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Colorado Daily

March 31st

… CU in a few minutes … 

College Sports Journal – Good season for CU: “Keep home games close, finish the season without blowouts”

From the College Sports Journal … Northern Colorado and Colorado State planned on having new coaches this year, but the University of Colorado did not. Instead, three of the four Division I football programs will have new faces at the helm. After Mel Tucker’s surprise departure for Michigan State’s boat-load of cash, the Buffaloes were sent scrambling days after signing day finished. The one constant in Colorado football is Air Force’s Troy Calhoun coming back for a 13th season with the Falcons.

… Colorado continues to hope they can eventually conquer the beast that is the PAC-12. The Buffs have thrown out about the same amount of coaches as CSU, but with much bigger paychecks. Money talks a big game in conferences like the PAC-12 and they hope Karl Dorrell’s experience leading UCLA will ignite the Buffs. After the heartbreak of Mel Tucker’s promises, CU fans will have little patience for mistakes. Can Dorrell run with the Colorado expectations?

… Karl Dorrell is a convoluted character to many Buffs fans. Some look at his resume and say how lucky CU is to have him replace the villain, who is Mel Tucker in their eyes. Other fans wonder with the money that was spent on him why does CU not have a “bigger name” head coach? Much like their little brother, CSU, there are high expectations to not only win but compete immediately in the PAC-12, regardless of the setbacks.

… Coach Dorrell will have similar problems as Coach Addazio in the “buy-in” factor. With Mel Tucker swooned away to Michigan State due to a huge paycheck CU fans were left feeling betrayed and abandoned. Then AD Rick George pays a one-time head coach and since then an assistant coach/ positional coach for 3.6 million a year over five years.

Either this guy is the real deal and no one else picked up on it, or CU just paid an NFL positional coach a lot of money to flunk for five years. Worsening the problem is Dorrell has little time actually getting to know or even start spring ball with the new team due to COVID-19. The longer it takes to form a bond with the players in the longer it takes to build the necessary trust for success.

Colorado’s schedule starts off in a pleasant fashion for the Buffs. To begin the year the Buffs will get to spoil the Rocky Mountain Showdown (RMS) against the CSU Rams. This win will be even sweeter as the RMS returns to being on campus and Fort Collins hosts it first. The following week will also be a solid win as Fresno State poses a small threat with a 4-8 record in the 2019 season. The first road and home games of the Buffs’ season will be wins, guaranteed. The schedule will get noticeably difficult for the rest of the season as the next nine opponents’ average recruiting class is top 30. CSU and Fresno will be a chance to tune up the depth chart and schemes before the hardest part of the schedule.

A road trip to Texas A&M will be a huge challenge for CU as the Aggies recorded the sixth-best recruiting class in the nation. Texas A&M also offers a unique challenge as Big 12 teams are notorious for explosive offenses not seen as often in the PAC-12. The second hardest part of the season will be hosting PAC-12 powerhouse Oregon at home. The Ducks have flirted with the top ten over the past decade and have the incoming talent to keep that going. Can the Buffs spoil either one of these heavy-hitters before continuing on with the conference schedule? This could easily be a two-loss scenario, but CU may have a chance in Texas as this is a less familiar matchup that could allow for holes to open up in the Aggies plan.

The road trips resume with a visit to Arizona who finished outside the top 50 for recruiting this year (62). For comparison, Colorado did well in recruiting with a 36th overall national rank and seventh among PAC-12 competitors. Last year’s close competition at Folsom Field could result in another close finish, but the Buffs have the ability to win this one. A game the Buffs will not be likely to pull off is surprisingly a home game, but the opponent is UCLA. The 17-point loss last year was a testament to how unprepared CU was last year under Mel Tucker. Karl Dorrell will struggle at first, but a new perspective may be the key to improvement.

Arizona State will cause a similar problem like their in-state rival Arizona. A close game is in store for the Sun Devil matchup, but the home atmosphere may be enough to pull the Buffs up to a win, despite the success of last year at ASU (8-5 overall). Another game that may be surprisingly close is the USC game in Los Angeles. USC struggled to a mediocre 8-5 record that was filled with a few unexpected wins and losses. Additionally, USC has not had the stellar recruiting they once had in the mid-2000s. This year USC was as far back as 55th in the nation and 10th in the PAC-12.

Washington State goes through phases of top 25 dominance and then struggling to make a winning season. Mike Leach put all of the love and one-liners he could into the program and it will depend on Hawaii’s one-time champ Nick Rolovich to lead the Cougars to a decent season. Despite the lows of the Cougars they dominated the Buffs brutally in Pullman, Washington. Hopefully, the magic of Folsom Field will be strong when the wildcard Cougars come to play.

The tail-end of the schedule really is a steep ask of any PAC-12 team, but especially of a new team, new coach, and to find the extra endurance. Road games at Stanford and Washington are followed by a home finale of hosting Utah. Each of these teams finished in the top 30 in recruiting to their already stacked teams. On paper, Stanford should not be a team of major concern, but each year they seem to have the Buffs number even if CU wins, like last year’s 16-13 win.

Washington and Utah will be brutal games this new team will be unable to hold back. These two teams offer explosive offenses and stout red zone defense. This will be another character-building part of the schedule as they have to know how low the chance of winning is and will still need to perform 100 percent focused. Coach Dorrell will be able to find his leaders and followers during these two weeks as it will take a special player to step up while others are not as motivated. If one game goes better than the other it would have to be Utah at home since they are losing several great players to the NFL Draft.

Coach Dorrell has an opportunity to make a big impact on the Buffs fans, even if the season does not reach a bowl game. PAC-12 seasons can be dangerous as everyone expects a championship and the Buffs are nowhere near that right now. The key is to win the Rocky Mountain Showdown and keep all of the home games close, excluding Oregon. There will be ugly losses and tight wins, guaranteed. If Coach Dorrell does that along with improving players, keeping the chemistry, and avoiding the drama should ensure a good season for him and CU.

Colorado 2020 Outlook
Best: 6-6
Most Likely: 4-8
Worst: 3-9
Key Games: @ CSU, vs. Arizona State, vs. Washington State
Keys to a Good Season: Win against CSU, keep home games close, finish the season without blowouts.

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March 30th

… CU in a few minutes …

The Athletic: Best Players to Wear Every Jersey (ten Buffs receive “honorable mention”)

From The Athletic … How do you pick between five Heisman Trophy winners and an all-time great safety (No. 20)? How do you compare a 1980’s wide receiver to a 2010’s quarterback to a 1920’s fullback (No. 1)?

Picking the best player to wear every number in college football is a tall task. Placing numbers on uniforms officially began in 1915, and in the ensuing century-plus, numerous stars have worn every number from 1-99. That’s what happens when college football players have just four years, and in many cases less than that, to craft a résumé.

Though a handful of choices are obvious because numbers were worn by the most transcendent college stars, most have debates between two or sometimes several more worthy candidates.

It can be difficult to avoid being heavily influenced by what players did as professionals, but these choices are based on college accomplishments. Because of the extensive scope of the sport, the starting point here was players who have received the highest of honors in college football: Heisman winners (and top contenders), consensus first-team All-Americans and College Football Hall of Fame inductees, with other deserving names considered when applicable.

A panel of The Athletic’s college football editors made the selections, with writing contributions from across the staff.

Buffs who made the list … 

2. Charles Woodson, Michigan … Honorable mention: Deon Figures, Colorado

19. Eric Dickerson, SMU … Honorable mention: Rashaan Salaam, Colorado

24. Nile Kinnick, Iowa … Honorable mention: Byron “Whizzer” White, Colorado

47. Brent Oosterbaan, Michigan … Honorable mention: Chris Hudson, Colorado

62. Jim Parker, Ohio State … Honorable mention: Joe Garten, Colorado

65. Steve DeLong, Tennessee … Honorable mention: Andre Gurode, Colorado

67. Les Richter, Cal … Honorable mention: Joe Romig, Colorado

81. George Connor, Notre Dame … Honorable mention: Michael Westbrook, Colorado

89. Ross Browner, Notre Dame … Honorable mention: Daniel Graham, Colorado

94. Randy White, Maryland … Honorable mention: Alfred Williams, Colorado

Steven Montez playing the waiting game as NFL Draft nears: “The only thing you can do is wait and see”

From CUBuffs.com … Waiting for the NFL Draft is never easy for potential draftees, especially in the final few weeks before the teams begin making their selections.

It’s a time when nervous anticipation is the rule of the day.

But the waiting has become even more nerve wracking this year, as the NFL has closed all team facilities and canceled all pre-draft workouts of individual players because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now those players, such as Colorado quarterback Steven Montez, are stuck in their homes, waiting for the April 23-25 draft and hoping their performances at all-star games, the NFL Combine and on-campus pro days provided NFL teams with the information they needed.

