Recruiting Roundup

Ryan Rubley of Mountain Vista

Each year new names and players emerge as tops in the state of Colorado here are five to watch for the 2012 season.

Each year new names and players emerge as tops in the state of Colorado. Numerous players known and yet revealed, look ready for big seasons, here are five poised to big in 2012.

You may have heard that former long time Mullen Head Coach Dave Logan moved to coach Cherry Creek High School. Logan, a legend as a player and coach in Colorado, has used a recipe of talent, aggressive defense and strong run game to win multiple state titles. Using this tried combination, look for Cherry Creek to get after teams in Colorado 5A. One of the key weapons who fits well with Logan's tradition of a strong run game is 2013 back Tahj Willingham. Willingham, the younger brother of former
All-State backer Leilon Willingham, is a compact battering ram of a back. Standing 5-7 and weighing 195 pounds, Willingham uses his low center of gravity to gain tough yards. Last season, playing in six games, Willingham rushed for 678 yards, scored eight times and averaged just under seven yards a carry. Expect a strong senior season for this back that combines, quicks, power and balance.

Along with Willingham, another 2013 player who worked in a shorten season poised to go big in 2012 is Tulsa bound Mountain Vista QB Ryan Rubley. Rubley is well versed in the offense as his father former NFLer T.J. Rubley is Mountain Vista's OC. Previous to an injury last season, Rubley was slinging the ball, and should, now healthy, a year under his belt and secure in his college future, have a big senior campaign. Tall receivers, Rocco Palumbo and Chris Hill, each return as Rubley's top targets.

Further below the radar, but no less ready for big seasons are Denver East RB/LB Quincy Brown, Grandview tight end Christian Backes and Fort Collins athlete Chase Thurgood.

Brown, a transfer from Adams City, is a big back coming in at 5-10 210 pounds, who runs like a small back, self reporting a 4.5 forty. In an East offense that likes to run using two backs, Brown is a great complement to Shahid Hoover. An added bonus with Brown is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Backes, a long 6-5, is reminiscent of former teammate and now Oregon Duck Evan Baylis. Backes works well on the line as well as split out and is solid as a blocker. The Grandview offense likes to throw to the tight end and Backes as the tools to be a recipient of that game plan.

Finally, Thurgood, at two time All-Front Range performer, returns as one of Colorado's most versatile players. The 6-1 athlete has worked as a quarterback, receiver and defensive back. The three sport athlete, who also plays varsity basketball and was third in the 5A long jump this year, should get plenty of touches in the Lambkin offense. Potentially his best position in college is safety.

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