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Clemons heading for Colorado

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Friday, May 22, 2009

The coaches with the University of Colorado's football program fell in love with Toney Clemons a few years ago.

The Big 12 school recruited Clemons heavily when he was coming out of Valley High School. In fact, Clemons was the top wide receiver on the team's prospect board in 2006.

Now, a few years later, Clemons has fallen for Colorado, too.

Displeased with his role in Michigan's offense and bent on making an impact at the Division I level, Clemons, who transferred from Michigan two months ago, has committed to play football at Colorado.

NCAA transfer rules will require Clemons to sit out a year, but he'll have two years of eligibility when he returns as a redshirt junior.

"I will let my maturity carry me through (the year away)," Clemons said. "I feel I need the extra year, to get better and to heal up. It's not a year off. I want to improve as a route runner and as a student of the game."

Still strongly interested, Colorado was the first school to contact Clemons when it learned he was leaving Michigan in March.

"That's a funny story," Clemons said of the original scholarship offer from Colorado. "They offered me, but I just couldn't (make arrangements to) get out there. They were the trip after Michigan. But I couldn't get my mom out there, so it never happened."

Clemons had no problems getting onto the field early at Michigan, but didn't get much attention and lacked opportunities to make plays. He caught 11 passes for 101 yards and no touchdowns in two seasons at Michigan. He didn't see things improving with coach Rich Rodriguez reworking the system, so he opted to take his talents elsewhere.

Clemons (6-3, 201) also considered Cincinnati and Connecticut, and explored his options at the Division II level, even inquiring about attending California (Pa.) University.

But Clemons said Colorado assistant coach Eric Kiesau helped influence his decision to join the Buffaloes. He said it will be an "ideal situation" for him.

"It felt right to me," Clemons said of Colorado. "When he was at Cal (University of California-Berkley), coach Kiesau made some of the sharpest route-runners in the country."

That list includes current Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson.

"They are saying I can be what (Jackson) was to Cal," Clemons said.

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