Where Are They Now? Tracking the 2022 CU Roster

It should be just a simple numbers game.

There were 84 scholarship players on the 2022 CU roster, and there were 21 lettermen on the team who graduated. That gets us down to 63 players for the 2023 season, right? With Coach Prime keeping 12 scholarship players from the 2022 team, that would mean that there are some 51 players who have left the football program since last fall with some eligibility remaining.


Well, not exactly.

First, some of the 2022 graduates who received letters were walk-ons. Meanwhile others did graduate, but still had eligibility remaining, including defensive tackle Jalen Sami, offensive lineman Casey Roddick, and running back Deion Smith. Still others, like defensive lineman Janez Jordan, graduated, but had already left the team. Then what do you do with the likes of wide receiver Maurice Bell, who graduated, entered the Transfer Portal, opted back out of the Transfer Portal, then opted back in? Or players like tight end Seydou Traore and linebacker Taylor Upshaw, who came to CU via the Transfer Portal in January, only to leave again in April?

Which is a long way of saying that trying to track CU roster comings and goings is not as cut and dried as it looks … it’s more like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.

But there is some value in taking a look at scholarship players who have left the team via the Transfer Portal, and tracking their destinations.

Summer school is getting underway this week at the University of Colorado, as it is at many other institutions. While a player hoping to play somewhere – anywhere – in the 2023 season doesn’t necessarily have to have found a home by the start of summer sessions, many FBS rosters are largely in place for the fall (CU, for example, is currently at 79 of its NCAA-allotted 85 scholarships).

Translation: the dizzying game of musical chairs for the hundreds of players who entered the Transfer Portal since the end of last season hasn’t completely come to an end …

But we’re getting close.

So, what has become of the 2022 University of Colorado football roster? Did CU lose significant Power Five conference worthy talent … or has Coach Prime shed some baggage which was weighing down the roster?

First, let’s say a thank you to the players who departed on their own accord after the final snap in November. These players had used up their eligibility, or opted to leave early to try and catch on with an NFL team. None were drafted into the NFL in April, and none were signed as free agents (a fair indication of the talent level on the roster). Some though, still have NFL aspirations:

  1. Isaiah Lewis, S
  2. Daniel Arias, WR (Signed UDFA with Cardinals)
  3. Guy Thomas, OLB (Signed UDFA with Colts)
  4. Jamar Montgomery, OLB
  5. Quinn Perry, ILB (Invited to Giants rookie camp)
  6. Josh Chandler-Semedo, ILB
  7. Terrance Lang, DE (Signed UDFA with Chargers)
  8. Robert Barnes, ILB (Invited to Seahawks rookie camp)
  9. Brady Russell, TE (Signed UDFA with Eagles)

Next, let’s congratulate the “Dirty Dozen“, the 12 players from the 2022 roster who remain with the team as spring gives way to summer:

QB- None
RB- Anthony Hankerson (Soph.)
WR- None
TE- Louis Passarello (Soph.), Caleb Fauria (Soph.), Erik Olsen (Soph.)
OL- Gerad Christian-Lictenhan (Jr.), Van Wells (Soph), Carter Edwards (R-Fr.)
DL – None
Edge – Joshka Gustav (Jr.),
LB – Marvin Ham II (Jr.), Isaac Hurtado (Jr.), Eoghan Kerry (Soph.)
CB – None
S – Trevor Woods (Jr.)

Of the rest, I have been tracking some 58 players who have left the program. There were only 14 defections early on, before the start of the spring semester. A few more were announced before the end of spring practices, with a tidal wave of announcements coming after the Spring Game.

Below is a unit-by-unit list, with known landing spots for the former Buffs noted. A rundown of the numbers follows …

bold = Entered transfer portal in the spring …

QB … Brendon Lewis (Nevada) … Owen McCown (UTSA)… J.T. Shrout (Arkansas State) … Maddox Kopp (Miami-Ohio) … Drew Carter

RB … Jayle Stacks … Deion Smith (BYU) … Victor Venn (Liberty)

WR … Chase Penry (Boise State) … Jack Hestera (Charlotte) … Maurice Bell … Montana Lemonious-Craig (Arizona) … Chase Sowell (East Carolina) … Jordyn Tyson (Arizona State) … Grant Page (Utah State) … Ty Robinson (Ball State)

TE … Austin Smith (Memphis)… Zachary Courtney (Coastal Carolina) … Seydou Traore 

OL … Casey Roddick (Florida State) … Noah Fenske (Southern Illinois) … Austin Johnson (Charlotte) … Alex Harkey (Texas State) … Jackson Anderson (UTSA) … Travis Gray (New Mexico) … Luke EckardtYousef Mugharbil Jake Wiley (UCLA)

DL … Tyas Martin (Jackson State) … Ryan Williams … Allen Baugh  Na’im Rodman (Washington State) … Aaron Austin … Jalen Sami (Michigan State) … Zion Magalei Mason Maddox (Kent State)

