College football recruiting: Colorado State’s Jay Norvell landing talented wide receivers over Power 5 schools – The Denver Post

The Jay Norvell era at Colorado State began with a recruiting pitch for his prolific air-raid offense.

Establish CSU as WRU.

“Number one is the vertical passing game,” Norvell said back on Dec. 7 at his introductory news conference in Fort Collins. “We love big receivers and tall guys that can run.”

Top prospects from across the nation are getting on board. The 2023 CSU recruiting class is shaping up this summer with four wide receiver commitments who picked the Rams over Power 5 scholarship offers.

Lavon Brown (Sierra Canyon HS, Calif.) chose CSU over Arizona, Arkansas, Florida State, Oregon and USC. The Rams landed Justin Marshall (Merrillville HS, Ind.) instead of Boston College or Indiana. Future CSU pass-catcher Stephon Daily (Sierra Linda HS, Ariz.) had an offer from Washington State.

The most significant commitment — local product Silas Evans III (George Washington) — spurned CU and Oregon State to join Norvell’s offense. A huge in-state pull for a new CSU coaching staff establishing roots in Fort Collins.

“It’s an air-raid offense,” Evans said. “Being able to catch the ball a lot and show what I can do (is appealing).”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver flew under the radar until a breakout junior season at George Washington. Evans averaged a stunning 29.3 yards per catch. He scored eight touchdowns on 16 receptions. Evans also starts at safety on defense with 74 tackles last year.

It didn’t take long for college recruiters to get on board after watching his highlight film (via Hudl).

“He’s super mature. He’s like a grown man just walking around high school,” George Washington head coach Dwight Swift said. “He does things right and he’s always on a straight path. I’m excited for him. In the recruiting process, we probably met with over 20-plus coaches in the spring. … He’s been making plays since freshman year. Just an explosive game-changer on offense and defense.”

Recruiting heated up for Evans in late May when Oregon State and CU each offered a scholarship. The Rams didn’t enter the picture until June. But their late timing didn’t matter after Evans forged a relationship with Norvell and CSU wide receivers coach Chad Savage.

“Coach Savage is a great dude. He’s young so he can really relate to us,” Evans said. “Me and my mom really connected with coach Norvell. We really liked him a lot. A really down-to-earth guy. His vibe was cool.”

Norvell, in his last season at Nevada, orchestrated a passing game that averaged 346.2 yards and totaled 38 receiving touchdowns. Evans is among a new crop of pass-catchers turning down the Power 5 to capitalize on that blueprint in Fort Collins.

“I never let the hype of another big school get to me,” Evans said. “I believe in the rebuild.”

Colorado State 2023 football recruiting class

Charting verbal commitments for the 2023 Colorado State football recruiting class. Recruiting information is provided by as of Friday afternoon.

PlayerPositionHt.Wt.High School (State)Stars
Richie AndersonLB6-4205Tualatin (Oregon)***
Jackson BrousseauQB6-5215Lohi (Utah)***
Lavon BrownWR6-1180Sierra Canyon (California)***
TJ CrandallCB6-1185Skyline (Washington)***
Stephon DailyWR6-4175Sierra Linda (Arizona)***
Silas EvansWR6-1180George Washington (Colorado)N/A
Andrew LaurichDL6-5250Yorkville (Illinois)***
Justin MarshallWR5-11175Merrillville (Indiana)***
Christian MartinOT6-5250Destrehan (Louisiana)N/A
Kennedy McDowellDE6-4200Memorial (Texas)N/A
Tanner MorleyOT6-5305Valor Christian (Colorado)N/A
Drew RodriguezLB6-2195Sprague (Oregon)***
Dante ScottWR6-2195Bonita Vista (California)N/A
Aitor UrionabarrenecheaOT6-5325Chaminade (California)***

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