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Random Thoughts – Vol. III – QB Battle; K.D.’s Return; CU Buzzer-beaters

Let the Starting Quarterback debate begin

Brendon Lewis, 6’3″, 209-pound dual threat quarterback from Melissa, Texas, has been a Colorado commit since May, but didn’t officially become a Buff until Wednesday morning.

The Buff Nation, which has been excited about Lewis for months, can now officially begin speculating about whether Lewis, who will be in Boulder for spring practices, will be the starter September 5th against Colorado State.

Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson wasn’t about to tip his hand.

“I think it’s extremely wide open,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be an exciting spring because, obviously, what we’re trying to do overall program-wise is to create that competition.

“I think there’s so much to like in all three of them that it will be very interesting to see how it unfolds.”

Junior Tyler Lytle and sophomore Blake Stenstrom await Lewis this spring. Both have seen limited action behind Steven Montez, but neither has separated themselves as a clear favorite as the next starter.

“Working with Tyler and Blake, both have some really good skill sets,” Johnson said. “To me they were kind of neck-and-neck all fall camp. Even through this fall season, they would kind of vacillate a little bit each way, kind of in certain weeks.”

While Texas 4A competition is not the same as Pac-12 competition, you have to be impressed with the numbers Lewis put up for the 9-4 Melissa Cardinals:

  • 2019 season: 149-for-242 passing, for 2,623 yards, with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. Lewis also carried the ball 124 times for 1,223 yards (9.8 yards/carry), with 16 more touchdowns.
  • For his career, Lewis passed for 8,575 yards, with 107 touchdowns and only 20 interceptions. Lewis also had 3,221 rushing yards, with 39 more touchdowns.

For those scoring at home, that’s 11,796 yards of total offense, with 146 touchdowns.

When is spring practices, again?

Can’t wait.

Welcome back, K.D.!

Junior wide receiver K.D. Nixon announced Thursday that he will return to play for the Colorado Buffaloes his senior season in 2020.   He previously announced that he would forego his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

“After thoughtful evaluation and conversations with Coach Tucker and others about my future in football – and beyond, I have decided to continue my college football career at Colorado, earn my degree and declare for the NFL Draft in 2021,” Nixon said. “I look forward to contributing to the Buffaloes next season and making a difference for our team.”

While Buff fans are celebrating the return of CU’s third-leading receiver from the 2018 season (35 catches for 465 yards and three touchdowns), Nixon’s return may have even greater meaning than having another talented receiver in CU’s already deep roster.

Nixon was presented as a co-winner of CU’s Eddie Crowder Award at the end of season banquet for outstanding team leadership. Having a strong leader returning to the locker room will only help Mel Tucker and his staff in establishing the “culture” coach Tucker is trying to establish.

Nixon has also shown great courage in announcing his return. Not too many 20-year olds can be persuaded to change their minds about anything, much less something so public as stating that you are good enough to take your talents to the NFL … and then publicly stating that your first announcement was a mistake.

Here’s wishing K.D. a very successful 2020 campaign wearing the black-and-gold.

De-commits

CU offers over 300 prospects scholarships each recruiting cycle, with hopes of obtaining signatures on Letters of Intent from 20-25.

That’s not a very high ratio of offers/signees, but such is the nature of the beast.

Yet there are a handful of players each cycle who do commit to play for CU, and then change their minds. Some times, they get a better offer. Sometimes, they are recruited over. Sometimes, they can’t make the grades, and don’t qualify to get into CU.

Almost every time … we don’t know the whole story.

Still, there were six “de-commits” from the Buffs this year, and I thought it would be interesting to see where they wound up:

  • Jayland Parker, three-star linebacker from Macon, Georgia … Committed to CU: 7/02/19 to 9/08/19 … Signed with: North Carolina State;
  • Alton Julian, three star junior college cornerback from Palo Alto, California … Committed to CU: 6/17/19 to 10/16/19 … Signed with: Oregon State;
  • Stacy Sneed, three-star running back from Mansfield, Texas, … Committed to CU: 8/16/19 to 11/16/19 … Signed with: Houston;
  • Julius Coates, three-star junior college defensive end from Rockford, Illinois … Committed to CU: 10/07/19 to 12/06/19 … Signed with: Arkansas;
  • Gavin Holmes, three-star cornerback from Metairie, Louisiana … Committed to CU: 6/12/19 to 10/16/19 … Signed with: Unsigned, “high interest” in Arkansas State;
  • Joe Perkins, three-star safety from Madison, Mississippi … Committed to CU: 7/15/19 to 12/02/19 … Signed with: Unsigned, Arkansas State again in the mix

With the signing of four-star running back Ashaad Clayton still not in the fax machine, and the secondary still a question mark, the de-commitments from Joe Perkins and the above defensive backs could hurt. The CU Recruiting Class of 2020, though, is solid, and none of the above defections are fatal.

Buff fans can revel in the players who did sign their Letters of Intent, and wish the above players well in their collegiate careers.

Colorado Basketball: 21-2

Just when you thought that it was going to be a long slog through another frustrating Pac-12 campaign for the CU men’s basketball team, the Buffs became the everyone thought they might be.

Responding from a 19-5 first half deficit, the Buffs not only rallied to take the lead, but showed great moxie in taking down No. 13 Dayton in overtime, 78-76. The D’Shawn Schwartz three-pointer to win the game may not resonate as long as Askia Booker’s three-pointer to beat Kansas in 2013 (see YouTube replay, below), but for the 2019-20 season, it may be just as important.

“It was a big game for McKinley (29 points, 10 rebounds) personally,” said Tad Boyle. “But this team trusts each other, and we showed it tonight. We haven’t necessarily shown it a lot this year. We haven’t at times. But tonight it showed. That last position, McKinley Wright trusted Tyler Bey. Tyler Bey trusted D’Shawn Schwartz.”

