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Notes from the Burrito Stand - Players & Position Battles

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    *Note: These are my best impressions based on piecing together various interviews from coaches and players along with "intel" either posted or shared through other means. I've tried to avoid speculation. Also, please don't assume that a compliment of one player is a back-handed slap at another (i.e., if I say something good about player A standing out in an area, don't assume that Player B is lacking in that area).

    Offense

    Quarterback

    Jordan Webb won the starter job and it wasn't close. He commands the huddle better than anyone else, makes better decisions, has a great competitive streak, and throws a very catchable ball. Wood may have lost confidence when he didn't win the job outright in the spring and still has too many "wtf?" moments with his decision-making to be trusted. Hirschman has started to blossom and might win the QB2 job. He throws a beautiful deep ball and the players really like him. Dorman has improved quite a bit and may have passed Schrock on the depth chart. It took him a while to get comfortable and was not physically ready, but he's been in his playbook and also added a lot of strength (including arm strength). The word on Dillon is that he's got all the tools both physically and the "it" factor to be a special player in the coming years. He needs to get stronger.

    Wide Receiver
    Starting with our senior first, Ebner has looked good. He's reliable and the coaches trust him. Won't start and may get passed by guys who aren't quite ready because their ceilings are so much higher, but he's a guy that will be where he's supposed to be and do his job. Darden is a big target who is still slow in and out of his breaks. Probably doesn't flash enough at practice to earn many snaps. Canty is limited in run support and his hands/routes can be inconsistent. He does flash, though, and has been on a rollercoaster between doghouse and potential playmaker. Very quick. McCulloch is quicker than last year and catches well in traffic. Needs to work on getting out of his breaks better in order to create separation. If he keeps growing, we could see him at TE in future years. Spruce can be a very good player. Not electric, but sneaky fast and can develop into being a technician. Getting there. Gerald Thomas is special. Very fast. Very agile. Good hands. Potentially an All Pac-12 freshman this year. Jeff Thomas is faster than advertised and has a lot of potential. He should earn his way back to game snaps after the suspension. For him to be most effective with his style of play, he needs to get bigger and stronger. Last but not least, Paul Richardson is targeting the Washington State game if everything progresses with his rehab. If he's even 90%, he's a upper level Pac-12 WR and would add a ton of big play ability to this offense along with a veteran presence at the position.

    Running Back
    Tony Jones is the clear starter and does everything well. Tough and very competitive. Cares deeply about being great. Not a pure homerun threat, but is the type who can become one in the 4th quarter once a defense gets tired and frustrated. Creer isn't all the way back, but could be a short yardage back this year. Ford isn't talked about much, but is trusted because when he gets the ball in game situations he gains yards. Goodson is too slight to get much action, but has some wiggle and could be used in spots where he can get the ball in space. Abron is impressing and could be the breakout true freshman. He's kind of a pinball and should be the true freshman back that gets the bulk of the carries. Crowder is a real talent that needs to progress with his playbook/fundamentals and gain 100% confidence in his knee. Could redshirt, could be a star in the making. Payne is a battering ram that may redshirt to develop his body into what it needs to be in order for his running style to be effective against guys who are 21- or 22-years old.

    Fullback
    Powell is a flat out stud. His skill goes beyond being a lead blocker. He's got ability carrying the ball and catching passes. Blitz pickup is angry and he's not afraid to take on a LB or DE. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him as a 3rd down single back since he can be a personal protector for the QB and also sneak out and catch the ball if a blitz doesn't come. Wood's a reliable guy who is definitely a blocker. Nothing flashy here, but can be trusted. Norgard is a pure football player that has flashed but has a lot to learn. He can play and he's tough, but redshirting may not be the worst thing for him.

    Tight End
    Kasa is starting to open some eyes. Not a natural pass catcher, but has stopped fighting the ball and has become fairly consistent. Has NFL athletic ability and has shown that he can make the circus catch in traffic. But can also be the guy who drops a seam pass when he's wide open in the middle of the field. His strength is in the running game. Fernandez is a good blocker at the point of attack who should see the field in short yardage situations. Slavin is serviceable and excels more as a pass catcher, but he's developing. Thornton is a big play potential guy who needs to show more consistency and also more willingness in the run game. Hobbs has distinguished himself as a pass catcher and playmaker. All-world talent. He'll see the field. Among the other freshmen, Ray is a smaller Kasa with better ball skills and knowledge of the position. Hopefully he can redshirt so that he can be more Kasa-sized when he sees the field. Irwin is the most complete TE right now. He's likely to redshirt because he doesn't have the dynamic playmaking potential of the pass catchers and doesn't have the bulk/strength of the blocking TEs. Give him a year or two and he could be the guy who is on the field for the majority of snaps, though, since he can do everything you need a TE to do.

