Clemons also visited Cincinnati and considered numerous others schools when considering his transfer options. When it came down to making a decision about his future and the rest of his college career, he said feeling at-ease and at-home were most important to him.
"Just everything about it felt right to me," he said. "The coaches, the system, the players, the campus, the community around it. I felt like the place I need to be."
Clemons decided to leave Michigan this spring after coming to the conclusion that he didn't fit well with coach Rich Rodriguez, who was hired away from West Virginia prior to last season.
Clemons was the 10th-ranked wide receiver in the 2007 recruiting class according to Scout.com rankings. He never became completely comfortable in the Michigan system, in large part, because of the change in coaching staffs.
Clemons produced just 12 catches for 106 yards and no touchdowns in his two seasons in Ann Arbor, but he vows to turn those numbers around in Boulder, playing in the Big 12 Conference, a league he believes might be the best in the nation.
Clemons said he has spent the past month working out with pro players in Phoenix. One of them is his cousin, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston, who also attended Michigan. Clemons said he has learned to practice and play at a different level of intensity through those workouts and he plans to bring that new approach to handling his business when he arrives in Boulder for the start of summer classes June 1.
"I just want to go in there and continue to work and work and work," Clemons said. "I know what my weaknesses are and I know the things I need to do to get better after being in the game for two years. This year off, to tell the truth, is a blessing, because I get to work on me and perfect me."
Clemons is 6-foot-3 and 203 pounds. He brings the kind of size and athleticism CU has been sorely lacking at wide receiver for years. The Buffs recently went through spring practices with just three scholarship wide receivers. He must sit out this season, but he promises to do his best each day in practices to help make his defensive teammates better.
Clemons said he has already developed close relationships with some of those teammates, including fellow wide receivers Scotty McKnight, Markques Simas and Josh Smith. They are a big part of the reason he will be wearing black and gold the next three years.
"The most honest opinion about a place you'll ever get is from the players," Clemons said. "When I got there, I really was talking to the players and getting the whole outlook.
"Even players who were in trouble there or had got in trouble there, they still had positive things to say. You go to most places and those kids who are in trouble, they got nothing but bad things to say. That didn't happen there. It just felt like it did when I was coming out of high school looking at Michigan with coach (Lloyd) Carr. Talking with coach Hawkins, he has a lot of the same values coach Carr had."
Former Michigan wide receiver Toney Clemons has decided to join the Colorado football program after spending much of the past two months mulling his options. Clemons visited Boulder in April and raves about the coaches, system and his future teammates, whom he has kept in touch with over the past six weeks. Get inside for more