Dominique Collier had a plan for his college basketball career. Deep down, the Denver East High School junior star knew all along he wanted to advance to Boulder in 2014 and compete for coach Tad Boyle at the University of Colorado, and retained the sense the feeling was mutual.
So it wasn't overly surprising the Angels point guard went ahead and committed verbally to CU and Boyle on Tuesday night.
However, the 17-year-old Colorado native may just now be realizing that he also pried open another door with his announcement — he's one of the few Denver Prep League players to pledge to CU in decades and undoubtedly the top city player to head to Boulder since George Washington's Chauncey Billups.
If he's the beginning of a stream, Collier's OK if it turns into a raging river, and from all areas of the state.
"Yeah, it is a pretty big deal," he said. "Maybe we can get more good people and talent up there at CU with me."
In 35 seasons of heading DPL ball, Angels coach Rudy Carey said Collier will be his first CU signee (in November).
"He might be the first one (the Buffs) have recruited," Carey said. "But I'm excited for Dom and happy for CU."
Prior to Boyle, the Buffs' track record of landing the best Colorado has to offer since at least the 1970s, Carey agreed, was dismal.
"Craig Jackson (Montbello), you name 'em, Chucky Sproling, Tommy Pace (both of Manual) ... they let Pat Garrity (Lewis-Palmer) and Reggie Jackson (Palmer) get out of here," Carey said. "No doubt about it."
But Boyle has changed everything the last couple of seasons, Carey said, including nabbing Josh Scott (now a Buffs freshman out of Lewis-Palmer and a top-40 recruit nationally), and "Tad will get Dom ready. If he was my son, that's where he would go."
An ecstatic Collier, who received a text from Scott, said he was simply pleased "to get it off my chest, I'm really excited and I feel blessed."
The Denver Post's Mr. Colorado Basketball the past season, Collier has been recruited by top schools as far back as eighth grade. The point guard and Angels' leading scorer said "dozens" were heavily interested in him, notably Kansas State, UCLA and Iowa. Arizona, Stanford, Minnesota and Colorado State were also interested. His junior season averages: 20.1 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.5 steals.
"(Boyle) has handled that program so well," Collier said. "I really like that."
Collier, 6-foot-1 and 158 pounds, helped lead East to the Class 5A state finale in March at CU's Coors Events Center. The Angels, who were top-ranked all season in The Denver Post 5A coaches poll and hadn't dropped an in-state game all season, lost in a 20-point upset to Eaglecrest.
Collier, probably Colorado's best schoolboy guard as a defender, also has been a standout on the AAU circuit and played with the USA Basketball Under-16 team as a sophomore. He is currently working with a personal trainer to prepare for his senior season and the transition to college.
Collier's character and work ethic, Carey said, "are outstanding. He's willing to listen."
Collier, who yearns to compete for playing time immediately, carries a B average and is interested in majoring in sports management. His mother, Lori, instituted a study hall for Angels players.
"Tad has just shown us so much love," his mother said.
Having had Billups as his mentor, Collier said he had yet to share the news with the Colorado legend, but said: "I definitely will."