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Colorado Daily

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    By Stuart


    [h=2]Colorado Daily – February[/h] February 8th
    New offensive coordinator
    From cubuffs.com … (New CU quarterback signee Sefo) Liufau won’t arrive until this summer, joining six other QBs on the roster and having to do what freshmen do – acclimate to football, life away from home, the college environment, et al. Yet, when Liufau arrives and Lindgren deems him capable, Liufau will be given ample opportunity to compete with returnees Jordan Webb, Connor Wood, Nick Hirschman, Shane Dillon, Stevie Joe Dorman and John Schrock.
    Merely seeing that lineup in print still might baffle Lindgren, who is accustomed to having four QBs on scholarship and one walk-on on his roster. “This is the most I’ve seen or been around . . . it’s a lot for guys who play only one position,” he said. “But it’s not like we’re going to get rid of any of them.”
    Lindgren has met with each of his QBs “a handful of times” and “watched a little tape from last year.” Obviously, he will refrain from making any evaluations, public or otherwise, until he gets more acquainted with each and sees them in spring drills.
    “I’m starting fresh with those guys and that’s what I told them,” he said. “It’s a new beginning for all of them, a chance for them to prove themselves. I’m going into it with an open mind in starting the evaluation process.”
    MacIntyre didn’t retain any position coaches from the former staff. One school of thought is that an entirely new staff faces a hurdle in thoroughly evaluating returning players. A holdover or two might have helped.
    Lindgren disagrees; taped “cut-ups” have been made of Buffs personnel for the new staff to study. Also, Lindgren said he benefitted from lengthy conversations on offensive personnel with former receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and former QB coach Rip Scherer.
    “Both of those guys were very open with me and I respect that,” Lindgren said. Added MacIntyre about Liufau: “Scherer did a very good job of evaluating him.”
    Spring drills begin on March 7, and the Buffs will have eight of their 15 practices prior to spring break (March 26-30). During the off week Lindgren hopes to further the QB evaluation process and arrive at a preliminary decision of who might be his top two or three starting candidates.
    “I’m hoping at that point to be able to narrow it down a little bit, not necessarily make a decision, but narrow it down and start getting more reps for some of those guys,” he said.
    And by that point, he and MacIntyre might have an indication of what direction their offense will take. It’s been widely suggested that the Buffs will use the pistol this fall, and that could wind up being their formation of the future. But it might not feature all the elements of the pistol that has made its way from Nevada and elsewhere to the NFL.
    Lindgren makes this point clear: His offense will be tailored to his personnel’s strengths, as was the case at San Jose State. “We used the pistol to fit our personnel,” Lindgren said. “If we have a talented running quarterback, then we’re going to run more of the pistol. If we’ve got more of a pro-style passer, then we’re going to tweak our offense more towards that – and that’s what we did at San Jose State last year.”
    The Spartans’ quarterback was senior David Fales, and said Lindgren, “He was more of a pocket passer. We did less of the pistol to fit his abilities. Now, we still did some of it to keep people honest, and we did it with our backup quarterback at times, putting him in some situations in the red zone and did some different stuff with him.
    “But you look at the statistics from last year, we threw for 4,000 yards. We didn’t run it as well . . . but we had good receivers, a good tight end and a real good quarterback. I think as an offensive coordinator you’ve got to have things you believe in, but especially in college you’ve got to learn to have success with the pieces you have.”
    So, the impression that the Buffs’ offense will be overhauled overnight in the image of, say, the San Francisco 49ers is, well, false. It all depends on which QB winds up No. 1, but CU operating out of the pistol even 60 to 70 percent of the time “might be a stretch,” Lindgren said.
    “A lot of it is going to end up with the quarterback we decide gives us the best chance to win. Is it going to be a more athletic guy or someone who has the ability to do both? Then we’ll do both if that’s who gives us the best chance to win. If it’s someone who’s a less talented runner, then we’re probably not going to do as much of (the pistol).
    “That’s what we want to do, and I think you’ve seen the success it’s having in the NFL. We want that to be a part of what we do, but how big a part will be determined by the quarterback and who prevails.”
    WHICH BRINGS US BACK to Liufau. Can he be the Buffs’ QB for the present or must he be groomed for the future? The best (and only) answer: Stay tuned until well into August camp.
