BOULDER, Colo. - Needing more depth at the wide receiver position, the Buffaloes looked under every rock following signing day for the Class of 2009.
They found Will Jefferson.
Jefferson hauled in 83 passes and accounted for 1,901 yards of offense during his senior season at Vista Del Lago High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. But he did not have an opportunity to sign on with a college program in February.
"I guess there were a few reasons why [I wasn't more heavily recruited]," Jefferson explained. "I went to a new school and we didn't have real tough competition. And I never went to any camps or combines. I never had the advantage of doing that because we couldn't afford that type of stuff. Everything is in God's hands, obviously, because I am here now. So it's all good."
Jefferson began working out at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., this summer. He would have likely played there this season if not for the Buffaloes' late scholarship offer.
"[We became aware of Will] about a month ago," said CU head coach Dan Hawkins, who is now also coaching the Buffs' wide receivers. "We knew a guy down there and he had seen him run around. He liked his speed and thought he was a real good player, and he is."
CU brought Jefferson out on an official visit in late July. He did not sign until just before camp.
"The last few weeks have been moving kind of fast. It really has," Jefferson said. "I am trying to stay focused while enjoying it at the same time. I have been greeted here by a great bunch of guys, great coaches; everybody is helping me along. It has been a fun ride so far. I look forward to tomorrow."
Hawkins pointed out that because Jefferson has not had the benefit of being on campus for two months, like most of CU's other 2009 signees, he is a bit behind.
"Because of my upbringing, I feel like I bring toughness and heart to the mix," Jefferson said when asked what he adds the team. "I like the contact part of the game. I don't shy away from contact."
Notes from Friday's practice -
*** Now that he is coaching the receivers, Hawkins is not able to move around the practices fields like he was in the past. But he is still the media's porthole into each practice, at least from a writing perspective. We are not allowed to write about anything specific that happens during a practice.
"It is a little harder for me now because I am just locked in on the receivers," Hawkins admitted when asked to recap Friday's practice. "Great job by the defense on turnovers [today]. I thought the tempo and the energy and the communication and the guys moving from drill to drill was pretty sharp."
*** Offensive lineman Max Tuioti-Mariner has decided that he is going to take a two year Mormon mission. Hawkins said they expect him to return to the team for the 2011 season.
Tuioti-Mariner worked his way into the starting lineup by the second game of his true freshman season last year. But he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee on September 23rd. The injury occurred early enough in the season that he was granted a medical hardship. So he still has four years of eligibility remaining. Tuioti-Mariner was nearly recovered from the torn ACL in his right knee when he tore the ACL in his left knee while conditioning in March. He would not have been able to participate during preseason camp, and would have missed the first month of the season, had he stayed.
*** Sophomore tailback Darrell Scott has gained some weight since the conclusion of spring practices. He is listed at 215-pounds after being around 200-pounds in the spring. "We kind of grinded him a little bit more on academics here down towards the stretch and he didn't run as much as some of the other guys did," Hawkins explained. "He'll play at a little bit lower weight than that."
*** As was reported yesterday, offensive lineman Sione Tau will not play this season after violating team rules. "He will be suspended [from the University] for the fall semester and [will] be back in the spring," Hawkins confirmed. Tau has two years of eligibility remaining. He redshirted in 2007 and was academically ineligible in 2008.
*** Veterans will practice 9:45-11:45 am and the newcomers will practice 4:30-6:30 pm on Saturday.