CHARLESTON, S.C. -- UCLA and USC have already felt Colorado's presence on the recruiting trail.

Now the Arizona and Washington schools are watching Pac-12 prospects leave for Boulder.

On Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period, Tad Boyle officially announced a three-man 2013 recruiting class comprised of Jaron Hopkins, Tre'shaun Fletcher and Dustin Thomas.

Hopkins is a 6-5 shooting guard from Mesa, Ariz. He is considered by some recruiting services as the top prospect from Arizona.

Fletcher is a 6-5 small forward from Tacoma, Wash., who also held scholarship offers from Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State.

"Obviously, Los Angeles will always be important to us," said Boyle, whose current Buffs open the Charleston Classic on Thursday against Dayton at TD Arena (10:30 a.m., ESPN3). "But getting the top player out of Arizona this year and certainly one of the most talented players out of the Seattle area makes us feel really good about our Pac-12 footprint."

Since CU's move to the Pac-12, Boyle has landed five players from Southern California, including starting sophomore guards Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie.

It would be unfair to compare Thomas to Boyle's first recruit at CU -- 6-7 junior Andre Roberson -- but the 6-8 forward is also a somewhat unheralded prospect from Texas who has a strong inside-out game.


"I would consider Andre a sleeper, a diamond in the rough," Boyle said. "Dustin is a known entity in Texas. We had to out-recruit some people to get him."

All three members of the class committed to CU after making visits to Boulder this fall.

"The success we had winning the Pac-12 (Tournament) championship ... these guys want to win and we can sell that now," Boyle said. "Add that to the fact that our practice facility is actually built and they can come see the beauty of the place. Another factor is the excitement that is surrounding our program.

"It's one thing to sell kids the fact that you think you're going to win, but once you've done it and can show them the rings and the highlight video, they can identify with the program."

Boyle credited his assistants for identifying Hopkins, Fletcher and Thomas as good fits for CU and said once they visited campus the current players in the program closed the deal.

CU's 2012 class was ranked among the top 25 nationally. Considering Wesley Gordon and Chris Jenkins are redshirting this season, Boyle will have five more talented freshmen to work with next year.

"You look at the freshmen class, especially with Wesley and Chris redshirting ... holy cow," Boyle said in the CU release on Wednesday. "The foundation as far as youth and talent we have now, I look at our roster and see us two-deep at every position with quality, which we haven't had since we've been here."

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CU in 2013 Jaron Hopkins, 6-5, shooting guard

Hopkins is from Mesa, Ariz., and the four-star prospect is ranked by as the 109th best recruit in the 2013 class. He averaged 21.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists as a junior at Basha High School in Chandler, Ariz.

Tad Boyle's take: "Jaron is a big guard. In terms of body type similar to Spencer Dinwidde. He's 6-4, he can pass it, he can shoot it, he's very athletic. He can get everywhere he wants on court. He's stronger than Spencer was in high school and he's a versatile guy like Spencer. He has the ability to get his own shot and he can get shots for others."

Tre'shaun Lexing, 6-5, small forward

Lexing is from Tacoma, Wash., and is considered a three-star recruit by He averaged 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds as a junior at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

Tad Boyle's take: "Tre-shaun is an intriguing player. He's about 6-6 and he's left-handed; I love lefties. He's definitely a wing player and has a great skill set in terms of ability to pass it and shoot it. He's a little slight but he's got the body to put on 15-to-25-pounds. He's ultra athletic, will be great in transition and is a willing passer."

Dustin Thomas, 6-8, power forward

Thomas is from Texarkana, Texas, and is considered a three-star recruit by He averaged 20.0 points and 14.0 rebounds at Pleasant Grove High School as a junior, shooting 48 percent from behind the arc. Oklahoma offered Thomas a scholarship and he received late interest from Kansas State and Texas.

Tad Boyle's take: "It's important to us that we get guys with a skill set of being able to shoot and pass the ball. Dustin has a very good skill set and he's a guy who can play inside, he can play out, and he is getting better and better. Every time you see him he's getting better because he's ultimate gym rat. Every time I talk to him he's coming or going from the gym. The improvement he has made just in the last year between his junior and senior season has been significant."