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Colorado Daily – Spring/Summer

May 21st

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU again honored as a “Super 11” school by the Football Writers Association of America

Press release from CUBuffs.com … Three first-time winners and eight previous ones comprise the 13th Annual Super 11 Awards, which the Football Writers Association of America rewards annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The awards announced Thursday are for the 2021 season.

As for the 2021 departmental awards, Clemson and Colorado each collected a ninth award and Nebraska an eighth. Navy won for a fifth time, Kansas State a fourth time, and Iowa, Miami (Fla.) and Ole Miss each a second time.  The first-time recipients in the award series, which dates back to the 2009 season, are Louisville, New Mexico and South Carolina. Seven of the 10 FBS Conferences are represented among the 11 winners.

The FWAA has recognized CU’s sports information office 12 times, three times for an outstanding press box operation (1987, 1992, 1997; schools were eligible only every five years until that honored disappeared in 2000).  In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee with the concept is supported by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The FWAA has now awarded Super 11 to 77 different programs over the years, with Colorado and Clemson tied for the most honors with nine, as both broke a tie with USC.  The Buffaloes sports information staff, its press box operation and its all-encompassing efforts with the nation’s football media has now been recognized the last six years in a row, the second longest streak behind Clemson’s seven.  CU has been recognized for the 2010-13-14-16-17-18-19-20-21 seasons.

“We never take this award for granted, we strive to be recognized by working closely with the local and national media to meet most if not all of their needs,” said David Plati, CU’s SID since 1984.  “We’ve been honored 12 times through the years with six different head coaches, and the cooperation of their staffs plays a significant role in the honor.  And we could not have won this prestigious honor without an excellent full-time staff, a veteran game day staff and the hard work of our student assistants.”

Sports information offices in some cases were still doing zoom calls for interviews, but there were also many in-person interviews with players, head coaches and assistant coaches observing social distancing and health safety protocols when interacting with the media.  CU utilized a hybrid system for the spring and returned mostly to in-person during the season.

“The 2020 and 2021 football seasons featured unprecedented challenges for all of us, but some sports information departments worked with coaches and players to go above and beyond and to make sure media could do their jobs and provide fans with the information they crave,” said  David Ubben, 2022 FWAA President. “That allows all of us to have jobs, and we’re appreciative of these departments for providing that access while also making sure both media and members of football programs remain safe. College football is better and grows when sports information departments are able to provide as much access as possible.”

This year’s winners were deemed to have had excellent accessibility during the week of the game and after the game – with a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches – along with the other listed criteria on page 22 of the 2021-22 FWAA Directory.

“What is always encouraging is that we had first-time winners,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “Our membership wants access to players and coaches after games, of course, but also for human interest and analytical stories during the week. Assistant coaches are also part of the mix that give stories depth. Over the years, for a variety of reasons this access has been restricted.

“We believe there are many good stories out there that can be told if they are allowed to be told if our members are allowed good access.”

FWAA members provided input during the season and made comments in an FWAA Awards survey after the 2021 season. In addition, SID press boxes were judged on how well they were run and maintained in terms of neutrality, pool reporters and noise level that could affect a media person’s ability to do his or her job. In recent years, the availability of nearby press parking has become a plus.

In addition, the FWAA presented a Super 11 Coach of the Year Award to Boston College Coach Jeff Hafley who granted outstanding access to his program during the 2021 season. He is the fourth head coach to win this award, which began with the 2018 season.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and game-day operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual FWAA All-America Team. For more information about the FWAA and its program and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 2144-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

The 2021 Super 11
Clemson (9)
Colorado (9)
Iowa (2)
Kansas State (4)
Louisville (1)
Miami (2)
Ole Miss (2)
Navy (5)
Nebraska (8)
New Mexico (1)
South Carolina (1)

2021 Super 11 Coach of the Year
Jeff Hafley, Boston College

FWAA Super 11 Awards (2009-current): Colorado 9, Clemson 9, USC 8, Nebraska 8, Georgia 6, Navy 5, Kansas State 4, four tied with

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May 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Karl Dorrell on preseason forecasts: “I don’t ever talk to them about what people think about us”

From the Daily Camera … The outside perception of the Colorado football program is that the Buffaloes are in for another rough season.

Coming off a 4-8 campaign in 2021, VegasInsider.com has an over/under of 3.5 for the Buffs’ win total for this year. The ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) projects 3.2 wins with a 6.3% chance of reaching bowl eligibility. Both of those FPI numbers are last in the Pac-12 – behind even an Arizona team that is 1-23 in its 24 games.

As the Buffs wrapped up their spring workouts last month, however, head coach Karl Dorrell told BuffZone that he’s confident in where the Buffs are headed and not concerned with outside expectations.

“A lot of the expectations that we feel inside the program are probably more important than what the perception is outside the program,” Dorrell said. “Our expectations are to compete every year to get ourselves in the thick of contending for the (Pac-12) South Division and in playing great football. I don’t think that’s really going to ever change.

