Pre-season notes on CU Buffs 2021 football



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Pre-season notes on CU Buffs 2021 football
By TrevMon • Issue #1 • View online
In 2021, the CU Buffs will build upon a strong foundation. The Karl Dorrell era began with a 4-2 record, including an Alamo Bowl that they will need to forget. To get to another bowl game, the Buffs will need to overcome a brutal schedule, and find answers for questions at QB, Tackle and Safety.

Top Lines
Strong Foundation: Athletic Director Rick George new he had his man in Karl Dorrell. Karl overcame allot of COVID overhead to lead his team to 4-2 2020. Karl has strong ties to Boulder, developed through prior stints (McCartney; Neuheisel). Karl’s approach emphasizes player development, character development, and teaching and is well aligned with the WHOLE student athlete development program that Rick George is implementing across the department. Karl also introduced the “Football School” in the off-season, where players studied systems and schemes in depth.
Turley Era. Coach Turley is another great fit for the program and the WHOLE initiative. His approach is tailored to the individual player, and focuses on aspects of mobility, flexibility and football functional strength. Turley has background in psychology which he integrates into his program. Turley comes from Stanford, where he was credited as the key part to Stanford’s rise under Shaw.
Tough Sledding - The Buffs have the 9th toughest schedule in 2021 according to one pre-season publication. CU is projected in the lower-middle of the NCAA pack (~80) by some power ratings services, and 4.5 Over/Under by Vegas. Assuming we have answers at QB/T, the Buffs should be competitive in every game, and 6 win season is a realistic aspiration.
Seasoned, Big and Deep: 2020 features perhaps the biggest and deepest roster in recent memory. Even the kickers on this team are big (6-4, 6-5). Some skill groups (WR/TE/RB) are three deep, and the Interior OL and OLB groups have players who have been around the program, and bolstered by transfers who will make these units more resilient.
Position Group Outlook
Question Marks
QB: Entered camp with 3 scholarship QBs (Brendan Lewis ,Fr; JT Shrout, Jr; Drew Carter, Fr.), and one walk-on (Wolvertan) following off-season transfers of Lytle (UMass), Noyer (OSU) and former walk-ons (Cicerone, Chandler). Shrout now has a serious knee injury that will keep him sidelined. Matt Lynch (TE) a former QB in high school and at UCLA might be an emergency option.
Tackle: Frank Fillip is likely out for 2 games. Max Wray is a promising transfer from Ohio State that is expected to fill in at LT. Jake Wray is coming on at RT. Interior lineman (Lytle; Jynes) are moving over to Tackle to fill depth.
Running Backs: Pac-12 offensive player of the year Jarek Broussard returns. He may be quicker without leg brace. 2019 starter Alex Fontenot, and freshmen phenom Ashaad Clayton both return and will get into rotation. Jayle Stack will see time in short yardage and third downs. Josh Davis, Deon Smith (injured 2020) provide depth and should get reps in special teams.
Wide Receivers: a deep and talented room with Dimitry Stanley (So); Brendan Rice (Fr) and La'vontae Shenault returning and expected to start. All of them can get open and are dangerous runners. Danial Arias (Jr) is tall and fast, Jaylan Jackson (Jr), Montana Lemonious-Craig (Fr), and Keith Miller are all capable playmakers. Maurice Bell is out with a torn Achilles.
Tight Ends: Expect the position to be more featured in this offense. Starter Brady Russell returns from injury. Matt Lynch, a converted QB, along with Alec Pell (coming on strong), and freshman Christian Fuaria who is flashing will be regulars. Eric Olson, Jared Paplowski (comeback player candidate), CJ Shmansky, and Nico Magri are likely to get into the rotation in situations and on special teams. Keep an eye on freshman Austin Smith, a large frame and track prospect who is learning the position.
Interior OL: the Buffs have 3 returning at Guard who have starting experience (Kary Kutch, LG; Casey Roddick (RG); Kanaan Ray (RG); with Noah Fenske (transfer from Iowa), Austin Johnson (Fr), Edgar Amaya (true FR); Josh Jynes and Chance Lytle will compete for time (both also moonlighting at tackle), provide plenty of options on the interior. Colby Purcell is the returner at C, which unlike 2021, should have plenty of back-up options (Carson Lee, Fenske, Jynes, Johnson).
Interior LBs: Nate Landman seems to be fully recovered from a torn Achilles is a Butkus award candidate. Robert Barnes (5 * transfer from OK) is poised to start at Will or Star position. Robert will face competition from former rugby player Quinn Perry (Jr) who is looking good, from Jonathan Van-Deist (Jr) who is Nate’s back-up and worked on his speed in off-season, and prospects Marvin Ham (Fr), Zion Magali (true FR). Alvin Williams (Fr) is an intriguing player who moved inside from outside backer and will find a way onto the field sooner than later. Mister Williams is another prospect inside.
Outside LBs: Carson Wells has pro-potential and led the nation in tackles for loss. The other side is a fierce competition between Jack Lamb (transfer ND), Joshka Gustav, who broke-out in pass rushing and cover situations last year, and Jamar Montgomery and Guy Thomas who both split starts last year. Guy was hampered by injury at times last season and may breakout this year. Devin Grant also came on strong in the off-season.
Back 7: Strong Coverage. The returning corners are both pro-prospects (Mekhi Blackmon; Christian Gonzalez). Quality depth from Nigel Betham, who had a great spring. Jaylon Stryker and a trio of true freshman are depth pieces (Reed, Taylor, Moore). Safety position could be a welcome surprise if Chris Miller is healthy and can stay on the field. Isaiah Lewis was a breakout performer last year and returns at SS. Mark Perry has allot of potential will compete for a starting position. Ray Robinson is looking the part at SS after moving over from linebacker. Torrance Pittman, Curtis Appleton, Trustin Oliver, and Trevor Woods will compete for the depth chart.
Defensive Line: Coach Wilson gives them top coaching, he probably wants to use as many as he trusts in the rotation. Terrance Lang (DE) and Jalen Sami (DT) are next level prospects. Na'im Rodman (DE) appears poised step into the position vacated by Mustafa Johnson. DT Janaz Jordan is a big body who is in great shape and will get snaps. Justin Jackson (DL) has a quick first step and will be on the field in passing situations, as might 4* transfer Blayne Toll on the edge. Other depth pieces who may be ready to jump include Lloyd Murray, Jaydon Simon, and three freshman will compete for the three deep (Williams, Martin, Baugh)
Kicking: Big legs in Punter Watts (6-5) and PK Cole Becker (6-4). Walk-on Evan Price will compete and has been steady when called upon.
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By TrevMon

Notes on the University of Colorado Football Program

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