#B18horns are heating up!! 🔥

are heating up!! 🔥 seems to be the mantra in #FOCO and in Denver, Colorado at JK Mullen. On June 13, 2017 The Mustangs saw its first commitment in A’Jon Vivens:

On July 21, 2017 the second Mullen Mustang and 11th Colorado athlete decided to join his teammate Vivens.

It appears the Rams of Fort Collins have struck Gold in Mullen. This will be the second year @CoachBobo_CSU @CoachMEnglish have secured talents from the Navy and Gold. The class of 2017 featured Christian Cumber, Marcus McElroy Jr. and Tanner Clem. On August 5th many will enter the new stadium in Fort Collins and will see the locker rooms with some local talents names and one thing for sure is the Mullen Mustangs will be represented.

It will be interesting to see if the Rams continue to recruit Colorado as there are some top tier players still undecided. One thing for sure is Colorado does not lack depth in 2019 and we are keeping a close eye on that group as they fast track the upcoming recruiting cycle. An early signing period of December 20-22, 2017 has propelled the efforts of the class of 2019. Most recently the #GWL (#GonzoWatchList) QB Ty Evans committed to Arkansas.

For more in depth coverage of local talents please follow @303Gonzo #GWL ( #GonzoWatchList )

Click here to see LOCAL ATHLETES COMMITTED 07/15/2017

Flo makes it 11 Colorado athletes committed to play next level.

Playing for school pride

Anyone who is an athlete or played sports as a youngster always dreamed one day of playing for the home team. In many cities that may be the local one and only high school or university with the ultimate goal of being on the roster of the regional professional team. As time goes on so do goals and the ability to be an athlete at the next level. However, sometimes so does the desire to play for pride of the home team. Many may ask why NOT play for the home team and it comes down to do they support their back yard. Over the past several years there has been criticism of the coaches from the local Colorado colleges and universities about talents leaving the state. The ones that got away will always be an issue in any state but in Colorado it seems to be a heated topic. Since 2015 @303Gonzo has been vocal on the topic and has made positive strides to identify local talents via the GWL (Gonzo Watch List) and present them to college coaches for evaluations. It is apparent when offers are extended and athletes visit to see if it is a good match. In an ever changing world the fact remains that high school students have more access and options to watch other teams out of state. Back in the day there were only a few options, local networks, to watch sporting events. So with cable and satellite television in addition to streaming options and apps the culture has changed and the desires for playing for school pride in the local team has diminished. In addition youngsters want to play for a winning team and quite frankly the passed decade has been brutally bad for the most part in local college football. Yes there have been some bright spots. However, the fact remains that each high school has players they think deserve to play for the local college and university, but when over the course of time players from out of state are perceived to be better, why would you not consider other options. They say it takes only one coach to believe in you and we are seeing college football coaches evaluating athletes at an earlier age and really getting to know their recruits. So it is no surprise when local talents feel that two way street and they commit. A few other contributing factors to commit may be parents who are alumni of the school or have a network in place at a particular school. If you examine years past like the high profile class of 2014 an athlete named Christian McCaffrey had both his parents attend Stanford and ultimately choose to be a cardinal. McCaffrey had offers from local schools, Colorado, Colorado State and Northern Colorado but like many others went out of state. The Class of 2015 saw Eric Lee choose Nebraska, followed by the Class of 2016 and Carlo Kemp and 2017 Dylan McCaffrey chose Michigan. As of today 2018 Adrian Jackson has committed to Oregon and 2019 Ty Evans Arkansas. So maybe the simple answer is the out of state coaches just recruit better. However, it could be the athletes just feel slighted in their hometown. What ever the case may be it is time for the local majors to focus on the hometown talents so playing for school pride will be as big as other states like neighboring Kansas, Nebraska or Oklahoma. Its time for Colorad fans of Friday nights to see athletes play on Saturdays and perhaps Sundays in a local uniform. While many dream of playing on Sundays they will be treated in 2017 as local product Christian McCaffrey will play for the Carolina Panthers this season. 

