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Colorado Daily – Spring/Summer

July 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Karl Dorrell at Pac-12 Media Day: “I believe you are going to see a quality team this year”

Full transcript of Karl Dorrell’s Pac-12 Media Day remarks

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Karl Dorrell didn’t shy away from the topic of expectations during Friday’s Pac-12 Media Day at the Novo Theater.

Dorrell, heading into his third year as the Buffaloes’ head coach, knows his team was picked by the media to finish last this year in the Pac-12. He knows the perception that comes with a lengthy list of departures via the transfer portal (even though the majority of those transfers ended up taking a step down on the college football ladder).

But Dorrell, who brings an 8-10 record at CU into his third season in Boulder, made it clear he believes his Buffs will be better — much better — than the preseason prognostications.

“We have a great foundation,” Dorrell said during his “main stage” press conference. “The foundation is there. Now we’re building the talent, building the room, building the roster. I believe you’re going to see a quality team this year, a team that’s going to be very competitive, a team that’s going to win more games than they won a year ago.”

Of course, simply exceeding last year’s win total — CU finished 4-8 in 2021 — would not be an earth-shattering accomplishment. Five victories still wouldn’t bring the Buffs into the bowl-eligible world.

But if the Buffaloes can indeed squeeze out even a couple more wins than last year, it would put them back in the postseason for the second time in Dorrell’s three years, likely put them at least in the middle of the pack of the Pac-12, and send a message that Dorrell’s plan is moving along at a solid pace.

Throughout the day — both on the main stage and in the “studio” interviews with Pac-12 Network talent — Dorrell stressed that he wasn’t ready to stand pat after last year’s disappointing finish.

He dramatically overhauled his coaching staff, bringing in six new assistants that included four on the offensive side. He addressed some need positions via the transfer portal — and Friday, he took the time to address what he believes is a misperception about CU’s offseason player departures.

“We had a number of players that left our program, (but) sometimes when you make projections, you see who left and you don’t know the ones who replaced them,” Dorrell said. “They’re unknowns. But from our standpoint, we feel like we’re in a better position now than we were a year ago. That’s what no one knows and that’s an exciting part for us as a football program.”

Colorado added six transfers from the portal in the offseason, most of whom could provide immediate help. The list includes a pair of offensive linemen in Tommy Brown (Alabama) and Luke Eckardt (Arizona), wide receiver R.J. Sneed II (Baylor), linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo (West Virginia), quarterback Maddox Kopp (Houston) and defensive end Chance Main (Incarnate Word).

But, Dorrell stressed, the Buffs also have some young players who gained some valuable playing time last year who could also be ready to step into more significant contributing roles. That includes some talented youngsters in the secondary and defensive line, as well as some upperclassmen ready to take the next step on the offensive line and wide receiver.

Perhaps most importantly, Dorrell now has a foundation of players who have put their trust in him as well as a coaching staff that he has been able to assemble with the benefit of time and evaluation. Those new coaches quickly made an impression in spring ball and Dorrell believes the team had its best summer yet in the strength and conditioning arena.

“The positive is that we’re able to build our team with guys that are like-minded and players that are on the same page with a staff that’s been very invested in these young people,” he said. “We’ve come full circle with our effort, attitude, work ethic, determination. Everything is all moving in the right direction.”

Of course, all those factors will be put to a test in a hurry in CU’s non-conference schedule, a lineup that does not include a single cupcake. Rather, it’s a meat-and-potatoes lineup that starts with TCU at home on Sept. 2, followed by road trips to Air Force and Minnesota.

“It’s a challenging schedule, absolutely,” Dorrell said. “But who would want it any other way? We want to be measured up against the best in the country. This gives us a chance to make a big impression with a lot of people.”

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July 28th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12 Media Day Storylines: How Do the Coaches Really Feel About USC and UCLA Leaving?

From CBS Sports … The Pac-12’s nickname is “Conference of Champions,” but a more apt term for the league in 2022 might be the “Conference of Uncertainty.” As commissioner George Kliavkoff and representatives from the league’s 12 football teams prepare for their time in the spotlight at Pac-12 Media Day on Friday, questions abound over the future of a conference that is on its heels.

There will be plenty to discuss about what’s ahead on the field this season as some its biggest brands — Oregon, USC and Washington — welcome new coaches. But with the Trojans and cross-town rival UCLA set to depart for the Big Ten in 2024, there is a cloud over the conference as it braces for the impact of losing two of its most valuable members.

With widening gaps in revenue and on-field success between itself and the Big Ten and SEC, the Pac-12 is at an inflection point. Can it rally by producing a College Football Playoff team for the first time since the 2016 season, or will it go the way of its TV network and continue struggling for relevance amid a shifting national landscape?

While these bigger-picture issues loom large over Friday’s event, there will be lighter topics to discuss as well. With half of the league’s teams in line to potentially start transfer quarterback, the Pac-12 could be in line for a fun infusion of offensive life in 2022.

Regardless of what’s going on and off the field, the Pac-12 can generally be counted on to provide an entertaining product, especially during the late-night window on Saturdays. As we get closer to those on-field shenanigans here’s a look at the big questions entering Friday’s media day event

Kliavkoff’s moment

All eyes will be on Kliavkoff, who faces a monumental challenge more than a year after he stepped into the world of college athletics from a career in the entertainment industry. A year ago, the Big 12 was reeling after it lost Oklahoma and Texas while the Pac-12 seemed relatively stable — and perhaps even in position to expand.

Now, after turning its nose up at expansion last year, the Pac-12 has lost the high ground in the conference realignment battle and needs its leader to confidently articulate a vision for its future. The Pac-12 has already been languishing with lackluster on-field performance and the struggles of its TV network. Now, as the Bruins and Trojans prepare to depart — and with other member schools being targeted as well — the Pac-12 appears to be at risk of fading even further from relevance in the new college sports universe.

Barring some unforeseen bombshell announcement on Friday regarding expansion or a media rights agreement, there’s little Kliavkoff can say that will quell the frustrations of the schools left behind. As a relatively new commissioner, however, he can at least stabilize the ship with a prepared and confident presence as he faces the questions over where the league goes from here.

Truth serum, please

As for the coaches of the departing schools, how do they really feel about the move? Sure, joining the Big Ten will bring a boost to the athletic department budgets at UCLA and USC. From the coaches’ standpoint, though, the change brings some obvious competitive challenges. Winning in the Big Ten will be significantly more difficult for the Bruins and Trojans, as will the logistics. Both programs will likely be required to make several cross-country flights per season, and any coach who tells you they’re totally fine with that is probably lying.

Riley and UCLA’s Chip Kelly will probably put on a smile and recite the official company lines about how great of an opportunity it is to join the Big Ten. We might even hear about how wonderfully enriching it’ll be for the student-athletes to experience the cultural ambiance of Piscataway, New Jersey, while visiting Rutgers.

At the end of the day, however, both coaches signed up to coach in the Pac-12, not the Big Ten, and it’ll be interesting to see if any underlying frustrations with the move come through in front of the cameras even in passive tones.

Continue reading story here

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July 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Alex Fontenot on running backs room: “I know we can get it done. That’s the confidence I have in our room. … The talent is still there”

From the Daily Camera … While there are familiar faces in the backfield, led by Fontenot, this is an intriguing position group because of the changes in the offseason.

Jarek Broussard, who led the Buffs in rushing the last two years and was the Pac-12 offensive player of the year in 2020, transferred to Michigan State. Ashaad Clayton, a four-star recruit in the 2020 class with a load of potential, transferred to Tulane.

What’s left is Fontenot and a lot of players with unproven potential, but that doesn’t mean the Buffs can’t find success in the backfield.

“I know we can get it done,” Fontenot said. “That’s the confidence I have in our room. … The talent is still there.”

It starts with Fontenot, who is entering his sixth season with the Buffs. He has 14 career starts, 11 of those coming in 2019, when he led CU with 874 yards and five touchdowns while catching 27 passes.

… In addition to confidence in himself, Fontenot believes in fellow veterans Deion Smith and Jayle Stacks.

Smith also missed 2020 with an injury but flashed his talent in a limited role last year. Now in his fifth season, Smith has  just 260 yards on 76 career carries, but had a great spring and said, “I feel like in my time here I have yet to really just show everyone what I have.”

Stacks is a big back with only one career rushing attempt, but he could find a bigger role in new coordinator Mike Sanford’s offense.

“He’s kind of do-it-all guy right now; a Swiss Army Knife playing a lot of roles for us and doing a really good job with it,” Sanford said.

True freshmen Anthony Hankerson and Victor Venn joined the team this summer and will battle for playing time, as will walk-on Charlie Offerdahl, who shined in the spring.

Continue reading story here

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July 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Defensive Line: From Weakness to Strength?

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewTerrance Lang

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewJalen Sami

From the Daily Camera … Although CU lost Mustafa Johnson and his 35 career starts to graduation, there is enough depth that the staff elected to shift to more of a 4-3 defense this year, as opposed to the 3-4 from the past few years. (The defensive fronts will change, but 4-3 is the base alignment).

“We’ve got a good group of guys up front, a veteran group of guys up front, so that was the best move for us moving forward,” Wilson said.

That group includes sixth-year senior defensive end Terrance Lang, who was a part of BuffZone’s preview on the edge rushers last week.

In the middle of the line, the Buffs return juniors Jalen Sami (28 career games, 24 starts) and Na’im Rodman (30 games, nine starts) and senior Janaz Jordan (27 games, six starts), who have all been key rotational players the past two years or more.

Senior Justin Jackson, a former junior college transfer, has played only 149 snaps in two seasons, but that could change this year after he put together a strong spring.

Dorrell said freshman Allan Baugh, who didn’t play in games last year as he redshirted, began making his presence known this spring. The Buffs are also hoping redshirt freshman Tyas Martin, who has dealt with injuries at CU, can be healthy and productive, as well. Martin is listed at 6-foot-4, 340 pounds.

In addition, the Buffs have true freshman Aaron Austin and redshirt freshman walk-on Mason Maddox, a former standout at Cherokee Trail High School.

Continue reading story here

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July 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Casey Roddick and Robert Barnes to accompany Karl Dorrell to Pac-12 Media Day (plus: Media Day schedule)

From the Pac-12 … The 2022 Pac-12 Football season officially begins on Friday, July 29 with the league’s kickoff event, Pac-12 Football Media Day, presented by 76®, live from the Novo Theater. All 12 head coaches and two student-athletes from each Pac-12 team are set to take part, with the Pac-12 announcing today all 24 student-athletes headed to Los Angeles. Coverage of the day-long event will be available across Pac-12 Networks, Pac-12 Insider, Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app.

Pac-12 Networks’ Ashley AdamsonNigel Burton and Yogi Roth will all be on site from Downtown Los Angeles to bring fans the latest insight, breakdowns and a look at players to watch this upcoming season, all day long.

The day-long event will begin with opening remarks from Commissioner George Kliavkoff at 8 a.m. PT / 9 a.m. MT on Friday, July 29, followed by a media availability with Commissioner Kliavkoff, Senior Associate Commissioner of Football Operations Merton Hanks and Stanford Athletic Director and Chair of the Pac-12 Athletics Directors Committee Bernard Muir. All 12 head coaches and 24 student-athletes will then begin a circuit of availability beginning at 8:45 a.m. PT / 9:45 a.m. MT, with each head coach press conference available via Pac-12 InsiderPac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app.

