Colorado State football recruiting, transfer tracker: CSU loading up on defense for 2nd signing day

·19 min read

An offseason of change is underway in the Colorado State football program.

Steve Addazio was fired as coach and the Rams hired Nevada's Jay Norvell to replace him as head coach.

With a coaching change, the extra year of COVID eligibility and one free transfer for players all in the mix, there will be lots of movement in rosters at CSU and around college football.

Additionally, teams can sign up to seven transfers in addition to the usual 25 new scholarship players per year to make up for transfers leaving the program.

There will be lots of movement at CSU before the 2022 season begins.

CSU football coaching tracker: Which assistant coaches are joining Norvell's staff?

This tracker will follow who is coming and who is going throughout the offseason.

Transfers in to CSU

D'Andre Greeley: The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from City College of San Francisco announced on Twitter that he'll transfer to CSU. As a freshman in 2021 he 10 interceptions in 13 games, including one game with three interceptions and one returned for a touchdown (he had two pick-sixes on the season). He's rated as the No. 14 JuCo recruit in the nation by 247Sports.

CJ Onyechi: The 6-foot-1, 250-pound defender announced on Twitter that he'll transfer to CSU from Rutgers. Onyechi lists himself as a linebacker in his Twitter profile, but is listed as a defensive lineman on the Rutgers roster. He played in 11 games with eight starts at defensive end in 2021 and had 28 tackles and a sack. In four seasons at Rutgers he had 87 tackles and five sacks.

Donavann Collins: The 5-foot-11, 188-pound cornerback posted on Twitter that he'll join the Rams in a position of need for CSU. Collins missed the 2019 season due to injury, but the former three-star prospect returned for the 2020 season, totaling three tackles and playing in the team’s final seven games. Collins saw action in six games during the 2021 season, chipping in two total tackles. He's originally from Cedar Hills, Texas.

Henry Katleman: The 5-foot-10, 204-pound kicker was a walk-on at Oregon who took over the starting job in 2020. He was 4-4 on field goals and 13-13 on PATs in 2020. He was the backup in 2021. Katleman has two years of eligibility remaining.

Paddy Turner: The 6-foot-3, 176-pound punter says he'll transfer to CSU from Nevada. A native of Australia, he didn't appear in any games in 2021 and will have four years of eligibility. CSU needs a punter to replace Ryan Stonehouse, who will be attempting to make the NFL.

Vann Schield: The 6-foot-1, 205-pound athlete was a freshman at CSU-Pueblo last season but will transfer to Fort Collins. He played high school at Rock Canyon in Highlands Ranch. Schield had 474 rushing yards, 252 receiving, 24 tackles and three forced fumbles at Rock Canyon.

Matt Greenwald: The 6-foot, 197-pound receiver says he'll transfer in from Boise State. He grayshirted in 2019 and joined the Broncos in 2020. He hasn't appeared in any games at Boise State. Greenwald starred at Colorado's Fairview High School (and was teammates with CSU safety Henry Blackburn). He caught 60 passes for 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior in 2018.

Clay Millen: The 6-foot-3, 188-pound quarterback redshirted as a freshman at Nevada in 2021 as a potential heir to Carson Strong. While redshirting, Millen appeared in two games and only threw two passes. Millen was ranked a four-star recruit by 247Sports and three-star by Rivals. He picked Nevada over Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Indiana and more. He has four seasons of eligibility remaining.

Tory Horton: The 6-foot-2, 175-pound receiver was last seen racing to the end zones at Canvas Stadium. He had touchdown catches of 27 and 54 yards within the first 5 minutes of Nevada's blowout win at CSU to end the 2021 season. Now he's set to become a Ram. Horton had four catches for 113 yards that night and 52 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns on the season. In two years at Nevada the former three-star recruit had 72 catches for 995 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Avery Morrow: The 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back at Nevada will join the Rams. In 19 total games with the Wolf Pack he has 25 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns. A former three-star recruit from Washington, Morrow was in line to start for Nevada next season. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining. He should be comfortable in Canvas Stadium. Morrow had 88 rush yards (on five carries) and a TD run for the Wolf Pack in the 2021 season finale.

Melquan Stovall: The 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver has played three seasons at Nevada. He had 56 catches for 643 yards in 2021. Stovall has 108 catches for 1,064 yards and a touchdown in his career. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Dontae Keys: The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman played in all 12 games in 2021 at Florida International. He played in 16 games over the last two seasons at FIU. Prior to that, Keys played in 29 games (with 21 starts) at North Carolina A&T over three seasons. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

Gray Davis: The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman has appeared in 37 career games over four seasons at Nevada. He'll have one season to play with the Rams.

Jacob Gardner: The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman was honorable mention all-Mountain West each of the last two seasons at Nevada.

AJ King: The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back played in 21 games in his first two seasons at Nevada. He has 52 total tackles and 11 passes defensed.

Dante Bivens: The 6-foot-4, 324-pound offensive lineman will transfer from Tulsa, where he played in 33 games over four seasons. He'll have one season of eligibility remaining. Bivens played both left and right guard.