“I don’t ever talk to them about what people think about us. It’s really what’s in the building, what’s important to us, and then proving our worth every time we go out there and play.”

Low expectations from outside the building are no surprise.

Continue reading story here

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May 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Phillip Lindsay signs with the Indianapolis Colts

From nfl.comPhillip Lindsay has a new home.

The running back has agreed to a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts, his agent announced Tuesday.

Lindsay struggled mightily as a bit of a nomadic running back in 2021, starting the season with the Houston Texans and averaging a paltry 2.6 yards per carry on 50 attempts before he was released in late November. Lindsay landed with the running back-needy Miami Dolphins a day later and managed to marginally improve his numbers to 3.1 yards per carry on 38 attempts.

Statistically, Lindsay was essentially a nonfactor in 2021 with both teams, recording 249 rushing yards and one touchdown on 88 attempts while catching just four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. He joins a Colts team that already has All-Pro stud Jonathan Taylor and versatile back Nyheim Hines on its depth chart.

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May 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

The Athletic – CU’s Post-Spring question: Can Mike Sanford make CU’s offense relevant?

From The Athletic … The Pac-12 has wrapped up its spring practice calendar, and aside from a few spots here and there across the conference, the transfer market has slowed down.  The offseason has seen many accomplished players join the conference, most notably at USC with some key additions at Oregon, UCLA and Arizona as well. Other Pac-12 teams have watched some important players leave — looking at you, Arizona State and Colorado. And we’ve learned a little more about each roster over the past two months.

Now that all 12 teams are entering a new phase of the offseason, The Athletic’s Pac-12 writers Antonio Morales, Christian Caple and Doug Haller look at the most pressing post-spring questions for each conference program. We’ll start with the South Division, then head to the North.

Colorado (2021 record: 4-8)

Can Mike Sanford revive the Buffs’ offense?

Colorado scored 30 or more points just three times in 2021, one of which came against FCS program Northern Colorado in the season opener. The Buffaloes averaged 18.8 points and ranked 129th out of 130 FBS teams in total offense. There’s a lot of work to be done here. Complicating matters, Colorado lost leading rusher Jarek Broussard (Michigan State), as well as top receivers Brenden Rice (USC) and Dimitri Stanley (Iowa State) to the transfer portal.

Sanford spent the last two seasons at Minnesota leading a run-heavy offense. He also has had coaching stops at Notre Dame, Utah State, Boise State, Stanford and Western Kentucky, where he was head coach. He has a returning quarterback in Brendon Lewis, who played much of last season under pressure. Transfer R.J. Sneed, who had 133 catches for 1,564 yards during his time at Baylor, gives Colorado a threat at receiver. Seasoned running back Alex Fontenot led the Buffs in rushing in 2019, but overall, this group needs to make major strides.

Read full story here

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May 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

OL Casey Roddick’s return from life-threatening myocarditis: “I thought I was done playing forever”

From the Daily Camera … In recalling the memory of returning to the football field last summer, Casey Roddick can’t help but laugh.

“It was like a baby deer just trying to get out there and figure out how to run first,” he said.

Now a fifth-year junior offensive lineman for the Colorado Buffaloes, Roddick is enjoying a new level of confidence after going through a full winter and spring of workouts. He didn’t get those workouts last year.

In late January of 2021, about a month after he and the Buffs played in the Valero Alamo Bowl, Roddick contracted COVID-19 and then was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle sometimes caused by a virus.

“Personally, I thought I was done playing forever,” he said. “That was the consensus between myself and also some of the coaches that were previously here. They thought I was done with it. It was definitely scary to figure out, like, it could be over just like that.”

Studies have shown that young males are more likely to develop myocarditis than others and that African Americans have had a higher rate of hospitalization from COVID-19 compared to Caucasians.

“I just had to do whatever the doctor was telling me, but the statistics don’t lie at the end of the day,” Roddick said. “Definitely when I heard those statistics it was alarming to be like, ‘Okay, what do I need to do to get over this, most importantly, but how can I get over it the fastest?’”

Roddick had to be patient, listen to his doctors and hope he got better. For months, he wasn’t allowed to work out, run or jog.

Continue reading story here

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May 13th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Would Karl Dorrell still have a job if CU goes 7-19 over the next three years? How about 10-15? Or 8-18?

… We’re working off of Karl Dorrell’s current record at CU of 8-10 … 

From CBS Sports … One of the indisputable facts about sports is that we all want answers as soon as possible. When a team hires a coach or drafts a player, we need to know immediately if it was the correct decision. Nobody wants to wait the time required to get an honest answer; they just want an answer, and any will suffice.

Because of this, grading college football coaching hires is more of an art than a science. For instance, if I were to put on a blindfold and throw a dart at a dartboard, there would undoubtedly be science involved (velocity of the dart, launch angle, etc.), but the results of the throw shouldn’t be taken as an accurate assessment of my ability to hit the target. It’s more of an artistic statement about the futile nature of grading a hire immediately.