    MacIntyre and Lindgren love Liufau’s humble demeanor, his upbringing, his versatility and his athleticism. After watching Liufau play hoops, MacIntyre was concerned about schools coming after him in that sport. “He’s really, really good,” MacIntyre said.
    Liufau has been all-league in hoops and was Bellarmine Prep’s basketball MVP last season, in addition to earning All-West Region (PrepStar) and a host of other area honors in football. Lindgren calls Liufau “a proven winner in a proven program,” loves that he was a four-year starter and says Liufau is “mature beyond his years.”
    But this might be the most telling part of Lindgren’s early critique: He believes Liufau is “first and foremost a passer; he’s accurate and makes good decisions and also has ability to run when things break down . . . I really don’t think he showed as much in high school as he’s capable of.”
    Still, he was noticeably prolific as a high school QB. He threw for 7,297 yards and 68 touchdowns (only 20 picks) while compiling a 34-5 record. He also ran for 606 yards and 18 touchdowns.
    But come August in Boulder, there will still be the freshman factor, which comes into play at quarterback more than any other position. For Liufau to arrive this summer, acclimate to all that will be spinning through his head outside of football, then work himself up to speed in Lindgren’s offense . . . well, it won’t be easy.
    And for MacIntyre/Lindgren to entrust their offense to a freshman QB, “Typically that doesn’t happen,” Lindgren said. “But my philosophy is playing the best guy. As a quarterback coach, I think it’s your job to put him in a position to succeed. That’s tough, because he won’t have had spring football to learn the system. So he’s naturally a little behind – that’s why it’s tough. But we’re going to give him some opportunities when he comes in to see if he’s ready. If he is, I don’t think we’ll have any problem (playing him). If he’s not, then we won’t rush him into anything.”
    Unless Liufau proves to be an ultra-quick study, that likely leaves the QB position in the hands (or feet, or both) of someone already on the roster. And that launches the interest, not to mention the importance, for MacIntyre’s first CU spring about Flatirons high. On the heels of last fall’s 1-11 finish, expectations are a bit lower – and that might be a good thing.
    February 7th
    David Bakhtiari, Nick Kasa invited to NFL Combine
    Two Buffs, offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and tight end Nick Kasa, have been invited to participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
    Both players will be working out for coaches and scouts on Saturday, February 23rd.
    Here is a link to more information on the combine, while here is a link to the invited players.
    February 6th
    Signing Day press conference
    The transcript from Coach MacIntyre’s press conference can be found at cubuffs.com. Here are some of the highlights …
    Opening Statement “This is always like Christmas to me. Even growing up, my dad was a coach and he used to always love signing day. My daughter goes to Baylor and she called me today to make sure everyone had signed. My wife called me and my kids called me on their way to school. It’s always a great, great day. I’ll talk about our class real quick and how proud I am of these guys and how proud I am of how hard our staff worked. When I got the job, the next day I called the 10 young men that were committed. The thing that I am really proud of is that all 10 young men stuck. They were bombarded by every school you can name and bombarded even the past week by a lot of schools. We’re really excited about how our staff got out there and got with these young men and they stayed with us. We were then able to get some young men that we are really excited about.”
    On Addison Gillam and Markeis Reed “First of all, I’ll talk about the two young men we got in for this semester. Addison Gillam is a big linebacker that we’re really excited about. He’s in school and working out. Markeis Reed is a young man that graduated high school early from the Napa Valley area. He’s another big linebacker at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. We needed linebackers. We were thin in that on the depth chart. We did not sign any linebackers a year ago and we needed some young men. We graduated a couple that were good players here. I’m really excited about getting these guys in.”
    On running back Michael Adkins “Michael Adkins is a running back that we signed out of Helix High School. They won the state championship a year ago and had a really good year. He ran a 10.8 100-meters last year and should break into the 10.7’s this year and I’m looking forward to him winning the Southern California section, hopefully. He’s a 4.06 student. He wants to major in either engineering or business. Mike is a heck of a running back.”