“The only thing you can do is wait and see what happens,” said Montez, who is still at his Boulder apartment but will may join his family in El Paso, Texas, for the draft. “At this point, it’s out of our control. You trust you did everything you could when you had the opportunity to show your stuff and then you wait.”

Teams can still contact potential draftees and conduct online interviews, and Montez has taken part in some of those recently. Meanwhile, as the state of Colorado operates under a “stay-at-home” order, Montez does his best to stay in shape by getting in regular workouts in his apartment’s gym facility and throwing when he can — even to his girlfriend on occasion.

“It hasn’t been any real true training sessions because you can’t get a bunch of guys together,” Montez said. “It’s more just trying to improvise and do what you can.”

Montez left CU with his name on 51 Buffaloes records, including career passing yards (9,629), touchdown passes (63) and total offensive yards (10,609). He had three straight seasons with over 2,500 passing yards and he made 36 consecutive starts, a CU record for quarterbacks.

Continue reading story here

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March 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Safeties coach Brett Maxie: “We just need to add some pieces to make the program a championship program”

From Neill Woelk at CUBuffs.com …  Among the folks who follow college football closely, Colorado is seen by many as a “sleeping giant.”

The pieces are in place:

— A well-established tradition and history of success.

— World-class facilities and membership in a Power 5 conference.

— A strong history of sending players to the next level.

— A brand that is recognized across the nation.

But new Colorado safeties coach Brett Maxie, who joined new CU head coach Karl Dorrell‘s staff in early March, said the most important piece has just been added to the equation.

“The sleeping giant just got hired,”  Maxie said. “Karl is the sleeping giant. He is committed, which I knew from the first time he and I started talking about it. He is committed to bringing this program back to where it needs to be.”

Maxie brings to Boulder a wealth of experience, both as a player and coach. He spent 13 years in the NFL — New Orleans, Carolina, Atlanta and San Francisco — before embarking on a coaching career that has spanned more than two decades. The majority of his time with a whistle has been spent in the NFL, but he did spend two years at the college level at Vanderbilt, where he had the opportunity to work with Dorrell for a season (2015).

During that time, the two coaches’ wives built a strong friendship, as did their daughters. When Dorrell moved back to the NFL after the 2015 season, the families’ relationship stayed steady. When Dorrell called to see if Maxie would be interested in working at CU, he jumped at the chance.

“Karl and I only had an opportunity to work together for one season, but the impact was so strong that we have maintained that relationship over the years,” Maxie said. “When this situation came up, it was a no-brainer. Having the opportunity to work with Karl again — that was perfect.”

Continue reading story here

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March 28th

… CU in a few minutes …

Buffs hire quality control coaches, add to recruiting staff

From BuffStampede.com … New head coach Karl Dorrell retained four assistant coaches from Mel Tucker’s staff, along with a number of other members of the operations and recruiting staff that had been at Colorado. The Buffaloes then announced the addition of six assistant coaching hires on March 6.

According to Associate Athletic Director Lance Carl, who oversees the football program, the staff is nearly complete. The Buffaloes still need to add a couple graduate assistant coaches and still need to add to the recruiting staff.

Geoff Martzen was Tucker’s right-hand man when it came to recruiting for 14-months in Boulder, and Martzen followed him to Michigan State. The Buffaloes have replaced Martzen by hiring Bob Lopez as Colorado’s new Director of Player Personnel. Lopez served as an Associate Athletic Director at the University of Delaware the previous two-and-a-half years. He previous worked at Michigan, UCLA, San Diego State and Northern Arizona.

“Bob and Karl’s relationship goes back to UCLA,” Carl said. “Bob has good knowledge of football, not only from a coaching background but from an administrative background. He has hit the ground running.”

Matt Pick and Sam Beckenstein have been retained as recruiting assistants for the Buffaloes. Recruiting intern Andy Wang has also continued to log hours at CU.

“Matt has done a great job for us. He was a volunteer recruiting assistant before, Sam as well. Those are going to be kind of our top two recruiting assistants,” Carl said. “And we’re going to hire two more guys as recruiting assistants as well.”

Reggie Moore will be the quality control coach for the offense, Bryan Cook will serve as the quality control coach for the defense, and Junior Tanuvasa will also be a quality control coach on Dorrell’s new staff.

Continue reading story here

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March 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Karl Dorrell: “We’re going to use this as a challenge and as a great opportunity”

From the Daily Camera … After being hired as Colorado’s head football coach on Feb. 23, Karl Dorrell made it a top priority to meet with each of the Buffaloes’ current players.

There hasn’t been much face-to-face interaction since, but Dorrell and his staff are doing their best to stay in touch with players and recruits during unprecedented times.

Concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) have forced coaches and players to practice social distancing and keep in touch through technology, rather than in person.

For a new coach still getting to know his team, it’s been a challenge.

“I would say it’s more difficult doing this not in person, yes,” Dorrell said this week. “But the players, we all are off to a really good start with my interviews that I made my first week when I was on the job.”

With CU’s campus closed and remote learning being set up for the remainder of the semester, many of the Buffs’ players have gone home, while the coaches are working out of their homes.

“I won’t say it’s a hindrance, but I would say it’s on hold because we’re not together,” he said. “We’re unable to see all of those guys face to face, but we are in constant contact, our coaches are in constant contact. I’ve mentioned to the team … ‘We’re going to use this as a challenge and as a great opportunity, not as something that’s going to set us back.’ Right now that’s the mindset we’re trying to build with our team. What are we doing to maximize this time that might be better than what everybody else is doing?”

Continue reading story here

Sports Illustrated: Laviska Shenault falls to early second round (No. 33 overall)

From Sports Illustrated … Laviska Shenault Jr. was ranked No. 33 on Sports Illustrated’s NFL Draft Big Board released on Friday.

Shenault has had a bit of a bumpy draft process.

During the season, he was in the same company as Cedee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and some of the other elite receivers.

He had an injury ridden season and only produced 764 yards and four touchdowns his junior year after a breakout sophomore season.

Shenault participated in the NFL combine despite being diagnosed with a core muscle injury and inflammation of the pubic bone. He ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine which is a solid number for his size but isn’t the elite speed some people were expecting.

He didn’t know the extent of the injury at the time but after the combine, he was advised to have surgery. Putting the star receiver out for at least four weeks and missing his pro day.

Since then, it has been a complete spiral for Shenault. After Lamb, Jeudy and Henry Ruggs–who are widely considered the top three receivers in the draft–there is still elite talent behind them. Jalen Reagor, Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Denzel Mims and Tee Higgins have all been placed in the first round in some mock drafts. That puts Shenault at No. 9 amongst receivers, at best, and Chase Claypool and KJ Hamler have been receiving lots of attention recently.

He is still receiving second round grades so it won’t be much of a surprise to see him end up getting selected on day two of the draft. But without putting much on film this past season and all of the injury history, it won’t be much of a surprise to see him seriously tumble either.

Read full story here

CBS Seven Round NFL mock draft: Only one Buff taken

From CBS Sports … The NFL draft order is complete and the commencement of the event is in less than a month as currently scheduled. It won’t take place in Las Vegas as originally intended, but some much needed distraction should be provided to all of us over the course of three days.

In an effort to occupy your attention even further, I made every selection for all 32 teams across seven rounds. Now, before a trade that will shake up the landscape of the entire league takes place, let’s kick this off!

CU Buffs …

Laviska Shenault … Round 2, Pick 8 (Overall Pick No. 40) … Shenault is limping through the pre-draft process but there are still quality athletic traits. Houston needs some new blood at wide receiver after trading DeAndre Hopkins.

Read full mock draft here

Karl Dorrell on Coach Mitch Rodrigue “He has an infectious personality and our players will gravitate to him”

From Neill Woelk at CUBuffs.com … When Mitch Rodrigue received a call from Karl Dorrell asking about his interest in becoming the offensive line coach at Colorado, Rodrigue had plenty of reasons to listen.

Power 5 school. Excellent facilities. Solid recruiting base. History and tradition.

But the biggest attraction, Rodrigue said, was the man who made the call.

“The most obvious reason I’m here is because of Coach Dorrell,” Rodrigue said recently. “He and I hit it off. We have a lot of similarities in our philosophy, especially when it comes to young men and how to treat them and how to lead them. That was the big draw, the opportunity to work with Coach Dorrell.”

Rodrigue has spent virtually his entire coaching career in the south. His stops over nearly 30 years in the business have included the University of Louisiana (Lafayette), Southern Miss (where he tutored future Denver Bronco Chris Clark), South Alabama and Nicholls State.

