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Spring Break-Down – Defense

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    [h=2]Spring Break-Down[/h][h=3]Defense[/h]Note: With the press and the public barred from spring practices this year, it is difficult to form an objective opinion as to how the Colorado football program improved over the course of the first half of spring practices. However, there have been a number of interviews given by coaches and players over the first two weeks of practice. Below is a compilation of what has been learned from those interviews. (Much credit goes to Adam and Sean at www.buffstampede.com, who have been the most diligent in posting*interviews and updates in what has otherwise been a sparse spring for news).
    Defensive Line
    The few, the proud …*the CU defensive line.
    Those attending the Colorado spring game on April 14th will be treated to the public’s first look at the 2012 Colorado Buffs.
    Just don’t expect to see much of a show.
    The Colorado recruiting Class of 2012*will bring*nine defensive linemen to Boulder this fall … but they won’t be here until fall.
    Until then, the defensive line is so short of bodies, that spring scrimmages – and the Spring Game – will be limited in scope. With junior defensive tackle Nate Bonsu out for the spring with a shoulder injury, the scholarship roster of defensive linemen consists of: seniors Will Pericak and*Eric Richter; junior Chidera Uzo-Diribe; and sophomores Juda Parker, Kirk Poston, and Cordary Allen.
    That’s it. Even in you throw in a few walk-ons, like sophomore Andre Nichols and red-shirt freshman Casey Walker, the Buffs are still a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
    One player who is trying to make his mark this spring – before the reinforcements arrive – is*Chidera Uzo-Diribe. In 2011, Uzo-Diribe played in every game, starting six, but had only 18 tackles on the year. The junior was second on the team in sacks, with 5.5, but the season overall was a disapointment. “I feel like I have done a couple good things here but that is not good enough for me,”*Uzo-Diribe told Adam at www.buffstampede.com. “I want to take my game to the next level and become a great player for this University. I am hoping to achieve that these next couple years. I feel like if I can get my run technique down, be able to help stop the run, I will be able to make that jump and become a great player.”
    Uzo-Diribe has made strides off the field, gaining 25 pounds in the weight room over the past two seasons, putting 255 pounds on his 6’3″ frame. “I got a lot stronger in the weight room in December, January and February so I feel like that will definitely benefit me in the run game,” Uzo-Diribe said. “I have come into this off-season with the mindset that we need to toughen up. During the fall, I kind of got tired a lot. We don’t have good numbers on the defensive line this spring so we are going to get a lot of reps. This is our time to get even better conditioned and also learn how to play tired.”
    For his part, Uzo-Diribe gives praise to walk-on Andre Nichols and former*tight end*Cordary Allen. “Andre is definitely a guy that can help us because he has good speed off the edge,” Uzo-Diribe said. “Cordary is new to the position after playing running back and tight end before. We are going to keep working on his technique, get him better every spring practice, but he looks like we could be able to use him.”
    One of the mainstays along the defensive line has been Will Pericak. The senior-to-be has a team-best 36 consecutive*starts to his credit, and last season led the defensive line with 64 tackles. This spring? Colorado defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo has had to move Pericak back-and-forth between the tackle and end positions. “Well for now, he has to do both,” Tuiasosopo told BuffStampede.com. “You know, his role is going to be dependent on the development of those young guys and the guys we have coming back. A guy like Nate Bonsu has got to step up. He has to step up. These returning scholarship guys, they all have to step up. The big thing right now, with the guys that are on scholarship that are back here this spring, is that they have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
    “Stepping up” is a phrase Tuiasosopo has had to use a great deal this spring. Continuing on concerning Bonsu, Tuiasosopo said, “There are still a lot of question marks with Nate. First of all, he’s got to get healthy. Second of all, is where it’s at…you know Nate does flash, but he doesn’t flash enough. He needs to be that constantly clicking camera that keeps flashing. He flashes, but not enough flashes. He understands that. He and I have had that conversation and so he needs to….somebody’s got to step up. Between the returning scholarship guys, which are Eric Richter, Kirk Poston and Nate Bonsu, and then the guys that we signed, someone’s got to step up.”
    Hopefully, some defensive linemen will “step up” before September, or it will be a long season for the Buffs and their fans.
    Still to come …
    Defensive backfield

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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