When we do it five years later, however, there’s far more science involved. The blindfold has been removed, and we have results on which to base our grades — grades that, well, I don’t want to spoil the outcomes too badly, but let’s just say there’s a reason I’m saying my grades for the 2017-18 college football coaching cycle were more art than science. Let’s just say they were hit and miss!

There were 20 coaches hired by FBS programs during that cycle. Of the 20, eight remain at their current job, four have moved on to new jobs and eight were fired. How many coaches who stayed or moved on to better jobs got “A” grades? More than the fired coaches did, but how many have lived up to those assessments? Let’s find out.

Scott Frost, Nebraska

Record: 15-29 | Accomplishments: Greatest three-win team in college football history (2021) … For Karl Dorrell to meet Frost’s record: 7-19

How’s it going? Not well! Not only has Frost failed to live up to the expectations placed upon him when he was brought home from UCF, but he hasn’t come close. The Huskers haven’t reached a bowl game under Frost, and he enters the 2022 season on one of the hottest seats in the country. He’s following the Jim Harbaugh plan of taking a pay cut to buy himself another year, but while he doesn’t necessarily need the playoff berth Harbaugh earned with Michigan last season, if Nebraska fails to earn a bowl game bid again, not even a pay cut will save him in 2023. Grade: D | Original grade: A

Chip Kelly, UCLA

Record: 18-25 | Accomplishments: Bowl games (1) … For Karl Dorrell to meet Kelly’s record … 10-15

How’s it going? It’s been a mixed bag for Kelly at UCLA. The first two seasons went poorly, as the Bruins finished 7-17 and never higher than third in the Pac-12 South. It was followed by a 3-4 record in 2020, but nothing that happened in the Pac-12 during the 2020 season should be held against anybody. Last season was the best yet for Kelly and the Bruins, as they improved to 8-4 overall and 6-3 in conference. Still, that’s not quite what UCLA was hoping for when it convinced Kelly to join them instead of Florida in 2018, and he’s not entering 2022 on the firmest of ground. Grade: C | Original grade: A+

Herm Edwards, Arizona State

Record: 25-18 | Accomplishments: Bowl games (3)

How’s it going? This one is complicated because you have to weigh the on-field results against what’s happening off the field. Then you have to compare the results with the expectations. I graded the Edwards hire an “F” at the time, so mine were clearly low. Edwards has surpassed them by far, but even so, he’s never won more than eight games in a season. In other words, his results haven’t been all that different than the coach he was hired to replace (Todd Graham). Edwards enters the 2022 season having to deal with NCAA difficulties and his players flocking to the transfer portal in droves, as there’s a lot of uncertainty around his future at the school. Grade: C- | Original grade: F

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May 12th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

LB Robert Barnes ready to take over inside: “I think I improved on all the things I needed to improve on”

RelatedCUATG NIL Podcast interview with Robert Barnes

From the Daily Camera … When he got to Colorado a year ago, Robert Barnes was eager to play alongside star linebacker Nate Landman and learn from the leader of the Buffaloes’ defense.

Now that Landman has graduated, Barnes is eager to take on a bigger role and lead the Buffs from the middle of the defense.

… In four years at Oklahoma, he played safety and linebacker. He was a starter for 10 of the 34 games he played with the Sooners, compiling 78 tackles, one tackle for loss, and two interceptions.

Last season with the Buffs, he played in 11 games, with three starts late in the year after Landman went down with a shoulder injury. Barnes finished with 44 tackles, three tackles for loss and an interception.

It was a solid season for Barnes, but he and linebackers coach Mark Smith know there is potential to get better.

“What I’m really proud of Robert about is just the physical part of his game has just come free,” Smith said last month. “That’s one of the things I challenged him with as the season went on. Robert was really good at coverage and doing things there, and he fit the runs well. But, I challenged him – he’s a big, strong man – to be more physical in the run game and he accepted that challenge.

“He’s a very coachable player. When you challenge Robert with something, he’s going to absolutely go out and try to get that done.”

Head coach Karl Dorrell asked all of the players to focus on two or three areas of improvement during the spring. Barnes said he worked mainly on fundamentals, including formation recognition and tackling.

“I think it went very well,” Barnes said of his spring. “I think I improved on all the things I needed to improve on from last fall. I had some focal points that were my points of emphasis going into the spring. I got those accomplished and I think that there’s always room for improvement and I’m gonna keep improving on those things. But, I think it was a very positive spring for me for sure.”

Continue reading story here

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May 11th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU Graduation Story: LB Carson Wells

From CUBuffs.com … Carson’s exploits on the football field for the Buffs are well-documented. A two-time All-Pac-12 performer as an edge rusher, he finished his career with 34 career starts while recording 38 tackles for loss, putting him in the top 10 on CU’s all-time leaderboard. He led the nation in tackles for loss in 2020, averaging 2.7 per game, and finished his collegiate career with a solid effort in the East-West Shrine All-Star game.