But coming west was an easy choice after talking with Dorrell. CU’s new head coach has stressed the importance of having coaches who are mentors and teachers, and Rodrigue fit the bill.

“What Coach Rod brings to us is a great amount of experience and the ability to be a great mentor to our players,” Dorrell said. “What you will find out about our coaches is that we will get fully involved with our players, both on and off the field. He really is an outstanding man, he has an infectious personality and our players will gravitate to him.”

Continue reading story here

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March 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Karl Dorrell press conference (transcript)

From CUBuffs.comDorrell’s opening statement: “Well, there’s not much going on, is there? Obviously, the whole world is dealing with the pandemic that’s been going on. I was hired back on February 23, and roughly it’s been about a month (since then.) I took the first two weeks to hire a staff and get all those pieces in place to get ready for spring practices, and then obviously this pandemic hits. It’s put us a little bit behind in terms of not being able to get on the field, but we’ll deal with it. There’s no question about that. It’s more important that we have the health and safety of our country. We need to do what’s right…we’re still trying to find ways to be productive. We’re working on recruiting, we’re working on our current players and even though it’s spring break right now, we’re trying to alleviate a lot of the different things that we’re dealing with. There’s plenty of stuff on our plate…we’re just moving forward and taking it day by day.”

Dorrell on communication with the 2020 signees, not yet on campus: “First and foremost, when I did get the job and got a chance to interview all of our players here on campus, I then went into the process of talking more with the 2020 signees coming in, whether they’re here right now or coming in this summer. I acted quickly to get myself acclimated with all the families. I’ve had contact with then and the constant communication that was started early is still in process right now.”

“The biggest thing right now is making sure they’re getting all their paperwork, documentation and things of that nature for getting admitted on campus this summer. There’s dorm applications and so on and so forth that they’re dealing with.”

“We’re in constant communication, both my staff and myself, with keeping them abreast with what’s going on with us. Everyone’s been dealing with the same issues, so there’s common ground from that standpoint. We talk about how they’re working out, what they’re doing to keep themselves safe and healthy and stay in shape — there’s constant communication that’s going on with me, the staff and the incoming players. They’re part of our family, even though they’re technically on campus yet. But we try to engage with them regularly.”

Dorrell on a scenario where players might not return to campus until the summer: “Anything and everything is possible right now. Right now, we have these stay (at home) orders out for when we can go back on campus and things like that. We just issued some information to all of our student-athletes yesterday about the date being April 10th as to when we will reconsider and evaluate where we are as Boulder county. There’s a lot of things in terms of dates and deadlines that are out there, but as you know, the situation is pretty fluid. It can change to be extended.”

“So those things, we know are possibilities (in terms of student-athletes not returning to campus until summer.) The biggest thing we’ve been doing with our guys is staying in communication and keeping them in the loop to what we’re doing on campus. What the coaches are doing, their preparation if there’s going to be any sort of spring ball at some point in time or not, we’re preparing ourselves for the summer in terms of we want to get our work done and get ready for the season. There’s a lot of scenarios that really none of them are etched in stone, but we have to be ready for them at any moment.”

Dorrell on watching film: “We’re watching a lot of recruiting tape. We watched a lot of our team earlier, two or three weeks ago, in terms of getting ready for spring practice. Now, we’ve kind of shifted gears to get caught up on the recruiting side. I watched all of our in-state players, for example and am working on a lot of the different areas that we actively recruit.”

“I’m working through some tape from those areas right now and we’re meeting as a staff at least once a day, to try to get updates as to what they’re doing and who they’re getting in contact with…we’re staying pretty active and busy from a recruiting standpoint, given that we’re all separated in out homes right now. That’s the best avenue to take.”

“The football side is the hardest part right now because those systems are in place, but we just haven’t really had a chance to really get into the teaching of most of that. We’ll have time to get caught up with our players at some point. I know this is the tail end of spring break…we’ll continue to engage our players at least two or three times a day to make sure they’re on pace academically and also to do some football work, as well because we don’t have any idea when we’ll get a chance to practice.”

Dorrell on evaluating guys on film vs. in-person: “I think the best way to get your best evaluation of players is really not on tape. That gives you an idea, but from my experience it’s getting your hands on the players on the grass. That’s when you know what you have. You can feel their movement, their explosiveness, their lack thereof — anything that’s a core ingredient for you to make an assessment. To me, it’s always been best when I see it live, when I see them running around and competing against each other. Those are the best tell-tale signs of making your evaluation.

“We did an assessment from a tape perspective, now I’d like to see it in person, but right now as you know, we can’t do that. There will be a point in time where we will be able to do those things and we’ll quickly get ourselves caught up in what we need to do.”

Dorrell on how detrimental not having spring ball whatsoever would be: “I’m not looking at it as a detriment, just because I’m new. I look at everyone dealing with this. I know there’s some institutions who may have already finished spring or gotten halfway through or maybe in the first week — who knows. I know that they’re all under the same guidance and standards of what’s going on right now in out country.”

“From our perspective, we’re just going to try to maximize any chance we get with our players. Whether that’s a portion of time in May or April or June, we’ll be prepared for that. We’ll get a chance to quickly implement what we need to get implemented, keep our team in shape and keep them strong and excited about playing. There’s still some time for a lot of stuff to occur, and I know there’s going to be limitations of some sort, but we’re prepared for it. We’re not going to use any excuses. We’re going to go out there, put our best foot forward and get our team ready to play when that September date hits.”

Dorrell’s thoughts on the possibility of a modified 2020 season or potentially no season at all: “That’s crossed my mind, too. It’s hard to fathom that still being in March, but we’re hopeful (COVID-19) is not going to affect the season, but there is that possibility. We have to be prepared for any and all things that could happen. Our country’s health is more important than anything right now…those are the things that in our mind we need to create an understanding that are more important right now. We’ll figure out those things when the time comes. We’re hoping to get some positive solutions and answers in the next couple months.”

Dorrell on players staying in shape remotely and at home: “Our strength staff, which is led by Drew Wilson, has done a fantastic job. Our players just came out of a 9-10 week session prior to spring break, where they did a great job of getting themselves ready for the start of spring practices. They were prepared for that and right now, Drew and his staff have done a great job of just supplementing out players daily with different kind of workouts.”

“Whether you have weights or a park to work in or a track to run around, he’s been really innovative with creating different elements with any type of workout given your environment to really get something positive in that particular day. He’s been shooting these things off every single day. I really put my hat off to what Drew and his staff have been doing, whether you’re working in your apartment or in your home or where you’re currently residing — all those different things, any type of scenario that could present itself in your own situation, I think our players have an idea of what they can do to stay in shape.”

Dorrell on what he himself has been up to: “These days aren’t average, the days we are at home. I’m not quite used to it. I’m usually an early riser and in the office. I get a lot done before anyone else really gets in. It’s been very unusual for me to work out of the house. But fortunately for me, I have the technology…we also can zoom and meet as a full staff. We can watch recruiting tape, we can watch our own personal tapes from the season here at Colorado — there’s a lot of stuff we can be doing and I think it’s more of just getting used to your surroundings and using it as a work environment. That’s my biggest challenge. But each day has gotten better since I’ve been home.”

Dorrell on the possibility of commits wanting to reevaluate and ultimately open up their recruitment: “That could occur. I understand that it could happen…there’s always an element of uncertainty when no one can give you a timeline as to when things can start, if the season will begin when it’s supposed to begin. Are we going to have spring practice? What about unofficial visits? There’s a lot of uncertainty that people have to weigh and make decisions about. We feel good about our incoming class.”

“Our 2020 class is solid and ready to go. They want to get here as soon as they can. Obviously they’re concerned with if the season is going to be delayed, and I get that. But those are natural questions to have. As for the guys we’ve recruited for the future, this is a small senior class that I have this year in 2020. I only have a few seniors on the team…we’re going to recruit hard and really try to fill in those pieces that are needed. These elements can occur in uncertainty. This is an uncertain time. But we just have to keep moving forward and keep lining guys up that fit what we think are difference-maker types of players in the next class of 2021 that can really bounce off what we’ve done with our ‘20 class…they can to know what Colorado is going to look like, to be quite frank with you.”

“These decisions aren’t necessarily going to be made at this point in time, but (recruits) want to see what Colorado is going to look like this year. I can guarantee you that it’ll be a very competitive team and I’m not going to make any excuses about the lack of time. We’re going to get this team ready to play.”

Dorrell on Laviska Shenault: “Before I even got this job, when I was coaching receivers in Miami, I had already evaluated about 40 receivers prior to the Combine and Laviska was one of them. I had a lot of questions for him, because his production wasn’t this year as it as the previous year. I know he’s had some injuries in his career, and those are questions that I had.”