A complete list of all 36 head coaches and student-athletes attending and/or participating in this year’s Football Media Day can also be found below:

2022 Pac-12 Football Media Day – Attendees & Participants 

SchoolHead Coach (Presser Time – PT)Student-AthleteStudent-Athlete
ArizonaJedd Fisch (10:45 a.m.)Jacob Cowing (WR)Christian Young (S)
Arizona StateHerm Edwards (1 p.m.)LaDarius Henderson (OL)Kyle Soelle (LB)
CaliforniaJustin Wilcox (2 p.m.)Matthew Cindric (OL)Daniel Scott (S)
ColoradoKarl Dorrell (10:15 a.m.)Casey Roddick (OL)Robert Barnes (ILB)
OregonDan Lanning (9:15 a.m.)Alex Forsyth (OL)DJ Johnson (LB)
Oregon StateJonathan Smith (2:30 p.m.)Luke Musgrave (TE)Alex Austin (DB)
StanfordDavid Shaw (11:15 a.m.)Tanner McKee (QB)Kyu Blu Kelly (CB)
UCLAChip Kelly (3:00 p.m.)Jon Gaines II (OL)Stephan Blaylock (DB)
USCLincoln Riley (3:30 p.m.)Caleb Williams (QB)Shane Lee (LB)
UtahKyle Whittingham (8:45 a.m.)Cameron Rising (QB)Clark Phillips III (CB)
WashingtonKalen DeBoer (9:45 a.m.)Jaxson Kirkland (OL)Alex Cook (DB)
Washington StateJake Dickert (1:30 p.m.)Cameron Ward (QB)Ron Stone Jr. (Edge)

Follow Pac-12 football this season with the Pac-12 Now App. Download the Pac-12 Now App and set alerts for Pac-12 football to make sure you never miss a moment of the action. Pac-12 Now is available in your app store for iOS, Android and Apple TV.

Inside linebackers post Nate Landman: “The younger talent is really talented enough that we feel comfortable that they can play”

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewRobert Barnes

From the Daily Camera … There will be a couple of familiar faces in the middle of the Colorado defense this year, but a key to Buffaloes’ success will be in how they replace the man who isn’t there anymore.

Nate Landman, who was one of the top tacklers in CU history, has graduated, leaving a major hole at inside linebacker. To fill that hole, the Buffs will lean on several players to elevate their games.

“We’re young overall there but we’ve got some veteran guys at the starter positions,” head coach Karl Dorrell said in the spring. “The younger talent is really talented enough that we feel comfortable that they can play.”

Landman led the Buffs in tackles three consecutive seasons, from 2018-20, and was on track to do so again last year when a shoulder injury sidelined him for the last five games of the season.

Losing Landman weakened the Buffs defense in 2021, but it may have helped the 2022 defense. Without him, veterans Robert Barnes, Quinn Perry and Marvin Ham II got extra playing time.

As the Buffs went through spring drills in April, coaches believe that five-game stretch a season ago has made a difference.

“They had to grow and play without Nate for the rest of the season and that actually helped us get over the hump,” Dorrell said. “Instead of having the, ‘when in doubt, just lean on Nate’ type of attitude, I think they really put the time and attention into their development this offseason.

“There are guys that are making plays that were similar to how Nate was making plays. So it’s good to see some good young players doing that and their confidence is growing.”

Continue reading story here

NFF High School Excellence Award Named For CU Alum Steve Hatchell

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced last week that the annual recipient of the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award will receive the NFF Hatchell Cup trophy. The honor is named for current NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell in recognition of his leadership and longstanding service to the NFF and his commitment to the betterment of the game of football.

Hatchell is a 1970 University of Colorado graduate, having worked in the school’s equipment office as well as serving as editor of CU’s yearbook.  He started his career in athletics as an assistant to then-CU athletic director, the late Eddie Crowder.  He was eventually named co-Sports Information Director before leaving CU for the positions in the Big Eight Conference, the Orange Bowl, the Southwest Conference, the Big 12 Conference and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association before undertaking his current position in 2006.

“For the past 17 years, nobody has worked harder or more tirelessly to promote the scholar-athlete ideal than Steve Hatchell,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Steve has been a force in college athletics since the early 1970s, and naming this award in his honor pays tribute to his vision and leadership as a protector of the game and a passionate advocate in highlighting our sport’s ability to inspire excellence in the classroom.”

The NFF announced the creation of the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards in 2021, with the Nebraska and Texas state high school coaches associations leading the initial effort. The initiative is designed to inspire and foster a culture of academic excellence on high school football teams throughout the nation.

In February, Cypress Woods High School in Cypress, Texas, was announced as the top team in the nation after being chosen from the 62 teams that were selected as the state recipients of the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards. The 62 teams were all selected as the top academic winners from each division of play in 13 states. The inaugural presentation of the NFF Hatchell Cup trophy will take place July 19 during the 2022 Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) Convention & Coaching School in San Antonio.

Steve Hatchell’s career in athletics administration spans more than five decades and includes countless accomplishments, including serving as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference in Dallas and holding the top jobs at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the Southwest Conference, the Orange Bowl and the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Since taking over the helm of the NFF in 2005, Hatchell has overseen numerous programs that expand the NFF’s reach and impact, specifically in the context of today’s announcement to promote the scholar-athlete ideal.

These programs include: the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, which has helped raise and distribute millions of dollars for the NFF scholarship programs; the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has honored 14,655 student-athletes since its 2007 inception; the NFF Faculty Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments; and the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards, with the top prize now bearing his name as the Hatchell Cup.

Hatchell has significantly raised the profile of the NFF William V. Campbell Trophy®, which recognizes the nation’s top scholar-athlete, finding an official home for the trophy at the prestigious and historic New York Athletic Club. He also worked with the leadership of the College Football Playoff to make sure that the recipient of the trophy is recognized each year on the field during the national title game, and he led the launch of the Campbell Trophy Summit, which takes place at Stanford University in August.

Hatchell’s vision and leadership led to the launch of the NFF Future For Football campaign, which includes a robust presence in social media and a series of public service announcements and video features that highlight the positive and lifelong impact that football has had on those who play and support the game. Millions of people have been exposed to the campaign with the TV spots airing on ESPN, FOX, the NFL Network, Bally Sports regional networks and countless college and university jumbotrons across the country.

Hatchell has been honored numerous times for his leadership. Pop Warner Little Scholars presented him the Warner Award in 2014 as an individual who has achieved excellence in athletics, scholarship and life’s endeavors with integrity and humanity. The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) named him the 2015 recipient of the FWAA Bert McGrane Award for his contributions to the coverage of college football and his advocacy on behalf of those who cover the sport. Also in 2015, he claimed a NACDA Golden Anniversary Award, representing the NFF and its efforts in supporting the organization during its first 50 years. He was named a 2018 member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame class, recognizing his numerous contributions to the profession of sports information.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Hatchell was inducted into the University of Colorado Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, and he received an Honorary C Club award from the university in 1983.

 

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July 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

OL Coach Kyle DeVan: “We want to win up front and they have to learn how to do that”

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewTommy Brown

... Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewJake Wiley

From the Daily Camera … CU lost full-time starters Kary Kutsch (left guard) and Colby Pursell (center) to graduation. Former Ohio State transfer Max Wray medically retired and three key backups all transferred.

Coming back, however, is both starting tackles — Wiley and Fillip — and right guard Casey Roddick. That trio combined for 31 starts last year and spent most of the spring in those same positions.

Johnson and former Iowa transfer Noah Fenske shared reps at center throughout the spring and that competition is likely to continue through preseason camp in August.

At left guard, Alabama transfer Tommy Brown has the inside track to start, but Johnson or Fenske could play there, as well.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is in his first season with the Buffs but has been impressed with the overall transformation of the group.

“Coach DeVan has just been incredible for these guys in such a short period of time,” he said. “Their confidence, you see the way they carry themselves on the field, it’s a different group.”

Ultimately, the Buffs could have a veteran group of starters but will lean on a very inexperienced group of backups. Sophomore tackle Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan played 67 snaps last year, while eight of the 14 scholarship linemen have never played a snap at CU.

The Buffs finished spring with only eight healthy offensive lineman (Brown was among those on the sidelines for the spring showcase), but Dorrell came away from spring encouraged by the development of the depth.

DeVan, meanwhile, is energized by helping the group get better.

“We want to win up front and they have to learn how to do that,” he said. “They’re buying into the way I teach things, the way I coach things.

“Obviously it might be a little bit different from what they learned in the past, but I’m trying to figure out what makes each individual special. They all have talent. You don’t play in the Pac-12 without some type of talent, so I’m trying to get the most out of each individual kid.”

Continue reading story here

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July 23rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Brady Russell named to Mackey Award Watch list

From the Daily Camera … Once again, Brady Russell will enter the season as one of the top tight ends to watch during the 2022 campaign.

The Colorado Buffaloes and their fans hope this year’s offense allows Russell to remain in that conversation deep into the season.

On Friday, Russell was one of 54 players across the nation named to the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, presented annually to the top tight end in FCS-level college football.

It is the second consecutive year Russell has landed on the Mackey preseason watch list, though last year’s honor ultimately went to Colorado State’s Trey McBride. Colorado’s anemic offense did little to bolster Russell’s chances last season, as he eventually finished with 25 catches for 307 yards without a touchdown.

Russell played just one full game during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, recording five receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in an opening win against UCLA, but he suffered a season-ending injury the following week at Stanford. In 2019, following the departure of the tight end-averse passing scheme of former head coach Mike MacIntyre, Russell’s 23 receptions (for 221 yards and two touchdowns) topped the number of receptions by CU tight ends over the previous three seasons combined.

The nephew of former CU All-American linebacker Matt Russell, Brady Russell enters the 2022 season ranked 48th all-time in program history in receptions (58) and 61st in receiving yards (646).

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July 22nd 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Brady Russell: “I want to leave (the tight end room) in a good place”

... Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewBrady Russell

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewCaleb Fauria

From the Daily Camera … Over the course of the last four seasons, Brady Russell has raised the bar at tight end for the Colorado Buffaloes.

During his career, the former walk-on has been the most productive tight end at CU in years, racking up 58 catches for 646 yards and three touchdowns.

Now a sixth-year senior, Russell is hoping to have his best season, but he also has his young teammates at tight end in mind.

“I want to leave (the tight end room) in a good place,” he said.

Although Russell doesn’t get the national attention of his peers at Utah and other schools, he has gone from being a freshman walk-on to one of the better tight ends in the Pac-12. And, this year, he’s one of the most important players on the Buffs’ roster.

“I think Brady takes a lot of pride in being the older guy in the room of what this tight end room is going to be when he leaves; what’s his legacy of this room,” tight ends coach Clay Patterson said. “You talk about a kid that walked on and then has become one of our best players on this football team.”

Russell isn’t resting on what he’s done to this point, however. He knows there’s room to improve and that the Buffs need him to be better.

Continue reading story here

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July 21st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Can CU talented young receiver corps overcome Transfer Portal losses?

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewMontana Lemonius-Craig

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewJaylon Jackson

Related … CUATG Podcast InterviewDaniel Arias

From the Daily Camera … No position group was hit harder by the transfer portal than the receivers. The Buffs’ most explosive receiver (Brenden Rice) and starting slot (Dimitri Stanley) both bolted in the offseason for what they hope is greener pastures. Three other young receivers left, as well, and offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, who coached receivers for six years, was let go.

This season, the Buffs will rely on players such as Lemonious-Craig, senior Daniel Arias and Baylor transfer RJ Sneed. First-year coach Phil McGeoghan, who has already received a promotion to assistant head coach, will lead the group.

