Lori Stenstrom couldn't stop smiling. She watched with excitement as her son signed his name on a piece of paper, signaling his official commitment to the University of Colorado.
The Stenstrom family has been Stanford through and through. Lori and her husband, Steve, both attended Stanford and were both standout athletes.
But Wednesday they were dressed in all black and gold.
"Blood before alumni," Lori said.
There's a lot of that going around the Denver area. Blake Stenstrom, a first-team all-state quarterback from Valor Christian, was one of three in-state recruits to sign with the University of Colorado during the inaugural early-signing period.
Cherry Creek's Dimitri Stanley and Highland Ranch's Ray Robinson also signed their letters of intent. Along with the trio that signed with Colorado State, a good chunk of Colorado's standout players get the overall recruiting weight off their shoulders six weeks early.
What is significant about the three prospects headed to Boulder is where each player sits in terms of statewide ratings. Most recruiting services have Stenstrom, Robinson and Stanley rated at least in the top six of all state athletes.
Who says Colorado doesn't sign Colorado kids! The Buffs signed 3 of the top 6 players in the state including the #1 player! @Dimitri_114 @BlakeStenstrom @RayRob25 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/rc4pRVJsGU
— Darrin Chiaverini (@CoachChev6) December 20, 2017
And the Buffs got them.
"We're trying to all that we can," CU coach Mike MacIntyre said. "There are quite a few good players in this state each year and we're excited about the three we got."
MacIntyre had nothing but praise for the three Denver-area products. He mentioned the disappointment that Robinson lost his senior year due to a torn ACL, but of the three, it is only the Highlands Ranch defensive back that will graduate early and dive right into spring ball with the Buffs.
"He's ready to go," MacIntyre said.
He highlighted Stanley as a legacy commit. Stanley's dad, Walter, was a wing back for the Buffs in the 1980's. Stanley had given the Buffs a verbal commitment, but MacIntyre said during Wednesday's press conference that it turned into a battle to keep him.
Along with Stenstrom's commitment last December came an additional role of a recruiter.
"He talked to the offensive lineman a lot," ManIntyre said.
His family shared experiences with the Stanley's and the Robinson's which really drew the trio together. The fact that three of the most sought after recruits from the state was not lost on Stenstrom.
"I think it's great," Stenstrom said. "I think it motivates upcoming classes to stay home. Joshia (Davis) already committed from here, so that's great."
The ability to sign early was an added bonus. With everything made official, the players can start getting integrated into the team six weeks ahead of time. This is one of the many reasons that MacIntyre really came to appreciate the added signing day.
A six-week jump in December can go a long way into making the overall team better in August.
"I can get on Hudl and start watching film as soon as they get it me," Stenstrom said. "I can start working out and during spring ball I can go to all the meetings if I want to. It's a cool benefit of that."
The next signing day period for football players will begin on Feb. 7.