“(At CU’s Pro Day) it was good to meet him finally and get a few minutes to talk to him. I know his head’s in the right place right now in terms of his next step and what he wants to accomplish in the NFL. He knows he’s not a finished product, too. He knows that (his injury) is going to set him back and there will be question marks. He has enough on tape to prove to people that he’s an NFL quality player who can help somebody put points on the board.”

“My advice to him was that you can’t change what you’ve done in the past. It’s really about what you do going forward to this opportunity…it’s really putting him in a mindset of looking forward and understanding that he’s not a finished product.”

Dorrell on if coronavirus has impacted his ability to get to know his players as people and kids, not just football players: “It’s more difficult doing it not in person, yes, but the players (and I) are all off to a really good start, just with the interviews I made during my first week on the job in the get-to-know-you type of setting and (talking about) their hobbies, family life, things like that. Those are the icebreaker moments that I started early and as we continued to work together, I watched workouts and stuff like that, which helped process things.”

This (situation) puts things on halt. I won’t say it’s a hindrance, but I’d say it’s on halt because we’re not together and unable to see guys face-to-face. We’re in constant contact, our coaches are in constant contact…we’re going to use this as a challenge and not something that’;s going to set us back. That’s the mindset we’re trying to build with our team. What’re we doing to maximize this time that might be better than what everyone else is doing? I know our players are creating that mindset and are talking to each other about making sure they’re doing their workouts and handling their academics.”

“This is a good challenge for us to see when we’re back on campus, what kind of shape we’re in.”

Dorrell discusses player-on-player accountability in the midst of everyone being remote: “That’s the most important part in my opinion. We’re trying to as coaches create those lines of communication from coach to player, but the most important line of communication is the peer-to-peer communication that’s going on between your team. We’re trying to cultivate that. It’s not an easy thing to do, but we’re encouraging that with our players. We’re trying to create these group chats and group opportunities to do things together in terms of the workouts.”

“But the communication is critical. If we can continue to build on that, even though we’re not together as a team, I think it gives us that much more of an edge as a team.”

CBS Sports: CU one of the schools most impacted by the loss of spring practices

From CBS Sports … How important is spring practice? It’s a question I’ve always wondered when it begins each year, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all about to find out. Spring practices across the country have been canceled, taking away two weeks of preparation for the upcoming season that coaches find extremely valuable. That’s two fewer weeks for coaches to get to know new players, see whether anyone has gained an edge in a position battle and install new plays (or perhaps even an entirely new playbook).

So which programs will be most affected by a lack of practice this spring? That’s not necessarily the easiest question to answer because everyone will be affected in some way. Still, let’s give it a shot. It was either this or go back to watching Twitch streams of people playing live FIFA matches online to get a sports fix, and that’s not necessarily a path I’m sure I want to go down.

When it comes to figuring out which 20 teams are impacted the most, the first one was easy, and that’s where I’ll begin. The other 19 schools are simply listed in alphabetical order.

There’s no exact science here, but generally, I was looking for programs going through coaching changes (including coordinators), replacing a lot of key players or with high expectations in 2020. I also considered teams looking to turn things around or continue on an upward trajectory. The kind of change that can be halted and altered due to not having spring practice.

5. Colorado ... and Michigan State: I had initially planned to have these two separate from one another, but the reasons behind them being on this list are so similar — and linked to one another — that I thought I’d cheat a bit and put them together. Both teams have a ton to replace (Colorado is 115th in Connelly’s rankings, Michigan State is 117th), and both teams have coaches who were hired late in the cycle. Think about it: If you’re Mel Tucker or Karl Dorrell, you’re already coming into the gig late. You’re already behind. Then spring practice is taken away. Time you desperately needed to learn about the team you’ve just taken over. It’s not inconceivable to think that two coaches who were hired in mid-February won’t spend quality time with their players until July or August.

Also from the Pac-12 … 

16. Oregon … Listen, losing Justin Herbert is a big factor for putting Oregon here. I might not be as high on his NFL future as many others, nor do I think he was a great college QB, but he was a very good player and an important part of the Ducks offense. Still, Mario Cristobal has done a terrific job recruiting, and there’s plenty of talent on the way. Unfortunately, that talent loses a lot of time to compete for starting jobs, and get to learn new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s offense. Oregon’s offensive unit ranks 124th in returning production, but it should continue to have one of the best offensive lines in the country. That never hurts.

19. Utah … The 2019 season ended badly for the Utes. They went from 11-1 and possibly reaching the College Football Playoff to 11-3, finishing the season with consecutive losses to Oregon and Texas by a combined score of 75-25. The good news is Kyle Whittingham is still around, and it’s not like a coach who has been on the job for 15 seasons needs to get acquainted with his program. What is a problem is he might not recognize his players when he gets to see them again. Utah ranks dead last in Connelly’s returning production rankings, including 105th on offense and dead last in defense. There’s a minor rebuild required at Utah in 2020 and no spring practice to get it started.

20. Washington State … In some ways, the change from Leach to Nick Rolovich shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Both coaches have personalities, and both like to air it out on offense. The Air Raid and the run-and-shoot aren’t the same, but they’re at least cousins. Unfortunately for Rolovich, he’s inheriting an offense that’s looking to replace a lot more than just its QB. The Cougars rank 121st in returning production on offense. The silver lining is that they rank 22nd on defense. A defense that allowed 31.4 points per game last season.

Read full list here

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March 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU’s lone commitment from the Recruiting Class of 2022 de-commits

… Costanzo is a Palmer Ridge teammate of Recruiting Class of 2021 athlete Kaden Dudley, who de-committed less than a week ago … 

Anthony Costanzo – WR/DB

De-committed … March 25, 2020 … Costanzo’s tweet “Due to the situation we are currently in this has placed restrictions on my ability to attend the campus and for me to meet the new coaches and staff. I would like to rebuild a new relationship with the new coaches and staff there. So I’ve decided to Re open my recruitment and I would like to keep my options open and see what’s best for me and my future. 

I thank the fans for showing all love to me and coaches for giving me my first opportunity to play at the next level and CU remains high on my list.”

Just the facts … Committed November 22, 2019 … Costanzo is a 6’2″, 190-pound wide receiver/safety from Monument, Colorado (Palmer Ridge) Rivals bio  247 Sports bio

What others say about Costanzo … Costanzo was not rated by either Rivals or 247 Sports at the time of his commitment, but Buff fans shouldn’t be too concerned at this point, as Costanzo is just wrapping up his sophomore season in high school.

Costanzo is a teammate of CU’s first commitment from the Recruiting Class of 2021, three-star athlete Kaden Dudley.

Costanzo had other offers from … Colorado State – at least for now.

In his own words … from his tweet announcing his commitment … “Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of playing Division 1 football. Now I’ve got the opportunity to … I just want to say thanks to the coaching staff at CU, Coach Cap, Coach Chev, and Coach Tucker for giving me the opportunity … With this being said, I am committing to the University of Colorado”. 

“Sitting down with Mel Tucker and seeing everything he is doing at CU, he is really turning it around and I believe in him… so does everyone else around me,” Costanzo told BuffStampede.com. “So, committing now felt like a really good idea. … Honestly, I just feel like I am at home when I am at CU.”

Here is a link to his sophomore year Hudl.com highlights.

 

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Tim Lynott hoping his versatility will help come Draft Day

From the Daily Camera … Tim Lynott may not be considered one of CU’s top prospects going into next month’s NFL Draft, but he might prove to be a valuable asset for a team needing versatility up front.

During his career with the Buffaloes, Lynott started 45 games, including 29 at right guard and 16 at center. Primarily a guard much of his career, Lynott started all 12 games at center last season, snapping the ball on 833 of CU’s 848 offensive plays (98.2 percent).

“There are a lot of teams that are looking for that guy that can either do center or guard, especially if someone gets hurt,” said Lynott, who measured 6-foot-2, 301 pounds at pro day. “That’s definitely a big thing and it’s exciting knowing a lot of teams need that. So it’s a great opportunity and I think that it’ll show eventually.”

… Overall, Lynott came away from his pro day feeling good about what he had done for scouts.

“It was fun,” he said. “It was something you do once in a lifetime. It was a fun thing to do and I was pretty happy with the numbers I got for the most part. It was just a great opportunity.”

With a solid pro day and four seasons of starting experience, Lynott is hoping he’s done enough to earn an opportunity in the NFL.

CU hasn’t had an offensive lineman drafted since David Bakhtiari in 2013, and Lynott might be a long shot to end that streak. But, he’s hoping that he’s at least done enough to earn a shot as an undrafted free agent.