“It was great,” Lemonious-Craig said of working with McGeoghan and new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford in the spring. “They know what they’re doing. They take care of us. They give us everything they’ve got day in and day out.”

The coaches are asking the same of the players.

Last year, CU’s passing game struggled all season and that meant a lack of production across the board.

Arias is the top returner but caught only 19 passes for 237 yards a year ago. He put together his best spring as a Buff, however, and is looking for a big season. Arias made big plays all spring and said visiting a sports psychologist played a role.

“This is a game where you’re supposed to have fun,” he said. “You’re not supposed to be thinking too much. Ever since I got my mind wrapped around that — just play — it’s been fun. I’ve been making plays and it’s just been fun.”

Lemonious-Craig caught 10 passes a year ago before missing the finale with a foot injury. He, too, is looking to make a bigger impact.

“Coach Phil has done a great job helping me develop just in terms of working on my natural game,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to this season and showcasing it.”

Continue reading story here

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July 20th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Former Buff great Charles E. Johnson passes away

RelatedCharles E. Johnson and Lamont Warren team up for the 1993 National Play-of-the-Year … “It was just another play by CJ”, said McCartney. “He just continues to surprise you, and he’s got wonderful instincts.”

From the Daily Camera … Buff Nation awoke to sobering news on Wednesday with the passing of a beloved football star from the early 1990s glory years.

On Tuesday night, multiple reports out of North Carolina confirmed the death of former Colorado receiver Charles E. Johnson. He was 50.

Johnson had been working as an assistant athletic director at Heritage High School in Wake Forest, N.C. A cause of death has not been released, but a report posted on Wednesday morning by the CBS affiliate in Wake Forest said a police investigation has been initiated after a welfare check at a hotel in Raleigh ended with the discovery of a body. The report noted there was no preliminary signs of foul play.

Johnson was a freshman on the Buffs’ 1990 national championship team but emerged as a star as an upperclassman in 1992 and 1993, recording 57 receptions in each of those seasons for a combined 2,231 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Despite the pass-happy offenses of modern football, Johnson remains prominent in the CU record book. Johnson still ranks sixth all-time for the Buffs in receiving yards (2,447), 13th in receptions (127), and ninth in receiving touchdowns (15). His 1,149 receiving yards in 1992 is the Buffs’ single-season record, and his 1,082 yards a year later ranks third.

No CU player has posted more 100-yard receiving games than Johnson (12), and he owns five of the top 26 single-game receiving yard totals in team history, led by a career-best 182 yards (10th all-time) in a 24-24 tie at home against Oklahoma on Oct. 17, 1992.

Johnson was a first-round selection (17th overall) in the 1994 NFL draft by Pittsburgh, where he later was reunited with CU quarterback Kordell Stewart. Johnson spent nine seasons in the league with the Steelers, Philadelphia, New England and Buffalo. He posted one 1,000-yard season, recording 1,008 yards for Pittsburgh in 1996, and caught a career-high 65 passes in 1998. Johnson was part of the 2001 Patriots team that won its first Super Bowl behind Tom Brady, and he finished his NFL career with 354 receptions for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns.

The 1993 National “Play of the Year” takes place around the 13:58 mark of the highlight video of the 1993 27-10 win over No. 9 Oklahoma … 

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July 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Kicker Cole Becker: “I know all the things that will happen now, so I feel like I’m better prepared for it”

RelatedCUATG NIL Podcast interview with kicker Cole Becker … 

From the Daily Camera … From the moment kicker Cole Becker got to CU last summer, Buffs’ head coach Karl Dorrell has publicly and privately expressed his belief in Becker, who has a strong leg and came in as one of the nation’s top-rated prep kickers.

“Trust is huge in kicking,” Becker said. “Knowing that your coaches trust you to make it, knowing that you can trust your holder, your snapper; knowing that you can trust the (operation) time. It all comes down to trust.”

Last year, Becker had Derek Bedell as his snapper, with tight end Matt Lynch as the holder.

Bedell is back after two seasons as the primary snapper, but continues to battle Cameron Warchuck for the job. Lynch, however, graduated, so Becker spent the spring working with two different holders: kicker/cornerback Mac Willis and freshman punter Ashton Logan.

“Both are good options, but it’s just getting that chemistry back in with them and getting back to work,” Becker said.

Becker’s work last year was impressive. After the 0-for-3 start, he made 14 of his last 17 field goal attempts. His first attempt of the season was a miss from 53 yards, but he was 3-for-3 from 50-plus the rest of the year, with a long of 56. He also nailed the game-winner in a 37-34 victory against Oregon State.

In addition, Becker was perfect (25-for-25) on extra points and handled kickoff duties, with 29 of his 47 kickoffs resulting in touchbacks.

Coming into this year, Becker feels more comfortable and settled into life as a college student, let alone as a football player. He hopes that results in a better season.

“Having the experiences last year and hitting long ones, short ones; makes, misses, I know all the things that will happen now, so I feel like I’m better prepared for it,” he said.

Read full story here

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July 15th

... CU in a few minutes … 

Are Naming Rights for Folsom in the Offing?

From the Daily Camera … One revenue stream that has not been utilized is securing a new naming rights deal for the CU Events Center, which has gone without a sponsor since the deal with Coors expired four years ago. George admitted the pandemic and the current conference realignment priority have put those efforts a little on the backburner, but that he expects naming rights negotiations to pick up momentum for several facilities.

“There’s three or four areas we need naming partners for,” George said. “The Events Center is one. The west side of our football stadium is two. Our football stadium — it’s Folsom Field, but our stadium hasn’t been named. And we’ve got an indoor practice facility we want to name. All four of those will be things that will be out there. We hired a new chief revenue officer, Ryan Gottlieb, who is out there actively pursuing that. That’s still on the table. We’ve still got to generate revenue on our own, and we’ve got somebody that’s directing that for us right now.”

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July 14th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU to continue recruiting California: “It was done before” 

From the Daily Camera … Barring a surprise invitation from the Big Ten Conference, the University of Colorado is likely to land in a conference that doesn’t include annual trips to play in Los Angeles.

When Southern California and UCLA announced late last month their intention to bolt the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024, it took the Los Angeles market away from the Pac-12. It also means that in the near future the Buffaloes won’t be competing in what has been a recruiting hotbed for years.

The Buffs don’t need to compete in Los Angeles in order to have success recruiting there, however, head football coach Karl Dorrell said.

“I don’t think (it’ll hurt recruiting) and the reason why I say this is because I’m using the same model of recruiting that Bill McCartney did 25 years ago,” Dorrell said. “We know that we want to keep our best players here in state if we can. We want to make sure we have presence in Texas; we do. And we want to have presence in California.”

CU has always had a presence in California in regards to recruiting. In fact, from 1973-2022, the Buffs have signed more high school recruits from The Golden State (290) than anywhere else, including Colorado (270) and Texas (160). Many of those recruits came from the Los Angeles area.

“When I was in the Big Eight, recruiting in California, we weren’t hardly playing in California,” Dorrell said. “But we were still getting the Darian Hagans and those California kids to Colorado. So it was done before.”

Continue reading story here

Karl Dorrell on Brendon Lewis: “Someone’s gonna have to beat him out. That’s the flat truth”

From the Daily Camera … With the season opener still seven weeks away, Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell isn’t naming a starting quarterback yet.

He made it clear Wednesday, however, that it’s Brendon Lewis’ job to lose.

Speaking at a media roundtable at Colorado National Golf Club, Dorrell said the competition to start will be ongoing but, “B-Lew is in the driver’s seat.

“He was our starter a year ago. We can’t discredit that. I mean, someone’s gonna have to beat him out. That’s the flat truth.”

… Lewis displayed his toughness, fighting through a year in which the offensive line struggled. He was sacked 31 times but still ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

“He knows he’s got a job to hang on to and he knows he’s got to continue to get better,” Dorrell said. “And he knows that there’s people nipping at his heels, so it’s great competition, but he’s in the driver’s seat.”

Last year, Lewis went into preseason camp battling with JT Shrout for the starting job. Shrout, however, suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through camp. Shrout, a junior, was limited in spring, but is now full-go, Dorrell said.

This offseason, Dorrell has seen Lewis respond “very well” to the competition.

“He’s taken his own initiative,” Dorrell said. “He does a lot of extra work on his own. He does extra work when people don’t even know he’s doing it right now. That’s what you want your quarterbacks to be doing. They’re starting to realize that commitment level. … There are players (on the team) that are doing a lot of extra stuff because they’re anticipating great, great years for themselves.”

Read full story here

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July 13th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Rick George: “We’re bullish on the future. We think there’s a lot of strength with the 10 schools”

From the Daily Camera … On Wednesday, George met local media members for the first time since the stunning announcement from USC and UCLA two weeks ago. Of course, the fact that the Pac-12 has produced exactly two entrants in the College Football Playoff since its inception for the 2014 season — and none since Washington’s semifinal-round loss following the 2016 season — is a big reason why the conference finds itself at a critical crossroads.

In the past two weeks, George and his fellow ADs and school presidents across the Pac-12 have conferred on an almost daily basis. George reiterated his belief on Wednesday the remaining 10 teams are presenting a unified front as they begin assessing what comes next.

“Our focus is going to be on keeping our conference aligned,” George said. “We still have the strength of our conference with the 10 schools. I feel really good about George (Kliavkoff, the Pac-12 commissioner) and what he’s doing. I can tell you the ADs are aligned on where we think this needs to go. We’re bullish on the future. We think there’s a lot of strength with the 10 schools. We’re really just focused on staying aligned and moving forward with the 10 schools we have. I think George has done a really good job collaborating with us. We’ve met consistently for the past 10 days, 11 days.

“I feel like we’re in a really good place. Our thing is we’ve got to keep our conference stable. We’re doing that and the ADs are committed to making sure the 10 of us stay together and we’ll see what the future brings in the days and weeks ahead.”

Continue reading story here

Thursday the last day for season ticket holders to order Air Force tickets 

From CUBuffs.com … Single game tickets for home and away football games are available for purchase now.

Due to the anticipated high demand for Air Force tickets, only current football season ticket holders and Buff Club cabinet members will have the first opportunity to request tickets. The deadline to submit your request for priority access to Air Force tickets is July 14 at 5 p.m. Seating will be assigned within the allotment provided to CU based on Buff Club priority point rank.

The Ticket Office reserves the right to reduce order quantities if necessary. Everyone that places a ticket request for the Air Force game will receive notification of their request status on July 15 via email. Credit cards will be charged on fulfilled orders July 18.

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July 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU’s latest commit Brady Nassar not swayed by recent events: “Whatever conference we’re in, we’re gonna win”

From the Daily Camera … CU commit Brady Nassar has a three-star rating at 247Sports.com, which ranks him as the No. 67 overall prospect from talent-rich California. A defensive lineman, Nassar has 13 total scholarship offers and took an official visit to Oregon State in May. He also has offers from California, Washington, Washington State, Air Force, Nevada, San Diego State and Utah State.

“Boulder, the city, is that amazing place,” he said. “It’s just wonderful. It’s by far the best city out of all the schools I had offers from.

“I love the staff, the whole staff. And also I really believe that they’re gonna become a winning program. I was convinced on my trip that they have what it takes to become a winning program and they’re ready to do it. That was my one speculation (before the visit). It’s why I hadn’t already decided to go there, because I didn’t really know if I believed they could win because it hadn’t done it in recent years. And I believe they’re gonna win.”

