The Colorado Buffaloes have been deliberately trying to identify the quarterback they want in the 2021 class.
They have come close a couple of times but have been on the outside looking in so far.
They are the only team in the Pac-12 that doesn’t have a 2021 quarterback committed.
But that could change soon.
They recently offered Maddox Kopp who, on the surface, may look like just a guy with one other Power 5 offer. But he’s much more than that.
He recently got invited as one of the 22 quarterbacks at the Elite 11, the premier quarterback development camp for rising seniors, in a year where they had to evaluate all of the quarterbacks virtually.
Most of the quarterbacks were five-star or four-star guys that had offers from schools all across the country. And then there was Kopp, who before the Elite 11, didn’t have a single Power 5 offer.
But the coaches and scouts saw something in him. And he proved it at the Elite 11.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound quarterback showed up on day one and won the rail-shot competition. The rail-shot is when there is a cover 2 defense and the quarterback has to throw a strike between the cornerback and the safety. Kopp defeated No. 1 quarterback in the nation Caleb Williams and heisman favorite Justin Fields in overtime. And the coaches took notice.
He received an offer from Tulane and Texas State that day and then received an offer from Ole Miss directly after the camp.
It really just made me realize that I'm one of the best in the country, too. So going out there and competing and holding my own against those types of guys with those types of offers waswas fun. And I learned a lot off the field. That was one of the main things that I kind of took away, just that football is bigger than a sport and it's bigger than me and it's bigger than us in between the lines.
“It really just made me realize that I'm one of the best in the country, too,” Kopp said of his time at the Elite 11. “So going out there and competing and holding my own against those types of guys with those types of offers waswas fun. And I learned a lot off the field. That was one of the main things that I kind of took away, just that football is bigger than a sport and it's bigger than me and it's bigger than us in between the lines.”
On the recruiting front, Kopp says he hears a lot from Houston and Wyoming. He’s also hearing from some schools that have yet to offer him including Texas A&M, USC and Louisville.
One school that’s also been on his radar for awhile is Colorado. Offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini started getting in contact during Kopp’s junior season and has stayed in contact ever since.
“His deep love for Colorado and just all the great things he says about it,” Kopp said about what stands out about Coach Chev. “And I'm really interested and eager to get up there. I've honestly never been to Colorado. So I just want to go visit and kind of see what it's like.”
Kopp scheduled a visit to Colorado but with the coaching change and everything else going on, he had to cancel it. But the new staff continued to recruit him and he set up a virtual visit with CU about a week ago and that’s when they delivered the offer.
“So I was kind of going in with an open mind and I was really impressed with the facilities there and kind of all where everything is on the campus,” Kopp said about his virtual visit. “And that's kind of what they stressed to me was just location. What stood out to me the most is probably the backdrop and the stadium was just crazy. I really want to get out there and see it for myself.”
Kopp says he’s been talking to head coach Karl Dorrell and the whole offensive staff but most of the time, he has discussions with quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf and he’s been impressed with his style.
“I like just how he develops quarterbacks and kind of what he does with them and he doesn't change the motion at all or anything,” Kopp said. “He just kind of helps you maximize your abilities which was something he kind of showed me in a virtual visit. Just went through their offense and what they expect from their quarterback and how I can fit in that offense.”
Like he mentioned multiple times, he would love to take a visit. But the NCAA has extended the dead period for travel through August 31 so it’s unclear if he’ll be able to take an unofficial or official visit. He has considered visiting on his own.
“Everything's up in the air right now,” Kopp said. “So if it comes to that point, I'm probably gonna have to (take a visit on his own). But hopefully I can get there for an official.”
He doesn’t have a timeline for a decision right now but does want to release a top five in the near future.