EZ Mortgages

Spring Position Battles: Defense and Special Teams

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Spring Practice: Position Battles

Spring Practices … By the numbers

Spring Practices open February 22nd, with the Spring Game on Saturday, March 18th (1:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks, KOA radio).

Teams are allowed 15 practices over 29 days.  Teams are allowed, per NCAA rules: three in shorts (no contact), four in pads (no tackling), four in pads (tackling allowed 50 percent or less of the practice and four in pads (with tackling throughout).

Posted …  Under Position Battles: Offense … Quarterbacks and running backs … Wide receivers and tight ends … Offensive Line

Posted below … Defensive line … Linebackers … Defensive Backs … Special Teams

First practice …  Wednesday, February 22nd

 

—–

Special Teams

Players lost: Diego Gonzalez (K); Chris Hill (LS)

Seniors: Chris Graham, (PK); Cameron Silzer (P)

Juniors: Alex Kinney (P)

Sophomores: Davis Price (PK); Nick Porter (PK); J.T. Bale (LS)

Red-shirt freshmen: None

True freshmen: Kevin Noth (LS)

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player …

Kick Returners

Players lost: None

Seniors: None

Juniors: Isaiah Oliver (PR); Jay MacIntyre (PR)

Sophomores: Anthony Julmisse (KR)

Red-shirt freshmen: Multiple options

True freshmen: Multiple options

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player … *Early enrollee, will participate in spring drills…

 

2016 statistics for returning players:

Chris Graham … 10-for-14 in field goal attempts (71.4%) … long of 46 yards … misses from 40, 42, 28 and 36 yards (one blocked) … 8-of-10 on extra points

Davis Price … 4-of-6 in field goal attempts (66.7%) … long of 54 yards … misses from 33 and 36 yards … 26-of-27 on extra points

Alex Kinney  … 68 punts for 2716 yards (39.94 yard average) … 341 return yards, for a total of 2295 yards (33.8 yard average (two blocked)

— Anthony Julmisse … 17 kickoff returns for 384 yards (22.6 yard average) … long of 48 yards

Isaiah Oliver … 14 punt returns for 164 yards (11.7 yard average) … long of 68 yards (touchdown)

Jay MacIntyre … 17 punt returns for 152 yards (8.9 yard average) … long of 32 yards

 

What to Watch For this Spring

The most important event for the CU special teams may not come until a month after the spring game … or not until next January.

The NCAA Football Oversight Committee recommended in January that football teams be allowed to add a tenth assistant coach. The vote by the Division 1 Council was set for their April meetings, but now that vote may be pushed back to January, 2018.

The relevance to the Buffs and their fans, of course, is that CU head coach Mike MacIntyre was reportedly set on hiring a full time special teams coach as CU’s tenth assistant. The Buffs have been going without, and the new opening seemed like a good fit for the CU staffing needs.

And now it might not happen at all this year.

Which means that this spring – and perhaps all of 2017 – the CU special teams will be coached by committee (the Buffs did have a “Director of Quality Control/Special Teams” in Matt Thompson, hired last April, but no designated special teams coach).

In 2016, that approach met with mixed results.

Senior Diego Gonzalez was the incumbent kicker for the Buffs heading into the 2016 season, and made three of four attempts before being injured during the Michigan game. Thereafter, Chris Graham and Davis Price split the job, with Graham making 10-14 attempts; Price 4-6.  When it came time for extra points, Price did most of the work (26-27), with Graham playing a lesser role (8-10).

When it came to kickoffs, Graham was on the field more often (51 kickoffs; 23 returns; 20 touchbacks) than Price (14 kickoffs; 9 returns; 5 touchbacks).

Fair numbers, but not outstanding, and not what Buff fans have come to expect from their kicking game.

However, with no new kickers signed to compete with Graham and Price (walk-on sophomore Nick Porter is the only other kicker on the roster), the spring of 2017 will be the ongoing battle between Graham and Price to improve their overall performance.

Junior punter Alex Kinney enjoys even greater job security, with his only competition on the roster coming from senior walk-on Cameron Silzer (kicker Chris Graham is listed on the CU depth chart, should anything happen to Kinney.

Kinney’s numbers in 2016 were poor. Colorado was last in the Pac-12, and 118th in the nation, in net punting last year.

And yet … there is no competition this spring for Kinney … and no designated special teams coach to help him improve.