“Yeah, I think I did all I could,” he said. “Interviews with other teams and all that, I tried to do well in my All-Star game and this past season. I tried to do my best in all of that and that’s the best way to sell myself up. At this point now it’s just waiting to see what happens in April; pretty much just wait it out.”

Read full story here

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March 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk profiles defensive line coach Chris Wilson

From CUBuffs.com … The last time the Colorado Buffaloes won a conference championship game, Chris Wilson was on the sidelines.

The last time the Buffaloes won a bowl game, Wilson was on the sidelines, and the last time Colorado beat two top-10 teams in the same season — you guessed it — Wilson was on the sidelines. (Wilson was also on the sidelines when the Buffaloes beat Nebraska 62-36. We mention that just because it’s fun to remember.)

In other words, Wilson was a CU assistant coach the last time the Buffaloes were relevant in the national picture for several seasons in a row — and now, the defensive line coach who worked under Gary Barnett is back in Boulder to coach the same position for Karl Dorrell.

“Fantastic,” was Wilson’s description recently of his return. “This is one of the good places. I’m excited to be here and excited to work with a really good veteran staff.  It was a great opportunity. Coach Dorrell was here and we had common threads with people we knew. I was excited when he got the opportunity and obviously excited when he called.”

Wilson coached under Barnett from 2000 to 2004, a span in which he tutored such players as Justin Bannan, Tyler Brayton, Marques Harris, Matt McChesney, Brandon Dabdoub, Gabe Nyenhuis and James Garee.

But it was more than just the chance to coach again under the Flatirons that convinced Wilson to leave the NFL — he worked with the Arizona Cardinals last season — and come back to Colorado.

“First of all, the people,” Wilson said. “That’s what makes a great place. You combine that with the ability to compete at a high level in the Pac-12, it’s a great marriage. And, no doubt, there’s a familiarity with knowing what this place is capable of. I feel good about what’s in store for us.”

Wilson’s road since leaving Colorado after the 2004 season was a fruitful one. It included five years working for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma (his alma mater), three years at Mississippi State, a year at Georgia and two at Southern California before making a jump to the NFL, where he worked for Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent three seasons in Philly as the Eagles’ defensive line coach, including the 2017 season, when he picked up a Super Bowl ring.

Continue reading story here

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March 23rd

… CU in a few minutes …

Davion Taylor and Delrick Abrams: From small towns to JC’s to CU to NFL Draft Boards

From the Daily Camera … It’s usually not too difficult to get a smile out of Delrick Abrams Jr., but after working out for NFL scouts at Colorado’s pro day earlier this month, the smile was particularly bright.

“I feel like I had a good day,” said Abrams, a 6-foot-2, 191-pound cornerback. “I’m proud of all the stuff I did. I have no regrets.”

Walking on the track that surrounds CU’s indoor practice field, Davion Taylor matched Abrams’ enthusiasm that day.

“I’m so happy,” Taylor, a 6-0.5, 226-pound linebacker, said. “I’m so satisfied with what I did. I was smooth when I was running, smooth when I was doing my jumps, so I felt comfortable. I felt ready to go.”

Abrams and Taylor are among the several Buffs who hope to get their name called during the NFL Draft next month and they’ve put themselves in position to do so despite the odds being against them not long ago.

Abrams is a potential late-round pick, while Taylor was projected as a late third-round pick in a recent mock draft by CBSSports.com.

“Whatever happens on draft day is what happens,” Abrams said. “I’m just blessed to even have to opportunity to be here. Most people don’t have the opportunity. God first and I just keep working.”

While they didn’t grow up together, Abrams and Taylor have had similar journeys to this point in their football careers. Both came from small towns in the South, went the junior college route to get noticed and then wound up becoming key pieces to the puzzle on the CU defense.

“I think that makes us real close because we both know where we came from and nobody really makes it out of our two schools,” Abrams said. “Yeah, the odds were against us.”

Continue reading story here

*Video: History of Colorado Football*

About ten minutes of clips put together by BuffsTV a number of years ago. There are a number of highlights which will be very familiar, and some which you may have forgotten. Enjoy! …

 

QB coach Danny Langsdorf: “We’re going to fit our system around the players”

From CUBuffs.com … When Danny Langsdorf took the reins as Colorado’s quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator under new Buffaloes head coach Karl Dorrell, he quickly realized one thing:

Experience is not a plentiful commodity in the CU quarterback room. Rather, it is almost non-existent.

CU currently has just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and only one — junior Tyler Lytle — has ever appeared in a college game, and his experience consists of six passes thrown in seven contests over the last two seasons. The other is true freshman Brendon Lewis, who last fall was still slinging it for Melissa High School in Melissa, Texas.

But Langsdorf, who has plenty of experience at his job, sees the situation as a glass half-full affair.

“You always want to have some experience in that position, so that’s a little bit of a challenge, in that we don’t have much game experience in our quarterback room,” said Langsdorf, whose college coaching stops include Oregon State, Nebraska, Oregon and Fresno State, as well as an NFL stint with the New York Giants. “But we also have a fresh start, a clean slate — and that’s not a bad thing, either. Those guys are hungry and willing to listen and learn. They’re not completely set in their ways yet, which can be a good thing.”

It also means that when the Buffs finally do get to hit the practice field, there will be no shortage of repetitions for the two players vying for the starting spot. It means both Lytle and Lewis will have ample opportunity to display their talents and earn the job.

“It’s definitely not a very big group,” Langsdorf said. “You’d like to have a little more depth there, but with a smaller group, you have a chance to give them more reps and get them more work. That’s a good thing with an inexperienced group. We can get them a lot of work when we finally do get into spring practice.”

Langsdorf is no stranger to the Pac-12. He spent nine seasons as Mike Riley’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State (2005-13), then worked three more years for Riley at Nebraska (2015-17). He was part of six bowl teams at OSU and two more at Nebraska, and at both stops, he coached those schools’ all-time leading quarterbacks — Sean Manning at Oregon State and Tommy Armstrong at Nebraska. He also spent a year as the quarterbacks coach for the New York Giants, where he worked with Eli Manning.

Continue reading story here

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March 21st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Laviska Shenault rising back into the first round in mock drafts

From CBS Sports … Finally, it’s time for mock drafts to matter. (Assuming we have a draft! We can all hope.) Free agency has begun and most of the big names are off the board — this dramatically changes everything we know about mocks and the draft approach from teams. This is especially true in “weird” years, like the 2011 lockout offseason or the 2020 coronavirus offseason.

Take the Jets for example: they were widely projected to get an offensive lineman for weeks/months in mock drafts. And then they went out and signed a bunch of offensive linemen! That doesn’t prevent them from drafting another lineman if he’s the best player on the board, but I think there’s a really good chance the Jets look at adding an offensive weapon for Sam Darnold instead.

So who would make sense? Well you’ll need to scroll down (or scroll up) … actually I’ll just tell you, it’s Jerry Jeudy. And to me, the Jets taking him at 11 would create a potentially crazy run on wide receivers during the first round. We thought some of these guys might drop, but I’m getting the sense we could see a bunch in the first round.

Alright, let’s get to it.

Will Brinson …

Baltimore Ravens … Pick No. 28 … The Ravens have a loaded roster and I think they’ll go best player available here — grabbing a stud WR who fell because of injury feels like a fun thing to do in order to help out Lamar Jackson.

Chris Trapasso …

New Orleans Saints … Pick No. 24 ... The Saints get arguably the most difficult-to-tackle receiver in this class in Shenault to pair with Michael Thomas.

Tom Fornelli …

New Orleans Saints … Pick No. 24 … I’ve had this pick happening in so many mocks that I wonder if I’m trying to will it into existence. It’s a perfect fit in my mind.

 

Bolder Boulder postponed until Labor Day weekend

From the Daily Camera … For the first time in its history, the Bolder Boulder will wrap up the summer instead of kicking it off.

On Friday, Bolder Boulder race director Cliff Bosley announced that the 42nd annual 10K race will take place on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

Earlier this week, the Bolder Boulder, typically held on Memorial Day, announced that the May 25 race was being postponed due to concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.

Race organizers have now settled on Labor Day, and the Bolder Boulder will be joined in Boulder by the FORTitude 10K and finish at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field.

The FORTitude, typically held on Labor Day and finishing at Colorado State’s Canvas Stadium, will return to Fort Collins in 2021.

Bosley said the Bolder Boulder is planning to return to Memorial Day in 2021.

“There continues to be increasing and substantial challenges for our communities including Boulder and Fort Collins, as well as for CSU and CU,” Bosley said in a news release. “Two great communities and two great universities are coming together, reflecting the spirit that is our culture in Colorado.