But Carson was equally successful in the classroom. He earned degrees in Accounting and Finance from the Leeds School of Business in just 3½ years and took as many as 19 credit hours of work each semester while maintaining well above a 3.0 GPA — all while still maintaining the balance necessary to stand out on the football field as well.

After completing his undergrad studies, Carson stayed at CU to play one more year with the Buffs and work on his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.

Now, he has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals and will pursue his lifelong dream of playing in the National Football League — with his degrees firmly in hand.

Carson Wells Bio

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May 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Backup quarterback Drew Carter: “My biggest competition is myself”

From the Daily Camera … Throughout the spring, incumbent starter Brendon Lewis took the first-team reps at quarterback for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Junior JT Shrout, although limited as he recovered from a knee injury, was in the spotlight as the main competitor for the starting job.

Meanwhile, Drew Carter continues his own work as he strives to get on the field.

“I just try to control what I can control and get better each and every day,” the true sophomore said. “I try to focus on two things to get better on (every day). I don’t really see it as a competition. I mean, I’m definitely competing against them but my biggest competition is myself.”

With Shrout injured, Carter went through last season as the No. 2 quarterback for the Buffs. He played in six games, but despite the offense struggling all season, he took only 31 snaps. Carter threw 12 passes – 8 of those in a Week 3 game against Minnesota – and either handed the ball off or took a knee 16 times. Overall, he was 5-for-12 for 35 yards.

“A little bit (frustrating),” he said of last season. “I mean, it would be frustrating for anyone, but I just tried to control what I control.”

Carter threw for 6,955 yards and 54 touchdowns during his three-year career at Tigard (Ore.) High School, but didn’t get a senior year in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He then graduated early and enrolled at CU in January of 2021.

Despite his lack of playing time last year, Carter said he felt prepared if needed.

Continue reading story here

Brady Russell planning on big senior season: “Coach Patterson has helped tremendously”

RelatedCUATG Interview with senior tight end Brady Russell

From the Daily Camera … Walking to the field for a practice last month, one of Brady Russell’s teammates pointed out to him that he was nearing the end of his final spring in college.

“I was like, ‘Huh, this is the last one ever’ and I didn’t notice it,” said Russell, Colorado’s sixth-year senior tight end. “It’s a surreal feeling just because at this point it kind of feels like it’s never ending.”

It’s been a while since Russell first came to CU in the summer of 2017 as a walk-on from Fossil Ridge High School.

A two-time first-team all-conference selection as a defensive end in high school, he also played some at tight end and was his team’s MVP twice. Despite not having a scholarship from CU, he followed in the footsteps of his uncle, Matt Russell, who was an All-American linebacker for the Buffs, winning the Butkus Award in 1996.

With one more season to play, Russell has already left his own indelible mark on CU. Named the Buffs’ offensive scout team player of the year in 2017, he earned a scholarship during fall camp in 2018. By the end of that season, he was a starter.

He enters this season with 38 games and 28 starts under his belt and he’s developed into one of the better tight ends in the Pac-12. Last season, he led the Buffs in receptions (25) and receiving yards (307).

Russell has spent the offseason trying to be even better, though.

“It’s been really, really good,” he said of the offseason. “I kind of got to grow a lot more in my pass game and understanding the different things I can do. That’s probably where I’ve seen the most growth.”

In spring, Russell said he focused on “hand placement in my blocking and also having more vertical footwork instead of horizontal. I’ve definitely improved a lot in both categories. Coach (Clay) Patterson has helped tremendously.”

Continue reading story here

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May 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

*Video: Hagan and Pritchard relive “The Pitch”*

From YouTube, courtesy of CBS4Sports …

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May 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12 Overreactions: Will 2022 be another rebuilding year for CU?

From CBS Sports … Spring football has come to an end across the Pac-12, leaving a conference in transition looking forward to the 2022 season. Defending champion Utah is enjoying consistency after winning the league for the first time, but the rest of the Pac-12 has plenty of moving parts.

The biggest moves came on the coaching front, as USC poached Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to lead the program. In the Pac-12 North, Oregon lost Mario Cristobal to Miami but replaced him with national title-winning defensive coordinator Dan Lanning from Georgia. In all, there are four new coaches in the Pac-12, along with a number of new coordinators.

Remember, these are overreactions. We have only a limited sample of spring football on which to judge the future of these programs before they finally take the field in the fall. Still, come back at season’s end and judge whether we were on to something with these brief glimpses.

Arizona

The Wildcats will be college football’s most improved team: One would be hard-pressed to follow an 1-11 debut with a better offseason than what Jedd Fisch has accomplished. The Wildcats recruited the Pac-12’s No. 2 high school class and added a star-studded transfer group which includes quarterback Jayden de Laura (Washington State) and receiver Jacob Cowing (UTEP). Fisch has a vision for the program and it will finally show itself in Year 2. Things certainly can’t get much worse.