LB … Edgar Amaya (North Alabama) … Kaden Ludwick (Oregon – as a tight end) … Aubrey Smith (Houston) … Shakaun Bowser … Mister Williams (Incarnate Word) … Taylor Upshaw (Arizona) … Devin Grant (Western Kentucky) …

DB … Kaylin Moore (Cal) … Toren Pittman … Keyshon Mills (SMU) … Dylan Dixson (Missouri State) … Nikko Reed (Oregon) … Simeon Harris (Utah State) … Joshua Wiggins (Liberty) … Jason Oliver Xavier Smith (Austin Peay) … Tyrin Taylor (Memphis) … Jeremy Mack Tavion Beasley (San Diego State) … Oakie Salave’a (Hawai’i)… Nigel Bethel 

K … Cole Becker (Utah)

By the Numbers … 

  • 12 have found home at Power Five schools (20.6%)*;
  • 20 have signed on with Group Five programs (34.4%)**;
  • 10 will be playing for FCS or lower division schools (17.2%); while
  • 16 players have yet to find a school to play for in 2023 (27.5%)***

— * Here are the names and destinations of the 12 Buffs who have found homes at Power Five schools: OL Casey Roddick (Florida State), OL Jake Wiley (UCLA), DB Kaylin Moore (Cal), DB Taylor Upshaw (Arizona – Upshaw was a winter transfer to CU, coming from Michigan), K Cole Becker (Utah), DL Na’im Rodman (Washington State), WR Jordyn Tyson (Arizona State), RB Deion Smith (BYU), LB Kaden Ludwick (Oregon, but as a tight end), Nikko Reed (Oregon), Jalen Sami (Michigan State), and Montana Lemonious-Craig (Arizona).

But … even the 12 number can be debated. If you want to add punter Ashton Logan, who left the team long before Coach Prime came along, you could say the number should be 13. On the other hand, the dozen players listed above who have been deemed Power Five worthy include linebacker Kaden Ludwick, who has signed with Oregon. Thing is … Ludwick signed as a tight end – and as a preferred walk-on tight end at that. The total also includes defensive back Taylor Upshaw, who came to CU from Michigan in January, but has already moved on to Arizona. So, you could make an argument for anywhere between 10-13 Power Five players who have left CU who played during the 2022 season.

–**Several players on the above list of players who have signed on with G-5 schools were preferred walk-ons at CU, including quarterback Maddox Kopp (Miami-Ohio) and wide receiver Jack Hestera (Charlotte).

— *** Of the 16 players listed who haven’t found homes, there are some caveats there as well. For starters, CU has acknowledged that four players are remaining at CU to continue their education (though they have not been specifically identified). A specific NCAA rule, “Aid After Departure of Head Coach,” states that those students won’t count against Colorado’s scholarship limitation as long as they’re not participating with the team.

The number looking for new homes also includes defensive back Toren Pittman, who left the team last fall, and wide receiver Maurice Bell, who graduated, entered the Transfer Portal, took his name out of the Transfer Portal, and then re-entered. At this point, Bell may no longer be pursuing a career in college football.

A few surprises on the list of players still looking for a team … former starting cornerback Nigel Bethel … Quarterback Drew Carter, a highly sought after recruit from Oregon … Offensive lineman Yousef Mugharbil, a former four-star recruit who came to CU in January from Florida … and … Tight end Seydou Traore, considered to be one of the top tight end prospects in the Transfer Portal.

Bottom line … If Coach Prime and the other 68 Power Five conferences can be trusted as decent judges of Power Five talent, there are only about two dozen players from the Colorado roster in 2022 that are worthy of Power Five scholarships in 2023. There were a dozen who made it through the “Prime Cuts” from last season’s team, and about a dozen more who signed on with other Power Five teams.

Buff fans can sincerely hope that all of the players who were asked to leave the program can find a program and a scholarship. But the fact remains that, as Coach Prime and his staff  – not to mention the head coaches and staffs at 68 other Power Five schools – have made all too clear in the past few months … the 2022 team only had a few dozen Power Five players.

No chance the new coaching staff could have built a winning team out of what was left on the roster last November …


5 Replies to “Where are they now? Tracking the 2022 CU Roster”

  1. I’ve said it for years. Coaching. All they needed was Buttermaker to get the kids to believe and play above their class.

    Deion don’t play dat. Hat tip to homey the clown.

    Go Buffs

  2. I’d like to see this updated after next season and perhaps the following season, presuming you have the time of course! It will be a tremendous sample of how the transfer portal works or doesn’t work over time.

  3. All of the national critics of Deion Sanders are far more interested in bashing him than they are in caring about what is good for CU or its players. None of them cared about CU last year. They only pretend to care because they want to tear down Coach Prime.

    He has been transparent from day one. Those players in general simply weren’t good enough. Joel Klatt is right. Keeping them would have been coaching suicide.

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