    On the secondary “We signed two defensive backs. Tedric Thompson, a young man from Valencia, Calif. He’s a big young man and a really good player. He has a brother that is a junior at Minnesota that plays there. It came down to us and Minnesota, so we were excited to get him. Tedric is a big, strong, physical safety. The other defensive back is Chidobe Awuzie. He’s a corner from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, Calif. He’s a young man that came to our camps at San Jose State for three straight years. I’ve known him since he was a 10th grader. I’m really excited about him. It came down to us and Washington State and we’re excited that he decided to come here. He’s a really good football player and an extremely intelligent young man.”
    On the receiving core “We needed to get receivers that had a lot of speed. We feel like we did that. These three young men are really good players. Bryce Bobo is from Charter Oak High School. I’ve had a lot of experience at Charter Oak and Bryce is a heck of a player. He plays both sides of the ball and he can also play corner. He’s a very athletic young man. He can run really well. The other one is Elijah Dunston from Chaminade Prep. He ran a 47-second 400-meters last year. I was joking with him this morning and said he needed to get down into the 46’s and he told me he was trying to. Chaminade is a heck of a school there in the Los Angeles area. Devin Ross is from Bishop Alemany High School. He’s a very good athlete. I’m really excited about what he brings to the table. He’s done a lot of great things with the football. I had a really neat time at his house. I got to meet his great-grandfather and his great-grandmother, who is 95 years old. They have been married for 65 years. It was a neat visit to the see family history. We’re very excited about our receivers.”
    On linebackers “We signed five linebackers. Addison Gillam, who I spoke about before. Big, strong kid. He also played tailback in high school. I’m very excited about Addison. One of the other linebackers is George Frazier, who is a big “MIKE” linebacker. He is 6-foot-2, 255 pounds and he also plays power forward on his high school’s basketball team. He’s from Monrovia High in the Los Angeles area. I’m very excited about what George brings to the table. The other linebacker is Kenneth Olugbode from Bellarmine Prep. He was a CCS Player of the Year. He was also the Northern Cal Player of the Year. He played tailback and linebacker. I like to get linebackers that play tailback. That’s one of the things that I look for. Basically all of these guys played tailback or quarterback. Believe it or not, George Frazier played quarterback until last year when he got too big. They played him as a wildcat quarterback, a tailback and at tight end also. Kenneth is a phenomenal young man who plans to major in mechanical engineering. He’ll be a good linebacker for us. I talked to you about Markeis Reed. Markeis is a big young man that has played linebacker and defensive end. He’s one of those that is in between. We’ll see how his body grows and figure out whether he’ll stay at linebacker or defensive end. He’s already 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds as a 17-year old. The other young man is Ryan Severson. He played linebacker and running back. He made first-team All-California. He made CCS Offensive Player of the Year and gained 1,998 yards at tailback this year with 32 touchdowns. He had over 60 tackles on defense and ran a 10.8 second 100-meters last year. He’s a 4.0 student and we’re very excited about Ryan.”
    On the offensive line “We signed five offensive linemen. We’ve got two young men from The Woodlands High School, Sam Kronshage and Jonathan Huckins. They both play side-by-side on the same side. One was a guard and one was a tackle. The other offensive lineman, Gunnar Graham, is a big young man that plays offensive tackle. His team went to the state finals; he’s a very good player. I’m very excited about Gunnar. He has a lot of history in his family. If you read his bio, it’s very interesting. John Lisella is from Columbine High School. I had a great visit at his high school. He’s a very athletic offensive tackle. He also plays lacrosse. He can really run and as he gains weight, he’s going to be a heck of a player. Colin Sutton is from Orange Lutheran. His sister Chloe [Sutton] is an Olympic swimmer. It’s a phenomenal family. His dad played offensive line for the Air Force. We are excited about having Colin here. He’s a young man that can play guard, center, or tackle. He’s a very athletic young man.”