Arizona State

Herm Edwards is a goner: There’s no bigger mess in the Power Five right now than the one at Arizona State. The Sun Devils fired half their coaching staff following an NCAA investigation into allegations that occurred during the pandemic. Then, they promptly lost 17 scholarship players to the transfer portal, including starting quarterback Jayden Daniels and star linebacker Eric Gentry. Getting Florida quarterback Emory Jones in return will buy Edwards some time, but nowhere near enough.

Colorado

Karl Dorrell will be resetting again: Colorado added a handful of nice transfers, including Baylor receiver RJ Sneed and Sam Houston running back Ramon Jefferson. Unfortunately, the Buffs lost far more talent, including star running back Jarek Broussard and receivers La’Vontae Shenault and Brenden Rice. That won’t help boost what was one of the worst offenses in the country in yards per play. Adding offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is a plus, but even he can’t make up for the talent gaps. Dorrell should receive some leeway for taking over during the pandemic, but progress has been slow.

Continue reading story here

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May 5th

... CU in a few minutes … 

Alvin Williams looking to be the next Von Miller: “Just doing my job”

From the Daily Camera … During an open scrimmage on April 9 at Folsom Field, it was tough to miss No. 58 coming around the edge and making plays in the backfield.

“Just doing my job,” Colorado sophomore outside linebacker Alvin Williams said. “It’s always fun to do your job, return to that childhood game you played back in the backyard. Coming off the ball and getting that sack, you get super excited. Me wearing the 58 in Colorado, I feel like Von Miller every time I get a sack.”

While Miller is no longer starring for the Denver Broncos – he’s now gearing up for his first season with the Buffalo Bills – Williams is continuing his pursuit of being like the future Hall of Famer.

“That’s where I get most of my moves from, either Von Miller or Khalil Mack,” Williams said. “I’ve been watching Chandler Jones lately, too, just working on the ghost moves and just seeing how guys in league (work).”

Continue reading story here

A dozen CU football players received their diplomas Thursday

Daniel Arias III John Deitchman Mustafa Johnson Janaz Jordan Terrance Lang Anthony Lyle Quinn Perry Evan Price Ray Robinson Jaisen Sanchez CJ Schmanski Deion Smith

ESPN: CU may have a pass rush brewing

From ESPN … With spring football wrapped up and the start of another season just four months away, let’s take a look at what we’ve learned and what we still need to learn for each Pac-12 team.

How is the USC offense progressing under Lincoln Riley? How will Oregon’s defense come together in the fall? Who will be Washington’s starting QB? We break it all down.

Colorado – 

What we learned this spring: The Buffs may have a pass rush brewing. Last season, Colorado was last in the conference (126th in the nation) in sacks and 10th in tackles for loss. This spring, there has been positive momentum on that front, with head coach Karl Dorrell praising the defense for the improvements they have made in getting to the quarterbacks and forcing turnovers. Whether that will translate come Week 1 remains to be seen, but given where the Buffs defense is coming from, any improvement will be more than noticeable.

What we need to learn by Week 1: Who will win the quarterback battle? Brendon Lewis is the incumbent in Boulder, but Tennessee transfer J.T. Shrout has all the makings of a suitable challenger. Shrout is coming off a knee surgery that kept him out of the 2021 season, which means he wasn’t at full strength throughout all of spring. However, Shrout was able to participate in some 7-on-7 drills, and he should be ready for a bonafide quarterback battle with Lewis come fall.

Read full story here

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May 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Rick George: “We should all be concerned where this is going – there’s a lot of people hiding behind the NIL”

From coloradobuffswire.com … The college football landscape has changed drastically after the addition of the NIL (name, image and likeness). Players now have the right to negotiate deals and make money off of their name, something that should have been done a long time ago.

As such, the transfer portal has also changed quite a bit, and Pittsburgh WR Jordan Addison entering the portal for other NIL offers is the talk of the sports world lately.

Colorado athletic director Rick George spoke on this situation recently (h/t John Canzano):

“We should all be concerned about where this is going and what is happening in our industry right now… there’s a lot of people hiding behind the NIL.”

The NIL has changed things for college athletes in a massive way, and the fallout with the portal has been a talking point right now. In college basketball, Miami guard Isaiah Wong also entered the portal in hopes of finding a better NIL opportunity, and surely more athletes will be considering this going forward.

Continue reading story here

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Rick George to be on John Canzano’s radio show

From Bald Faced Truth by John Canzano … The Pac-12 Conference is holding its annual spring meetings this week in Scottsdale, Ariz. Coaches, athletic directors, other officials and commissioner George Kliavkoff will discuss a variety of topics.