Peter Montini: The 6-foot, 225-pound Montini has appeared in 17 games over two seasons at Nevada.

Trevyn Heil: The 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman redshirted as a freshman at Nevada in 2021. A former three-star recruit from Colorado, Heil attended Grandview High School in Aurora. Has four years of eligibility remaining. His brother, Brycen, is also expected to join. Brycen is a defensive lineman at Northern Colorado.

Who is leaving CSU?

These players have entered the transfer portal. A reminder that entering the portal isn't binding and players are allowed to return (although it is quite rare).

Keenan Brown: The 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver tweeted that he's entering the portal. Brown appeared in two games in 2021 at CSU but he did not have any catches. He had 27 catches for 646 yards at Fon du Lac College before CSU. He has two seasons of eligibility left.

Todd Centeio: CSU's starting quarterback in 2021 will play his final season of college football elsewhere. The former Temple quarterback won the job for the first game of 2020 before sharing time with Patrick O'Brien. Centeio owned the position this past season, taking all meaningful snaps. He completed 60% of his passes, throwing for 2,958 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Centeio also rushed for 437 yards. He's transferring to James Madison.

Matt Valecce: The 6-foot-5, 225-pound quarterback came to CSU as a transfer from Boston College. He was expected to compete for the starting job and be an option as an experienced backup to Centeio, but Valecce tore his ACL in preseason camp. He never played for CSU and is now in the transfer portal. Valecce has since committed to Albany.

Robert Floyd: The 5-foot-9, 170-pound cornerback won a starting job after walking on to the team. He played in 11 games and started three. Floyd was the only player on the team with multiple interceptions (two), including one he returned 62 yards to set up a score against Iowa. He'll have three seasons of eligibility remaining. He has since signed with Hampton.

Vincent Picozzi: The 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman started three of the first four games of 2021 before suffering a season-ending injury. It was his first season at CSU after playing 38 career games at Temple. He's in the portal and has one season of eligibility remaining. Picozzi has since committed to Northwestern.

Nick Picozzi: Brother of Vincent. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end transferred from Temple before the 2021 season. He didn't appear in any games for the Rams.

Cam Reddy: The 6-foot-2, 310-pound center started all 16 games in his two seasons at CSU after transferring from Boston College. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining. He has committed to Liberty.

Christian Hunter: The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Hunter signed as a running back, but spent some time in 2021 as a defensive back. He's now in the portal, according to Rivals. Hunter played in 12 total games at CSU in three seasons, notching 136 rush yards. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Mike Ciaffoni: The 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman transferred to CSU from Boston College before the 2021 season. He moved to the offensive line during the 2021 season and started five games on the offensive line. Ciaffoni is now in the portal, according to Rivals. Ciaffoni has now committed to Rutgers.

Linwood Crump: The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback transferred to CSU before the 2021 season from Temple. He missed the 2021 season due to injury. He would have been a starter in 2021, but now says he'll play his final year of eligibility elsewhere without playing for the Rams.

Brian Polendey: The 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end spent the last two seasons at CSU after transferring from Miami. He played in 15 games for the Rams, mostly as a blocking tight end, and didn't have a catch. Polendey has one season of eligibility remaining. He has since committed to West Virginia.

Marcus McElroy: The 6-foot, 230-pound running back left the CSU football program four games into the 2021 season (to preserve the season as a redshirt). He had 181 rushing attempts, 755 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in his career at CSU. McElroy has signed to play his final season at McNeese State.

Ellison Hubbard: The 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive lineman left the CSU football program four games into the 2021 season (to preserve the season as a redshirt). In 45 career games at CSU, Hubbard had 96 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He has signed at Sam Houston State and has one season of eligibility remaining.

Kyjuan Herdon: The 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver has entered the portal. He originally signed at CSU as a running back. The redshirt freshman has not appeared in any games at CSU.

Elijah Johnson: The 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman is in the portal, according to 247Sports. He started the first five games of 2021 before missing the rest of the season. He started all four games in 2020 after transferring from Boston College.

Dylan Walker: The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end didn't appear in any games in two seasons at CSU. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining. Walker has since committed to Albany.

Branden Coleman: The 5-foot-11, 175 pound defensive back was a three-star recruit from Florida, who signed in the 2021 class. He played in one game in 2021. He has four seasons of eligibility remaining. He's in the portal, according to 247Sports.

Jonah O'Brien: The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback spent the last two seasons at CSU but never appeared in a game. He was previously at Eastern Illinois for a season. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Cole Feinauer: The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman will transfer to Nevada. The walk-on didn't play in 2021 in his freshman season.

Keith Williams: Not a transfer, but an early departure. Williams announced that he plans to enter the 2022 NFL draft. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williams played in 10 games, starting six, in 2021 on the offensive line for CSU.

Robert Liss: The kicker left CSU before the 2021 season and has announced he'll transfer to Arizona State. Liss was CSU's kicker for the 2020 season.