In the State of Colorado the class of 2017 saw these teams add local talents to their current roster:
Western State (30)
Colorado Mesa (28)
CSU-Pueblo (21)
Northern Colorado (11)
Colorado School of Mines (11) 3 walk-ons
Colorado (7) 4 walk-ons
Colorado State (7) 4 walk-ons
Air Force 4
Adams State 3
Fort Lewis 3

www.303Gonzo.com
Your Source for HS FB

So of the 271 players committed to playing in 2017 approximately 125 will stay home or about 46%. Meanwhile we will continue to hear about The ones that got away until we change the culture. The class of 2019 might be that group that impacts the four D1 local schools if that group decides to stay and play. Early signing day for the class of 2018 begins this December and the focus will turn to securing 2019 for early evaluations and official visits in the Spring of 2018. Stay tuned as we want to report the stay and play kids so it makes it more fun to watch Friday night stars on Saturday in their home state of Colorado as we have dudes that can play.

If you ain’t cheating…

The first time I heard the saying, “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough” was nearly 2 decades ago when I became involved in coaching Club Hockey. I chuckled at first but soon realized it was NOT about teaching the fundamentals of the game but trying to secure what was perceived as the best talents. Hockey is an expensive sport that includes lots of travel to play top tier teams in the region and nationally if you are good. However, at some point playing little league sport has to be FUN not work. After a few seasons it became apparent the sport was about whose parents could bank roll the team.

As time went on it was the parents that ruined the FUN as they wanted their way and would make sure management knew it was all about their kid(s). Today we call it entitlement by helicopter parents.  I call it sour grapes because the truths are exposed about the level of play, especially if its all about winning and not about having FUN. As time passed I picked up the whistle to coach Baseball and Football and soon learned it was not about a competitive balance but who could recruit better or sell traveling to beat the best. The problem is it was NOT the best,  just the families that could pay to play in different cities and make playing one sport about as boring as serving pizza, chicken fingers or juice boxes to youngsters. Oh and don’t forget participation medals for all to attend some lame tournament usually played on a holiday weekend.

Many of you may be wondering why this is relevant and the answer is simple, it continues in high school. The fact athletic directors, principals and coaches allow sports to dictate their culture is alarming. Yes many districts are not well funded but at what point do you do the right thing? We are still awaiting that answer as for decades coaches have bought into the statement“If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”. Basketball has been the subject of debate for years as inner city athletes were brought to the suburbs and eventually became more relevant in football. Now schools are legitimately turning their heads to closed attendance areas to allow talented little leaguers to attend their school. Perhaps it is about winning but maybe it is more about who will donate much needed monies to hang a banner in centerfield or in the rafters of the arena or the end zone of the field. Yes these are the monies needed to  pay for transportation, team meals, equipment and trainers. What is lost is the FUN of the sport. The fact is neighborhood kids want to play with one another and not be recruited and have to travel great lengths to play a sport. Also many loose interest in by the time they are 16 especially if they do not get playing time. The focus should be on obtaining an education and the opportunity to advance to college. However, society has placed too much of an emphasis on sports and we are alarmed when kids quit.

Yes they Quit sports, Quit life or Quit giving a darn because they have been told “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”. So this attitude probably leads to them living in your basement because the etiquette and fundamentals were not taught by coaches to do their best and academia was not a focal point to have them advance as student athletes. Look at the colleges that have others take athletes tests or homework or even involve others in drug testing. Those same practices trickle down to high school. So being a model citizen might not be taught at a young age as many learn from examples. Anyone remember Barry Bonds?(*)by the HR title for PEDs. Now those designer drugs are readily available in high school. Perhaps he lived by the statement “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”.