Among the agenda items:

  • College Football Playoff
  • The future of the NCAA
  • Pac-12 Network plans
  • Name, image and likeness
  • Transfer portal
  • Media rights negotiations

I’m told the “playoff” and “NCAA” agenda topics are more of an informational update from Kliavkoff and some explanation of strategy. The “transfer portal” item is interesting. I expect colleges will eventually institute firmer guidelines for when and how frequently in a college career an athlete can utilize the portal. I also think we’re about to see an orchestrated public outcry from athletic directors nationally, urging Congress to intervene on the NIL front.

… Colorado AD Rick George will join me on today’s radio show at 4 p.m. PT to fill us in on a variety of topics. I’ll ask him about NIL and the portal. George is an interesting interview subject. He’s previously served as the president of the Texas Rangers and worked for the PGA Tour as president of the Champions Tour.

My show airs 3-6 p.m. PT weekdays. If you’d like to tune in, listen live statewide in Oregon on 750-AM (Portland), 1050-AM (Eugene), 1490-AM (Roseburg) and 960-AM (Klamath Falls). Or stream it online. The podcast is available afterward as well.

Read full story here

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April 30th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Is Daniel Arias ready to be CU’s No. 1 receiver? “It’s his turn to be at the top of the list”

From the Daily Camera … An exceptional student, Arias is also a physically gifted athlete with a 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and blazing speed. He got on the field immediately as a true freshman and has played in all of CU’s 42 games the last four years. He has been one of the team’s best special teams players, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention last season.

As a receiver, he caught nine passes in his first three years combined, but had his best season in 2021, with 19 receptions for 237 yards and a touchdown.

This spring, Arias looked better to CU head coach Karl Dorrell, who believes a bigger role has made an impact.

“We’re trying to build a pattern of success, with him being a part of that,” Dorrell said. “I think it’s just him getting more attention, to be honest with you. It really comes down to that, because we had so many other pieces before. … I just think it’s his turn now to be at the top of the list.”

There is no question opportunity helps. Laviska Shenault, KD Nixon, Tony Brown, Juwann Winfree, Dimitri Stanley, Brenden Rice and LaVontae Shenault are all receivers who ranked ahead of Arias at one point in terms of targets and playing time.

Now, Arias is one of the leaders. Baylor transfer RJ Sneed is the only receiver on the team with more career catches, but Arias said more attention from the quarterbacks hasn’t been a focus for him.

“What I’m more focused about is my development: just getting better running routes,  getting my mind right, learning the game,” he said. “I’m not really too worried about the opportunity. My focus is, ‘How am I going to be better? What am I going to do today to get better? How am I going to run this certain route better than yesterday?’ That’s my main focus. I’m competing against myself. I’m not worried about all the other stuff. Keep it simple – that’s what my sports psychologist says.”

Continue reading story here

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April 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

“The Buffs would do well to win four games”

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News

What’s the best-case scenario for Colorado football this year? I’m trying to find six wins, and I can’t. Follow-up question: Should I find a new hobby? — @henryhuidekoper

Nah, this one will do. What’s better than gaming out scenarios for your favorite team four months in advance?

But I agree that it’s difficult to locate six wins, and there are two reasons for that:

1. The non-conference schedule has no cupcakes. The Buffaloes play TCU at home and Minnesota and Air Force on the road. Best case, they’re 2-1. More likely, 1-2. And if you’re 1-2 outside of league play, then five conference wins are required to become bowl-eligible.

2. The roster has numerous questions, starting with the quarterback play, of course, and extending to every facet of the offense and most positions on defense.

The Buffaloes were 4-8 last year and lost many of their best players, so the challenge for Karl Dorrell in Year Three — and for his new offensive coordinator, Mike Sanford — is substantial.

We think the Buffs would do well to win four games.

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April 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Transfer Tommy Brown entertaining the team – Dorrell: “He’s my jokester. He’s been great”

Note … The article indicates that newcomers aren’t allowed to conduct interviews with the media … I guess sometimes it’s helpful to be “non-credentialed media”, as Tommy Brown did an NIL interview with CU at the Game, which can be found here … 

From the Daily Camera … Since last summer, numerous college athletes have taken advantage of new NCAA legislation that allows them to profit from their name, image and likeness.

There may not be a more fitting NIL partnership, however, than the one Colorado offensive lineman Tommy Brown has with Shinesty, which sells unique clothing, including a line of “underthangs,” and has the following slogan on the company Twitter page: “Stay weird and shine on.”

Naturally, Shinesty partnered with the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Brown to model the underthangs. When the modeling photos were released last month, CU fans and his teammates got a unique look at the Alabama transfer.

“That was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my life,” CU quarterback JT Shrout said. “He told me, ‘I’ve got an underwear model deal, dude,’ and I was like, ‘No, you didn’t. What are you talking about?’ He sent me that video before he posted it and I was laughing my butt off. That was good.”

Per CU policy, Brown and other newcomers weren’t allowed to conduct interviews with the media this spring, but coaches and teammates spoke highly of a young man who has proven to be weird and funny as he shines on the field.

