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bsn CU Buffs Solis up for the challenge ahead

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

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    When Colorado brought in Jim Leavitt in to be their new ontefensive coordinator and it became apparent he would be running a 3-4 defense, Justin Solis was all but sharpied in to be the number two nose tackle, but, like is the case so many times in sports, at the drop of a hat that changed.

    Josh Tupou, the anchor of the Buffs defensive line and the projected starter at the nose, was dismissed from school, and all of the sudden the 6-foot-2, 325 pounds Solis was no the projected number one.

    “I was definitely taken back by it, it was a huge loss, he was one of the heart and souls of this defense,” Solis told BSN Denver. “But that’s in the past now, we’re moving on. I have some big shoes to fill, but I feel like I’m up to the challenge.”

    The 3-4 relies on the nose tackle position to eat up the middle of the offensive line, putting a large weight on the shoulders of the experienced senior.

    “There’s definitely a lot of pressure on me, but I don’t take it that way,” he explained. “I feel like I have the abilities to be that guy, so I don’t take it as pressure, I take it as a challenge, and it’s definitely a challenge that I’m accepting.”

    While his talent is visible, one of the big questions for the big man in the middle is whether or not he will be in the condition to stay on the field consistently, and make an impact for the duration of an offensive series. It’s not easy, after all, to carry all of that weight around the field play after play, but Solis, who has traveled to 48 of America’s 50 states, has been working tirelessly to move around the field as well as he’s moved around the country.

    “I’m definitely working on that, I’m definitely getting into better shape, I’m definitely losing weight,” he said. I still have work to do, but you know, it’s definitely getting better… by the time we get to the first game against Hawaii I’ll be in really good shape.

    “I am going to be a first through third down type of guy,” he added. “In my head I’m definitely going to be out there all three downs.”

    On top of getting into shape, the Southern California born, New York City raised lineman, has another goal.

    “I want to be one of the leaders on this defense,” he told. “Our line has a lot of young guys, a lot of guys who don’t have as much experience. I just want to be that rock for them, be that guy that people can come to and be the leader for our d-line and a leader for our team.”

    As for the transition into that new defensive scheme, Solis says it’s coming along nicely.

    “It’s still a work in progress, but we’re definitely getting better,” he explained.” Eddy [Lopez], Jase [Franke], Leo [Jackson], Jordan [Carrell], everyone, even our freshman are doing a good job.”

    And he likes the way the Buff personnel fit into it.

    “It definitely plays to our strengths,” said Solis. “Me playing nose-guard is definitely the position I prefer, and then having Leo, Jordan, and Samson [Kafovalu] outside of me is definitely better because they’re better pass rushers, I just feel like this defense really plays to our strengths.”

    The senior has seen action in 31 games across his career, including 8 starts, so experience is certainly not an issue, but the Buffs will need more than just a wily vet on the field if they are going to reach their goals this season, and Solis sounds up to the task.

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