    On the defensive line “On the defensive line, we signed two defensive ends. Jimmie Gilbert, a 6-foot-4 and a half, 230 pound athletic defensive end. He also plays basketball. His sister is the starting forward for Texas A&M. His dad also played basketball at Texas A&M and played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls for a while. His mother played college basketball at North Texas. Jimmie is very athletic and I’m really excited about getting him here to play defensive end. The other young man that will play defensive end for us is Tim Coleman. Tim is a young man that when we got here, we turned on the film to look at Mullen High School and Valor (Christian) High School, two great schools. That was the first film I watched. I asked for film of some of the best high school football in Colorado and so I watched Mullen play Valor. We watched about five plays and I had to know who #56 was. They told me his name was Tim Coleman and I knew we needed to recruit him. We went after him and I’m very excited about him coming here to play for us at defensive end. He’s very athletic at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds. He’s built very well. With him and Jimmie, I’m really hoping that someone can help us this fall because we are a little bit thin at the defensive end position depth wise.”
    On running back Phillip Lindsay “I’d like to talk about a young man that is a phenomenal athlete, Phillip Lindsay from Denver South. He broke the record for [Denver South] in rushing. He only played one and a half games his senior year. He’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s a really good running back and a very good defensive back. He’s a young man that is just bubbling over with enthusiasm. He lights the room up. He’s got a great personality and we are really excited about Phillip.”
    On quarterback Sefo Liufau “I am really, really impressed with this young man. I went to his home to visit and his family really loves the University of Colorado. He’s a very good football player. He’s a heck of a basketball player. He averages double-double’s in basketball and his team won the league championship. Hopefully they will make it to the state finals in Washington. I’m really excited about what he brings to the table. He’s 6-foot-4 and a half and weighs 215 pounds and he can really run. He runs at least a 4.6 (40-yard dash). He’s very athletic. He took his team to the state finals and he’s just a phenomenal young man that will hopefully be a bell cow for this class and for our program as he grows. “

    Coach MacIntyre to meet with former CU players tonight
    Continuing a tradition, new CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, along with some of his coaches, will be hosting a mixer for former CU players at the Blake Street Tavern in Denver this evening. Over 100 are expected to attend the event.
    Here’s hoping that the rift between the athletic department and some of the former players, still smarting over the firing of Jon Embree, can start to be closed tonight …
    February 5th
    Coach MacIntyre: “Rankings in Signing Classes don’t mean a lot to me”
    From B.G. Brooks at cubuffs.com … MACINTYRE EXPECTS TO SIGN 16 to 19 prospects, with the final number solidified either late Monday or Tuesday. Five prospects – including three “grayshirts” from the former staff’s final class – enrolled in January for the spring semester. The two new signees are outside linebackers Markeis Reed, of Napa, Calif., and Addison Gilliam, of Palo Cedro, Calif. The trio of grayshirts is comprised of receiver Jeff Thomas, offensive lineman Gerrad Keogh and defensive end Derek McCartney.
    Some attrition from the 2012 Buffs roster is expected. Starting junior left tackle David Bakhtiari is declaring his eligibility for the 2013 NFL Draft, and kicker Zach Grossnickle and tight end Davaughn Thornton are both graduating and have decided not to return for a fifth year of football. Plus, several other players are awaiting medical clearance.
    Coaching changes always put early- and mid-December hires and their staffs in a rush to salvage recruiting. MacIntyre believes he and his guys were able to accomplish that: “It’s gone as well as could be expected with the late start. We held onto basically everybody that was committed when we got here. A couple of kids had already de-committed and made some decisions on other places. But holding onto all those commitments was huge.
    “I called them the day after I got the job, talked to them (and) the first days we could get out – a Friday-Saturday – I sent all the guys out. We got after it; it was important to us. They (CU commits) were getting bombarded. Quite a few commits had been contacted by other Pac-12 schools – all the way to the last second. Those young men liked what we’re going to do here and were excited about Colorado and our future. That was very positive. Then we’ve gone out and found some other young men who were looking at other schools and got some of those guys that I felt round out our class really well . . . we found some good players, too.”
    Validation of how good, he added, is TBD – which most coaches also will tell you. Take a look at San Jose State, where his three teams finished 1-12 (2010), 5-7 (2011) and 11-2 (2012). In those three years, MacIntyre didn’t have a recruiting class ranked higher than No. 99 nationally by Rivals.com.
    In order, his three classes were ranked No. 100 (tied with four other schools), No. 99 (tied with Ohio) and No. 99 (tied with seven other schools). The average “star” ratings, respectively, were 2.23, 2.25, and 2.25.