Nassar announced his commitment on the same day that Southern California and UCLA announced their intention to leave the Pac-12 in 2024. That puts CU’s future conference in doubt, but Nassar wasn’t bothered.

“There’s some things in life you just can’t control and that’s one of those things,” he said. “I believe in Colorado; we’re going to win. Wherever we are, whoever we play, whatever conference we’re in, we’re gonna win. … I’m not gonna stress it too much and just worry about playing football.”

Continue reading story here

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July 10th

… CU in few minutes … 

Future California recruiting a matter of perception: “It puts some questions in recruits’ heads, for sure”

From The Athletic … More than a week has passed since the Trojans and Bruins left their Pacific Coast brethren of a century to join the Big Ten. We know the Los Angeles schools will have two more seasons within the conference before moving into their new homes in August 2024. And in the week since, we’ve learned that the remaining Pac-12 schools are exploring a variety of options to ensure their futures.

The truth is wherever the 10 remaining schools land, they’ll only be as good as the talent they acquire. And in a post-USC/UCLA recruiting world, the conference is left with more questions than answers at the moment.

“Recruiting right now is tough,” another Pac-12 recruiting staffer said.  “Everyone wants to know the future of the conference and what are we looking like right now, so it’s really tough to answer. … It puts some questions in recruits’ heads, for sure.”

Pac-12 programs signed 39 blue-chip prospects during the 2022 recruiting cycle, and 17 (or 43.5 percent) of those hailed from the southern California region. In the 2021 cycle, southern California prospects made up 32.5 percent (18 of 56) of the conference’s blue-chip signees. With five months left until the early signing period, a quarter of the Pac-12’s 2023 blue-chip commits (six of 24) play in southern California.

It’s clear SoCal annually produces a good amount of top-end talent for the conference. This doesn’t include the three-star prospects who programs like Arizona, which has eight (of 16) commitments from southern California in the current recruiting cycle, are depending on to build their roster.

Though the conference will lose the southern California market and the opportunity for the region’s talent to play games in front of their family at the Rose Bowl or inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, there doesn’t seem to be any worry from some in the conference about those aspects.

The thought is players don’t sign with OregonWashington or any other Pac-12 school to play UCLA at the Rose Bowl or in the Coliseum. They sign with those programs for the opportunities and resources they offer.

Under Lincoln Riley, USC might take a more national approach to recruiting — it has already been pretty active in Texas. And UCLA hasn’t been hyper-aggressive when it comes to pursuing SoCal’s top talent since Chip Kelly arrived.

And now those two programs aren’t going to be playing many games against West Coast programs, making travel for road games more expensive for families who desire to see their kids play in person. That’s an aspect the remaining programs in the Pac-12 surely won’t overlook when recruiting against USC or UCLA.

“I think the really good recruiters will definitely be able to use that to their advantage,” a Pac-12 assistant coach said.

“I think the biggest thing is you’ve got to appeal to you’re going to be closer to home, you don’t have to travel all those hours,” the second Pac-12 recruiting staffer said.

Though some around the conference may be able to talk themselves into southern California theoretically being more open now, there’s still a hurdle they know is going to be extremely difficult to overcome.

Perception. That’s a battle the conference has had to fight for years. The Pac-12 hasn’t had a team reach the College Football Playoff since 2016, and it hasn’t won a game in the CFP since the 2014 season. Its games aren’t in good time slots for national audiences, and highly rated recruits are leaving the conference’s footprint to play in the SEC and the Big Ten.

That was with USC — the conference’s historical anchor — and UCLA. So what’s the perception of the league going to be now that it’s operating from an even weaker position?

“That’s going to hurt,” the first recruiting staffer said. “Not because of USC and UCLA, but perception-wise, the Pac-12 is going to be perceived as a higher-level Mountain West.”

Continue reading story here

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July 7th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU student-athletes enjoy another strong semester (Football APR at 961; MBB at 966)

Press release from CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado student-athletes accomplished yet another semester with great success, as grade point average statistics compiled by CU’s Herbst Academic Center staff revealed more solid numbers throughout CU’s 17 varsity sport programs.

The grade point average for the recently completed spring 2022 semester for CU’s 360 student-athletes was 3.108, the second-best spring semester GPA on record, just shy of the 2021’s mark of 3.117 (when some classes were still remote do to COVID).  The cumulative grade point average rose to 3.141, the fifth straight semester above a 3.0, the second-best on record and matching the figure overall for Boulder’s 27,000 undergraduate students.Also for the fourth straight semester, 13 of CU’s 15 programs (indoor and outdoor track count as one) owned cumulative GPA’s of 3.0 or higher, and for the first time, all were over 3.1, with 12 teams exceeding 3.2, another best.

The academic staff started charting these numbers in the spring of 1996.

“Our student-athletes navigated the tough times over the last two years and when things returned to normal after the pandemic, they continued to maintain the focus needed with everything going on in their lives to have another outstanding semester in the classroom,” athletic director Rick George said.  “Success academically is the most important piece of creating a first class and holistic experience for our 350-plus student-athletes – doing well in the classroom can translate to success in all walks of their lives.”

“I am extremely proud of the performance of our student-athletes in the classroom,” said Kris Livingston, CU’s executive senior associate athletic director for student success.  “It takes great effort, focus and determination to succeed as a student at CU and as a Division I athlete in the Pac-12 Conference.  With the support that we offer, our student-athletes can excel at both.  The staff in the Herbst Academic Center provides an individual plan, structure and assistance for each of our students, and all of the hard work by students and staff has been rewarded again.”

For the spring, 28 student-athletes owned 4.00 grade point averages, with 119 owning 3.5 or higher GPA’s (33 percent).  Of the 360 student-athletes overall, 234 athletes came in at 3.0 or better and overall (a record 65 percent) with 83 percent (298) logged in at 2.5 or higher (the second-highest percentage).  Cumulatively speaking, 102 finished the spring with grade points of 3.5-plus (102, or 28 percent) and the third-highest for those at the 3.0 level (224, 62 percent) as well as for those at 2.5 or better (310, or 86 percent).

It marked the 16th straight semester dating back to the fall ’14 term for the grade point to exceed 2.9 (which had happened just once prior), and the fifth straight to top 3.1 and sixth of the last seven to better 3.0.  The women’s cross country team led the way with a 3.521 GPA, its sixth of the last eight terms over 3.5; that just edged the volleyball team’s average of 3.511, its best-ever for a single semester, spring or fall.  Two other programs had semester best numbers (spring or fall), men’s golf (3.346) and men’s track and field (3.165), while the lacrosse team had its best spring on record (3.492), which was two one-hundredths off its semester best of 3.494 back in the fall of ’20.

Other impressive numbers included:

  • Thirteen of 15 programs own semester GPA’s of 3.0 or better; men’s basketball (2.773) and football (2.738) are just outside;
  • Ten of those 13 had term grade points of 3.20 or higher;
  • The women’s ski team enjoyed its 42nd semester in succession with a GPA of at least 3.0, including 21 straight terms of 3.3 or higher; they have been 3.0 or better in 51 of 52 semesters dating back to 1996;
  • The women’s cross country team now has 36 straight semesters with a 3.0 or better (and in 49 of 52 semesters);
  • Four other programs have semester streaks of 3.0 or better in the twenties: women’s soccer (27), women’s track and field (27), women’s golf (24) and men’s skiing (24).
  • CU’s youngest program, women’s lacrosse (competing for the first time in 2014), opened with two semesters just under 3.0 but have since recorded 16 in a row.
  • A total of 63 student-athletes across all sports earned their degrees this past May 5.

A closer look at team-by-team grade point averages:

    Team                                                    Spring Term GPA            Cumulative GPA

Men’s Basketball2.7732.891
Women’s Basketball3.3063.203
Men’s Cross Country3.3543.216
Women’s Cross Country3.5213.508
Football2.7382.764
Men’s Golf3.3463.230
Women’s Golf3.2013.346
Women’s Lacrosse3.4923.437
Men’s Skiing3.3163.398
Women’s Skiing3.4913.449
Women’s Soccer3.1453.286
Women’s Tennis3.2143.315
Men’s Track & Field3.1653.107
Women’s Track & Field3.1923.235
Women’s Volleyball3.5113.373
All Varsity Sports3.1083.141

APR.  Earlier this month, the NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Report (APR) for the four-year period from 2017-18 through 2020-21.  CU again had a good report with all sports combined owning a 985 score.  Some highlights:

  • Overall, nine programs scored a perfect 1000 in their 2020-21 annual APR, which earned those teams the Public Recognition Award.  Those teams were men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s skiing, women’s basketballwomen’s cross countrywomen’s lacrosse and women’s track & field and women’s volleyball.
  • Ten squads achieved multiyear scores over 985, including six perfect 1000 tallies (men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s skiing, women’s cross country and women’s soccer); women’s lacrosse (998), women’s track and field (996) and women’s volleyball (996) were just shy of perfection.  To compete in the 2022-23 postseason and to avoid penalties, teams must achieve a minimum four-year APR score of 930, a number which predicts, on average, a 50 percent graduation rate.  All CU squads continue to remain firmly above this multiyear benchmark.
  • The two sports most scrutinized and recently the most affected by the NCAA transfer portal, football and men’s basketball, are in good shape.  Football’s multi-year APR of 954 rose a few points after a 978 score for 2020-21, while men’s basketball owned numbers of 956 and 960, respectively.  The multi-year averages for public institutions are 961 for football and 966 for basketball.

*Video: Surviving “Twin” learns of her induction to the CU Athletic Hall of Fame*

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July 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU NIL Collective About to Become a Reality?

Related … CUATG Podcast: “Is CU ‘Not In Line’ When It Comes To Using NIL To Its Advantage?

A tweet from Jeremy Dougherty … @CUBuffsFootball I have a plan that I will announce soon. An aspect of that plan includes a large group of people believing the impossible is possible. The players believe, now the community needs to believe as well. We will win another National Championship. #gobuffs

Ralphie VI’s nickname released 

After a poll of fans, it has been announced that the nickname for Ralphie VI will be … Ember.

The candidates for the nickname … 

Blitz.  Ralphie VI loves to run fast, and often picks up her speed and blitzes home as soon as she sees her trailer at the end of the run.

Sixer.  The sixth mascot to officially represent CU, this name pays homage to the legacy of buffalo who have come before her and served as Ralphie.

Ember.  After being abandoned by her mother, Ralphie VI was bottle-fed and raised by a beef cow before being identified as a possible candidate for CU’s next mascot.  When a wildfire threatened the ranch where she was staying, Ralphie Handlers jumped to action and brought her to Colorado to begin her training.  Her fiery personality and love for the crowd gives her undeniable flare.

Tini.  Ralphie VI was the smallest and youngest buffalo to ever debut as CU’s mascot, weighing in at about 400 pounds before her first game.  Pronounced “Teeny,” this name pays homage to her first year running and her status as “Baby Ralphie.”

Previous nicknames:

  • Ralphie I – none
  • Ralphie II – “Moonshine”
  • Ralphie III – “Tequila”
  • Ralphie IV – “Rowdy”
  • Ralphie V – “Blackout”

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June 30th

... CU in a few minutes … 

Nate Landman and Laviska Shenault make ESPN’s “Surprise offseason standouts” list

From ESPN … In order for an NFL player to be considered an offseason surprise, he probably hasn’t met expectations to this point. Or, in the case of rookies from the 2022 draft class, they probably weren’t picked until at least the third round, maybe lower.

