Football Recruiting: CU Buffs add three transfers to trenches

Football Recruiting: CU Buffs add three transfers to trenches

Once again this offseason, Coach Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes snagged another player from Pittsburgh’s team.

On Sunday, the Buffs also welcomed two more transfers.

Dayon Hayes from Pitt, Rayyan Buell from Ohio, and Payton Kirkland, a former Texas offensive lineman, all said they’re joining the Buffs.

“I WANT IT ALL #SkoBuffs,” Hayes wrote on X.

Kirkland simply wrote, “Let’s work” in his X post.

Hayes spent four seasons at Pitt, playing in 39 games and starting 12. Now, as a fifth-year senior with the Buffs, he’s making use of the extra year offered to players due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

With the Panthers, he made 81 tackles, had 25.5 tackles for loss, and notched 12 sacks.

Hayes stepped up big time last season after being a backup for three years, starting in 11 games. He had his best stats yet, with 45 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. Plus, he made four passes defended and forced a fumble.

In 2020, Hayes graduated from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh as a four-star recruit. His Pitt bio dubbed him as the most celebrated recruit from the Pittsburgh City League in over twenty years.

In his senior year, he got 23.5 sacks, totaling 49.5 in his last two years of high school.

At CU, Hayes will team up with his old Pitt buddy Samuel Okunlola, who also joined the Buffs earlier this year. Buell, standing at 6-foot-3 and 277 pounds, had 30 tackles and 4.5 sacks at Ohio last season, and in 2022, he notched nine tackles and two sacks in nine games.

Before Ohio, Buell played at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Back in high school at Hornell (N.Y.), he earned Section V defensive player of the year honors twice.

Kirkland spent a year at Texas after being a highly sought-after four-star recruit from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando’s 2023 class. With over 50 scholarship offers, he picked Texas over Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and more.

Texas listed Kirkland at 6-foot-6, 350 pounds, but he didn’t get to play any games during his first year with the Longhorns. Now at CU, he still has four years left to show his stuff on the field.

Kirkland marks the sixth addition to the Buffaloes’ offensive line this offseason.

In high school, Kirkland showcased his skills at the 2023 All-American Bowl and earned a spot on the All-Metro Orlando team in his senior year. Though he primarily played tackle, Texas shifted him to guard.

Kirkland’s uncle, Perry Harrington, had a football journey of his own, playing as a running back at Jackson State and later getting drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of 1980.

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