    “Rankings in signing classes don’t mean a lot to me,” MacIntyre said. “I’ll tell you in two to three years – how many stay, how many work, how many get better, the tenacity of them – all of those things. I feel like we got some kids who have a little bit of a chip on their shoulders to prove stuff. You always want that; I look for that.”
    Kind of like what he saw in Patrick Willis 10 years ago: “He’s one of the best linebackers to ever play . . . I think that answers your question (about the star system).”
    Using ballpark numbers, MacIntyre’s annual goal at CU will be to get “the right 22 . . . it varies, but it usually averages about 22 guys. You want the right 22 guys every year for Colorado. That’s what you want. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says. You want the right 22, and then in two to three years they’re standing there looking you in the eyes as men and they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Now, you’re successful.”
    A FEW OF THE PROSPECTS MacIntyre will introduce on Wednesday previously were committed to his former school. When I asked him to explain his philosophy on that, he answered: “I was not going to recruit anybody who was committed to San Jose State unless they de-committed and were looking at other schools. Two or three kids did. I had a bunch of other kids that inquired . . . guys that we felt fit our needs at Colorado. We had a few kids that worked out that way.”
    Asked if the ex-SJS commits had to make the first call, MacIntyre said, “They had to de-commit and I had to know it – and, yes, they had to call me. I was not going to go in and (poach). That’s not the type of person I am. I honor commitments, I honor what I do. But those kids were looking at other schools in the Pac-12 also. I said I’d rather have them on my team than play against them.”
    In stocking future CU classes, MacIntyre most likely will keep his recruiters west of the Mississippi. In random instances, the Buffs could look east – but only if a prospect shows an interest in CU, makes a call, and MacIntyre and his staff believe the prospect is worth pursuing.
    “Basically that’s it; if we get a phone call from here or there, we’ll listen,” he said. “But we’re not going to spread ourselves thin. If you spread yourself too thin, you can’t evaluate correctly. That’s still the most important thing. Anybody can turn on the film and see a great one. My daughter can pick those out. But you’ve got to evaluate every part of it.
    “We’re a Pac-12 school . . . now if a kid calls us from (the East Coast) and has an interest in Colorado, yeah. But we’re not going to spend five days in May (going there). Why would you? There’s enough players (in the West). The history of Colorado, if you look when they’ve been successful, they’ve done well in California, Texas and at home. I’m going to follow that plan.”
    His plan’s fine print: In May, MacIntyre will dispatch four coaches to “hit every high school” in Colorado. Six coaches will be assigned to California, with some of them also working Colorado if necessary. Three coaches will work Texas, specifically the Dallas-Austin-San Antonio-Houston “triangle,” said MacIntyre. “Texas is a gigantic state . . . we’re really going to work that ‘triangle’ area hard.”
    Also, one coach will work the Seattle/Pacific Northwest region, one will recruit in Arizona, primarily targeting Phoenix. San Jose State successfully combed that metropolitan area, said MacIntyre, adding, “We want to win Colorado first and foremost, get the BCS players here. That’s our goal . . . we had a great response from high school coaches and families (and) we’ve already got our eyes on juniors for 2014. It’s been a good reception. We’ve done a good job for this class.”
    Selling CU, MacIntyre said, shouldn’t be difficult: “Colorado has a great history and is well-respected academically. When the kids came on their visits here they loved it. I thought that went real well. And as we get into it in a full (recruiting) cycle, it’ll even be better.”
    February 4th
    Jon Wilner – Hope for the celestially challenged
    Colorado is not going to sign any five-star prospects this Wednesday.
    Colorado is not going to sign any four-star prospects this Wednesday (though quarterback Sefo Liufau was a four-star recruit … before he committed to CU).
    Still, there is hope for the Buffs. As Jon Wilner points out, the 2012 All-Pac-12 team is devoid of five-star recruits, and only seven of the 22 players were four-star recruits …
    From the San Jose Mercury News … We’re two days from National Signing Day and fans are no doubt fretting throughout the conference — either you team’s recruiting class isn’t ranked very high, or it’s not ranked high enough.
    I’m hear to help alleviate some anxiety … or tamp down soaring expectations. (Because that’s what I do!)
    The star system that forms the basis of the team rankings is, of course, flawed: What’s below should give you an indication of just how flawed it can be.
