With his first truly successful season at the helm of Colorado football under his belt, head Coach Mike MacIntyre’s recruiting ventures have simultaneously become easier and more difficult—in a good way.

Prior to this past season, the Buffaloes already had a pretty good recruiting class. But after unexpectedly finishing an 10-4 with an appearance in the Pac-12 title game and Alamo Bowl, the Buffs’ commits could not be swayed.

“We had a really good class before we had the season, when you really think about it,” MacIntyre said. “What the season did is it solidified those guys. You always have a couple things that happen, but it solidified those guys.”

At the same time, however, it heightened the team’s appeal to young players searching for a great program to fit into as they embark on their collegiate careers, and made the coaching staff’s decisions that much harder.

“I think, on the other side of it, it did open a few doors,” MacIntyre said. “We had to turn away some really good football players, which we really haven’t had to do in the past. We had to understand that.”

As Colorado’s allure grew stronger and stronger during the 2016 season, the competition for recruits did as well, as other teams kept attempting to steal players already committed to CU.

“It seemed like it was happening a lot more, and you recruit higher and higher caliber classes that we’re saying, ‘you don’t realize we had eight guys that nobody thought were very good playing senior bowl games that will also be playing, a lot of them, in the NFL,’” MacIntyre said.

“It’s all a little bit of perception, but overall, we had a lot more guys getting attacked. The other reason is that a lot of people out there trust our evaluations now. They know we’re evaluating and they also know the kids we’re recruiting will be eligible.”

No matter what happens with a recruit, MacIntyre remains confident that if he can get the young men to campus, he can keep them on his side with a little help from the campus’ appeal.

“We feel good enough about our school that if a kid goes and takes a visit after that, that we will still be able to hold onto them,” MacIntyre said. “I feel good about what we do here. When they come on their visit and see what we have to offer now, there’s really not a school that has anything better to offer than we do.

“Everybody has kind of a niche, but if you encompass our whole thing now with the Pac-12, with the history of our school, with how we compete and where we’re going to be ranked and where we’re going to be going, and if you look at our facility and you look at the city, you look at the airport, you look at Denver, and then you look at the reputation that our school carries around the country.”

With Mac’s success still building with his No. 25 recruiting class in 2017 and his recent successes on the field, players are already looking to become a Buff even farther down the road.

“We’ve already got commitments for next year, we got kids that want to commit,” MacIntyre said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re making the right choices on that. It is definitely better, there’s no doubt about that, but it also makes you make sure you’re making the right decisions and you don’t get caught as a coach in the emotional side of it either. You’re making the best decisions for your program, and for what your needs are.”