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Signing Day introduces football prospects to fans

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Photo by Jessica Warren
Photo by Jessica Warren

Colorado State University-Pueblo football coaches, alumni and fans gathered in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom Wednesday to welcome the school’s new crop of incoming athletes on National Signing Day.

The seventh annual Signing Day Boosters event and social hour saw the football staff and fans rubbing elbows, sharing a cash bar and enjoying hors d’oeuvres, in an evening designed to give ThunderWolves fans a firsthand look at the school’s new signing class.

The key speaker for Signing Day was CSU-Pueblo football head coach and National Division II Coach of the Year John Wristen, who gave fans a small peek into the program’s recruiting process.

After a stellar year where the ThunderWolves reached for the stars and succeeded with a national championship, Wristen graciously thanked CSU-Pueblo boosters and the Pueblo community for their continued support.

Hoping to build on last year’s success, CSU-Pueblo coaches targeted numerous high school players with experience in big games. Wristen detailed the coaching staff’s excitement in signing “nine incoming freshmen from state championship winning teams.”

While some coaches of a national championship team might use their new-found success to sit back and let recruits come to them, Wristen said the coaching staff prioritized a more personalized recruiting system.

“When we recruit here, it’s very important for myself or one of the other coaches to take the time to sit down inside of the home of the kids we’ll be coaching,” he said.

The main attraction of the Signing Day event was the revealing of the team’s new recruits.

Wristen broke down highlights of some of the team’s new signees, providing fans with a view of what the coaching staff looks for in the abilities of each player.

Fans got their first inside look at the two transfer students and 28 incoming freshmen who will soon seek to leave their mark on ThunderW

olves football.

The 2015 class, containing 16 offensive and 12 defensive recruits, as well as one special teams and one two-way player, will provide both depth and talent for the Pack in the upcoming season.

The event drew a solid crowd of CSU-Pueblo supporters and raised money for the program through admission and concessions. The CSU-Pueblo bookstore was also in attendance, selling merchandise to commemorate the team’s Division II National Championship.

In an event designed to excite CSU-Pueblo fans and alumni and to promote fundraising, the 2015 Signing Day Boosters event did not disappoint.

Jason Prescott, a mass communications major at CSU-Pueblo and event attendee said, “(The thing I’m most excited about) is the fact we were able to recruit guys from some of the big high schools like Valor Christian and Cherry Creek.”

“Denver kids usually tend to go to Colorado University or to Colorado State, so being able to pull some of that talent down here is nice,” he said.

Only two short months removed from the National Championship victory, the Pueblo community and CSU-Pueblo campus are once again buzzing with excitement over their football team.

“I just think it’s cool that we’re talking CSU-Pueblo football in February. It’s a big deal, and it’s becoming a big deal year-round,” Prescott said.