    It’s a look at the 2012 Pac-12 all-conference team (first team selections) and the number of stars each player received. You’ll notice: There are no 5-star prospects, and only seven of the 22 players were 4-star recruits.
    Recruiting is often called an inexact science. I disagree. It’s not a science at all. It’s educated guesswork.
    The development of any player depends so much on things that are difficult to measure the first Wednesday in February:
    A prospect’s work ethic, the quality of college coaching, late-teens physical maturation and his fit within the system used by the college team.
    And the success of any recruiting class depends, of course, on the coaching staff’s ability to make independent evaluations — to know which players are better than their stars suggest … and which might not be as good.
    (Every miss eats up a valuable scholarship for one season, if not five.)
    The following ratings are courtesy of Scout. I could just as easily have used Rivals: The ratings are similar, both services get it wrong with the about the same frequency — and both, in my opinion, are better than ESPN.
    (Rivals … just to cite one major miss on its part, since Scout is singled out below … assigned just 4 stars to Andrew Luck in ’08 and ranked him not only as the No. 4 pro-style QB in his class but also as the 68th best prospect in the country.
    (The pro-style QBs ranked ahead of Luck that year: Blaine Gabbert, Dayne Crist and Mike Glennon.
    (Then again, Luck wasn’t No. 1 on Stanford’s board, either. Jim Harbaugh had his eye on Crist … and one or two others)
    Here’s a look at the ’12 all-conference team, with stars …
    *** OFFENSE
    * Quarterback Marcus Mariota, Oregon: 3 stars (Also 3 stars: Washington’s Keith Price and Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly.)
    * Tailback Kenjon Barner, Oregon: 3 stars Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona: 3 stars (Also 3 stars: UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin.)
    * Receiver Markus Wheaton, Oregon State: 3 stars Marqise Lee, USC: 4 stars
    * Tight end Zach Ertz, Stanford: 4 stars
    * Linemen David Yankey, Stanford: 3 stars Hroniss Grasu, Oregon: 3 Brian Schwenke, Cal: 3 stars Khaled Holmes, USC: 4 stars Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA: 4 stars
    *** DEFENSE
    * Linemen Scott Crichton, Oregon State: 2 stars Star Lotulelei, Utah: 3 stars Will Sutton, Arizona State: 3 stars Dion Jordan, Oregon: 4 stars
    * Linebackers Chase Thomas, Stanford: 3 stars Trent Murphy, Stanford: 3 stars Anthony Barr, UCLA: 4 stars
    * Seconday Jordan Poyer, Oregon State: 2 stars Ed Reynolds, Stanford: 2 stars Desmond Trufant, Washington: 3 stars Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Oregon: 4 stars
    … So … take heart this Wednesday when the stars don’t come out …

    Jimmy Smith and San Francisco’s last play – Defensive holding or a good “no-call”?
    Baltimore Raven first round pick – and former CU Buff – Jimmy Smith was at the forefront of the post-game discussion after the 34-31 Raven victory over San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
    On fourth-and-goal at the five yard line, 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick lofted the ball towards the right corner, where San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith jostled for position. Smith grabbed Crabtree, while Crabtree pushed off Smith. The ball fell untouched to the ground, and was called incomplete.
    Here’s the take of Mike Pereira of FOX Sports: “[Colin] Kaepernick lofted a pass to Michael Crabtree, who was being guarded by Jimmy Smith. Both players were hand fighting and when you look at this play in real time, there’s not enough to call pass interference against either player. Smith had a quick grab and Crabtree had a quick push-off. Smith went down on the play and the pass fell incomplete,” he wrote. “Crabtree never complained and it’s the type of play where a flag thrown against either team would have, in my mind, created more controversy than a decision not to throw the flag.”
    San Francisco 49er linebacker Ahmad Brooks disagrees. “The guy was holding Crabtree,” he said. “The officials called it as if it was a regular play and didn’t throw the flag. I think if anybody has seen it on film, they would say it’s pass interference.”
    San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh: “Yes, there’s no question in my mind that there was a pass interference, and then a hold on Crabtree on that last one.”
    Here’s a link to a discussion on the NFL Network, along with a video replay.
