JUCO linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk visits Buffs
By BRIAN HOWELL
Considering Colorado’s shortage of scholarship linebackers these days, the Buffaloes could really use Jordan Kunaszyk.
While Kunaszyk isn’t available this spring, the Buffs are hoping he’ll be on the field in Boulder this fall.
An inside linebacker from American River College (Calif.), Kunaszyk is on an official visit to CU this weekend and attended Friday’s practice.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Kunaszyk received a scholarship offer from the Buffs on Friday night. CU has a need for depth at inside linebacker and Kunaszyk has the ability to come in immediately and help.
“I’m sure they want to see what type of character I have and everything has been going great,” said Kunaszyk, who will return to California on Saturday. “I’m optimistic about the opportunity. They have a need for inside linebacker and I think I’ll be a good fit here.”
California extended a scholarship to Kunaszyk on Wednesday and he said he’s hoping to take an official visit to Berkeley next week.
“I’ve been on two unofficials to Cal, but I need to get the official visit to really be able to compare where I really want to be,” he said. “But, this trip has exceeded my expectations and I’m fired up about the opportunity. It’s definitely the type of environment and the type of intensity I want to be around. I like it a lot.”
A 2014 graduate of Roseville (Calif.) High School, Kunaszyk missed the 2014 season at ARC with a broken hand. This past season, he recorded 118 tackles and three sacks.
Kunaszyk received offers from Fresno State, New Mexico, Southern Mississippi, Texas State and UNLV, but didn’t feel those schools were a fit, so he didn’t sign a national letter of intent last month.
CU assistant coach Klayton Adams first contacted Kunaszyk in September, but because Kunaszyk was not a mid-year transfer and because the Buffs were short on available scholarships, they backed off.
The Buffs have four inside linebackers on scholarship, but three are currently injured. Last week, Adams opened up talks with Kunaszyk again and Kunaszyk jumped at the chance to visit.
At ARC, Kunaszyk played middle linebacker in a 4-2-5 and 4-3 scheme. He said he’s never played in a 3-4, which CU uses, but doesn’t believe he’ll have an issue adjusting.
“I watch a lot film and I’m eager to learn,” he said. “Once I get the playbook in front of me I’m going to study it as much as I can because I like to know what I’m doing and I don’t like messing up. Wherever I go, I’m going to pick up the scheme as fast as I can.”
Kunaszyk considers himself a bit of a late bloomer.
He said he was 5-foot-4, 130 pounds as a high school freshman, but has been growing ever since. He said his father didn’t stop growing until he was 21; Kunaszyk is 19.
Between his junior and senior seasons of high school, Kunaszyk added 45-50 pounds. Although he had good size (about 6-1, 215) as a senior, Kunaszyk said he was too bulky and not very lean and didn’t get any Division I looks.
He was also a very young high school senior, playing nearly that whole year at 16 and graduating at 17.
“I just don’t think I was ready (for major college football in 2014),” he said.
He is now – not only physically, but mentally and academically. He will finish his associate degree this spring and will have three years to play three seasons. CU’s academic advisors told Kunaszyk on Friday that he would not have any trouble getting admitted to CU.
Kunaszyk said he’s down to CU and Cal, but would explore other options if more opportunities come up. Iowa State has recently started talking to him. For now, Boulder has been his only visit, and it has been a good one.
“I’ve just been focusing and taking in everything on this visit,” he said. “I’m not really worried about what’s next from here. I’m loving Colorado and I’m loving this visit and I just want to take it all in.”
Kunaszyk and CU defensive lineman Jordan Carrell were teammates at both Roseville High and ARC. … CU offensive lineman Sully Wiefels is another ARC product.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.