So the next time a parent or player tells you, hey lets go play at XYZ school, you shoud ask yourself, Am I cheating my family? Will my athlete advance past high school and is it worth lying and cheating for an address all because we want to wear a winning jersey. There are no guarantees in life, but if you are living by the statement “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough” you are the culture that has placed too much of an emphasis on sports, not academia or what is the best interests of the child.

Choose #Academia1st as it will get you further in life. It is the 60 years of post secondary education that will matter most long term.

Local Athletes COMMITTED 07/15/2017 UPDATE 7/21/17

Dimitri Stanley
ATH  6’0″ 178
Cherry Creek HS
Englewood, CO
COMMITTED 07/15/2017


Blake Stenstrom
QB  6’3″ 195
Valor Christian HS
Highlands Ranch, CO
COMMITTED 12/17/2016


Ray Robinson
S  6’2″ 205
Highlands Ranch HS
Highlands Ranch, CO
COMMITTED 10/23/2016

Spencer Lovell
OG 6’7″ 315
Rocky Mountain HS
Fort Collins, CO
COMMITTED 07/08/2017


A’Jon Vivens
ATH 6’0″ 180
Mullen HS
Denver, CO
COMMITTED 06/13/2017

Tate Wildeman
DE 6’6″ 230
Legend High School
Parker, CO
COMMITTED 04/16/2017


Adrian Jackson
OLB 6’2″ 210
Mullen HS
Denver, CO
COMMITTED 04/29/2017


Cameron Murray
S 6’1″ 175
Overland HS
Aurora, CO
COMMITTED 03/01/2017


Gunner Gentry
WR 6’3″ 200
Grandview HS
Aurora, CO
COMMITTED 5/31/17


Max Borghi
RB 5’10” 195 4.40
Pomona HS
Arvada, CO
COMMITTED 06/29/2017


UPDATE
July 21, 2017
#11 in 2018 committed

Isaac Power a US Army Bowl selection

Colorado has been fortunate to have athletes recognized over the years by some national outfits. Ponderosa will now have two that will have played in the US Army Bowl. The first is Chris Fox whom was recruited from Ponderosa (Parker, CO) in the class of 2013. He committed to Michigan on 2/18/2012. The 6-foot-6, 303-pounder was forced to take a medical scholarship due to injuries and is now a part of the program as a student assistant coach. (Fox and Gonzo post 2013 game in San Antonio, Texas.) In 2018 what appears to be the final US Army Bowl, sponsorship withdrawn, another Ponderosa athlete and kicker Isaac Power will play for the WEST team. The game features 90 high school athletes or 45 players per side in an East versus West format that will be televised on NBC on Jan. 6. The game is no stranger to Colorado athletes. Gonzo Watch List (#GWL) players include Cyler Miles the co-MVP 2012, Chris Fox , Christian McCaffrey, 2014 and Dylan McCaffrey 2017. Jake Moretti selected but injured for 2017. Adrian Jackson of JK Mullen has been offered both the Under Armour and US Army 2018 games. Issac Power #11 is a class of 2018 Kicker and Punter from 4A PONDEROSA HIGH SCHOOL in Parker, CO.

Rich mans gain/game?