“He’s my jokester. He’s been great,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “He came in with a great work ethic about just getting to work and being very responsible. And now he’s grown to being one of the popular guys on the team.”

Continue reading story here

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April 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Todd Saliman named University of Colorado’s 24th President

Press Release from CU Board of Regents …

Dear CU Community,

We are honored to announce that the Board of Regents has elected Todd Saliman as the University of Colorado’s 24th president. The board voted unanimously on this decision.

President Saliman has been serving as the university’s president on an interim basis since July and will assume the post immediately.

We ask the university community to join us in our support for President Saliman. The challenges we face as a university, state and community demand our collective commitment to progress.

When the board set out to elect a president last summer, we were clear that CU needed a respected leader who could work collaboratively with the board, shared governance leaders and our campus administrators. We also recognized that CU deserves someone who could uphold the university’s values and advance CU as a leading public research university with a diverse and inclusive community.

We found that and more in President Saliman, who emerged from a highly competitive field of candidates with an impressive background and a clear vision for CU’s future.

President Saliman has the experience in higher education and government to lead our institution.

Prior to his role as president, he served as a member of the state legislature, as a cabinet officer for two governors and as CU’s chief financial officer and senior vice president. He has more than 30 years of experience and a track record of results that made him stand out during the search process. He is a trusted leader who is respected across the institution and state. He has a deep love for the university and for Colorado.

He also has some big challenges ahead of him. We heard about a number of those last week during the campus forums.

CU’s president must work with the regents and campuses to balance efforts to keep tuition in check while making sure faculty and staff are compensated fairly. That’s becoming increasingly difficult with the rising cost of inflation and limited state funds.

Our president must work collaboratively across our campuses to create a culture at CU, which reflects the diversity of our state and where everyone feels they belong. We still have a long way to go.

Our president must advocate on behalf of our students, faculty and staff, so they have the resources and facilities to learn, innovate and discover. At the same time, our president must build partnerships across the state with community groups, elected officials, employers and donors so that CU continues to provide value to Colorado.

President Saliman has the ability and experience to meet these and the many other challenges that await.

We had a lot of help along the way. The board is grateful for the more than 40 community groups that met with us in the fall to provide input early in the process. We also want to thank the 19 individuals who served on the search committee this winter. They deserve a lot of praise and respect for making the time to vet the pool of candidates, interview the top prospects and forward five highly qualified candidates to the board. Finally, we greatly appreciate the time everyone took over the past two weeks to meet with President Saliman when he was a finalist and provide feedback. The board considered all input before today’s vote and will continue to listen to the CU community as we evaluate President Saliman’s work to advance the university.

Selecting a president is a heavy responsibility entrusted to the board by the citizens of Colorado who elect their regents. We have a constitutional duty to serve as stewards of this great university, which for generations has served as a beacon of hope and knowledge for our state, nation, and world. We are honored to carry this responsibility and have great faith in Todd Saliman as our next president.

Please join us in congratulating President Saliman and wishing him great success in his new role. As he succeeds, so will our great university.

Sincerely,

Regent Jack Kroll, chair
Regent Sue Sharkey, vice chair
Regent Nolbert Chavez
Regent Glen Gallegos
Regent Heidi Ganahl
Regent Ken Montera
Regent Callie Rennison
Regent Lesley Smith
Regent Ilana Dubin Spiegel

Pair of Durango walk-ons vying for playing time in 2022

From CUBuffs.com … After a successful spring foray at their new positions, two former offensive players from Durango could become future mainstays for the Colorado Buffaloes’ defense.

Former Buffs quarterback Jordan Woolverton and ex-wide receiver Ben Finneseth both had outstanding Spring Showcase performances at safety last weekend.

Finneseth led all tacklers with six stops, including five unassisted. Woolverton had the scrimmage’s only interception, stopping an offensive drive in the end zone, and also had a tackle.

Both, said CU head coach Karl Dorrell, could be contributors next season — and for years to come, as they become more and more comfortable with their defensive duties.

“It’s been great, everything I could ask for,” Woolverton said. “I came in as a quarterback and I loved it. But I felt like my best opportunity to help this team was at safety. So I met with Coach (Brett) Maxie and we talked about it with Coach Dorrell and we made the change. I’ve really enjoyed it up to this point.”

Woolverton and Finneseth were a big part of a Durango success story. The two played together through middle school and high school, and capped their prep careers by leading the Demons to a perfect record and 3A state championship in 2020.

Woolverton finished his Durango career with 387 completions for 5,535 yards and 69 touchdowns, and he also rushed for 1,641 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also played defense, finishing with 69 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Finneseth finished his prep career with 67 catches for 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he also ran the ball 61 times for 617 yards and nine scores — and he averaged 12.7 yards every time he touched the ball on offense. He also played defense, finishing with 134 tackles, three interceptions and six forced fumbles.

Both had scholarship opportunities elsewhere, but decided to walk on at Colorado, where they spent last season practicing on offense. But both also had some defense in their background, and decided to make the switch in the offseason when they saw an opportunity to be on the field more often.

