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Everything Ram Nation needs to know about the best recruiting class in the Mountain West

Justin Michael Avatar
December 20, 2023

The early signing period is here and Colorado State’s 2024 class is really coming together nicely. 

Highlighted by some of the highest rated recruits to ever sign with the Green & Gold, Jay Norvell and his staff were able to put together the top recruiting class in the Mountain West per the current 247Sports rankings. 

Here’s everything Ram Nation needs to know. 

California Dreamin’

The bulk of the class unsurprisingly will be coming to CSU by way of California. The Rams have had a strong West Coast presence under recruiting coordinator / wide receivers coach Chad Savage and the connections possessed by him, as well as some of the other individuals on staff have really paid off in recent years. 

Of the 2024 signees, quarterback Darius Curry and the three wide receivers, Jordan Ross, Landon Bell and Kory Hall are all California kids. As are the majority of the guys in the trenches and secondary. 

It’s really encouraging to see CSU continually pulling talent out of Southern California and the West Coast as a whole. The guys that seemingly always ended up in places like Boise, San Diego, etc, are now frequently coming to Fort Collins; and while not every recruit is going to end up panning out, if you frequently fish where the big ones are, your chances of landing a monster are naturally going to go up. Having strong relationships in such a talent-rich region doesn’t hurt CSU’s cause either. 

Recruiting in college football is all about who you know. Clearly this staff knows the right folks. 

Built through development 

Since the first day he got to Fort Collins, Norvell has been open about his recruiting approach. 

He likes to target players with plus athletic traits and versatile athletic backgrounds. While CSU will occasionally land a significant transfer or two from the FBS level, the vast majority of the signees will come from the high school ranks or potentially the FCS, JUCO, etc. 

Some folks may be caught off guard by this because of the way CSU leaned on the transfer portal in Norvell’s first class at CSU. However, that was a much different situation based on the timing of the recruiting calendar. Not to mention that the changes to NIL over the last two years have drastically impacted the ability for a school like CSU to sign veteran talent. 

If a guy like Preston Williams was playing collegiately in 2024, the odds of him coming to CSU after Tennessee would be slim to none. Somebody else out there would be more than willing to write the former five-star prospect a check. 

That’s not to say that CSU will never land FBS transfers. Obviously Dallin Holker coming over from BYU was a huge win for the Rams last year. But without also being able to bring his wife, Taye, to the track program, the athletic tight end very well could have been playing in the Big-12 in 2023. 

The reality is that if the Rams are going to be a consistently competitive program, it’s going to have to be built from the ground up. CSU will need to identify up-and-coming prep talent and then develop those guys once they get to campus. Of course the challenge from there is hanging on to those players once they prove themselves in the Mountain West. 

Honoring legacies 

CSU signed three players from Colorado on Wednesday and two of them are the sons of all-time great Rams. 

Dagan Myers, son of the legendary Greg Myers, will play defensive back for CSU just like his old man. The three-sport star for Chatfield High School was one of the later pledges in the 2024 cycle but appears to be the exact type of versatile athlete that Norvell and Co. covet. 

Additionally, Jack Moran will also be a Ram like his father, Sean. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive lineman is coming off of a monster year for Ralston Valley in which he recorded 68 total tackles, 10 QB hurries and six sacks. Impressively, he was named all-conference on both sides of the ball. 

While you never want to put too much pressure on someone before they have even gotten to campus — expecting these guys to be CSU Athletics Hall of Famers may be a bit much — it’s really cool to see more legacy players being recruited into the program. 

When you hear the way Jack Howell speaks about CSU, it’s evident that what he’s saying is coming from the heart. It’s a raw passion that you cannot fake. If I’m trying to build a program in the transfer portal era, signing players that not only fit the desired athletic profile but also genuinely bleed green and gold is a no-brainer. 

Winners 

Looking at what some of these young men have already accomplished in their careers, it’s exciting to think about the direction of the program. 

The Rams are not having to rely solely on under-the-radar talent or diamonds in the rough. These are high-caliber athletes that could genuinely play at bigger schools. Frankly, if some of the other programs were not so fixated on the portal, many of these guys very realistically could have ended up on power five rosters. 

Three-star running back Jalen Dupree has rushed for nearly 7,000 yards and 93 touchdowns over the last three years. 

Four-star wide receiver Jordan Ross averaged 23 yards per catch this season and scored 27 touchdowns over 14 games. 

Quarterback Darius Curry has thrown for more than 3,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and has better than a 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. 

These guys can play. I can’t wait to see them donning the Green & Gold. 

2024 Signing Class 

(QB) Darius Curry | Long Beach, Calif. 

(RB) Jalen Dupree | Benton, Ark. 

(WR) Kory Hall | Northridge, Calif. 

(WR) Jordan Ross | Anaheim, Calif. 

(WR) Landon Bell | Newbury Park, Calif. 

(OL) Phillip Ocon | South Pasadena, Calif. 

(OL) Zach Smith | Highlands Ranch, Colo. 

(OL) Berlin Lillard | Oakland, Calif. 

(OL) Braden Hales | Olathe, Kans. 

(OL) John Holthaus | Portolo Valley, Calif.

(DL) Ed’Mari Binion | Lakewood, Calif. 

(DL) Keegan Shank | Scottsdale, Ariz. 

(DL) Jack Moran | Arvada, Colo. 

(DL) Tra’Jon Townsend | Hawthorne, Calif. 

(LB) Jaden Landrum | Fontana, Calif. 

(DB) Dagan Myers | Morrison, Colo. 

(DB) Chance Harrison | Oxnard, Calif. 

(DB) Chauncey Davis | Fontana, Calif. 

(DB) AJ Noland | Tualatin, Ore. 

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