The Buffs are also short on long-snappers. J.T. Bale filled the role last fall as a red-shirt freshman, and is poised to become yet another (in an impressive history) of four-year starters at the position at CU. Still, the backup from last fall, Chris Hill, graduated, and the only other long-snapper on the roster, Austin Shaw, is no longer with the team. (Note: Adam Munsterteiger at BuffStampede.com is reporting that Kevin Noth from Valor Christian will walk-on as a long-snapper this fall, but Noth is not showing up as of yet in the official CU list of recruits).

The thing about long-snappers – you don’t know how much you need them … until you don’t have one.

While the kicking game remains a sore spot this spring, the return game should be a positive as the 2017 season unfolds. Defensive backs Isaiah Oliver and Anthony Julmisse led the team in punt and kickoff returns, respectively, last fall, and both return.

Oliver and Julmisse, though, are both in line for starting jobs in CU’s depleted secondary. This may mean a reduced role for both on special teams, which means that this spring – and heading into fall camp – the battle for return specialists may be one to watch.

Colorado was 38th in the nation in punt returns last season (after spending years in the 100’s nationally), and 32nd in kickoff returns. Those numbers, though, could improve as there are a host of freshmen who have speed to fill the return roles. Red-shirt freshmen Derrion Rakestraw, Ronnie Blackmon, and Trey Udoffia, not to mention true freshmen who enrolled early – Jaylon Jackson and Isaiah Lewis – may try and find playing time on special teams.

Special teams to not get much play during the spring, as teams – with an eye on reducing injuries – do not have as many live kickoff returns and punt returns as they will in the fall. There are also fewer opportunities for kickers and punters to show their skills in live action.

That being the case, the most important news to come out of the spring concerning special teams may be the addition of as yet-to-be-named kicker/punter addition to the roster …

… or news in April that CU will actually be hiring a special teams coach in 2017.

 

—–

Defensive Backs

Cornerbacks

Players lost: Chidobe Awuzie; Ahkello Witherspoon

Seniors: Andrew Bergner, 5’11”, 170

Juniors: Isaiah Oliver; 6’1″, 190

Sophomores: Anthony Julmisse, 6’1″, 190; Dante Wigley (JC), 6’1″, 180; Lucas Cooper, 5’10”, 180

Red-shirt freshmen: Ronnie Blackmon, 5’10”, 180; Trey Udoffia, 6’0″, 185; Uryan Hudson, 5’9″, 150

True freshmen: Chris Miller, 5’11”, 175

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player … *Early enrollee, will participate in spring drills…

Safeties 

Players lost: Tedric Thompson

Seniors: Ryan Moeller, 6’1″, 215; Afolabi Laguda, 6’1″, 205

Juniors: Nick Fisher, 6’0″, 190; Jaisen Sanchez, 6’1″, 210; Kyle Trego, 6’0″, 190; Evan White, 6’2″, 205; Daniel Talley, 6’2″, 210

Sophomores: None

Red-shirt freshmen: Chase Sanders, 6’0″, 180

True freshmen: Isaiah Lewis*, 6’0″, 190

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player … *Early enrollee, will participate in spring drills…

 

2016 statistics for returning players:

Afodabi Laguda … 14 starts … 792 plays … 80 tackles … one interception … three third down stops … six passes broken up

Ryan Moeller … 10 starts … 448 plays … 44 tackles … two forced fumbles … two passes broken up

Isaiah Oliver … 3 starts … 440 plays … 25 tackles … one interception … seven third down stops … 13 passes broken up … one forced fumble

Nick Fisher … 0 starts … 107 plays …. 10 tackles … 5 third down stops … one pass broken up

Anthony Julmisse … 0 starts … 53 plays … three tackles … one interception .. one fumble recovery

 

What to Watch For this Spring

Related … “ShaDon Brown excited for his chance with CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Buffs Safety White Plans To Make Most Of Second Chance” … from CUBuffs.com 

Three Colorado defensive backs will be trying to catch the eyes of scouts at the NFL Combine (February 28th – March 6th). Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Chidobe Awuzie, along with safety Tedric Thompson, will try to work their way into the 2017 NFL draft in April.

Meanwhile, back in Boulder, the search will be going on to find their replacements.

It would be hard enough to mold the remaining players into a top defensive unit with the loss of three long-time starters, but the Buffs are further hamstrung by the fact that neither of their defensive back coaches return. Charles Clark, who coached the cornerbacks, took off for “greener” pastures at Oregon, while safeties coach Joe Tumpkin … just took off.