“Whether you’re running the Bolder Boulder on Labor Day or running the FORTitude on Labor Day, we’re running together. Everyone we met with to arrive at this decision recognizes that while Boulder and Fort Collins, as well as CU and CSU, compete in many areas, this is another example of coming together to collaborate.”

Continue reading story here

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March 20th

… CU in a few minutes …

Colorado governor signs name, image and likeness bill into law

From USA Today … Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Friday signed a bill designed to help college athletes in the state profit off their names, images and likenesses.

The law is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2023, putting it on the same schedule as a law that California approved last fall. The Florida legislature last week sent a name, image and likeness bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had announced his support for such a measure.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, Polis signed the bill administratively, meaning there was no audience for this final step. The governor’s spokesman, Conor Cahill, said the office had no further immediate comment. The bill was among 35 that Polis signed Friday across an array of issues, according to a list posted by his office.

The bill passed the state House of Representatives just over two weeks ago by a 55-9 margin. It was approved Feb. 12 by a unanimous vote in the state Senate, where it originated.

… The Colorado bill specifically prohibits colleges and universities from providing prospective athletes with compensation prior to their signing of a scholarship offer or financial-aid agreement.

The law’s wording is somewhat confusing and left at least one legislator disappointed with the final product.

In one section, the bill states that “except as may be required by the rules or requirements of an athletic association of which an institution is a member” a school shall not uphold any rule that prevents an athlete from earning compensation from the use of their name, image or likeness.

In the next section, the bill says an athletic association shall not “prevent a student athlete from earning compensation from” the use of their name, image or likeness or “prevent an institution from participating in intercollegiate athletics” because an athlete receives such compensation.

Continue reading story here

CB coach Demetrice Martin: “I go back with Colorado quite awhile”

From CUBuffs.com … New Colorado assistant coach Demetrice Martin remembers very well his first visit to Boulder.

A standout option quarterback at John Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., he was being recruited by the Buffaloes in the early 1990s. His hosts on his visit were three players whose names still resonate in a big way with Buffs fans: quarterback Darian Hagan, cornerback Deon Figures and linebacker Chad Brown (also a John Muir grad).

“I go back with Colorado quite awhile,” Martin said with a smile recently. “You talk about a rich history — those were glory years.”

But instead of choosing to play for the Buffs, Martin ended up at Michigan State, where he lettered from 1992-95.

“I didn’t believe I was going to be that premier option quarterback at that stage of my career,” he said. “So I went to Michigan State because they gave me the opportunity to play wide receiver (he later switched to cornerback at MSU). But all these years later, it has all come back around and I’m finally a Buff.”

Indeed, after a coaching career that has included stops at four Pac-12 schools, Martin is now CU’s cornerbacks coach after joining new CU head coach Karl Dorrell‘s coaching staff in early March.

Martin’s most-recent coaching stop was Arizona, where he coached cornerbacks for the last two seasons. Prior to that, he worked at UCLA (six years with DBs, including four as assistant head coach), three years at Washington (secondary) and two at USC (defensive backs grad assistant).

But when the call came from Dorrell, Martin jumped at the opportunity.

“I know the history of Colorado,” Martin said. “I know what it was in the glory years and I know what it can be.”

Continue reading story here ..

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March 19th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Dorrell hires director of quality control for offense; first graduate assistant

From the Daily Camera … Reggie Moore, a former receivers coach at UCLA, has been hired as director of quality control for offense, while Donovan Williams is the first graduate assistant hired by new Buffs’ head coach Karl Dorrell.

Moore spent last season as an assistant coach at Cypress Christian School in Houston and his career has included coaching stops at Prairie View A&M, UCLA and North Dakota State, as well as one year as a graduate assistant at Washington.

Moore, a Houston native, also has strong connections to Dorrell, Buffs’ tight ends coach Taylor Embree and former CU head coach Rick Neuheisel.

Moore was hired as a graduate assistant at Washington in 2003 and spent the summer of 2004 as a coaching intern with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Moore then coached receivers for four years (2004-07) at North Dakota State before returning to UCLA.

In January of 2008, a month after Dorrell was fired as Bruins head coach, Moore was hired by Neuheisel to coach the receivers. He spent three years on the UCLA staff, where his top receiver was Embree, who was recently hired as the Buffs’ tight ends coach. Under Moore’s tutelage, Embree caught 117 passes for 1,548 yards in those three seasons.

… Williams comes to CU from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Tex., where he worked the last two seasons as a graduate assistant, helping with running backs.

Williams will work with the Buffs’ offensive line and be reunited with his college coach, Mitch Rodrigue. Recently hired as the Buffs’ offensive line coach, Rodrigue spent seven seasons (2011-17) coaching the line at Louisiana. For two of those seasons (2014-15), Williams was a starter at guard for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Continue reading story here

Karl Dorrell: “The best thing we can do is to stay optimistic”

From the Daily Camera … During the past two decades, Colorado head football coaches have dealt with a lot of challenges, but nothing quite like what Karl Dorrell is facing during his first month on the job.

Dorrell, of course, is not alone in trying to navigate the new realities coming about as world-wide concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus continue. The threat of the virus has brought the sports world – and many other areas of the globe – to a halt for the foreseeable future.

… “I just want to say a few words of encouragement from my standpoint in dealing with this crisis that we’ve been dealing across the country and obviously across the globe,” Dorrell said. “All I can say is that we need to kind of be on the same team, in terms of understanding what we’re dealing with and going through the protocol of what people are saying for us to go through, in terms of our social distancing and obviously taking care of ourselves from a health perspective as best we can.

“I do know that that some point in time this will be alleviated. We’re going to have to be patient through the process as this unfolds, but I think the best thing we can do, at least from my perspective, is to stay optimistic, stay under the understanding that we’re going to get through this thing together. We’re going to continue to do the great things that we were doing prior to this, through this crisis. I just want to encourage everybody to stay close with their families and loved ones and obviously take care of ourselves and to have faith that these things, we’re going to endure and persevere and get through this and there’s going to be better times ahead.”

Continue reading story here

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March 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Plati-Tudes: A history of Postponed or cancelled CU games

From Dave Plati at CUBuffs.com

A Look Back At The Previous Postponed Or Cancelled In CU History
The Coronavirus Pandemic we are experiencing is similar to others in world history, but really the first to affect the sporting world to the current level of postponements and cancellations.  The last one of this magnitude occurred over 1918-1919, but the top sports then were major league baseball, college football, horse racing and boxing; the NHL was a year old (with all teams in Canada), the NFL was a year away, the NBA two decades from its beginning, college basketball hadn’t really taken off yet (no postseason championships) and the next Olympics in 1920.

I thought I’d take some of you down memory lane – or CU’s historical road for younger Buff fans – and give a look at other times we paused if not cancelled sports.

World War I. November 11, 1918 – or Armistice Day – was when Germany signed the agreement to end World War I.  The United States hadn’t entered the war until its latter stages (April 1917), and CU still played a normal football schedule starting in September that year.  The following year, the then-Silver & Gold’s season didn’t start until November 16, with five games being played between that date and December 7 (the first four were over a 13-day span).  Soldiers returning from the war were bringing influenza (the Spanish Flu) into the country, and that strain infected many 20-to-30 year olds.  Classes that usually started around the first of September were delayed a month as the Army was using many of CU’s facilities for training.  The Army started clearing out as the war was coming to an end and practice started the second week of October, but one afternoon, a number of players could not report as they had been inoculated and were told to take it easy for up to a week.  Eventually all the players were vaccinated and when everything cleared, only one varsity letterman – captain and quarterback Les Eastman – was back in school.  He did team with many talented players from the freshman squad and the team finished with a 2-3 record, including a 20-6 win over The Lieutenants, a team made up of young servicemen.  A side note: the team’s quarterback from 1915-16, Eddie Evans, was killed in France in early 1918.

World War II.  The Buffs played limited schedules in most sports, but the 1942-43 and 1943-44 basketball seasons were called off altogether, mainly because many basketball fieldhouses and arenas around the country were being utilized by the military.
The university was officially tagged as a naval station (despite being a thousand miles from the nearest ocean,” chuckled longtime associate athletic director Jon Burianek, who filled me in on this portion).  So Balch Fieldhouse was first used as large area for sleeping quarters since various other parts of the stadium were being utilized for some Navy operations, the most interesting of which was “cannon” practice.  A gun off a Navy destroyer was located in the space between Gates 4 and 5; there was no second floor / upper deck at the time in Colorado Stadium (its name until Fred Folsom passed in 1944), and the cannon had to move up and down (that gun many might recall remained there well into the 1960s).