Every team needs its players to progress. Even the good ones. Teams improve when their average players become good, and their good ones push toward being great.

We asked our NFL Nation reporters to pick a surprise offseason standout from each of the teams they cover. The answers vary, from veterans who signed one-year contracts for new teams this offseason (wide receiver Jamison Crowder in Buffalo), to young players who haven’t hit their ceilings (wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. in Jacksonville) to Day 3 rookies who could make an early impact (offensive tackle Braxton Jones in Chicago).

All 32 of these players have caught the eyes of our reporters — and their teams — this offseason, showing that they could play a bigger role than expected in 2022.

Atlanta … LB Nate Landman

This is admittedly a deep cut in terms of the Atlanta roster, but the undrafted rookie was active in 7-on-7 drills — the only heavy action in the OTA period — and seemed to have a knack for finding the ball. It’s probably still a tough road for Landman to make the roster as an inside linebacker, but he might have jumpstarted himself at least into being in the conversation if he builds on his OTAs during training camp.

Jacksonville … WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

Shenault had a rough 2021 — he ranked second in the NFL with eight drops and had trouble with routes — but seems to have bounced back this spring. He has been sure-handed in the OTAs open to the media. His confidence is high despite the fact he’s on his fifth offensive coordinator in as many seasons (three with the Jaguars and two at Colorado). Shenault also has been working as a returner. The team asked him to try that with Jamal Agnew recovering from a hip injury. Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell has been impressed. “He is dynamic,” Farwell said. “There is speed and power that you do not see from really across all positions, but especially the returner position.”

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June 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU Athletic Hall of Fame Class of ’22 includes Charlie Davis, Jay Leeuwenberg and Greg Biekert

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … The 17th class to be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this October will feature nine Golden Buffalo legends representing four different sports, and the administrator who created the Hall a quarter century ago.

All have their special place in the school’s history.  The inductees, including one who will be honored posthumously, cover a period starting in the 1940s through the 2000s, representing six different decades in all.  Football (three athletes), skiing (two), track and field (two) and gymnastics (one) are the sports represented.

It’s also only fitting that in this year, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, that the most female athletes in the 17 classes – four – will be inducted, including two of the school’s original legends from the 1970s who were Olympians before their sports attained varsity status.

The 2022 Hall of Fame class will be the 17th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the nine will join 131 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (18 previously have been honored posthumously).

Those to be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame are (click on each name for the complete bio):

They will be joined by Athletic Hall of Honor selections Jim Hansen and Dr. Eric McCarty along with the inaugural inductees of the Hall’s “Legacy Wing,” Peggy Coppom and the late Betty Hoover; as it was announced Monday that the school has restored the Hall of Honor after a 35-year dormancy and the creation of the Legacy Wing.

Athletic director Rick George personally notified most of the living members of every class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for those who have passed, often the selection of the veteran’s committee.  This year’s choice was skier Jimmy Griffith, CU’s first star athlete in the sport back in the late 1940’s.  He was set to become the Buffs’ first Olympian skier, but two months before the 1952 Oslo winter games, he died days after an accident in a training run in Utah.

Four of the nine were elected on their first year on the ballot: Biekert, Davis, Johnson and Tharp; Griffith was the selection of the veteran’s committee.  An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from their CU career and if on a professional team, retired from that sport to be considered for induction.

Tharp joins CU’s his three previous athletic directors – Harry CarlsonEddie Crowder and Bill Marolt – in the Hall, which wouldn’t exist for it not being his brainchild to create one back in 1997.  CU had its Athletic Hall of Honor as noted above, but never had a Hall of Fame that strictly honored athletic achievements.  In addition to leading the department for the better part of nine years from 1996 through 2004, Tharp also came up with the idea for CU’s unique Living Legends program, created the BuffVision department and oversaw the addition of the club seats and suites on the east side of Folsom Field, among other accomplishments.

CU pleased with season ticket renewal rate

From the Daily Camera … More than two months before the opener, Colorado is pleased with its renewal rate for football season tickets.

As of last week, CU has had 81% of last year’s season ticket holders renew their tickets for the 2022 season.

“We ended last year about 85% … so to be at 81% at this point in the year we feel OK that we’ll at least get to that 85% come Sept. 1,” said Alexis Williams, CU’s senior associate athletic director/external operations.

In 2021, CU sold 19,599 season tickets to the public. That was slightly down from the 20,414 in 2019 (there were no fans at games in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

CU is hoping that season ticket sales will jump as the season gets closer. The Buffs host TCU in the opener on Sept. 2 at Folsom Field.

“Things slow down now and then we obviously will get some momentum again in August as people start thinking college football again and get excited about the upcoming,” Williams said.

Athletic director Rick George said he’s happy with the progress of renewals at this point.

“I’d like to sell more than we’re selling, but I think we’re doing kind of what we should be doing right now,” he said. “We’re ramping it up and my hope is that we can meet last year’s attendance goals.”

In addition to public season tickets last year, CU sold 13,990 student passes. That’s the highest total of tickets sold to students since the national championship season of 1990 when 14,000 student passes were issued.

Continue reading story here

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June 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU restores “Athletic Hall of Honor” (to induct Jim Hansen and Dr. Eric McCarty); creates a “Legacy Wing”

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The precursor of CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame was the “Athletic Hall of Honor,” which debuted in 1967 until it was discontinued in 1987; this recognition was presented to a person who, while attending the University of Colorado, was awarded a Varsity “C” and attained distinguished achievement in his or her chosen field.

There were 65 members of the original Athletic Hall of Honor, the inaugural class including the likes of Byron White and Lee Willard.  Athletic director Rick George didn’t think twice when presented with the idea of restoring the honor, fully supporting its return which will now be incorporated as a wing into the department’s Hall of Fame.

Two CU football players who have made their marks in their chosen careers are the first inductees in 35 years, as Jim Hansen and Dr. Eric McCarty were selected to be the first pair to bring the honor back to life.

Induction into the Athletic Hall of Honor is no small accomplishment.  Designed to recognize those letter winners who went on to make their mark in their chosen profession, White, the late Supreme Court Justice, epitomizes the significance of the honor.

Hansen’s resume includes a degree in Aerospace Engineering (with a 3.941 grade point average), two awards citing his academic accomplishments (Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete and the Vincent Draddy, since renamed the William Campbell and considered the “academic Heisman”), a Rhodes Scholarship, a year studying at Oxford, and serving as a professor at M.I.T. before accepting his current position at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

“It’s a great honor to be joining Eric McCarty in the revival of CU’s Athletic Hall of Honor,” Hansen said. “The Hall is full of people whose stories were and are an inspiration to me, such as Eric, and including Byron White, Joe Romig, Dick Anderson and Bill Marolt.  I can only hope that my story will serve as an inspiration for others and as an example of what the CU Boulder experience can enable.”

McCarty was nothing short of euphoric when finding out; similar to the fan base’s reaction back in 1983 when, as the state’s top recruit, he elected to stay home and sign with CU, headlining that year’s recruiting class that eventually turned the fortunes of CU’s football program around.

“This is a tremendous honor for which I am very thankful and deeply humbled,” McCarty said. “I was floored and it meant so much when Rick George called me about this, especially since I have known him since my playing days as a Buff.   I am thankful for him and the current leadership we have here at CU.  The history of student-athletes at the University of Colorado is rich and deep and I am grateful to even be considered for inclusion in the Hall of Honor alongside the great names in CU history.

“Since my days as a kid growing up in Boulder, I have always bled black and gold and I am indebted to Coach Bill McCartney, who gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of competing as a student athlete at CU,” he said.  “It was such a wonderful and memorable experience going to school at CU and playing football with my teammates on Folsom Field.   The experience at CU helped mold me and shape me and propelled me into the career I have now.”

McCarty, a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, is in his 19th year working with the athletic department after joining the school’s sports medicine team in 2003; he’s also a team doctor with the Colorado Avalanche.  He has performed numerous surgeries on CU athletes (and staff members) and is one of the most respected in his business.

“In the position I am currently in at CU, I feel very blessed to be able to give back to the University of Colorado in a role to help student athletes be healthy, to be able to compete again after injury and to mentor those that are interested in the health professions as a career,” he added.  “I can’t think of a better experience and career.   As the years go on, the love for CU gets stronger and the black and gold in my blood only gets thicker.  Again, I am grateful to be a part of such a great institution.  We are in good hands with Rick George and the current leadership.”

In addition, a “Legacy Wing” has been added to the Hall.  This will be for individuals who have made a lasting impression or contribution for, to or around CU athletics during their lifetimes.  They do not have to be former student-athletes, “Honorary C” members or even CU graduates.  The inaugural inductees for this wing are non-other than CU “super fans,” Peggy Coppom and the late Betty Hoover.

Known fondly as CU’s “Twins,” they were born in Haxtun on the eastern Colorado plains and moved to Boulder in 1940.  They started going to home games as teenagers that decade and until Betty’s death at the age of 95 in August 2000, it was estimated that they saw over 3,000 games and matches between football, men’s and women’s basketball and several of CU’s Olympic sports.  Peggy, now 97, returned to attending games following the pandemic to keep the family tradition going strong.

Athletic director Rick George delivered the news to Peggy in person at her home in Boulder instead of over the phone, where they celebrated with Root Beer floats.  “It’s a tremendous honor for you and Betty and we want to protect your legacy for what the two of you have meant to our athletic department for decades,” he said when informing her.  She exclaimed, “Oh my gosh” and broke into tears, telling Rick that she talks to Betty every day.

The twins are honored on campus with a plaque just off the Buff Walk on the east side of Folsom Feld, with “twin” trees that were planted on June 26, 2021 on each side framing the plaque.  There are likely more pictures of fans posing with the twins than with any other people connected to CU in history, which would include musicians, astronauts, actors and actresses, athletes and politicians.

The twins, Hansen and McCarty will be honored along with the Athletic Hall of Fame class over the course of Oct. 27-29 (final details pending); they will also be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade on Friday night and will be introduced during CU’s Homecoming football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Oct. 29.

ATHLETIC HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES

Jim Hansen, Football (1989-92)

One of the most celebrated student-athletes ever at Colorado, as a senior in 1992 he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship (the first at CU since Joe Romig in 1961) – the oldest and arguably most prestigious international scholarship program in the world … He also earned the ultimate scholar-athlete award in football the same year, named the recipient of the Vincent Draddy Award, which is considered the “Academic Heisman” (since renamed the William Campbell Award), and was selected as the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year – the top scholar athlete across all sports … He was a three-time, first-team Academic All-American, a two-time College Football Association Scholar-Athlete team member and a four-timer on the Academic All-Big Eight team … An Aerospace Engineering major, his grade point average was 3.941 (he earned 33 A’s, six A-minuses and one B+ as he had the highest GPA in his major and the third highest in all of engineering) … On the field as a senior, he earned honorable mention All-America honors (United Press International), and was a first-team All-Big Eight selection (Associated Press) … Ahead of his senior season, he was named the winner of the Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award as the nation’s top football student-athlete, in conjunction with the Playboy All-America team … He earned honorable mention All-Big Eight honors as a junior … Played defensive tackle as a freshman but switched to offense prior to his sophomore year … After studying at Oxford, he returned to the states and was a professor at M.I.T. before accepting a position at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory where he leads projects on a diverse range of topics including Horn of Africa piracy, South American drug runner interdiction, and submarine planning netting him a Department of the Navy Meritorious Civil Service Award and an Arthur S. Flemming Award recognizing exceptional federal employees … He now leads NRL’s Marine Meteorology Division, helping the U.S. Navy better understand the atmosphere/ocean environment so that they can be better simulated, better predicted, and allow warfighters to make better decisions … In 2018, he became CU’s first-ever recipient of the NCAA’s Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes those student-athletes 25 years after their final year of eligibility who have gone on to great success in their careers … Born Nov. 14, 1969 in Seattle, graduating from its Tyee High School … He is married to the former Julianna Ott, and has two children in college, Kathryn (sophomore at Utah) and Jack (freshman at Oregon State).