After disappointing losses to Kansas and Northern Iowa, and a throw-away-the-tape-and-never-watch-it-again win over Colorado State, the Buffs have played better basketball. Against Dayton, the Buffs had only ten turnovers. “We knew going in we were going to have to have a low-turnover game, eliminate them,” said Boyle. “Ten is a great number, 11 is the number we shoot for, we came one
under that.”

The victory will certainly help the Buffs’ chances at an NCAA tournament bid come March, but it also gave the Buffs a much-needed boost of confidence heading into Pac-12 play. After a last warm up game against the 2-4 Iona Gaels next Sunday, CU opens Pac-12 conference play at home (for a change), taking on No. 8 Oregon.

“Look, Dayton’s a good basketball team,” said Boyle, whose team posted the best win over a ranked team since CU defeated No. 6 Missouri in the Big Eight basketball tournament … in 1990. “We beat a really good team tonight. A well-coached team. These guys are legit. But you know, I think we are, too. I think we showed it tonight for really the first time all year. Out In Vegas, we were pretty good, but tonight we took it to another level”.

A level which includes serious discussions about the NCAA tournament.

Meanwhile ... The CU women’s basketball team was down three points on the road against Tulane Saturday, but responded with a 17-4 fourth quarter to post a 62-52 victory. The win gave the Buffs a perfect 11-0 non-conference record, the best for the team since the 2012-13 season.

“I think (the undefeated record) is huge for us,” said sophomore forward Peanut Tuitele, who had 17 points against the Green Wave. “Especially, coming off last season. It’s a statement that we are capable of playing with anybody. When we are hitting on all cylinders, it can be a scary thing.”

Yeah, about last season … the Buffs finished non-conference play with an 10-1 record, only to go 2-16 in Pac-12 play. This season, the Buffs open Pac-12 play with three road games, including back-to-back tilts against No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 Oregon State. The first home weekend will feature a battle against No. 10 UCLA.

The Buffs will have to be “hitting on all cylinders” if they are going to make a go of it against conference competition.

Just for fun … 

Here are highlights of the CU/Dayton game, including the buzzer-beater by D’Shawn Schwartz:

And … Askia Booker beats Kansas in 2013 …

 

7 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Vol. III”

  1. Family, food, wine……………….good fun. Kinda random though.

    Now about that bare cupboard full of quarterbacks.

    Noyer took one for the team. Didn’t work out cause he didn’t play much so now he is going somewhere to probably play quarterback. Good for him.

    Lytle No real experience in college Was a real good HS qb. Big guy. He will be a junior although he really is a redshirt junior as the upcoming year will be his 4th year. If after 4 years he doesn’t get playing time he Could graduate and move on.
    Senstrom again was a real good high school qb. No real college experience. He will be a redshirt sophomore next year meaning going into his 3rd year.

    Lewis. Excellent high school qb. No college experience. 5 years to play 4.

    Bare cupboard from an experience standpoint.

    Some stuff. High school senior year
    .Passing………………att……….comp……….%…………….yds………….td ………..int
    Lytle…………………..331……….199………..(.601)………2759………..19…………..6
    Senstrom…………..158………….100……….(.633)……..1151………….10………….5
    Lewis………………….242………….149………(.615)……..2623…………32…………..6

    So ya don’t know how sacks etc are counted here but anyway
    Rushing………………………carries……………..yds……………td
    Lytle…………………………….52………………….131……………7
    Senstrom……………………..74…………………..447………….4
    Lewis…………………………..124…………………1223………..24

    Sko Buffs gonna be interesting ain’t it.

    Note: We all know who the gardener would play.

  2. When it comes to the quarterback battle next spring and fall, durability will play a role into the pecking order. When these young men make the leap from club football to high school then highschool to college, they are facing opponents who are a lot stronger and faster than what they experienced at the previous level. I’m not sure if Tyler Little has the body that can withstand the pounding that occurs at the college level. I have had limited opportunities to watch Tyler play, mop up duties in games that have already been decided, spring game where the QBs wear the yellow jacket for no contact. I am still struck by the fact that when Steven had to leave the USC game ?? Tyler was in for ONE play and immediately came out after a sack with a shoulder injury. You’ve got to have a body that can withstand the pounding that occurs at this level!! Brendon Lewis can’t put up the numbers that he did during his HS playing days without being a tough son of gun. Those are some pretty insane stats he put up…..over 11,800 total yards of offense, 146 touchdowns of which 39 were on the ground. I would like to see a little more of Blake. I glad Brendon is enrolling early so all 3 QBs can be evaluated in the spring. My money is on Brendon emerging as the guy to beat.

    Go Buffs!!!!!!

    Can’t wait for the Spring Game.

    1. Agree with the last 3 sentences. I wouldn’t mind seeing Blake get a chance. He is a not only a Colorado kid but the son of a high profile dad who must not have cared if he became a Buff…..unlike some other high profile Dad’s who live here. Ok…Stanford I might be able to understand but Nebraska? Puke. I wonder if he is as happy there as that other Colorado kid who had to rub it in to the Buffs before they got beat. Probably just as well. No 2 and 3 will most likely wind up riding the bench for most of their time in college.

    1. Very possible. Just like the dudes who transferred out or left the squad (all those DB’s…………that the gardener passed on…..as an example)

      We will see how it goes.

      Some say this season was a failure………hmmmm………….Blame it on the Bosa Nova……….??

      How could the mighty Buffs be 5 and 7 for the 3rd year in a row?

      Yup pretty amazing. Good morning.

      The VK

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