Eventually, the Navy built eight huge Quonset Huts adjacent to CU’s baseball field down on the lower fields across from Boulder Creek.  The baseball field was to the east of the huts, with batters facing northwest (it moved to east campus in 1968 and was renamed Frank Prentup Field to honor CU’s longtime coach; family housing soon replaced where the baseball field was and when the huts were torn down, the area was converted to practice fields for the football team).  With many athletes off to war, from 1943 through 1945, the farthest the football team traveled were Pueblo, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City.  Opponents included air force base teams from Lowry (Denver), Salt Lake, the Second (Colorado Springs) and Fort Francis Warren (Cheyenne).

The attack on Pearl Harbor did not postpone or cancel any events; basketball didn’t start until the end of month, while other winter sports got going afterward as well (wrestling, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, indoor track).

1963: JFK Assassination.  In Eddie Crowder’s first season the Buffaloes were 2-7 heading into the season finale at Air Force; CU actually opened up 2-0 in Big Eight play with wins at Kansas State and over Oklahoma State, but with a thin roster from NCAA penalties, the season eventually took its toll.  The game was scheduled for Saturday, November 23, but at Noon Mountain Time, President John F. Kennedy was declared dead, having been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.  Many college games were cancelled the next day, though in Lincoln, the game between No. 10 Nebraska and No. 6 Oklahoma went on (NU won, 29-20).  The National Football League went ahead with its games, but the American Football League postponed all of its games until December 22 (the Denver Broncos were to play at San Diego and delayed the game a month).  As for CU-Air Force, anything other than postponing the game was not an option.  It would be played two weeks later on December 7 in the Springs, with Air Force rallying late for a 17-14 win.  The only other fall sport at the time was cross country and its season had ended, and the basketball season opener at Creighton went on as scheduled on November 30 (women’s varsity sports were still 11 years away).

9/11.  On September 15, 2001, the football team was scheduled to play its first game ever in Pullman against Washington State; the team had opened 2-1, dismantling Colorado State and San Jose State after losing to Fresno State in the Jim Thorpe Association Classic.  Those of us advancing the game back then were still trying to figure out the best way to get to Pullman when the terrorist attacks on the East Coast occurred on September 11.  Air travel was ceased for several days and all sporting events eventually postponed or cancelled; we resumed on September 22 at home against Kansas, but could not find a make-up date that season for the WSU game that worked for both schools (it eventually was rescheduled in 2004, but in Seattle).  The Cougars finished 10-2 that season; if you recall, CU went on to finish 10-2 after beating Nebraska to win the Big 12 North Division and then topped Texas in the league championship game.  In the final BCS Standings, Miami was at the top with a 2.62 rating, followed by Nebraska (7.23) and then Colorado (7.28) – the Buffs owned wins over NU and No. 7 Texas; had they played and defeated WSU, which finished No. 12, it might have been enough to push CU ahead of the Huskers and into the BCS title game against Miami (WSU won its make-up game was against FCS Montana).  Soccer and volleyball also had  multiple competitions delayed.

2013: One Hundred Year Flood (or 1,000 Year Rain).  It started raining on and off on Monday, September 9; the Buffs had opened football season under first-year coach Mike MacIntyre with wins over Colorado State and Central Arkansas with Fresno State set to visit Folsom Field on September 14.  But with a cold front stalling over the state, the rain intensified: those who were in Boulder recall “sheets” of water falling from the sky beginning that Wednesday.  Boulder Creek swelled to levels never before seen, and there was massive flooding in and around Boulder as well as up and down the Front Range. One month into the job, new CU athletic director Rick George had his first real crisis; the game was officially cancelled early Friday when the flood waters had yet to subside but before the Bulldogs boarded a plane for Colorado.  The schools did not have the same bye week over the remainder of the season, so George set out in search of another opponent.

No less than three dozen schools were contacted and or considered for a replacement, but they had gone nowhere.  After receiving a waiver from the NCAA allowing CU to count two wins over an FCS school towards bowl eligibility, the Buffaloes finalized a contract with FCS Charleston Southern to play on October 19 (the waiver was required as Central Arkansas was an FCS member).  Fresno State was never able to replace the game that year.  That 2013 Fresno State game is finally showing up this fall as CU’s home opener, some seven years after it was originally scheduled.

Read full Plati-Tudes here

Tyler Embree to CU: “This is where my career starts – it was meant to be”

From CUBuffs.com … There are some things that are simply meant to be. Taylor Embree coaching at Colorado might be the very definition.

Embree has been a Buffalo at heart for as long as he can remember. The son of former Colorado tight end Jon Embree — who went on to serve as an assistant at CU, then as head coach — Taylor Embree grew up believing in black and gold.

“I remember when I was in second grade, my teacher asked me to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance,” Embree recalls. “I told my teacher, ‘I don’t know all of the Pledge of Allegiance, but I do know the CU fight song.’ So I taught the class the words and led the whole class in the CU fight song. That was my Pledge of Allegiance.”

But that was by no means the last connection to CU for Colorado’s new tight ends coach. He grew up watching players like Christian Fauria and Dan Graham play the position for the Buffs while his father served as an assistant. He remembers when Colorado was among the nation’s elite.

Those memories still burn brightly.

“All I knew was college football — I wasn’t much of an NFL guy,” he said. “To me, football was Big 12 football. It was Colorado-Nebraska, Colorado-Oklahoma. I grew up going to those games, watching Colorado play in the Big 12 championship … I watched guys like Chev (current CU offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini), Dan Graham, Christian Fauria. Now I get to coach Christian Fauria’s son (CU freshman tight end Caleb Fauria).”

But there are even more connections that brought Taylor Embree back to his football roots.

Continue reading story here

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March 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Rick George on May/June spring practices: “We certainly would push for that”

Related … “AD Rick George: CU Buffs adapting in challenging environment” … from the Daily Camera

CU athletic director Rick George conducted a telephone conference call with reporters Tuesday. Justin Guerriero of CUSportsNation and Adam Munsterteiger of BuffStampede.com were participants. Some quotes from the conference call:

George’s opening statement:“I think we all know that this is a very challenging environment that we’re in today. I can tell you that the health and wellness of our student-athletes is our highest priority. We’ve been in constant communication with our student-athletes, their families and our coaches and staff. Things change in minutes and sometimes hours and days but we’ve got an incredible leadership team that’s around me that helps inform our decision and what we’re doing. From day one we’ve been in lockstep with our campus. It’s important that athletics follows what our campus is going and communication has been excellent.”

“I think when this first started, communication among all of our entities was a little challenging, because things had changed so quickly. But we’re comfortable where we are right now, knowing things can change. We’ve got a good team and we’re focused on what’s best for our student-athletes, our staff and certainly our university.”

The status of Colorado’s on-campus athletic facilities and the status of their openness:“We’ve closed all of our workout areas in both the (CU) Events Center, and Dal Ward and in football we’ve consolidated all of our training rooms to the Champions Center. We are still serving out student-athletes like we normally do at our fueling station at the Crawford Club in the Champions Center.”

The status of spring ball. Could in theory it be pushed back to a later month? “What we’re focused on right now is what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis. What that’ll mean for spring football (will be determined by) discussions we have at the conference level and at the national level with the NCAA. Those calls are ongoing and we’re starting to have those calls, so we’ll be able to inform you a little bit more on what that will look like. Is there a possibility that you could have spring practice in May or June? That’s a possibility and we certainly would push for that, given a new staff and the preparedness for the upcoming year. But we’ll have those discussions with the right people both at the conference level and national level.”

Many student-athletes are traveling home. Has there been any news of a Colorado student-athlete coming down with COVID-19?“ To my knowledge, not at this point. We have protocols that we’ve discussed not only with our student-athletes but our staff. If you have any symptoms, there’s a certain protocol that they follow and we’re doing everything that we can to keep our student-athletes and staff at a low risk.”

… Read more on the conference call at CUSportsNation and BuffStampede.com

YardBarker ranks new hires (Dorrell ranked ahead of Tucker)

From the YardBarker.com …Every year we see 20 or so coaching changes in college football, sometimes a result of the domino effect (Team A hires Team B’s coach and Team B hires Team C’s coach) while others are due to retirement or other issues. Obviously not all jobs are equal; some are move-in ready, and others require a rebuild. But matching up a new coach with the right situation is paramount to success.

This year we had 24 head coaching changes with most due to a firing from programs coming off subpar seasons and in search of someone to put a jolt into their teams. Others, like Baylor for example, saw their head coaches move on after becoming hot commodities thanks to their success.

Not all situations are the same, but let’s rank the 24 head coaching hires in college football …

No. 5 … Jimmy Lake, Washington ... Sometimes it’s best to just stay within the family. When Chris Petersen announced his sudden retirement, Lake was immediately named his successor. This is Lake’s first shot at his own program, but he’s been Petersen’s right-hand man since 2012.