We know athletes these days are getting bigger, faster and stronger. Unfortunately so do all the for profit companies ready to take your hard earned monies. Yes the pay to play all star games that are meaningless as it is not the best available athletes that play in these games. Just families that can afford to pay to attend. In addition to these marketing companies telling you how great you are they also sell your information to other companies like trainers, recruiting services, combine companies and subscription based entities. The common denominator is like the internet phishing, yes fishing to take monies out of your account on a monthly basis and offer little to no impact on your athlete. Many of these companies will tell you it is about exposure or that numerous college coaches that will be on hand to evaluate your athlete. The fact is many college coaches want athletes to attend their own camps and if you put the effort into them, they will evaluate you. So attending 40 camps and everything under the sun is really about being a “Selfie” and no one really cares if you attend 40 camps. Yes you can post it on social media but does anyone really care and does it scare off potential suitors? Imagine if coach ABC likes the athletes film and wants you at his college then sees multiple social media posts from a plethora of other universities. It could impact coach ABC because he figures coach XYZ might trump his efforts in the long evaluation process. Figuring out the evaluation process is fairly easy. The Varsity film, transcripts and attending the school of interests event like a junior day or camp is probably a path to success. Attending multiple events because you have the financial resources is like that little league coach that pumps his chest about his kids and has no regard for the other team members or their families success’. Too much individualism has occurred over the past 6-7 years and the team aspect has dwindled. So the rich mans gain has become his game of getting hustled on a daily basis. Yes eventually if you attend 40 events someone will notice you. However, for the vast majority it will be the student athlete that has a high score on the college board tests of ACT or ACT, a higher than average GPA and yes the varsity film that shows athleticism. So when you receive that email, social media tag or someone reaches out to you that is NOT a college coach just think about it and ask, is this in my best interest or are they hustling me? If you are a rich man and want to plan the game just remember do not wear an article of clothing from another camp or trainer to a college campus, rather wear your high school gear so the coaches can identify you and associate you with a high school. Most likely the college coaches know your head coach and can gain the necessary information to move forward of extending an offer. It is NOT a Rich mans gain/game unless you make it one. Trust the process!

College coaches want Updated VARSITY film

📽  so if YOU thinking next level?

Get a FREE evaluation by Submitting your information here⤵️

WANTED

D1 or Bust!

Rocky Mountains – Denver, Colorado
Every year many athletes hit the roads to fulfill their dreams of playing next level football. The common error some families make is only attending Division I camps or schools. The Rocky Mountain region has been favorable to Colorado athletes. However, the fact is there are 50 states that get recruited plus Canada and a handful outside of North America. So the competition is rigid and the recruiting goes beyond the X’s and O’s during a year long evaluation period in many instances for many college coaches.

@303Gonzo

Traditionally July has been a dead month as many Division I coaches take vacation time as August starts the year long grind. However, recent activity within the NCAA has an early signing period to coincide with the 3 day JUCO signing of December 20-22, 2017 aimed at the graduating class of 2018. So this means the traditional teams that sandbag until the 3rd week of January may have to really recruit in November and December. A spike in Division II camps has arisen in June that normally happen in late July and compete with IVY league camps. Traditionally IVY, D2, D3 coaches focus on academic driven individuals that play the sport of football. Meanwhile the NAIA has 3 showcase events and like the Division III schools they just try to identify athletes and direct target them to attend their campus. In essence many families need to spread the wealth when attending camps and visiting colleges and universities. The best advice is to target 5-8 D1, D2, D3, JUCO or NAIA schools. Usually your high school has a system in place, naviance, to identify these schools. Both athletes and parents are provided with valuable information and what it takes to qualify to the school you are interested in attending. The savvy families will try to identify 3-6 schools and attend their campus post sophomore year and again post junior year. Therefore when September of the senior year the high school will be able to assist families seeking guidance and councilor support. Remember the journey includes your high school councilor, head coach, teachers, parents and of course the student athlete.  In addition to these individuals it is helpful to update your sports video profile, availability of school transcripts and college board exams namely SAT and ACT scoring. So the goal is to obtain an education. However, often the athlete is NOT a Division I athlete and dreams are shattered when August rolls around and schools have moved on to the next recruiting class. So if you have a mantra of “Division I or Bust” you might want to rethink and retool you travel plans for July and August.

In Colorado nearly 300 football players attend colleges to play next level. Usually 5-6% will obtain and maintain a Division I scholarship. So if you are not one of the Top 15 or 20 athletes post junior season it is time to shine in your final season of play. There are a few schools that only play athletes their senior year so film is limited. However, waiting until your senior season to be recruited probably means you are behind in the process unless you hit a tremendous growth spurt or are dominating the playing field each and every week. So athletes make the time to get your cleats on their turf as its NOT “D1 or Bust!” if you follow the process for success.