Outgoing seniors

Tracking who is out of eligibility is a unique trick right now with those who were in college for the 2020 season eligible for an extra year due to COVID-19.

These are the players who were honored on Senior Day to end the 2021 season. A few were eligible to return for one more year:

  • Cam Butler

  • Marshaun Cameron

  • Joe Deline

  • Manny Jones

  • Anthony Koclanakis

  • Adam Korutz

  • Jordan Kress

  • Toby McBride

  • Trey McBride

  • Scott Patchan

  • Devin Phillips

  • Ross Reiter

  • E.J. Scott

  • Logan Stewart

  • Ryan Stonehouse

  • Barry Wesley

  • Keith Williams

Tracking CSU recruiting

Tracking recruits during a normal season is wonky. It gets really crazy during a coaching change. Some players de-commit, others don't retain their offers from the new staff. Here's a look at what we officially know about recruits.

The following player committed and is expected to sign in February:

Nuer Gatkouth: The 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker verbally committed to CSU on Twitter. Gatkouth lists Edmonton as his home town but played high school football in Georgia at Georgia Prep Sports Academy. He has offers from Western Kentucky and Illinois State but also made recruiting visits to South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

CSU signing day tracker: Meet Colorado State's first recruits under coach Jay Norvell

The following players signed or said they would walk-on during the December window"

Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi: The 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback originally committed to Nevada and then flipped to CSU with Norvell's hiring. He's rated as a three-star recruit out of Aledo High School (Texas) by 247Sports and also has offers from Arizona, Oregon State, Pittsburgh and Toledo, among others. He's completed 67% of his passes as a senior for 2,051 yards, 24 touchdowns and one interception.

Jackson Stratton: The 6-foot-4 quarterback originally committed to Washington, but flipped to the Rams after a visti last week. He threw for 1,692 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions as a senior.

Mehki Fox: The receiver flipped from UCLA on signing day after he visited Fort Collins over the weekend. He's rated as a three-star recruit by the 247Sports composite but four-star by the site itself. He also had offers from Oregon, Utah, Florida, Nebraska and Arizona State, among others. Fox grabbed 41 receptions for 976 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine games for Pasadena this season. He finished his high school career with 4,800 all purpose yards and 50 total touchdowns in 36 appearances.

Logan Flinta: The 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver is a former teammate of QB recruit Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. He didn't sign an NLI on Dec. 15 but could still sign one later or join the team as a walk-on.

Justus Ross-Simmons: The 6-foot-2.5, 215-pound receiver from Inglewood High School in California formerly committed to Nevada and then flipped to CSU. He's rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Louis Brown: The 6-foot-2, 180-pound receiver originally committed to Nevada before flipping to CSU after Norvell's hire. He's from Inglewood High School in California, teammate with CSU commit Ross-Simmons. Brown is rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Marshon Oxley: The 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker is the third from Inglewood High School (California) to clip their commitment to Norvell and CSU. Oxley originally committed to San Diego State. He's rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports and also has offers from Colorado, Michigan State and Kansas, among others.

Jordan Williams: The 6-foot-7 wide receiver from St. Paul High School in Sante Fe Springs, California had 645 receiving yards on 35 catches in eight games as a senior. He caught eight touchdowns.

Aubrey Scott: The 6-foot-5, 240-pound edge rusher is rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports. He flipped to CSU after previously being committed to UNLV. He also has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Kansas and Utah.

Brannan Mannix: The 5-foot-10, 185-pound safety has 236 career tackles at Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas. He didn't sign an NLI on Dec. 15 but could still sign one later or join the team as a walk-on.

Corey Lambert, Jr.: The 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety originally committed to Norvell and Nevada, but flipped to CSU after Norvell's hiring. He's rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports out of Brother Martin in New Orleans. Lambert also has offers from Illinois, Duke and Memphis, among others.

Aaron Karas: The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive tackle from Colorado's Pomona High School originally committed to Nevada but flipped to CSU. He's rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Ky Oday, Jr.: The receiver from 5A champion Cherry Creek High School originally committed under Addazio, but tweeted over the weekend that he'll be a Ram. He's rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports. Oday had 31 catches for 578 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. He also scored two TDs off kick returns.

Brady Radz: The long-snapper from 5A champion Cherry Creek High School has committed to CSU. He didn't sign an NLI on Dec. 15 but could still sign one later or join the team as a walk-on.

Trey Balsbaugh: The kicker/punter from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas flipped to CSU with Norvell's hire. He didn't sign an NLI on Dec. 15 but could still sign one later or join the team as a walk-on.

Committed under Addazio

Here is a list of the players who were committed to CSU when Addazio was fired. Several have officially de-committed, while the status of some is unclear at the moment. De-commits can go either way, with players choosing to seek another route or the new staff deciding to not sign the player.

More clarity should come on these players this week.

Follow Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle. Coloradoan sports can also be followed on Twitter. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: CSU football transfer, recruit tracker: Roster update of players leaving, joining Rams after Jay Norvell's hiring

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