Their replacement is ShaDon Brown, who will coach both safeties and cornerbacks. Brown coached the cornerbacks at Army this past season, his first at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Despite having a pair of true freshman play a bulk of the season at corner, Army ranked sixth nationally in passing yards allowed (170.2 per game) and 17th in pass efficiency defense (115.11 rating).

“I’m so excited about being here in Boulder and working with this staff, especially (head coach Mike MacIntyre),” Brown told the Daily Camera. “The things I heard about him prior to taking this opportunity were awesome. I can’t wait to get started to work with the defensive backs here and get rolling in spring football.”

While three players with NFL talent have departed, Brown’s cupboard is not entirely bare.

Colorado played with five defensive backs for most of last season, which means that the Buffs do have two returning starters, Afodabi Laguda, who started all 14 games last season at free safety, and Ryan Moeller, who had ten starts at nickel back in 2016. Laguda was steady all last season, finishing second on the team in tackles, with 80, while Moeller tied for the team lead in tackles for loss, with four.

A third starter can also likely be penciled in … and he may prove to be even better than the All-Pac-12 performers he is replacing. Junior Isaiah Oliver was third on the team in passes broken up in 2016, with 13, but those players who had more (Witherspoon, with 22; and Thompson, with 18) were both on the field considerably more often (Oliver was on the field for 440 plays – Witherspoon and Thompson almost 800 plays apiece).

Pro Football Focus has taken note of Oliver’s potential. In naming Oliver its Pac-12 Special Teams player-of-the-year (Oliver had seven special teams tackles, and almost single-handedly won the UCLA game with two long punt returns, including a 68-yarder for a touchdown), PFF had this to say:

Oliver is a player that we fully expect to make the 2017 PFF All Pac-12 team as a cornerback as he was one of the better corners in the conference this year but just missed the cut. Oliver contributed seven special teams tackles in addition to 166 punt return yards and a touchdown.

Three spots down; two to go.

For one of the safety positions, look for a battle this spring between Nick Fisher and Evan White (Jaisen Sanchez is out for the spring with an injury, and junior Kyle Trego has yet to make a name for himself). Both are intriguing stories. Fisher, a backup for most of 2016, nonetheless was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week for his efforts in the Washington State game. Subbing for Afodabi Laguda when the starting free safety was ejected in the first quarter on a targeting call, Fisher – who had been in for all of 39 plays in the first ten games of the season, was in for 67 plays against the Cougars. Fisher contributed six tackles, including a fourth down stop in the red zone which turned the game in favor of the Buffs.

Evan White missed all of last season on suspension, but worked his way back onto the team in January. The junior, who started three games as a freshman and played in 11 games as a sophomore two years ago, is ready for a second chance.  “I’m really glad to be here,” said White. “Once you sit out for a whole year, you learn to look at it from a whole different perspective. When it’s taken away is when you really begin to realize how much you miss it. I really think this is what I’m meant to be doing, and I’m not sure I realized that before.”

The other cornerback position will have plenty of applicants. Anthony Julmisse has the most experience of the players on the roster, but there are other options. Junior college Dante Wigley will compete immediately, as will true freshman Isaiah Lewis, who graduated high school early and enrolled in January. The other names to remember are both redshirt freshmen who sat out last year, learning the defense … Ronnie Blackmon and Trey Udoffia.

The plethora of talent leads one to believe that new defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown will have more to work with than some will give CU credit for. “Everybody starts somewhere,” Brown said. “This is my first Power 5 job, but coaching is coaching. It’s mentoring the guys, it’s loving them, it’s teaching them and giving them tools to be better and then going out there and making plays and having fun when they do it.”

 

—–

Linebackers

Players lost: Jimmie Gilbert; Kenneth Olugbode; Deaysean Rippy; Ryan Severson; Travis Talianko; Christian Shaver

Seniors: Addison Gillam, 6’3″, 230; Derek McCartney, 6’3″, 250; Trent Headley, 6’2″, 225

Juniors: Rick Gamboa, 6’0″, 230; Drew Lewis, 6’2″, 230; N.J. Falo, 6’2″ 220; Terran Hasselbach, 6’1″, 240

Sophomores: none

Red-shirt freshmen: Sam Bennion, 6’5″, 230; Pookie Maka, 6’3″, 220; Akil Jones, 6’0, 220; Jacob Stoltenberg, 6’0″, 245

True freshmen: Carson Wells, 6’4″, 230; Chase Newman, 6’2″, 210; Jon Van Diest, 6’1″, 235; Nate Landman, 6’3″, 210; Jacob Callier, 6’2″, 245