###

Max Borghi lights a firecracker

We have often talked to RB  of Pomona HS and one thing soon became very apparent, the correct fit. The verbal commit for CU Boulder has made a decision to go out of state.


#JoinTheHunt is his new motto as Borghi will be a Washington State University football player. Just check out this video:


Q:
Will you early and roll or wait until August
A:
Early enroll
Look for a December 20, 2017 signing day and January enrollment for the talented athlete.

Realignment rewind: Water Fall flooded dreams

Every two years the Colorado High School activities associations (chsaa) plays a game of conference musical chairs, hoping to find a better seat than the one they previously occupied and it creates chaos! Football committees have been formed to evaluate feedback from athletic directors and coaches in hopes to assemble a better solution. However, the sad truth is conference realignment did NOT change the landscape of competitive play. Rather, it created financial burdens and a deeper resentment to the association for allowing an arduous process to occur. In addition to creating an imbalance of power it created a domino affect on the lower level programs. The fact conference games are played in the final 5 weeks of regular season and are important to Varsity squads for post season, it forced cancellations and forfeits statewide. At the beginning of the season many teams scrambled to find opponents in zero week through week 5 because of the fiasco called (RPI), a system that rewards sub par teams for playing better competition versus a standard win/loss record that allows teams to control their own destiny. So in the offseason leading up to August 2016 some teams had to take out of state games to fill out non conference schedules to complete a 10 game schedule. Others rolled the dice and got stuck with a two year cycle to play whatever team was available in state. As November 2016 ended the financial data suggested an increase in travel expenses and low attendance because the student body choose not to travel vast distances which also contributed to the demise of play at most schools, Therefor JV and Freshman teams suffered the most because many are the first to be cut in budget crisis modes as they are the lower level teams. In addition only parents attend these games and already pay lofty booster club fees so no additional more monies were available or could be raised. In essence no gate revenues are earned like Varsity and $8 admissions, so why bother funding these travel games. The travesty is many reps were lost at lower levels that will impede future Varsity squads. The level of the game gets faster and more demanding at each level. When speaking with athletic directors and conference coaches many have stated the issue or lack of competitive high school football has been building for years, RPI and waterfall just made it more apparent. That is the overall sentiment from multiple schools but others said, turning the other cheek on fluid transfers has been a major issue and improperly handled . One coach said, “Some high school football teams are more like a group of trained mercenaries.” while several have stated’ “We are in a salt and pepper neighborhood that is mostly salt!” Salt referring to an older generation without many youths feeding the high school attendance area. Participation numbers suggest 2017 will be a down year in football and is not surprising. The continued media stories on CTE and concussions is a contributor. However, the rise in college tuition has forced parents to rethink sports and buy into year around activities or club sports namely Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Lacrosse, Track and Volleyball. Many of these sports are increasing exponentially. The fact is Colorado does not have guys from sixth grade all the way through 8th grade being developed like at a lot of places or states which is a deterrent that derails area schools success. Even worse is when they arrive to their attendance area school and they have to rely on being coached by a teacher supplementing their incomes and not like the schools that have invested in their youth programs or youth leagues that have accelerated coaching staffs. So as a handful of area schools continue to hire top notch coaches and lure athletes away from their attendance areas, they will continue to breed success at all levels and continue to instill a winning pride in the program. Meanwhile, every two years chsaa will play musical chairs and the same teams will be playoff teams, natural area rivals will die like the attendance at current area games and the state title game will be a bore as the same teams will be in it year after year. 2017 will complete the 2 year cycle and strong considerations should be made to even the playing field for 2018 and 2019.

PS

This message will repeat Every two years until immediate actions are taken to make high school an even playing field so average teams can compete. Otherwise, the attitude of why play will exist and club sports will be the answer. Similar to sports taken out of middle schools because of for profit entities and lack of school funding.

8 is enough ? NOT!

The race for the 2018 graduation class is on. There have been 8 athletes who have been evaluated, tested and finally committed. The list is quite impressive if you have attended multiple high school games you will know these young men.