Dr. Eric McCarty, Football (1983-87)

Dr. Eric McCarty is completing his 19th year working with the CU athletic program, having joined the sports medicine team in July 2003 … He is currently a Professor and the Chief of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery position in the Department of Orthopedics at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver … His academic and surgical prowess enabled him to return to his home state where he starred as both a prep and collegian … He returned to CU from Vanderbilt University, where he was an orthopedic surgeon, assistant professor and team physician for the Commodores’ athletic teams for four years (1999-2003) … McCarty is the head team physician for the University of Colorado, and the medical director and head team physician for the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and was the head orthopedic team physician for the University of Denver for the past 18 years … He is a nationally and internationally recognized board-certified sports medicine trained orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist and his specialized practice involves the care of collegiate and professional athletes as well as recreational and highly competitive athletes from the community … A large part of his practice is the sports medicine care of high school athletes in the state of Colorado … He graduated in 1988 from CU with a degree in kinesiology and a 3.75 grade point average … A four-time Academic All-Big Eight team member, he was the first in school history to be honored four times … An Academic All-American his senior year, when he reached the finalist stage for the Rhodes Scholarship … On the field, he earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as a senior, when he led the Buffaloes with 148 tackles, the fourth highest total at the time in team history.   He had 237 career tackles in two years on defense, after moving over from offense where he played fullback (503 career rushing yards), and earned four letters … He earned his M.D., with honors, in 1993 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, and did his internship and residency at Vanderbilt in orthopedic surgery between 1993 and 1998 … Shortly thereafter, he spent a year at the internationally renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he received a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery (while residing in New York, he worked with the NFL’s New York Giants) … In addition to his busy clinical practice, McCarty is very active in research, teaching, and writing articles in the field of sports medicine and knee and shoulder surgery … He has been the recipient of over four dozen awards in his professional career, and has published books, chapters and over 275 research articles relating to sports medicine and shoulder and knee conditions … He also is very active in national and international sports medicine societies and has been in leadership positions in these societies … He was born November 16, 1964 in Landstuhl, West Germany and graduated from Boulder High School in 1983, where he was the state’s player of the year as a senior and one of the nation’s top recruits; he won the prestigious Denver Post Gold Helmet Award that same year … He is married to Miriam who he met at the Blue Gray College Football All Star game following his Senior year and is the father of four grown children, Madeleine, Eric Cleveland, Jr., Shannon and Torrance.

LEGACY WING INDUCTEES

The Twins: Peggy Coppom & Betty Hoover

Peggy Coppom and the late Betty Hoover are the most recognizable fans in CU athletic history … They are estimated to have attended over 3,000 games and matches between football, men’s and women’s basketball and several of the Olympic sports, and proudly boasted that they never left a game early … They first became season ticket holders in 1958 but attended events as much as 15 years earlier … Born as the Fitzgerald twins in Haxtun, Colo., they moved to Boulder in 1940 and graduated from Boulder High School in 1943 … Betty passed at the age of 95 in August 2000; Peggy turned 97 last November 19 and has been dubbed by many as “the matriarch of the Buff family” … The twins are honored on campus with a plaque just off the Buff Walk on the east side of Folsom Feld, with “twin” trees that were planted on June 26, 2021 on each side framing the plaque.  There are likely more pictures of fans posing with the twins than with any other people connected to CU in history, which would include musicians, astronauts, actors and actresses, athletes and politicians.

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June 26th

... CU in a few minutes … 

Rick George: CU going to do NIL “the right way” (even at the expense of falling behind)

From the Daily Camera … While George and other administrators around the country have their concerns, they also continue to strive to find the right balance between providing NIL opportunities and doing it properly.

“We’re going to do things that fit Colorado, and we’re going to do things that ensure that we’re abiding by the rules and we’re not tampering and we’re not inducing and getting booster involvement that isn’t done the right way,” George said

… The opportunities provided by CU could be changing.

Several schools have benefitted from collectives — basically, businesses formed by donors to generate revenue to be used to create and fund NIL opportunities. Some believe those collectives have led to tampering and inducements.

“I think a lot of people are hiding behind the NIL collectives as an opportunity,” George told the regents.

George is open to the idea of a collective, however, if it’s done properly.

“We do have a couple of collectives that haven’t really morphed yet,” he told the regents. “We also have some that want to come to us and talk about creating a collective and we’ll be in process of looking at what that looks like for our student-athletes, but we intend to be competitive. But, one thing that we’re not going to do is we’re not going to induce student-athletes to attend here, we’re not going to tamper with student-athletes and we’re not going to have boosters involved in the recruiting process and other areas.”

While CU continues to evolve with NIL, George said the athletic department won’t lose sight of its core values and the importance of what it offers to student-athletes in areas of nutrition, mental health, career development, etc.

“There’s one or two percent of student-athletes (around the country) that are participating in NIL at a level that’s a little bit different,” George said. “That’s about the same number that goes pro in a professional sport and we can’t lose sight of what we’re here to do.  That’s to make sure that we provide an incredible education for our student-athletes, that we set them up for life after college athletics or when their pro days end.

“We’re not going to put an eight-figure deal out there for a student-athlete. That’s not our focus. Our focus is to ensure that the 98% or the 99%, that we’re providing great programs, we’re providing them a great education and we’re giving them meaningful career opportunities so they can be successful in whatever community they live in once they leave here.”

Read full story here

*Video: Ralphie VI turns Two (up to 800 pounds)*

From BuffsTV …

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June 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan named assistant head coach

Press release from CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan has been named as the program’s assistant head coach, head coach Karl Dorrell announced Friday.

McGeoghan, 42, had joined Dorrell’s staff last January 18.  A 15-year veteran in the coaching profession overall, prior to coming to CU he was the receivers coach with the Los Angeles Chargers for three seasons (2018-20).

“Phil has been a valuable addition and has made an immediate impact on our program,” Dorrell said.  “He is an excellent position coach and has strong communication skills, and I believe he is a rising star in our profession who has a future as a head coach.”

He has almost evenly split his time in the coaching ranks with three teams in the National Football League (eight years) and in the collegiate ranks (seven seasons).   In addition to the Chargers, he also has been on NFL staffs at Miami (2012-15) and Buffalo (2017).  Collegiately, he previous coached at Maine, South Florida, East Carolina and now Colorado.

Though he has been on the CU staff for six months, Dorrell had a previous relationship with McGeoghan.  As an assistant under Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos from 2000-02, he coached him for two seasons when he was a receiver and special teams performer.

“I am so grateful to Coach Dorrell and the entire CU family for this opportunity,” McGeoghan said.  “Having the ability to be a direct extension of the core values, leadership and vision of this prestigious university is a true blessing.  And the privilege of developing, cultivating and sustaining meaningful relationships with all the players on this roster is the most inspiring part of this journey.

“Again, thank you to Karl, Rick George and everybody connected to the CU program,” he added.  “Now it’s time to get to work.”

McGeoghan was a four-year letterman at wide receiver in college, first as a freshman at Boston University in 1997 and then three times for the University of Maine.  He signed with the New York Jets as a free agent ahead of the 2001 season and went on to play with the Jets, Broncos, New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders as well as in Europe with the Berlin Thunder.

Among some of the top receivers he has coached during his career include Keenan Allen and Mike Williams (Chargers), Jarvis Landry and Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins) and Zay Jones (who he tutored at East Carolina who now stars for the Las Vegas Raiders).

(Last name is pronounced mick-gaig-in; gaig as in craig.)

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55 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Spring/Summer”

  1. I loved Landman, and as a former inside linebacker I loved watching him play. But I think Chandler-Semedo will be a solid replacement so long as he is healthy. I have long loved Mister Williams film in High School. I also think Eoghan Kerry could be exciting. He ran step for step with Brady in the spring game. I think Barnes will continue to develop and he absolutely has playmaking skills. Perry is solid. I compare him to Gamboa. Not sure about Ham. With the experience and the quality of the line up front and the change to a 4-3 (which in the Pac-12 will play more like a 4-2 with a safety creeping up) I suspect it will be Chandler-Semedo with Barnes and Perry platooning with Barnes coming in on passing downs. Unless Barnes has gotten more solid down in the muck and then Perry will come in to rest both of them.

  2. I rewatched the spring game and paid close attention to the line and the blocking schemes. I think Wiley is going to be much better this year. I think Roddick is going to be solid, but when he asked to block in space he has issues. But he might be one of the best pass blockers we have. Philip is still struggling. His footwork is off. Fenske is an amazing run blocker. He get driven back way to much on pass blocking. Austin Johnson is solid at guard. Tommy Brown would be better from what I saw in the first spring game in person.

  3. “Can CU talented young receiver corps overcome Transfer Portal losses?”
    “It was great,” “Lemonious-Craig said of working with McGeoghan and new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford in the spring. “They know what they’re doing.” (from the horse’s mouth on Chev?)
    If L-C is right my answer to the question is….yes

  4. Didnt have to wait long for all the twitter QB coaches (and their pilot fish) out there to react. Prolly an ego thing. Instead of saying….”hey thats good news” and support the guy they had to fall back on their petard

  5. I didn’t vote in your poll.

    All the quotes you stated you put your “negative ninny” comment on.

    Sad, what you appear to have become

    Go Buffs.

    Note: CUATHEGAME…………..FOR THE NEGATIVE BUFF FOOTBALL FAN

  6. So some thoughts on Lewis’s job to lose.
    Begin with Lewis was tragically horrible last year. A lot of it is on him and his inability to get the ball out anywhere near on time. But a bad line and an inability of the o coordinator to react to what was happening on the field made it infinitely worse. That said I am hopeful on the contributory items.
    I expect the line to dramatically improve becuase both Roddick and Philip will have an off season, Wiley will be one year more experienced, and they have a coach that is not actively hurting the program. I think the big question is will injuries hurt us. Can Brown be ready for the season (had off season surgery if some sort) can everyone stay healthy for the majority of the season. If those are true our line is going to be solid as I think Fenske will step up at center just fine. The next is the o coordinator. I was able to find the Ohio State Minnesota game from last year and watched it to get a sense of the Minnesota offense. While not nearly as bad as Lewis, the Minn QB was not really that great, and since they wanted to be a run first team they often faced stacked boxes just like we did. The o coordinator did a couple of interesting things that I thought could have worked for us:
    1. Bring in extra lineman and tight ends. So If you watch us last year we often ran with our wide recievers bunched up just outside of the line and they were asked to make blocks at the point of attack. There were a couple of times where they had a freshman wide receiver trying to block an outside linebacker which was a disaster. But often it was just our recievers on their db’s, which hypothetically would seem ok. But when you see our recievers only arias was a reliable blocker, we often had Stanley and Penry trying to block bigger db’s and rice was an average blocker at best. What this resulted in was no movement, which stretch runs require. Sanford, took a different approach. He brings in an extra lineman, and bings in a heavy blocking tight end or even an occasional 7 o lineman. The defense does not really have a formation to react to this….. they bring in linebackers to supplement their 3-4 down lineman, but the 6-7 big body blockers are combo blocking and then flowing to the second level creating gaps even against a stacked box becuase it creates movement. This is a creative answer to the problem. He also had plays where they vastly overload one side to create alignment difficulties. In addition to o line and alignment Sanford also ran wild cat. Wild cat brings an extra blocker into a stacked box. I think we tried wild cat one time the whole year…..

