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Rating the CU Roster – O-Line

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by RSSBot, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

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    By Stuart


    [h=3]Rating the Colorado Roster – Offensive Line[/h]—
    Note … This is the*fourth in a series of weekly unit reviews for the Colorado roster, which will lead us up to the start of Fall Camp on August 4th.
    Previous posts: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

    [h=3]Colorado Offensive Line*Roster[/h]Players lost: Kaiwi Crabb; Daniel Munyer; Marc Mustoe; Brad Cotner
    Seniors: Stephane Nembot; James Carr
    Juniors: Jeromy Irwin; Alex Kelley; Shane Callahan; Sully Wiefels; Ed Caldwell; Vincent Arvia
    Sophomores: Gerrad Kough; Sam Kronshage; Jonathan Huckins; Collin Sutton; Connor Darby
    Redshirt-freshmen: John Lisella; Josh Kaiser
    Grey-shirt freshman / Early enrollee: Isaac Miller / Dillon Middlemiss
    Coming this fall: Tim Lynott; Aaron Haigler
    bold = starter in 2014; italics = non-scholarship player

    2014 Statistics for returning players
    –*Alex Kelley … 988 plays … 57.8 PPP (Plus play percentage) … 19 KD (Knockdown blocks) … 66.7% (highest grade)
    – Stephane Nembot … 988 plays … 52.3 PPP … 47 KD … 68.0% (highest grade)
    – Jeromy Irwin*… 819 plays … 58.9 PPP … 40 KD … 72.0% (highest grade)
    – Gerrad Kough … 215 plays … 51.4 PPP … 8 KD … 56.0% (highest grade)
    – Sam Kronshage … 84 plays … 37.5 PPP … 5 KD … 47.4% (highest grade)
    – Jonathan Huckins … 29 plays … 51.7 PPP … 0 KD … 50.0% (highest grade)
    – Shane Callahan … 21 plays … 38.1 PPP … 0 KD … 38.1% (highest grade)


    Spring/Summer news
    Colorado has three returning starters along the offensive line – left tackle Jeromy Irwin, center Alex Kelley, and right tackle Stephane Nembot. With the exception of the Oregon game, which Irwin missed due to injury, the trio were on the field as starters for every game last fall.
    Gone, however,*are the two starters at guard, Kaiwi Crabb and Daniel Munyer.
    The pack seeking to become the starters at guard include juniors Shane Callahan and Sully Wiefels, along with sophomores Jonathan Huckins, Sam Kronshage and Gerrad Kough.
    Kough came out of the spring as the odds-on favorite to start at left guard. The sophomore was on the field for every snap of the UCLA game last fall, and had more total plays (215) than any other non-regular starter. Kough also picked up the Joe Romig Award, handed out each spring to the Most Improved Offensive Lineman.
    The right guard position remained unresolved coming out of the spring. Sophomore Jonathan Huckins and junior Shane Callahan were listed on the depth chart, with the dreaded “or” between them. Not that it will have any bearing on which player is on the field for the Hawai’i game September 3rd, but Huckins did receive the “Iron Buffalo” award amongst the offensive linemen, presented by position to those who “represent hard work, dedication, toughness and total lifting performance”.
    Also, when it came to drafting the teams for the spring game, Huckins was the seventh pick by Gold team captain Marques Mosley, with Callahan selected 11th. So Huckins has that going for him … which is nice.


    What others say about the Colorado offensive line
    Lindy’s … “The Buffaloes need someone to step up in the backfield … Helping the Buffaloes’ stampede is a line that returns three starting upperclassmen in Jeromy Irwin, Alex Kelley, and Stephane Nembot”.
    Athlon’s … “The offensive line was a big reason the Buffs ranked 19th in the nation in passing offense. Colorado quarterbacks dropped back to pass nearly 600 times and were sacked only 23 times. Improvement seems to be coming in the running game, but that is still an area of concern. Three starters are back in center Alex Kelley and tackles Jeromy Irwin and Stephane Nembot. Both guard positions will be up for grabs in August with four players in the mix for jobs. Sophomore Jonathan Huckins and Gerrad Kough and junior Shane Callahan had small amounts of playing time in 2014 and won’t be completely green if they earn a job. Sully Wiefels is likely to be the backup center”.
    The Sporting News … “(Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce) will be more effective if the Buff can find help at the guard spots and if somebody emerges from a serviceable group of rushers”.

