The highest-rated player in Colorado’s 2020 recruiting class is moving on.
On Tuesday, running back Ashaad Clayton was one of three Buffaloes to put their names in the NCAA transfer portal.
Linebacker Zephaniah Maea and safety Trustin Oliver also put their names into the portal.
Clayton was a four-star recruit coming out of Warren Easton High School in New Orleans and had a .9280 rating by 247Sports.com in 2020. He was CU’s highest-rated running back recruit since Darrell Scott in 2008.
Like Scott, who eventually transferred, Clayton will not finish his collegiate career with the Buffaloes (4-8, 3-6 Pac-12 this season).
“I would like to give a huge thanks to the University of Colorado and the coaching staff for helping me mature into a better man,” Clayton wrote on social media. “After having a long talk with God and my loved ones, I’ve decided to enter the transfer portal and continue my journey elsewhere. Thank you to all of the Buff fans who supported me throughout my time here.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Clayton was a backup during his two seasons with the Buffs, rushing for 115 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries.
In 2020, Clayton ran for 31 yards and two touchdowns – both in a win at Arizona – and then opted out of the Buffs’ trip to the Alamo Bowl. This year, he rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries before an undisclosed injury. He did not play the final eight games, thus preserving his redshirt year.
Clayton will have four years to play at another school.
Maea and Oliver both opted to transfer after playing just one season with the Buffs.
A true freshman from Las Vegas, Maea played in four games this season, recording one tackle in 13 snaps played on defense. A three-star recruit in the 2021 class, he will have four years to play at another school.
“I want to thank the Colorado coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to have a feel for the college level,” he wrote on social media. “After thinking about this decision for weeks I decided that I will be entering into the transfer portal, to find a new home where I can progress … as an athlete and as a person.”
Oliver, a junior college transfer this past year, played in nine games this season, mostly on special team. He played in 18 snaps on defense.
A graduate of Legend High School, Oliver originally signed with CU in 2019 but wound up spending two years at Iowa Western Community College. He redshirted in 2019 and Iowa Western did not have a season in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oliver will have three years to play at another school.
“I would like to thank the coaching staff for giving me an opportunity to be a part of the program and I would also like to thank Buff Nation for being so supportive of me during my time here,” Oliver wrote on social media. “I want to wish my teammates nothing but the best for treating me like a brother.”
Clayton, Maea and Oliver are the first three players to put their names into the portal since the season came to a close on Friday with a 28-13 loss to Utah.
Overall, CU has had seven scholarship players, and one walk-on, put their names in the portal since the start of the season.
Defensive linemen Lloyd Murray Jr. and Blayne Toll left the team and put their names into the portal in September. Receivers La’Vontae Shenault and Keith Miller recently put their names into the portal, as well.
Walk-on linebacker Steele Dubar also put his name into the transfer portal in October.