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player … *Early enrollee, will participate in spring drills …

 

2016 statistics for returning players:

Rick Gamboa – 14 starts … 499 plays … 79 tackles … three tackles for loss … eight third down stops

Addison Gillam – 0 starts … 393 plays … 66 tackles … four sacks … seven quarterback pressures

N. J. Falo – 0 starts … 257 plays … 12 tackles … 1.5 sacks … four third down stops

Terran Hasselbach … 0 starts … 117 plays … three tackles … one third down stop

Drew Lewis – 0 starts … 46 plays … 8 tackles … one sack … two third down stops

Derek McCartney (2015 stats) – 10 starts … 648 plays … 70 tackles … five sacks … five other tackles for loss … 16 quarterback pressures (team leader) … eight third down stops

 

What to Watch For this Spring

Related … “CU Buffs’ defense will have new look in 2017” … from the Daily Camera

The list of linebackers who are are participating in spring drills is significantly longer than the list of players who are not (again, going off of the CU listing of players, some defensive ends/linebackers are interchangeable in Buffs’ 3-4 defense):

— Let’s open with the two lost starters: Kenneth Olugbode and Jimmie Gilbert;

— Add in the four other scholarship linebackers who will not be back: Deaysean Rippy; Ryan Severson; Travis Talianko; Christian Shaver;

— Two other returning linebackers – Derek McCartney and Trent Headley – are injured and will not participate in spring drills; and

— The future of the unit – true freshmen Carson Wells, Chase Newman, Jon Van Diest, Nate Landman, and Jacob Callier – won’t be in Boulder until this summer.

Okay, so who’s left to keep an eye on this spring?

Let’s start with the new defensive coordinator – and linebackers coach – D.J. Eliot. How Eliot interacts with his new charges, and the schemes he implements, will be subject to significant scrutiny.

“I think we have a group of kids that have been a part of this program for four years and that are going to contribute a lot more this year than they have in the past, and I think they’re hungry to do that,” Eliot said.

Atop that list of long-timers looking to impress are senior Addison Gillam and junior Rick Gamboa.

It seemed like just yesterday that Gillam was a unanimous first-team Freshman All-American, the first freshman to lead the Buffs in tackles since they were first tracked starting in 1964. Since then, Gillam, has played in 24 games over the past three years, but has yet to return to star status due to a series of injuries. We’ll see this spring if Gillam will go out the way he came in.

Rick Gamboa, meanwhile, will be called upon to be the mainstay of the unit, the only returning starter from 2016.

After Gamboa and Gillam, D.J. Eliot will be looking to see three part-time contributors from the past few seasons, along with a trio of red-shirt freshmen, are ready for prime time.

Three juniors – Drew Lewis, N.J. Falo, and Terran Hasselbach – have played in a combined total of 61 games in their CU careers … with a combined total of zero starts.

The three red-shirt freshmen – Sam Bennion, Pookie Maka, and Akil Jones – have not seen live action since the fall of 2015 (or, in the case of Bennion, who took a two-year Mormon mission, since the fall of … 2013).

Eliot said having so many newcomers could be a positive for the Buffs.

“I can tell you that the new coaches and the less experienced players are all going to be hungry to prove themselves,” he said. “I’m hungry as the defensive coordinator to take on the challenge to get the less-experienced players reps and coached up to be successful.”

… Let the games, er, practices, begin …

—–

Defensive Line

Players lost: Jordan Carrell; Josh Tupou; Samson Kafovalu; Aaron Howard

Seniors: Leo Jackson III, 6″3″, 275; Timothy Coleman, 6’3″, 250

Juniors: Jase Franke, 6’3″, 260; Michael Mathews, 6’4″, 260; Eddy Lopez, 6’3″, 315; Javier Edwards (JC), 6’3″, 350; Chris Mulumba (JC), 6’4″, 280; Shamar Hamilton (JC), 6’5″, 230

Sophomores: Brett Tonz, 6’3″, 285; Lyle Tuiloma, 6’3″, 320; Frank Umu, 6’4″, 315

Red-shirt freshmen: Terriek Roberts, 6’6″, 265

True freshmen: Dante Sparaco*, 6’5″, 250; Jalen Sami, 6’6″, 320; Terrence Lang, 6’6″, 265

bold = starter in 2016 …  Italics = non-scholarship player … *Early enrollee, will participate in spring drills…

2016 statistics for returning players:

Leo Jackson, III – 1 start … 254 plays … 16 tackles

Timothy Coleman – 0 starts … 174 plays … 12 tackles … one sack

Jase Franke … 0 starts … 76 plays … 11 tackles

Aaron Howard … 0 starts … 19 plays … 5 tackles

Frank Umu … 0 starts … 18 plays … 1 tackle

Brett Tonz … 0 starts … 16 plays … 1 tackle

Michael Mathews … 0 starts … 15 plays … 1 tackle

Lyle Tuiloma … 0 starts … 3 plays … 0 tackles

 

What to Watch For this Spring

Related … “CU Buffs’ Jim Jeffcoat excited to work with new-look defensive line” … from the Daily Camera

Even a quick glance through the above numbers gives you all the details you need to know as to why the Colorado defensive line is going to be the most watched unit this spring.

Colorado loses all three starters along the defensive line. Josh Tupou plugged up the middle at nose tackle for 14 straight games in 2016, with Jordan Carrell alongside for all 14 and Samson Kafovalu for 13 (Leo Jackson started for an injured Kafovalu in the USC game).

The backups to these starters saw limited action, with five of the returning eight defensive lineman seeing action in fewer than 20 plays all season.

JC’s to the rescue!

Colorado brought in six new defensive linemen this spring, with three of those coming from the junior college ranks. Expected to compete for starting positions this spring are defensive tackle Javier Edwards and defensive ends Chris Mulumba and Shamar Hamilton (note … I understand that several defensive players, including Hamilton, who is 6’5″, 230, will be used as rush ends or outside linebackers in CU’s 3-4 alignment. For purposes of discussion, however, I am using the designations assigned each player by CU in its Signing Day press release).

Edwards may be asked to fill some rather big shoes right from the start. Josh Tupou, like most nose tackles, did not rack up overly impressive stats (49 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 10 quarterback pressures). Instead, his job was to clog up the middle, and Tupou did so with great effectiveness … well enough to earn All-Pac 12 honorable mention status. Edwards, all 350 pounds of him, will be pushed for playing time by Jase Franke, Brett Tonz, and Lyle Tuiloma. The three returning Buffs, however, were in for less than 100 plays combined last fall, so, until demonstrated otherwise, the all-important nose tackle position remains a question mark.

Jim Jeffcoat, the CU defensive line coach – and the only returning Buff coach on the defensive side of the ball – has more options at defensive end. Leo Jackson does have 11 career starts under his belt, and Timothy Coleman was on the field for 12 of CU’s 14 games last fall. Red-shirt freshman Terriek Roberts and early enrollee Dante Sparaco will help add to the depth of the unit, and may even compete for playing time this fall.

Still, the junior college signees may be pressed into immediate duty (as the old saying goes, “you don’t bring in junior college players to sit on the bench”). Shamar Hamilton recorded ten sacks in his 17 games playing for ASA junior college in Miami the past two seasons, posting 65 tackles, 16 of which went for losses. Hamilton didn’t play football until his senior year in high school, so he remains a work in progress.

As does CU’s other junior college signee, Chris Mulumba. Before attending junior college in California, Mulumba lived in Finland, where there was no organized football. He was a four-time national judo champion (2009-12), and also served his mandatory one year in the Finnish Army. Already 24, Mulumba has two years of eligibility remaining, and hopes to make the most out of them.

“I like rushing the quarterback and playing the run,” Mulumba said. “I think I can do both very well. Coach Jeffcoat told me that he wants me to be ready for passing situations to rush the quarterback, so I’m excited about that.”

So, for Colorado to be successful on defense this fall, the Buffs must replace all three starters along the defensive line. Jim Jeffcoat is hoping to do so with a patchwork of returning players with limited playing experience and junior college transfers … with little playing experience.

When the preseason magazines come out in June, and Colorado is moved down a peg or two in the projected Pac-12 standings, the defensive line will likely be pointed to as an Achilles’ heel for the program.

The addition of six new defensive linemen this off-season gives Buff fans hope for a quick fix … and a point of interest this spring.

 

14 Responses to “Spring Position Battles: Defense and Special Teams”

  1. VK

    3 pat’s missed out (50 out of 53) ranked 100
    Fg’s made 17 out of 26 ranked 104
    Opponent punt returns allowed 13.2 yds per return ranked 112
    Opponent kick off returns allowed 25.81 per game ranked 123

    Colorado kick off returns 22.83 per return ranked 32
    Colorado punt returns 9.69 yds per return ranked 39
    Colorado punting 40.5 per punt ranked 81

    Deltas between The Buffs and #1 are not huge in some cases, but at this level of play the Buffs are not good. CSU ranks ahead of the Buffs in every category.