    The Bottom Line
    Colorado set numerous offensive records in 2014 – mostly by Sefo Liufau and Nelson Spruce – and the offensive line did give*up only 23 sacks all season (which, considering the Buffs threw the ball 45 times a game, is not a bad percentage).
    That being said, overall the Colorado offense was not up to the*explosive standards of the Pac-12. The Buffs were 75th in the nation in rushing (154.6 yards per game) and 64th in*scoring offense (28.5 ppg.).
    Continuity and familiarity are important for good offensive line play. The Buffs have been fortunate the past few seasons in that there have been relatively few injuries disrupting the starting lineup from week to week. That will certainly be a must again this year as Colorado tries to build upon the successes of last season.
    It seems like just yesterday that Colorado stole away Stephane Nembot from Washington and Washington State on Signing Day, with the 6’7″ defensive end, originally from Cameroon, coming to Boulder with loads of potential. Moving from defensive end to offensive tackle, Nembot has spent the last three seasons learning the trade of protecting the quarterback, with “potential star” almost always associated with his name.
    Well, now Nembot is a senior, and if he is to become the next Buff offensive lineman to find his way to the NFL, this is the season to shine.
    The other two returning starters, Alex Kelley at center and Jeromy Irwin at left tackle, are proven commodities, but there is a*lack of experienced depth behind them. If Kelley and Irwin can stay healthy this fall, they will form a solid base upon which an improving Colorado offense can build.
    The other “star-in-the-making” the Buffs need to shine this season is junior Shane Callahan. A Parade All-American as part of the Recruiting Class of 2012, the Parker, Colorado, native spurned his home state flagship school in order to compete for a national championship at Auburn. After two years on the Plains, Callahan returned to Colorado. There was much celebration in the Buff Nation when the NCAA determined last August that Callahan would be eligible to compete in the 2014 season.
    Instead of immediately competing for a starting role, however, Callahan struggled to even get on the field. His only playing time came against USC, when he was on the field for 21 snaps as an injury replacement. The Buffs need Callahan to reach the potential he had four years ago as a high school All-American.
    In terms of depth, the Colorado offensive line is getting better, though strides will still need to be made. With only one senior on the roster (Nembot), the Buff offensive line has the chance to be very good this year, and continue to improve in coming seasons.
    But we have said that before …

    CU*Offensive Line*Roster Grade*… C+. I like the makeup of Colorado’s offensive line. There are three quality returning starters, and several good options to fill the two guard positions. Offensive line coach Gary Bernardi is getting*has done well with the hand*he was dealt a few years*back, and is bringing in some quality recruits to solidify the unit.
    The offensive line, though, has to be more than good if the Buffs are to go bowling this fall … it has to be great. Pass protection must continue to be above average, while the Colorado running game must find its legs. If Nembot can become the next draft-worthy Buff offensive lineman, and Shane Callahan can rise to his lofty expectations, this unit could turn into something special.
    —–



    Originally posted by CU At the Game
    Click here to vie
     
  2. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Going to have to disagree that the OL is going to have to be great to make a bowl game.


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  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    We can disagree. It's a good debate to have. (I'm moving to football forum.)

    Up front, though, I just wanted to commend Stuart on a well-detailed piece. Good info for Buffs fans.
     
  4. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Active Member

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    Montana is the man.
     
  5. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Absolutely


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  6. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    With Nembot being our only senior likely to see a lot of time this year not only should the line be better this year than last but we can also look to some continuity and growth in future seasons. We aren't going to be like some recent seasons hoping to find five guys that can play and shuffling them into positions.

