Q & A WITH LANCE CARL – PART THREE

Lance Carl then … A member of Bill McCartney’s first recruiting Class (1983), Carl was a 12-letter winner (football, baseball, track and basketball) out of Fort Madison, Iowa. Carl, a wide receiver who led the Buffs in receiving in 1986, was a member of the team when the Buffs ended a six year run of losing seasons in 1985 – McCartney’s fourth year as head coach. Carl was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable touchdowns in Colorado football history, a 52-yard halfback pass from O.C. Oliver on the first play of the fourth quarter of CU’s epic 20-10 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in 1986.

Lance Carl now … Carl signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins, and also had a four year run as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles. More recently, Carl spent six years with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, where he was a director for student motivational outreach. In November of 2013, Carl was named to a newly created position, associate athletic director for business development. The largely external role which encompasses business development, community partnerships, Carl serves as the coordinator for non-game day events (such as the Dead & Company playing at Folsom Field last July, and returning this June). Carl, with an office down the hall from athletic director Rick George, is also the sports supervisor for the football program. He has daily interactions with head coach Mike MacIntyre, the assistant coaches, support personnel and the student-athletes.

Note … For regulars here at CU at the Game, you may recall that Mr. Carl was gracious enough to do a similar interview last spring. If you would like to look back at that interview – and see how prescient Mr. Carl was about the 2016 season (“No More Excuses” was one heading of one segment; “We’re the Real Deal” was another) – you can read it again here.

Previously postedPart One: Coaches … Part Two: Offense

 

Defense

On the CU defensive line, which is being rebuilt after graduating three senior starters

Javier Edwards is big, nimble, agile and nasty. Last year with Josh Tupou, his job was to play A gap. Same with Javier, but with Javier there is a little more pass rush ability, if you want to use him that way. He has quick moves for a big guy.

Chris Mulumba, you can see his head spinning out there right now, because the level of football we are playing, even in the spring, is so much more advanced than JC, Interestingly enough, with Chris Mulumba, here is an interesting quote from (strength and conditioning coach) Drew Wilson: “The first time I saw Mulumba the weight room, I said, ‘Who’s the NFL guy working out here?’ ”, because he is all of 6’4″, 280, he looks like and NFL guy. Now it’s a matter of him learning techniques, what it takes to become a Division 1, Pac-12 defensive end, but he’s solid.

Tim Coleman is having a great camp; Leo Jackson is having a great camp. We have all these new guys blending in with the older guys. Frank Umu looks great; he’s about 310. Jase Franke is at about 285, and really quick off the ball. So, I think you are going to see a rotation of guys in there.

On the benefits of a “weak” non-conference schedule helping the new defensive linemen

I think the schedule will allow them to grow into their role. With the first three games, you’ll get the chance to get some young guys in there, and kind of find out what you have, because you really don’t know what you have until the bullets start flying. You can practice all you want, but watching our defensive line right now – we’re going to be okay. I think it’s fair to say that everyone you put on that defensive side of the ball, they are going to compete. And then you trust the coaches’ scheme, and if they are tough and physical and competitive – which they all are – we’ll let the chips fall where they may.

On the linebacker corps

Akil Jones is having a good camp; N.J. Falo is having a good camp. Rick Gamboa is taking a leadership role on the defense, so we have a good young team. And there are some good young players coming in in the fall … Carson Wells … Jon Van Diest playing on the inside … I think you will see some young guys getting to play.

Drew Lewis is having a great camp, I think he is going to be the starter for us inside alongside Gamboa. Addison Gillam is taking a sabbatical, not sure if he’s coming back, but even if he isn’t, we’ll still fine on inside linebackers.

On the CU defensive backs

Afodabi Laguda is a leader, everyone knows he is a dynamic player back there (at safety). He’s working some on his coverage reads. Our biggest loss in the secondary – nothing against Ahkello (Witherspoon), nothing against Chidobe (Awuzie) – but Tedric Thompson really made a difference for us on the backend. Afolabi is going to fill that role. Ryan Moeller is a solid football player that is going to play that hybrid role again this year. Moeller’s tough, physical and is the embodiment of the defense because he’s selfless.

The guy who is really turning heads for us, though, is Evan White. Evan took that year (White was suspended from the team last season for off-field incidents) and really grew as a young man. I think becoming a father has changed him as well, but his body has changed. He’s more flexible, more agile … he’s turning heads back there.

At the corners, Isaiah Oliver is going to be a star here. Anthony Julmisse has to work on his consistency, but he has all the attributes of a great cornerback. Dante Wigley is coming to his own a little bit. I think coming from a JC as he was, they played ‘cat’ defense: ‘I got this cat; you’ve got that cat’. He’s learning, ‘okay, schematically, what do I do here? How do I do that?’, that it’s okay to get your hands on a receiver and re-direct. Shadon is doing a great job with him.

Another guy I’ll mention is Ronnie Blackmon. Quick, agile, he’s got to be more consistent, not freelance. as much. That’s him being a red-shirt freshman, but Ronnie’s got some good return skills, so I think we’re in good shape.

One player who is having a really, really good spring is Trey Udoffia. He’s athletically gifted. When you see him, you go, ‘Well, he looks good’, but then, when he plays, he plays at a high tempo. He has great speed in pads. Some guys have football speed, some guys have track speed. He’s got a good mix of both. He’s been able to roll with our guys on deep routes, defend the deep ball, knock the ball down, make some picks.

The main thing with Udoffia is that he is confident. I want our cornerbacks to have a swagger. You saw Akhello Witherspoon, Chidobe Awuzie – they had a swagger to them. This guy has a swagger to him. That’s just having confidence in who you are. He’s going to be a really good player. I expect him to play not only on (special) teams, but getting some playing time out on the field on defense as well.

Right now we have one corner spot locked down with Isaiah (Oliver). The other cornerback spot – is it Wigley? Is it Anthony (Julmisse)? Is it Trey (Udoffia)? Those guys are competing every day. The great thing is, they are going against Pac-12 receivers. That will give you a real good idea of whether they can play or not. They are getting challenged every day in practice.

Thanks again to Lance for again taking the time to give us an inside look at the CU football program

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4 Replies to “Q & A With Lance Carl – Defense”

  1. If this Tumpkin investigation reaches Benghazi proportions you can expect Mac to start considering other options and offers

    1. ep, I totally agree. I’m not sure as to how the current board really feels about the CU Athletic Dept. Maybe this one on campus regent, not even sure of his name, is just doing what he feels is his job. But if they start making this a bigger deal then what it is there will be dire unintended consequences. This is a football program that is just now getting back on it’s feet and is still a little shaky.

      Deal with the problem which I guess up to now they have by hiring outside consultants etc. But do not issue a multitude of Feel Good PC edicts that have really no purpose but to make the BOR look like they are really on top of everything and anything CU. Right now we have good people in charge of the Athl. Dept. and football program and they have over the whole deal done a good job. Don’t cause them to leave in disgust due to a bunch of needless excessive micro managing.

    2. Sure is a possibility EP. Just some cello shaped Regent hoping to make a name for their future political possibilities. Perhaps it’s time to revoke sovereign immunity and these clowns will get a taste of what the rest of us deal with.

  2. Listening to Mr. Carl, it would seem the level of talent continues rising.

    The evolution continues. Mac and Co are executing their plan. Adjusting as needed. It was interesting to read the piece from CU Buffs about how “empires fall from within”. Sounds like that’s another theme they may be using to make sure The Rise won’t be a one-year wonder.

    Go Buffs!

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