    Offensive Line
    Bakhtiari is a great technician with a mean streak to match. Be nice if he carried another 10-20 pounds, but he makes up for being light with great leverage. He'll be great this year and, if he wants to, could leave for the NFL a year early. Lewis is also light, but he's got great athleticism and the long arms you want to see. Might have the greatest upside of all the OLs. Handler is a smart center who gets the job done and keeps improving. Trusted. Ceiling is likely an NFL practice squad and then seeing if he continues to develop the way he has. Munyer hasn't been talked about much by fans, but could be the guy that makes this into a great OL. Exceptionally talented. Same with Harris, who has been very impressive during camp. In fact, the right side of the OL has looked so good that we may be surprised to see how right-handed the run and screen game is this year. They may be better than the more heralded left side. In terms of backups, Dannewitz will be very valuable since he can effectively play both guard and tackle spots. Primary backup and a coach in the huddle. He's got a bad back and that needs to be managed. Crabb is next and he's capable of filling in if needed. Nembot is a work in progress but all the tools are there to be special down the road (size, demeanor, intelligence). He'll get some spot work in games to speed his development. Cotner is better than expected and there's now a good question of how things would reshuffle if something happened to Handler. Our "best 5" would probably be putting Dannewitz at RG and shifting Munyer to C, but he's shown enough to raise the debate over better continuity from playing him at C and leaving the other guys in place. Mustoe needs to get bigger, but has the tools. Still developing and not ready. Kelley and Irwin have been standouts as true freshmen, getting significant snaps working in with the ones. Both have the potential to be great in the future but the hope would be that a healthy OL allows them to redshirt. If there was a long-term injury, a baptism by fire may be in order and it's believed they could hold up in a pinch.

    Defense

    Defensive Tackle
    Pericak is on another level this year and will be disruptive. Major change to defensive style of play has finally been implemented after the previous regime. No more read-and-react assignments from the DL to free up the LBs. They're expected to get off blocks and make plays now. Bonsu is showing well enough to get a ton of snaps in the rotation. Question of whether he's a bit light to play NT and may end up being more of a backup to Pericak at DT. Poston has actually flashed a bit, but he's a tweener. Not going to give you everything you need at DE and not big enough to hold up at DT. Could see spot duty. Tupou is the real deal. Physically ready to match up with senior OLs. Talent is through the roof. The only thing holding him back is being a freshman (learning the assignments and playing with the every-down intensity required at this level). Solis is huge and will only get bigger. He'll play and be effective. Once he gets his techniques and assignments down, he could be special. Henington is overshadowed by the other freshmen with fans, but his upside is tremendous and he might get to play as a true freshman. Great motor. Rasmussen is another high motor guy. Most likely redshirt candidate because he really needs another 20-30 pounds.

    Defensive End
    Uzo-Diribe is on another level now. He's bringing consistent intensity, flowing to the ball in pursuit, and is able to hold up in the run game. Technique has grown a lot by going against Bakh in practice. Expecting a big year from him. Parker was a question mark after the spring. In his own head a bit too much, but now that he's feeling confident on assignments he's starting to make plays the way his Army All-America performance showed he was capable of. Could surprise and give us a top half of the Pac-12 DE tandem. Samson has had a good camp and should see the rotation this year. Brings every down intensity. Might be in that tweener position of needing to grow into being a DT in future years. Stuart has been better than advertised. Getting mentioned more every week as a freshman who is impressing. May not have the luxury of redshirting him this year. Wilson is all potential right now. He's got the tools, but may not be ready. Could come on and see the field, but also a potential redshirt.

    Linebacker
    No need to talk much about Rippy and Major. They're all-conference types. Fortunately, Daigh has been an absolute stud in camp and this should allow the coaches to manage Rippy's snaps coming off the knee injury. Webb has progressed the way we are used to with Cabral players. Much more complete this year and is much more of a sideline-to-sideline guy. Much improved in pass coverage. Surprise of camp has been how well Vigo has adjusted to playing LB. He'll be in the rotation and may see a lot of action against spread offenses. Coaches are very excited about the futures that Washington and Greer have for us. Good players who will play this year. I've literally heard no mention of either Williams or Tu'umalo. Maybe special teams.

    Cornerbacks
    Henderson is locked in as a starting corner. Very good burst and his knowledge has progressed to the point where he's actually baiting QBs into throws instead of just trying to stay on his man's hip. He's taken his game to the next level. Crawley should win the other starting CB job. Talented enough that he's drawing comparisons to Terrence Wheatley. Yuri looks to have snagged the CB3 role. It's unclear what that means for dime coverage. Henderson may move inside for that package since the dime CB really mirrors the nickel. Moten has really progressed and should see the field. Better in his assignments and techniques now that he's embraced being a cornerback. Bell is still not all the way back from injury and isn't to where he was last year. If he gets there, he can play. Hall has been very impressive for a true freshman. May redshirt, but it's only because Crawley and Yuri may be that good. Walker was having a good camp before the injury/surgery. The redshirt year will be the best thing for him though -- class separation and time to develop.

    Safeties
    Polk has taken to the leadership role and is expected to have a big year. In what may be a surprise to some, Smith looks like he's earned the other starting S spot. His knowledge of the defense and pass defense skills have dramatically improved. He's also filled out some and is a big time hitter. Orms will man the Nickel spot and he'll be on the field as much as the starters at the 11 base defense positions. Playmaker that needs to be out there, but coaches are still hesitant to bet too much on him given the injury history and don't want to see the season go down the toilet if he misses time. Mosley has really stood out and is pushing the starters. He'll play this year, including some time at nickel or dime, and is being counted on to replace Polk in 2013.