Blake Stenstrom 2018 QB 5.6 6’3″ 202 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Max Borghi 2018 RB 5.5 5’10” 186 Arvada, CO Colorado decommit 6/29/17
Ray Robinson 2018 DB 5.6 6’2″ 205 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
A’Jon Vivens 2018 WR 5.4 6’0″ 180 Denver, CO Colorado St.
Tate Wildeman 2018 DE 5.7 6’6″ 245 Parker, CO Nebraska
Adrian Jackson 2018 LB 5.9 6’3″ 205 Denver, CO Oregon
Cameron Murray 2018 DB 5.2 6’1″ 175 Aurora, CO Wyoming
Gunner Gentry 2018 WR 5.2 6’3″ 200 Aurora, CO Wyoming

If you are keeping track:

CU Boulder 3, Wyoming 2, CSU tied at 1 with Oregon and Nebraska. Obviously the border states are taking notice of Colorado players as is former CU coach Jim Leavitt now the Defensive Coordinator Linebackers Coach at Oregon.

While many 2018 athletes are seeking their 1st offer some are in the final stages of camping to make their final decision for their futures. The important factor is not how many players will be D1 rather how many will play next level. July will have several IVY league campers and D2, D3, NAIA. So we may have more commitments prior to the 2017 season. Otherwise, February 7, 2018 may be the day we discover the futures of many.

UPDATE June 29, 2017

Gunner Gentry 2018 WR 5.2 6’3″ 200
Grandview
Wyoming
Cameron Murray 2018 DB 5.2 6’1″ 175
Overland
Wyoming
Max Borghi 2018 RB 5.5 5’10” 186
Pomona
Washington St.
Adrian Jackson 2018 LB 5.9 6’3″ 205
Mullen
Oregon
Tate Wildeman 2018 DE 5.7 6’6″ 245
Legend
Nebraska
A’Jon Vivens 2018 WR 5.4 6’0″ 180
Mullen
Colorado St.
Ray Robinson 2018 DB 5.6 6’2″ 205
Highlands Ranch
Colorado
Blake Stenstrom 2018 QB 5.6 6’3″ 202
Valor
Colorado

CU Boulder 2, Wyoming 2, CSU tied at 1 with Oregon, Nebraska and Washington State.

Spencer Lovell becomes #9 out of Colorado to announce.

The tenth Colorado football player announced his future plans on Saturday July 15, 2017 after days of hype:


UPDATE July 15, 2017
Dimitri Stanley
ATH  6’0″ 178
Cherry Creek HS
Englewood, CO
COMMITTED 07/15/2017

Spencer Lovell
OG 6’7″ 315
Rocky Mountain HS
Fort Collins, CO
COMMITTED 07/08/2017

Max Borghi
RB 5’10” 195 4.40
Pomona HS
Arvada, CO
COMMITTED 06/29/2017

A’Jon Vivens
ATH 6’0″ 180
Mullen HS
Denver, CO
COMMITTED 06/13/2017

Gunner Gentry
WR 6’3″ 200
Grandview
Wyoming
COMMITTED 05/31/2017

Adrian Jackson
OLB 6’2″ 210
Mullen HS
Denver, CO
COMMITTED 04/29/2017

Tate Wildeman
DE 6’6″ 230
Legend High School
Parker, CO
COMMITTED 04/16/2017

Cameron Murray
S 6’1″ 175
Overland HS
Aurora, CO
COMMITTED 03/01/2017

Blake Stenstrom
QB 6’3″ 195
Valor Christian HS
Highlands Ranch, CO
COMMITTED 12/17/2016

Ray Robinson
S 6’2″ 205
Highlands Ranch HS
Highlands Ranch, CO
COMMITTED 10/23/2016

If you are keeping track:

CU Boulder 3, Wyoming 2, CSU 2 and tied at 1 are Oregon, Nebraska and Washington State.

@303Gonzo