    We also have enough depth that if a guy or a couple of guys go down we aren't in panic mode.
     
  7. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    Having the depth is nice that we haven't had for long time. I'm worried a little about the guard play, especially if we are expecting our run game to be better. I don't think we take a huge step back, but I can see some struggles until they gel.
     
  8. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Due to injuries last year Kough and Kronshage got a lot of snaps at the end of last year in meaningful action. They may not be as developed techniquewise as Krabb and Munyer were but I think they will turn out to be a step up.

    Really want to see what Callahan can do. Coming out of HS the kid was a serious talent and you don't magically lose that.
     
  9. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Plus Kelly has a lot of experience now so Krabb or Munyer don't have to help with the calls. The OL should be stronger in the running game because we are losing a couple of 6'2" 295 guys, and exchanging them for guys who are all 6'3" 310< lbs
     
  10. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    From what I saw, and I don't claim to be an expert, Kough seemed really meh to me, hopefully he develops and improves. If they can develop to be as good or better than Munyer that will be huge, by midseason I bet they could play at the level Krabb was at. Like you said Callahan is the wild card and even if he doesn't start, there are a lot of teams that would like to have him as a 6th lineman.
     
  11. sliderNcider

    sliderNcider MacLovin Club Member

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    Replacing Munyer and Crabb with Kough/Callahan will not be an upgrade (at least not early). Tons of experience with Munyer and Crabb.

    The hope is that Irwin, Kelley, and Nembot improve enough to offset that loss for a net gain
     
  12. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    I was never a big fan of Munyer. His technique was solid but I saw him get beaten physically to many times. Wanted to break the TV every time I saw him standing there with his hands on his hips watching his man get up off the ballcarrier.

    Kough is raw but as tini points out is a big step up physically.
     
  13. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    I think we're all pretty much in agreement that we should step up, but need gel time. I think the time we are all thinking is different. This is where this weak OOC schedule helps us this year and we can suffer some growing pains. I just hope they have gelled as game 5 rolls around.
     
  14. 89BUFF89

    89BUFF89 Well-Known Member

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    At least we have multiple options for guys that have been in the program for a few years. Hard to judge the competition when there's no depth to push the starters.
     
  15. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Only real concern is depth at offensive tackle IMO.
     
  16. patebuff

    patebuff Downgraded to half a star Club Member

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    I thought Kough played terrific in the time he received. They say he has a mean streak, which is what you want in an interior olineman. I remember him getting beat once and a critical false start, but other than that, he was pretty solid. This could be our best oline in a long, long time. Luckily our schedule is softer in the first few games and hopefully get any wrinkles worked out before conference play with the two new Guards.
     
  17. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Agree, still wouldn't shock me to see Callahan move outside tho compete at tackle before Hawaii.

    Lisella and Miller are both still developmental types and it would shock me if they are ready to see much time this year.
     
  18. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Continued development from Kronshage is huge this camp.

    From the guys we don't talk much about, the guy I'm watching most closely is Kaiser. I think he's a future star on the OL.
     
  19. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    On paper, the OL appears to be the strength of the team.
     
  20. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Them and the secondary
     
  21. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    OK, 'tini.
     
  22. BuffNut99

    BuffNut99 Club Member Club Member

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    Me too, although he may need another year in S&C. He will be one of the first guys I seek out in Fall camp.
     
  23. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Do you disagree?
     
  24. 4DemBuffs

    4DemBuffs Most admired poster Club Member

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    Who wants to explain this to him?
     
  25. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Feel free to explain it to me, but the secondary on paper does look to be a strength of the this team.


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  26. Swish

    Swish Half a bubble off Club Member

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    Thought about it, decided to take a pass.
     
  27. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    ****ting on opinions 101
     
  28. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    What?


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  29. mdelpizzo_1

    mdelpizzo_1 My Dixie Wrecked Club Member

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    Allbuffs requried learning.
     
  30. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Kaiser definitely looks the part. I hope he progresses enough to be in the mix at RT for 2016. Very raw, but has the athleticism you notice right away.
     

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