    While I would love Lewis or Shrout to come out and run a balanced offense and throw the ball on time I have a lot more confidence in Sanford to build an offense around Lewis’s running ability and his ability to build a scheme that can overcome a stack box instead of just asking my running backs to be their own blocker…..

    1. There is no question that I made a bad judgement call on Chev in the beginning. I really wanted the ol Buff to be successful. But alas not to be so.
      Yup the oline was bad. Yup the qb played terrible. Yup the receivers couldn’t block, BUT the tone and the realty of the season to come with Clueless Chev as the OC were the three plays at the 1 against the brown shirt. He was the main cause of the terrible season last year

      Horrendous.

      But we move on

      Buffs

      Note: Coaches matter

      1. Coaches matter……. 100% agree and I like this group more than I have liked any group previously. Including Tucker’s.

    2. Rob, I enjoy your write ups and respect your knowledge of the game. Question, how much do you believe or see when analyzing, could Lewis have been hampered by the lack of depths in the QB room with no back-up to the back-up? Along with the bad everything from line to play calling and everything you mentioned?

      I don’t know enough to see it the way you can; it’s too fast for me. So I’m hoping it’s a case of a young stud of a colt, one that’s faster and stronger than all of the other colts, but because he is handicapped in someway, he can’t run free and play the way he knows how to, so the young colt suffers from this and all else (that you already mentioned) that is around him… And while he’s not reacting quickly and racking up yards and points, he’s not turning over the ball a whole bunch either.
      That’s really my best take away from Lewis’ play last year.

      Can you see, or better yet have you’ve seen someone go through that and come out the next year a much better player than expected? When other teams replace and overhaul the key staff members and now there’s depth in the room, what could you (in a perfect world, it’s preseason and we thrive on what ifs) see happening? Maybe not this exact thing, I know there where a lot of moving parts since Mel left, but something similar?

      Assuming he wins the job, that would also say something. What about some shared snaps early on in the non-conference? Not splitting snaps, but mixing it up a bit before the comp learns anything about the new offense.

      It really would be great if it happens that the colt can really play when free to run and play at his speed. Or am I dreaming and being a fanboy?

      1. So everyone says the game slows down as you progress. You are able to see and digest the field much better and a ton of Lewis’s incompletions were him throwing the ball away. From personal experience the college game is so much faster, I literally could not process the play fast enough in real time during scrimmages to be effective most of the time. And my career ended with an injury my freshman year so I never personally got to see if I could have started to process it faster. What I can say is that there were other freshman who came in and immediately could. When I look at Lewis last year I see almost no anticipation at all. If you have the PAC12 network you can download the app and they have the 60 minute videos going way back in time. Watch 2021 and do two thing. When the ball is snapped start counting to 3 and right before you say “3” pause the screen. Now sometimes the view is good enough you can see some of the route tree and you can see where Lewis is looking. At 3 second Lewis “should” have released the ball or almost be releasing the ball. When you look at Lewis at 3 seconds he is not even in a throwing motion yet. Our line was porous, I get it, but that means you have to get the ball out quicker… And Lewis just could not. The second thing to look for is the recievers. Now this is harder becuase routes are designed to come upon at different times but watch the routes that have breaks. In college the ball needs to be in the air as the reciever is making the break. In high school you could wait until the reciever has completed the break and then judge if they are open and where they will be. In college, you have to know here the break will be, and trust your read that they will be open. One of the reasons his int’s were so low is that he waited for his recievers to finish their breaks and to see if they were open before throwing the ball. At least 2 of his interceptions were tipped balls. But the problem is that if you give this much time to a college db, they will break on the recievers break and be in a position to defend. How many times did you see Brady”s little 5 yard stop route get completely swamped by like 5 guys? A ton, becuase Lewis waited for Brady to completely stop and turn around before he even started to throw the ball. For that play to be successful he has to throw the ball before Brady turns com0letely around. You ever see that drill where a machine is throwing balls at a reciever who starts facing away from the machine turns around when the ball is in the air and then catches it? And it is this second issue that concerns me as I am not sure Lewis can overcome it. I guarantee the coaches last year talked about anticipation, and I guarantee they tried to coach it, but he just would not. His best throws were to wide recievers in long crossing patterns where he can see where they are running for a while and knows they will be open. But those patterns take so much time, which his line was not giving him.

        I posted this somewhere else. Go watch the 2020 Tennessee Florida game, in the 4th quarter Shrout comes in after Tennesse is getting killed. The ball comes out quick, his reads are pretty solid, now that was likely against Florida in a prevent defense and an gains some second string but they were a top 10 team that year and the facts remain Shrout looked sharper than in any game I have seen Lewis.

  7. My best guess is, Brendon starts against TCU. Hopefully improved play by him and his offensive line yields massive improvement. If not? I see Shrout coming in pretty quickly thereafter (maybe even in the 2nd half).

    If at this point Shrout beats him out to start against TCU? Then he’s either a clear upgrade, or Brendon didn’t progress as much as we’d hoped. I think having the full year of starts under his belt, and working his ass off since then “should” give Brendon the edge, right now.

    When neither of them had played any meaningful snaps before last year, I was giving the edge to JT, solely based on being what I thought was a better passing QB. Right now, it’s gotta be Brendon’s job to keep, or lose, though, and Karl’s right in saying that.

    Either way, the competition should help them all.

    We’ll see. At least we’ll get to hear some snippets, if even “it’s a really close competition; they’re fighting every day” type stuff, in a few weeks.

    Go Buffs

  8. “When something changes, we’ll react to it” -Rick George

    This is the problem in one very brief sentence. The big10 and sec are not waiting for things to happen and then reacting to them.

    1. That is for sure!!!! SMH…. I hope it’s all BS speak, and there are closed door meetings, not “we’ll react to it”

    2. Maybe we just try to believe that Rick knows what he’s doing. Is he supposed to say we’re on the verge of jumping to the Big12? Nope. He can’t. But I’d bet he’s got all the options lined up and ready to jump if appropriate.

  9. Actually, did some research. UCLA has signed a lease with the Rose Bowl through 2043. So, flip the scrip and have the Bears play their home games in SoFi stadium and keep the LA Market. Lease off-site facilities to house all Gameday equipment needs. Or.. schedule the Bears home schedule around UCLA’s travel schedule and play home dates when Bruins are on the road. The Rose Bowl has a cap of 15 major events per year, but I suspect the they’d be agreeable to a few more college games.

  10. A thought for the Pac10. Why not have the Cal Bears play their home games at the Rose Bowl so the PAC doesn’t lose the LA Market. Fan turnout for the games in Berkley aren’t great (Libs) but the Bears are beloved enough they’d do okay with attendance in LA. Doesn’t the Cal School system have the rights who gets to use the stadium. Unbelievably UCLA only pays a $1.5 Million lease per year to use the stadium. Which is like nothing. Why doesn’t the PAC subsidize Cal to have their home games at the Rose Bowl Stadium and kick out UCLA. Make the Bruins go play at one of the new NFL stadiums and pay a premium to do so as they can now afford it. Subsidize Bear’s tickets at a cheaper price and build a following for attendance to games at Cals new home stadium. A charter flight is less than an hour away and the Bears could just operate (leave all Game day equipment in LA) so it’s just the players popping on a commuter flight. I think there are a lot of Californian’s not happy about USC/UCLA abandoning the PAC. Keep the LA market, the vaunted Cal school system should make a statement and give the Bears the rights to the Rose Bowl not the Bruins who screwed the Cal school system by joint B1G

    1. Interesting idea and out of the box thinking. Probably a tough sell but who knows. Cal still owes a ton of money on the renovations to their stadium.

  11. The new nickname for Ralphie is Ember. Previous were
    • Ralphie I – none
    • Ralphie II – “Moonshine”
    • Ralphie III – “Tequila”
    • Ralphie IV – “Rowdy”
    • Ralphie V – “Blackout”
    Ember doesn’t fit these. After drinking Moonshine and Tequila you get Rowdy then Blackout.

    1. That’s hilarious. I personally liked six pack. She’s VI. And, without putting together what you put down, it seemed appropriate for CU’s mascot, as well. At least based on my time there. If CU put on an event, we knew there’d be beer there. FAC? Cup wars? Some classic times. Now I’m almost sad she isn’t six pack, having seen your list. Well done, sir.

      Go Buffs

  12. Hey Rick George,
    If there are collectives nearing morphing into reality, and you want to ensure that they do it right, shouldn’t The CU Athletic Department take the wheel and actively bring it home?
    Instead of reviewing their ideas and rejecting some, actively participate in creating these collectives.

    If there is a point that has been driven home to me over the last 10 years, it is that a group’s emotions create the functioning reality. Optics are critical. If CU puts out collectives a year late, and they are wimpy failures… really anything less than excellent after all the time and planning that justified their delay, then this will be the final failure for CU before being demoted out of the major conferences.
    Everyone understands that we want to avoid sanctions, which may eventually befall some of the most aggressive programs. No one is advocation you to copy them. Considering that the majority of P5 teams have reacted more to NIL (and to the portal… they are very related) than CU, the likelihood of any notable reprimand befalling CU for just being in the middle 50% in NIL efforts is very low.
    As CU fans, we get and support wanting to “do it right”. We don’t support over-planning a first draft when there are likely no penalties to not nailing it perfectly. We just want to see CU trying. Whatever you do, do not allow these delays to result in squeezing out the impotent groupthink remains of a plausible idea or two which fail to bring CU back to relevancy, or your legacy will be the demotion of CU out of major conference football, and slamming the door on CU ever adding to its legacy of championships, awards, and records. Just try them already! You can always restructure and improve them going forward, this isn’t a Media rights deal.

    The 1-2% of college athletes are exactly the ones whose talent CU needs one or two of on each team in order to win championships. We cannot ignore them based on the assumption that CU cannot get them without blatantly disregarding the rule of not using NIL opportunities as recruiting inducements. So don’t have boosters/collectives tell a recruit that “if you come here then you will get this deal”. There are other ways for recruits to understand that coming to CU will not limit their ability to make significant income from their NIL if their performance and charisma warrant it.

    Buffs with a Brand and the exchange seem to be what is needed, but need to be exceptionally user friendly and well promoted to be successful. It should be common knowledge that CU has a great interface for its student athletes to NIL opportunities which streamlines the paperwork, handles the tax forms, offers social media assistance, matchmaking, and more, all with an easy and intuitive interface for both supporter and athlete… and that CU effectively gets word out of its existence to the public and business world. Then Student athletes will successfully integrate NIL into their lives, and recruits will understand that at CU there is a top-tier engine for them to get NiL income based on their performance and personality. We don’t have to promise any deals to compete; we just have to make what we have effective, and not their THIRD full time job (student, athlete, self promoter/agent). The BWAB and Exchange must be far more effective in their missions than they have been.
    It also would be nice to offer a way (collective?) for the general public/fan base as well as companies to donate into a dedicated NIL fund, and perhaps their freedom of speech can allow their donation to be accompanied by a list of students or recruits they would prefer it supports – there must be some method that doesn’t evidently break the current rules. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the kids’ opportunities to grow and learn at CU.