Continue reading story here

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April 26th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

USA Today: List of Ten Coaches on the Hot Seat has three from the Pac-12 (including Karl Dorrell)

From USA Today … Every spring new college football coaches, whether they were fired and got another job or left for greener pastures, attempt to ingratiate themselves with new fan bases.

The men on this list don’t have that luxury because they have fallen out of favor at their schools because of consistent losing or failure to meet expectations. Some enter the 2022 season lucky to still be collecting checks since their sideline performance has been mediocre.

As the coaching carousel makes another spin, winning is all that matters and if these multi-millionaires don’t succeed, programs will pony up millions more to show them the door.

Four of the coaches and teams featured below actually made bowl games in 2021, but none of them won. Not all of them will receive that dreaded pink slip because there is bound to be a surprise team capable of at least reaching bowl eligibility or even competing for a conference title.

Ten coaches squarely on the hot seat entering this fall:

David Shaw, Stanford

Here are the cold facts about Shaw. He is a good coach, the winningest in the program’s history. He knows it is tough to recruit at a place like Stanford and no one feels sorry for him. Shaw was used to getting the Cardinal to double-digit victories on an annual basis, something he hasn’t done since 2016. Last year’s team failed miserably in areas  that used to be strengths: running the ball and stopping the run. The Cardinal were among the worst in the nation at both. Maybe the administration gives Shaw a reprieve, but losing, no matter where, won’t be tolerated for long.

Herman Edwards, Arizona State

Besides the middling results on the field, Edwards is facing the NCAA investigation for alleged recruiting violations. His starting quarterback for the last three years, Jayden Daniels, hit the transfer portal. Once word got out of Daniels’ departure, upset teammates promptly trashed his locker and posted it on social media accusing him of abandoning the program. Edwards will also be without four assistants, including offensive coordinator Zac Hill, who resigned amid that investigation. Two other assistants were fired, accused of hosting recruits on campus during a COVID-19 dead period. The point may be moot by the time October rolls around as the Sun Devils face Oklahoma State, Utah, USC and Washington in the first month and a manageable $8 million buyout looms if he is let go before the end of the season.

Karl Dorrell, Colorado

Maybe Mel Tucker saw the writing on the wall because after one season at Colorado, he jumped ship to Michigan State, leaving Dorrell to fend for himself with a roster that surprised folks in 2020, but just wasn’t good enough to compete in the Pac-12 South last season. The problem with the Buffaloes was injuries and generating anything that looked like a competent offense, scoring 20 points or less in 10 of their 12 games and being absolutely non-competitive when they traveled. Most administrations want to see progress from year to year and if that doesn’t happen this season, it would be hard to justify bringing him back for a fourth.

Read full story here

Dorrell pleased with depth along defensive edge: “I’m saying more names than I was saying a year ago”

From the Daily Camera … Although CU lost its top edge rusher, Carson Wells, to graduation, the Buffs believe they have much more depth at that spot this year.

“I very much like the depth there,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I think it’s important to have that depth on the edges because I felt like we didn’t have that a year ago.”

In addition to Wells, the Buffs had Guy Thomas play very well for seven games before an injury last year. A few other young players flashed a bit, but there wasn’t a great deal of depth.

This year, Thomas is back and senior Jamar Montgomery has stepped up his game. Sophomore Alvin Williams and redshirt freshmen Devin Grant and Zion Magalei also played well this spring. Transfer Chance Main has provided a boost, and the Buffs should get sophomore Joshka Gustav back from an injury in the summer.

“I’m saying more names than I was saying a year ago,” Dorrell said. “So, we do have a lot of depth that I think are pretty close in talent.”

Montgomery is entering his fourth season with CU and said, “It’s the best depth we’ve had since my first year in 2019 when I got here. Everyone’s versatile, doing their thing, doing what they do. Everyone has their attributes or what they’re good with so it’s turned out pretty good.”

Read full story here

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April 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Brendon Lewis building a rapport with RJ Sneed: “As soon as he got here, we had a connection”

From the Daily Camera … RJ Sneed hasn’t been in Boulder very long, but it hasn’t taken much time for Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis to develop a good rapport with his newest weapon.

During the spring showcase on Saturday at Folsom Field, Lewis connected with Sneed four times for 29 yards. Two of those receptions went for first downs, including a 14-yarder on a second-and-12 play.

“Oh yeah, it’s really fun throwing to RJ, watching RJ catch the ball,” Lewis said. “As soon as he got here, we had a connection. I don’t know why. Maybe because we’re both from Texas, but it’s really fun playing with RJ. He knows a lot about the game and stuff, so I like throwing him the ball.”

During an open scrimmage on April 9th, Sneed played sparingly, but Lewis found him for a 19-yard reception on a third-and-nine play.

A graduate transfer, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Sneed caught 133 passes for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns at Baylor. He led the Bears in receiving in 2020.

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8 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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