    Not good.

    Buffs.

    FREE MAC2
    FREE RG

  2. ep

    Even though we have ST coaching by committee I hope there is one central figure handing out instructions. Still I dont see how kick coverage will be any better.
    I’m with VK in that the D will hold their own as long as Eliot is competent in handing out game time instructions and calling plays…the one blot on his record that scares me.
    As far as the O goes I am hoping the guy at BZ is correct when he says we will go to more of a passing game cause the coaches are more comfortable with Steve’s arm.
    Unfortunately its the play calling, once again, that I have to see to believe if it will improve

    • AZBuff

      Yes the O line is better then it has been and should even be even stronger this year. If that is so why do they need to continue keep the TE’s as part of the blocking schemes? Turn the TE loose and incorporate them into the passing game, just more things for the opposing defenses to worry about. Tora Tora Tora, Attack Attack Attack with every skill player on the field.

  3. VK

    I gotta say the more I read Stuarts stuff and look at other info, and if the coach really is who he says he is, and looking at the players at all 3 levels, there is a great chance the Mighty Buff D will be pretty damn good.

    So it once again comes down to the O

    Buffs

    • AZBuff

      Boy lot of pent up commenting by ole, I spell it correctly, ole VK.

      When they signed Kinney as a punter out of HS he was very highly thought of. If I recall his first punt was against Hawaii which was blocked and he has never quite lived up to his initial billing. The lack of a ST coach that knows how to teach punters may be part of the reason for Kinney’s lack of progress. I would imagine that he will attend some punting camps this summer and hopefully whatever has retarded his improvement can be corrected. I think that he is supposed to have a strong leg, he needs to incorporate it into the whole package of kicking. The game is called “football” don’t you know.

  4. Viktor Koenig

    CU used to be “Linebacker U”

    Even with the new coach this group is the strongest overall it has been in a long time from a talent and speed perspective.

    The RSF will have an impact.

    The frosh are the best overall class in like forever. Speed, size. Several were defensive players of the year in their conferences and all were on the all conference defensive team. This is huge.

    If the new coach is all he believes he is, the loss of the ol DC will be minimal.

    Buffs

  5. Victor King IV

    Recruiting class of 15?
    19 signees Only 14 still here. I say only well because “The Stay, They Stay” is a big Mantra of Mac2. Running back depth hurt by the “non-stayers” in this class. Next years class is gonna require 5 plus JC’s to get the now sophomore class up to the 20 number for their junior year. Just Saying…. Just like they did for this year by the way.

    Buffs.

    Note: With the players on campus, and the ones coming in the Buffs will have 88 on scholarship……….Uh Oh………85 only please. Wonder who the 3 leaving/or not getting in are?……….

    Note 2: In reviewing the 2017 class, I hope they all make it. It is a really good class. Stars, future stars and diamonds in the rough. Damn Nice

  6. Victor King IV

    JC’s and Seniors and Juniors, oh my…..

    I believe this D-line is gonna be just fine. And (getting ahead a bit) combined with the Linebackers the front 7 is gonna be in really good shape.

    The Strength coach has already commented on how hard the JC’s are working to get to the level they need to be at. And the fact they are already on campus is a huge plus.

    Their success will be influenced heavily by the New DC’s scheme ( which has been stated will be the “Same as last year” and most importantly how the defense is called during game. The ol guy was a master at doing this..

    Buffs

  7. Earmuffs

    Are you also including DEs? If so, isn’t Derek McCartney coming back this spring, or at the very least in the fall?

    • Stuart

      As noted in the piece, I’m going off of how CU lists the players. Right now, Derek McCartney is listed as an outside linebacker.
      McCartney is still on the roster, and is expected back this fall, but won’t participate in spring drills.

      • Earmuffs

        Thanks Stuart. I didn’t know he was listed as an OLB. I’m hopeful he comes back at full strength. He would be a huge plus for this D line.

  8. ep

    The Mulumba kid intrigues me. Sounds like he hasnt played football that long but was a judo champion back in Finland….which means he is an athlete with quickness. Battling an O lineman does have similarities to Judo. Be interesting to see if Jeffcoat can get the most out of him.

    also have high hopes for Sparaco. He was a force at that national level high school he went to.

    and finally, Tupou really improved his draft stock in the all star game he was in.

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