    Specialists
    With the returners, the names that keep getting mentioned are Mosley, Crawley and G-Thomas. Not sure who will win that and whether the coaches may go with veteran reliability catching the ball initially while they work these guys in. Kicking job seems to be solidly Oliver's. At Punter, Grossnickle continues to push O'Neill and that may not be 100% decided yet. Snapper is Iverson and the coaches trust him.
     
  2. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Let me know if I missed anyone. Please add whatever you may have heard.

    But what I'm mostly getting is that there's a feeling of confidence in the program that there's a strong undercurrent of this thing coming together and the 2012 team being much better than expected.
     
    Heywood likes this.
  3. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    koolaid GET THEE AWAY.

    Most positive - Frosh OL looking good and general depth being perhaps decent.

    Most interesting - that we have changed our DL scheme from last year. sounds like they have gone from a 1 to 2 gap method (I'm combining this with a recent interview with a DL, forget who). That's a big difference.

    Worries: Sounds like we don't have a true NT other than Tupou... not good against a running team.
     
  4. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    YMSSR.

    Damn rep whore...
     
  5. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

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    Nice write-up Nik. I'm scared though.

    I need CU to beat CSU before I can guzzle the koolaid but a sip doesn't hurt.
     
  6. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    Rep. Awesome write-up, and seems positive.

    Can we have Duff Man write one also so that we can have the kool-aid tempered a little bit :smile2:
     
  7. Rraalph 3000

    Rraalph 3000 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly...I'm loving the hype but hear this most every year....Put a whooping into CSU and I'll start chugging away.....look ugly and let the goats hang with us like the past few years and I'll be singing the "same old same old tune"
     
  8. lawdogg

    lawdogg Club Member Club Member

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    Curse you Nik.
     
  9. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    i so want to believe.

    kool-aid for everyone.

    if embree and company deliver anything north of 6 wins, he's be p12 coach of the year in my book.
     
  10. buffalo30

    buffalo30 Active Member

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    Many Thanks! Didn't get to Colorado this August to take a look at a couple of practices, so this helps.
     
  11. Buffalo Brad

    Buffalo Brad Club Member Club Member

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    Feeding the monster on this one! Nice job Nik. I like my kool aid grape flavored!
     
  12. NashBuff

    NashBuff CSU Knob-Slobberer

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    Based on what Nik had to say about Wood, I wonder if Connor Wood could be a transfer risk? One D2 Texas school just announced their intentions to move to the FCS Southland Conference and one more could follow next week.
     
  13. DBT

    DBT Club Member Club Member

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    I think your assessment is too positive for this board.
     
  14. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I have heard mostly good things. The return game is supposed to be much better.

    Have heard some nagging concerns about the kicking game, but not much else aside from depth concerns at WR and OL.
     
  15. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    If you say anything about rugby punts being back, I'm beating someone to death.
     
  16. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    O'Neill hardly practiced that in the offseason. Not the focus. Hopefully we won't see it.
     
  17. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    did you know our guy can kick with BOTH feet?

    not at the same time, as far as i know, however.

    if darraigh gets the start, i guarantee we'll hear this nugget again every week.

    both feet!

    :woot:
     
  18. Jaximus

    Jaximus Club Member Club Member

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    I thought Harrington would see the field somewhere, I've always liked his abilities. Is he not going to be in the running to replace Polk?
     
  19. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Lots of practices left this year and then a full offseason, so he certainly could work his way in. But he's spent more time with the trainers than the coaches up until now. Coaches haven't really been able to evaluate him.
     
  20. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    Thanks Nik. Now you have me drinking the koolaid you bastard!

    Duff Man, post your write-up so my expectations can be tempered.
     
  21. Jaximus

    Jaximus Club Member Club Member

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    Well I'm rooting for the kid. He's a huge reason why Crawley is here.
     
  22. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    Thanx for the write-up Nik. The only thing that concerns is that much of our depth depends on the frosh. These games could be real roller coaster rides.
     
  23. rodrigo

    rodrigo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks and rep, Nik. Info and insight like this is why I ante up (that and the utter amazement at OMFGasm's idiocy).
     
  24. lvbuff

    lvbuff Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember the last time the Buffs actually had a handful of true widebody DTs. Even if they are true freshman the future looks good.
     
  25. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    The kool-aid is flowing at casa del sacky.
     
  26. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Well done, sir!
    I'd give you a rep, but I think the rep-o-meter won't let me give you any more reps until 2013 ... :thumbsup:
     
  27. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    I don't like T-Wheat as a comparison.
     
  28. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Let the aid flow through you.
     
  29. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Might be a double shot of koolaid, Duff has us bowling :thumbsup:
     
  30. Bill Cody

    Bill Cody Well-Known Member

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    Nik, I have had the pleasure of attending a few practices and that is a pretty good write-up...well done. That being said, with practices being closed, you have also provided a pretty good personell report....just had to say it :bounce:
     

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