    Either way … Jimmy Smith has become the owner of the 49th Super Bowl ring in CU history …
    February 3rd
    CU Super Bowl Trivia
    Consider yourself a Super Bowl expert? How about an expert on your CU Buffs?
    Combine the two, and you can impress your CU friends at your Super Bowl party. Here are some Super Bowl trivia questions about the 48 Super Bowl rings won by CU Buffs (answers below).
    Questions:
    1. Who was the first Buff coached by Bill McCartney to earn a Super Bowl ring?
    2.* Numerous Buffs have won a pair of Super Bowl rings. Can you name the trio of Buffs who have each won three Super Bowl rings? (Hint: one was a Raider, the other two were Patriots)
    3.* We all know that longtime CU coach Brian Cabral was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. But there was one other Buff on that Bear team. Can you name him?
    4.* The Pittsburgh Steelers have won numerous Super Bowls, and many Buffs have won the black-and-gold of the Steelers through the years. Yet only one Buff has won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Steelers. Can you name him?
    5.* Four CU punters/placekickeers have won Super Bowl rings. Can you name all four?
    6.* The Dallas Cowboys have won multiple Super Bowls, but only one Buff has won a ring wearing Cowboy colors. Can you name him?
    7.* Two Buffs have won a pair of Super Bowl rings, and are also members of the College Football Hall of Fame. Can you name both?
    8.* Two Buffs won a pair of Super Bowl rings in consecutive years, not only as teammates, but playing the same position. Name them.
    9.* Only one Buff has won a Super Bowl ring playing almost exclusively as a kick returner. Can you name him?
    10.* More Buffs have won Super Bowl rings as members of the New England Patriots (12) than any other team. What team has the second-most Buffs with rings?

    Answers:
    1. Lee Rouson, RB (New York Giants), 1986
    2. Cliff Branch, WR (Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders); Tom Ashworth, OT (New England Patriots); Ted Johnson, LB (New England Patriots)
    3.* Emery Moorehead, WR
    4.* Mitch Berger, P, 2008
    5.* Barry Helton, P, (San Francisco 49ers), Tom Rouen, P (Denver Broncos), Mitch Berger, P (Pittsburgh Steelers), Mason Crosby, K (Green Bay Packers)
    6.* Mickey Pruitt, LB, 1992
    7.* Dick Anderson, DB, (Miami Dolphins), 1972-73; Alfred Williams, LB, (Denver Broncos) 1997-98
    8.* Christian Fauria and Daniel Graham were both tight ends for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in 2003-04
    9.* Ben Kelly, who also played some cornerback for the New England Patriots in 2001.
    10. The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders have produced ten Buff Super Bowl rings. Denver is next, with seven.

    February 1st
    Chidobe Awuzie to announce decision on Signing Day; Thompson decision still pending
    So there will be some Signing Day drama for the Buff Nation, after all …
    Three-star defensive back Chidobe Awuzie will announce his decision for college on Wednesday, February 6th. Awuzie (Rivals bio) met with Washington State head coach Mike Leach on Monday, and committed to the Cougars that night. Awuzie, though, said he felt pressured by the Washington State coaches, who told him they only had one scholarship left open, and needed a decision. Awuzie then de-committed Tuesday morning.
    Now, Awuzie will make his decision public on Signing Day (for those thinking this is a bit too theatrical for a three-star player, know this – Awuzie will actually let coaching staffs know his decision on Saturday, February 2nd, giving coaches time to adjust their plans accordingly). Awuzie will choose between Colorado, San Jose State, and Washington State (though Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that there may be some late interest from Wisconsin and Oregon State). Colorado coaches had an in-home with Awuzie on Tuesday night, and the Buffs are assumed to be the leader for the defensive back’s services.

    One other player is still very much on CU’s radar. Another three-star defensive back, Tedric Thompson, remains uncommitted. Thompson, from Valencia, California (Rivals bio), has offers from Colorado, San Jose State, Freno State, Minnesota, UNLV and Washington State. Thompson took an official visit to Fresno State in December, and was in Boulder January 14th. Thompson will be taking an official visit to Minnesota this weekend … where his brother is currently on the roster.
    A decision from Thompson may come this weekend, or it may become another Signing Day decision.


    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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