option for conference expansion, it makes sense that players across the nation are taking interest in CSU.
Although we will not truly know anything about these players until they step out onto the field for the first time, the recruiting class of 2017 is a strong sign that the Rams are trending upward.
Current CSU commits for 2017:
Cameron Butler, TE. Columbia, SC.
Corte Tapia, LB. Windsor, CO.
Jeffrey Hubbard, DB. College Park, GA.
Ryan Glover, QB. College Park, GA.
Griffin Hammer, TE. Saint Charles, IL.
Scott Brooks, OL. Moorpark, CA.
Sincere David, OL. Jacksonville, FL.
Connor Kaminski, LB. Melbourne, FL.
Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JustinTMichael.