BOULDER — Although Colorado's 22-man football recruiting class lacks a plethora of nationally recognized blue-chippers, one name on the list is sure to catch everyone's attention.
Second-year CU coach Mike MacIntyre signed the top player at Monarch High School: his son, Jay MacIntyre.
Jay (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) was a quarterback and safety for Monarch. He could play a variety of positions for the Buffaloes, Mike MacIntyre said, but quarterback will not be one of them.
Yes, Mike MacIntyre has heard stories about the criticism aimed at former CU coach Dan Hawkins when his son Cody Hawkins became the starting quarterback.
Mike MacIntyre told reporters Wednesday during CU's recruiting class announcement that he called three colleagues who had coached their sons.
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"All three are successful coaches (of teams that) played in BCS bowls," he said. "They told me, 'If your son doesn't play quarterback for you, it works out fine.' "
Mike MacIntyre said he thought Jay was talented enough to play in the Pac-12, perhaps as a slot receiver, safety, nickel back or returner for the Buffs. But he wanted other sets of eyes to offer an evaluation.
"Without me in the room, I had my staff, four separate times, look at video of Jay and talk and debate about it," Mike MacIntyre said. "They all said he can play for us. I told them, 'Now, you have to tell me (honestly), because he's got other options.' "
Jay MacIntyre picked CU over Wyoming. He also was being recruited by Division I basketball programs.
"Jay told me: 'Dad, I really love Colorado. I'd like to be here to help you do it, and I'll do whatever you need me to do,' " Mike MacIntyre said. "He did struggle with (the decision) for a little bit. It's not easy playing for your dad. But he's mature enough to handle that."
Mike MacIntyre acknowledged that Colorado will be able to attract higher-rated prospects when the Buffs' program becomes a consistent winner. But CU was able to land a four-star player, wide receiver Shay Fields (5-11, 165) of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif.
Fields, who previously committed to Pac-12 rival Southern California, caught 82 passes for 1,617 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior for the 16-0 California state champion.
"Shay has speed, very good hands and is an excellent route runner," MacIntyre said.
Colorado is waiting on the decision of another four-star prospect, running back Kalen Ballage of Falcon High School, who indicated his announcement could come Thursday. Ballage made official visits to Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA and Washington.
MacIntyre said CU filled position needs with this class, including at tight end, defensive end, defensive back, on the offensive line — and with quarterback Cade Apsay of Canyon Country, Calif.
Rated at three stars by recruiting analysts, Apsay threw for 3,103 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior, with only six interceptions.
"(Passing) accuracy is important to us," MacIntyre said, "and we felt Cade was the most accurate of the quarterbacks we looked at."
Although Colorado's class is ranked at or near the bottom of the Pac-12 by Internet recruiting sites, MacIntyre said: "I definitely think this class is one we can win with. We'll know more in about three years."
Colorado's full 2014 signing-day list:
Cade Apsay, QB, 6-2, 190, Canyon Country (Calif.) HS
Sam Bennion, DE, 6-5, 240, North Logan (Utah) HS (currently serving on Mormon mission. Will join Buffaloes in 2016).
Shay Fields, WR, 5-11, 165, St. John Bosco (Calif.) HS
Jase Franke, DE, 6-4, 260, St. Bonaventure (Camarillo, Calif.) HS
Rick Gamboa, ILB, 6-1, 225, Chaminade College Prep (Sylmar, Calif.)
Terran Hasselbach, DE, 6-1, 235, Regis (Parker, Colo.) HS
Hayden Jones, TE, 6-6, 245, Christian Brothers (Sacramento, Calif.). HS
Josh Kaiser, OL, 6-5, 270, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS
Dylan Keeney, TE, 6-6, 215, Granite Bay (Calif.) HS
Donovan Lee, ATH., 5-8, 170, Chaminade College Prep (West Hills, Calif.).
Eddy Lopez, DT, 604, 300, El Paso Coronado (Texas) HS
Michael Mathewes, DE, 6-5, 250, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS
Jay MacIntyre, ATH., 5-10, 185, Boulder Monarch (Colo.) HS
Isaac Miller, OL, 6-7, 250 Longmont Silver Creek (Colo.) HS
Jaisen Sanchez, DB, 6-1, 195, Kapolei St. Louis (Hawaii) HS
Christian Shaver, DE, 6-3, 235 Sandy Jordan (Utah) HS
Wyatt Tucker Smith, SN, 6-2, 230, Jr., Gulfport (Miss.) Gulf Coast CC
Lee Walker, WR, 6-0, 180, San Diego Madison (Calif.) HS
Grant Watanabe, ILB, 5-11, 230, San Antonio Brennan (Texas) HS
Evan White, DB, 6-3, 195, Aurora Cherokee Trail (Colo.) HS
Sully Wiefels, OL, 6-3, 300, Jr., Eagle American River (Idaho) College
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, 6-3, 180, Soph., Sacramento (Calif.) City College
Five things to know about the Buffs' new recruits:
Colorado must wait two years on signee Sam Bennion, a defensive end from North Logan, Utah. Bennion already has begun a Mormon mission in Chile. "When he comes back, he'll be 21 years old, bigger and stronger," CU coach Mike MacIntyre said.
How about this for fast company: Offensive lineman Sully Wiefels dated Miss Junior Idaho in high school; and he is a first cousin of multiple Grammy Awards nominee Sara Bareilles.
Of the 11 players signed from California, five were named first-team all-state last season.
Seven states are represented among CU's 22 signees, led by California (11) and Colorado (four).
Defensive end Terran Hasselbach overcame a serious 2010 car accident that cost him two seasons of high school football. His father, Harald, played for the Broncos.
Tom Kensler, The Denver Post