No. 7 … Mike Leach, Mississippi State ... It basically comes down to this: Can Mike Leach’s style play in the SEC, a conference that prides itself on tough defenses and physical offenses? Leach loves a spread offense and isn’t as concerned with the defensive side of things, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. He certainly will be quotable, and the Egg Bowl rivalry (you know, the one that left off with a player miming a dog peeing in the end zone) will go to another level with Leach and Lane Kiffin going at it.

No. 13 … Nick Rolovich, Washington State … For you Cougars fans who loved Mike Leach’s high flying offense…you’ll get to see it under former Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich. The Rainbow Warriors had one of the most prolific passing attacks in the nation under his watch, so he should plug in rather seamlessly in Pullman. He’s as close to a Leach copy as the program could have hired.

No. 14 … Karl Dorrell, Colorado … Colorado was caught in a tough situation. The Buffaloes felt they had hired their perfect coach last season in Mel Tucker only to see him leave for Michigan State a few weeks ago. The Buffs were forced to look for a new coach after the coaching carousel had already spun and died down, missing out on high-profile names like Eric Bieniemy and Steve Sarkisian. They chose Dorrell, a safe pick who had a decent run at UCLA that included five bowl appearances in five seasons during the 2000s, plus he was the receivers coach at Colorado during the 1990s. He won’t be the slam dunk fans may have hoped for, but he could provide the stability the program needs right now.

No. 17 … Mel Tucker, Michigan State … A year ago, I previewed Tucker’s hiring at Colorado and he turned in a topsy-turvy 5-7 season. There are a lot of layers to this hiring (why Mark Dantonio left; how this coaching search went; what Tucker left behind). What is interesting is that Tucker initially turned down the Spartans job before the school threw more money his way to land him. His salary is significantly more than that of his predecessor, which leads to some uneasiness about the hiring. Football-wise, Tucker has an impressive resume as an assistant in both college and the NFL but certainly didn’t wow anybody in his lone season in Colorado.

No. 20 … Steve Addazio, Colorado State … This isn’t the most inspiring hire. Addazio was literally average during his seven-year stint at Boston College where he went 44-44 and won either six or seven games in six of those seven seasons. While Addazio may be a pleasant change for the Rams, going out west is a big change for him. Colorado State got a good coach but seemingly nothing more.

Read full list here

—–

March 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Bolder Boulder latest event to officially be postponed

From the Daily Camera … As expected, the 42nd annual Bolder Boulder, along with its many Memorial Day festivities, has been postponed due to the ever-expanding fears regarding the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Monday morning, race organizers announced the delay of the annual Memorial Day 10K extravaganza.

No makeup date was announced, though race organizers said they are exploring options to run the event in the fall.

Those already who have registered will have those registrations honored for the new date in the fall. If registrants cannot participate in whatever new date is settled upon, the Bolder Boulder allows registrations to be rolled into another year.

The Bolder Boulder has been held annually since 1979, and since 2002 the event has featured at least 45,000 participants every year. Moving the event to the fall would seemingly present logistical challenges with the beginning of CU’s football season, given the Bolder Boulder utilizes Folsom Field as the finish line and the gathering point for its many Memorial Day festivities.

CU has home dates scheduled for Sept. 12 against Fresno State and Sept. 26 against Oregon.

—–

 

17 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

    1. I have no control over the advertising. It is a rolling list of advertisers which are geared toward the person accessing the site.
      For example, right after the first podcast went up, all of my ads were for buzzsprout, the place where we posted the podcast.
      If you are getting political ads to pop up, it’s most likely because they are targeted to you based upon your browsing history, not due to anything being promoted by the website.

      1. stands to reason I suppose. I have a pretty diverse browsing history on the political front. I will be patient to see if the ads come from both directions. I guess the practice of slamming the other side as opposed to arguing the positive aspects of your own policies is something that aint going away n my life time.

  1. There will be on this years team
    39 freshman and redshirt freshman
    33 sophomores
    32 juniors
    8 Seniors

    Hmmm. Lot of coaching up to do eh?

  2. The new coaching staff
    HC Karl Dorrell Previous experience at CU HC experience 5 years 5 bowl games
    OC DARRIN CHIAVERINI A Buff. Previous OC experience. WR coach Great recruiter
    DC TYSON SUMMERS. Previous DC and HC experince. Defense improved all last year
    RB Coach DARIAN HAGAN A Buff. Excellent experience in coaching RB’s Excellent recruiter
    QB DANNY LANGSFORF Great experience as an OC and qb coach. Excellent recruiter
    TE TAYLOR EMBREE Excellent coaching mentors. Inexperienced. Remains to be seen
    CB DEMETRICE MARTIN Major DB coaching experience. Long recognized as a top recruiter
    DL CHRIS WILSON. One of the very best in the Business. Excellent recruiter
    Olb BRIAN MICHALOWSKI. 2nd year doing it in the big time. Recognized and a great recruiter
    S BRIAN MICHALOWSKI Excellent DB experience playing and coaching.
    S&C DREW WILSON Really good and really glad he stayed. He was being recruited
    OL MITCH RODRIGUE. Interesting experience at the lower levels of college football. While there he was named one of the top recruiters in non bcs conferences. Also in case you didn’t know, Kap, last years OL coach did not want to leave. But with the uncertainty of who the new Buff HC would be he took the MSU deal. But on the way out he personally recommended MITCH RODRIGUE. Kap was well respected in the Champions center.

    So IMNSHO This is the best coaching staff since Barnett………….bar none.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Recruiting. Fill the cupboard

    1. Good analysis VK. As I sit here in AZ I still think this team has a lot to look forward to with the new staff and the players coming back and their attitude. I guess as in most cases it will depend on the offense and mainly because the QB position will obviously be the real question as to the success of this coming season. I hope that Tyler L. is able to live up to expectations, but if the freshman Brendan can be as good and effective as the freshman that ASU had last year that will answer a lot of the big questions. If this will be a season that at least will get us to a bowl and we have a near future of vaccine for COVID-19, the Buffs will maybe finally become a consistent contender in the PAC 12 South. Yes Vaccine, as you have alluded to in the past, I probably am somewhat more vulnerable then most who post on this great Web Site. I’d sure like to see some success like we enjoyed under Mac I before I join all those wandering Buffaloes looking down on what has been a very frustrating number of years, I wonder what brand of Champagne they serve up there on those green pastures where the Buffalo roam. Gimmee some of that for the next 10 years.

    2. Sheesh
      I wrote above…..S BRIAN MICHALOWSKI Excellent DB experience playing and coaching.

      Of course I meant BRETT MAXI…………………sheesh again.

      Buffs

      Note: Interesting all the coaches sound a like…………eh?

  3. I hope Langsdorf can give Ciccarone, a walk on QB, enough development to put him in the mix. He didnt see much action in High School but when he was in he had a 63% comp percentage in spite of a team around him that was not a Mullen, Valor, Cherry Creek etc.

  4. Hey you know who the Buffs assistant coach/DB’s was last year???

    TRAVARES TILLMAN

    Do you know where he is now?

    Yup he is at Michigan State.

    Know what his title is?

    Senior Defensive Analyst.

    Well there ya go. Good enough to be the DB coach at CU, but not at MSU.

    And you wonder why the DB’s were such a problem last year.
    OJT training for the DB coach.
    the midnight leaver may have been the biggest flim flammer of em all.

    Buffs

    1. Maybe former dc Tressel who was to be let go until he wasn’t is now the bd coach there? Whatever. Who cares? Onward and upward.

      I hope all you old timers and geezers and yours are well, and stay well. The rest of all y’all too.

      Go Buffs

      1. But they still brought in Barnett to coach the backfield. Didn’t give it to tillman. Who cares? Reduced his position. (probably got a raise though)

        The midnight mover was sneaky. Gave the Buffs a rookie to coach the DB’s

        But he is gone now.
        so there is that.

        Sko Buffs eh?

        Note: Info as to why things were for sure not as good as they should have been is interesting.

        Note 2: Demotion !! Even for Tressel.

      2. He was the rook…………..
        He failed
        Demoted back to his ol job…………..you just never know………..so

        Tillman, 41, came to CU after spending the previous three seasons (2016-18) at the University of Georgia. He was a graduate assistant working with the defensive backs the first two years before transitioning into a quality control role with the defense for the 2018 season. …………..
        Prior to joining Kirby Smart’s staff at Georgia, he served as the defensive backs and head track coach for four years (2012-15) at Calvary Day School in Savannah, Ga……

        The dude couldn’t recruit either..The midnight guy must like him though.

        Buffs…………………..Never forget or push under the safe

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