    Fundamentally, I believe that CU’s values of making “sure that we provide an incredible education for our student-athletes, that we set them up for life after college athletics or when their pro days end.” Is not in conflict with supporting the 1-2% of athletes that want to really leverage NIL opportunities.
    Supporting them does nothing contrary to CU’s “providing great programs, we’re providing them a great education and we’re giving them meaningful career opportunities so they can be successful in whatever community they live in once they leave here.”
    That they are mutually exclusive seems to be a false dichotomy created to justify CU continuing to delay taking the actions necessary for its athletic teams to continue to compete at or near historical levels.

    Accurate or not, this is what the fans are seeing. We will stop caring, there are other sports teams we also support. We want to love CU sports, but the current image CU is projecting makes it very difficult to think we will much longer. CU must get back in the NIL game, and quickly – even if it is simply to outline a specific list of things that will be offered and by when – and live up to it.

  13. Yo Stewart,
    I signed up for The Athletic, mostly because you feature them a lot. Reading Mandel, it made me laugh. The guy still has the Fuskers listed as a major player ( on par with Oregon!). REALLY? I guess that bit of BS probably sold 100k subscriptions to the Corn faithful. I’m glad this venture only cost me $6 for 6 months. At least it will get me coverage of the Stanley Cup finals, although Mandel probably thinks that Gretzky is still playing in Edmonton!

  14. might be off topic here
    but
    ESPN’s website has a great article on Derrick White. Dont have to subscribe for it either

    1. What a great story. And Derrick also got a lot of love from the ABC crew during the game 2 coverage last night.

  15. NICKNAME FOR RALPHIE ????? What’s wrong with just Ralphie ? Don’t constipate everyone’s GRAY MATTER by having to remember 2 names.

    STRENGTHEN THE IDENTITY BY JUST HAVING ONE NAME. JEEEEEEEZ !

  16. I love CU but I’m worried about the team and the fans cause without wins, that will be all she wrote. Everyone knows we needed the UCLA schedule just to have hope. If we don’t win enough games the fans will give up on KD, because he gives nothing to fans. HIs glow from the 2020 season is long gone. You can be aloof and guarded with the media/everyone if you are Tom Landry or Tiger Woods and can back it up. But if the team doesn’t perform early, fans will give up on this regime, which chose HS kids over transfer players who could have had an immediate impact. As soon as they get noticed, the good HS kids we have will transfer to a bowl quality team. Most fan hope is based on “better coaching”, which is code for we don’t really know these new guys but hope they are better than the last coaches we did know. Look at the credibility the new D line coach has, yet he is a nobody with no resume. The “somebody good” we had bolted for a “better team” but it isn’t, that means he thinks this is a sinking ship. KR is a coach who doesn’t care to excite fans or relate well to his kids (see his history as HC at UCLA and all the kids who transferred out from CU.)

    I so hope I am wrong, but I can see a lot of bad stuff happening. Don’t forget, the economy is turning down and the country is feeling nervous about everything in the world. These issues will impact overall psychology of our fans too. I so hope we do win 2 out the 3 to start, because if we don’t it will be a long year, and few good recruits will select CU in the future.
    GO Buffs, show that this possible scenario doesn’t come to pass and you pave a path to glory!

  17. Looks to me like CU’s schedule might be the toughest cause everyone else’s is so easy.
    TCU basically sucked last year too…….especially on the road.
    I see no reason why a well prepared team with a new fangled offense no one has seen before, playing at home for the first game cant win this game.
    The Buffs gotta win it.
    The next game is all going to be on Wilson’s shoulders. Its winnable too but only if the D can stay in their lanes and on their assignments….and play with the same passion.
    I will wait till the first 2 games are over before I assess the Buff’s chances against Minnesota.
    They could and should be 2 and 1 at the least if we are going to have any optimism for the conference games and any bowl game.

  18. CU’s schedule is such that they could, get to five wins, or not. But be once again be chasing that elusive six’s win needed for a bowl appearance all while looking improved; just to get to that the last four game stretch and fall short again.

    I like that CU has UCLA early in the season, before they get on a roll, UCLA’s schedule could have them winning a bunch and if they were to come into Boulder with a gob of wins and experience playing and winning together that would make them that much tougher. Right now they should be undefeated after three cup cakes and faced no real adversity, and CU could be the first one to punch back… If, CU isn’t on their own losing streak.

    Gotta win at least two of those first three to have a chance at more than four wins or more hopefully.

    I don’t care what the schedule is, CU has to play up to the challenge if they are going to build anything.

    1. I agree with all of the above. My only thought is … How different the narrative would be about CU’s season if the Buffs had UCLA’s schedule?
      If CU were opening with Bowling Green, Alcorn State, South Alabama and UCLA – all at home – there would be optimism about the 2022 season instead of doom and gloom. I understand CU’s non-conference schedule is set for much of the next decade, but at some point CU has to take a long look at the financial benefit of the attractive home slate v. winning actual games and getting to bowls.

  19. Regarding today’s poll
    I dont care about other team’s coaches. I realize that the poll was limited to the last 10 years but my vote for the absolute worst hire was HWSRN. He set the tone that has lasted to this day at CU. The only reason Mickey Mack might have been ever so slightly better was because his kid was a receiver instead of a QB.
    I will vote for the last option but only because of Butch Jones. He ran TN into the ground. Hard to imagine how bad he would have been here. Miles at KS? Could anyone succeed at Kansas? Kansas is one of those special places where football (I will try and refrain form indicting the entire state) has languished worse than here. That and it seems Mile’s age or bad habits has impacted his mental facilities….or maybe its just being in Kansas. (whoops)
    Go Karl….I’m on my knees begging

    1. It will always be Ralphie – this is Ralphie VI. But every Ralphie has had a nickname (e.g., Ralphie V’s nickname was “Blackout”, as she was the darkest calf in the herd)

  20. Dang
    right after I get done with my last pundnut ripping along comes a real in depth analysis. Not surprising it comes partially from the hometown of a Buff opponent along with a Ralphie contributor.
    Some scary things in there concerning their opinion of the O line and Sanford’s tendencies.
    Certainly not holding my breath but wouldnt it be wonderful if the offense doesnt turn out to be vanilla like in the spring fling but instead a key lime, butter pecan, mango/rasberry and coffee chip combination
    um
    in other words
    real diversified?
    by the way
    Hagendaz coffee ship flavor is really terrible. You be better off just leaving it on the shelf (for me)

    1. I gotta say this was real solid analysis. I don’t think he put enough focus on the reasons the line was so bad last year and it went well beyond the coaching from Rodrigue. I think DeVan is a huge step up and we will see improvement but he points out the massive thinness on the line and that has me concerned. Having Roddick and Fillip have a healthy off season and a good coach is going to matter though. I think Wiley is going to be a lot better and so the question is center and guard.

      On QB, I think he gave Lewis way too much credit. He has to read and throw so much faster but if he can he could be fun to watch and his athleticism is no doubt and we know he is tough.

      I think it comes down t health. If we have a magic season and stay healthy with our starters we are going to do ok. If we get a normal set of injuries we will struggle but have a chance. If we get a flood of injuries we are in trouble. That is what the portal did to us. It crushed our depth.

      1. I see
        Coaching is definitely going to help the O line but the lack of coaching or an improvement thereof will have no effect on Lewis. He is all alone out there.

        1. I actually think Lewis will improve with coaching as well. I think I saw the glimmerings of improvement in the spring game but I am worried that is a mirage as they were running very bland plays and the defense was running a bland defense so it simplifies reading a lot. But I am one of the most hopeful around. I think Sanford will adjust his offenses more than Chev ever did.

    2. It’s just nice to see a decent in-depth analysis about our team. But then it’s sad that nobody in the CU-Buffs professional media seems capable of writing such an analysis. Oh well.

      My expectation is the overall OC competency level got an upgrade with Sanford. We’ve been under the influence of the last guy in one way or another for a long time. And the difficulties of Sanford establishing a punishing running game? We do have a very mobile and physical QB in Lewis so maybe Sanford can find a way to finally use it and keep defenses guessing.

  21. Just amazes me how the pundits (and you pay for that……………..??) can’t get past the first level of data. They all repeat themselves.

    Dang gum it,

    Buffs.

    Note: Again you pay for that?

    1. Yes. Sadly, there isn’t much in the way of content in mid-May. At least Wilner, The Athletic, et al. give us something to read and argue over.

      If only there was a guest editorialist producing essays for me to post … Oh, wait, you decided you would rather post snide comments than actually contribute to the conversation.

      1. C’mon Stuart all most of these slackers deserve is snide. If they were making minimum wage they would still be overpaid. All they do is look at last year’s results and maybe alter the scenario slightly by looking at whose gone and whose new and such talent based on someone else’s opinion even though they have no idea how the new guys will fit in or play.
        They dont really pay any attention to coaching changes, especially in the first year cause they are chiken poop. I guess one thing I wont blame them for is betting against CU’s coaching changes. Hard to go against a coaching failure history like the Buff’s.

  22. Karl needs to identify players who want to graduate with a degree(s) from CU (not as easy as it sounds) that are like Wells. A few of these guys on both sides of the ball, hopefully each class to give CU a quality core of players.

    Add in good coaching like Utah has had for like 20 straight years and CU could be back in the conference championship games and the Rose Bowl too. It’s sad that the Buffs went from a team at the top of their division in a major conference averaging 10 wins a year to the bottom of another. I don’t think staying in the BIG12 would have change anything bad coaching was bad coaching.

    Meanwhile Utah went from the middle of a group five conference to the top of that conference and took that into PAC12. When it that looked like Utah may live somewhere in the middle of their new division, consistent quality coaching got them into the top of their division and the Rose Bowl. And, recruiting to play in the PAC12 helped them up their game too; CU didn’t.

    That should have been CU!

    With NIL and the portal, KD needs more men like Wells, quality players that want to do well at a quality school; men who want a degree(s) from CU AND still a chance for the NFL too.

  23. A new look at the Buffs in 2022: The CU defensive backs who bolted into the portal left because the freshmen on the team were going to beat them out for the starter positions. We will have a 1,000+ yard running back, plus two other backs who have good seasons. The wide receivers will surpass all of last years’ wideouts in production, downfield blocking and receptions, Our QB will make last place prognostications an embarrassment for PAC-12 writers. The O=line will improve significantly. Our defense will keep us in every game, and our offense will deliver a winning record. Coaches will not be on the “hot seats”, but rather looked at with appreciation. Our strength and conditioning program will be considered highly successful in helping pave the way toward our success. The University will develop an NIL program loaded for integrity and Buff supporters will contribute significantly. Donated money will help fund Buff athletes who need support, not high school seniors who desire big dollars to be recruited. Very few players will leave our winning team. Oh… and some PAC-12 schools will see recruiting sanctions wielded against them. CU will not be one of them. Those are Black and Gold glasses I am looking through.

    1. I like the optimism, I don’t see an NIL program developing here beyond what Stu is doing at 500 a pop…..sad, but true. We just don’t have a series of wealthy grads that are willing to drop 10-20k in a year in perpetuity. CU did a good job paying out the kids the 5 k they could almost immediately. And there are a couple small groups like Stu but not enough to move the needle.

      That said I like KD a lot and I truly believe this is the best staff we have had in 20 years. I think we are going to surprise a bunch of people this year…. Last year will be the aberration, we don’t have the talent to win championships, we are going to stumble like Utah had for ages. But I think we are on track to start consistently getting to bowl games. We have the talent for that.

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