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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Colorado
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  07/04/20 - Brady RussellJr/2022, Colorado, 6-3, 255 (DS#29 TE) + More +

  Last season was a revelation of sorts for Brady Russell. After catching five passes in 2018 as CU's leading tight end, Brady Russell had 23 receptions in 2019 as the position's role in the passing game expanded. He would, after all, be called upon to catch passes at the University of Colorado. Former CU coach Mike MacIntyre's tight end-as-an-offensive lineman approach to Russell's position left little opportunity to make an impact beyond the occasional key block in the run game. Mel Tucker opened things up for the Buffaloes' tight ends last year, and while it remains to be seen how the tight ends will be utilized under new coach Karl Dorrell, his track record makes it fair to assume CU's tight ends won't be regarded simply as extra linemen. - Daily Camera

(DS#29 TE) Jr/2022 TE Brady RussellColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  07/02/20 - Derrion RakestrawSr/2021, Colorado, 6-1, 195 (DS#26 SS) + More +

  In a little more than two years, Rakestraw has evolved from a player adjusting to the second position change of his collegiate career to a steadying force at the back end of CU's defense. Recruited as a wide receiver and moved to cornerback after his redshirt season, Rakestraw eventually settled at safety, recording his first career interception in his first start at Arizona in 2018. He added three more last year while starting the season's final nine games. "I'm extremely comfortable back there now," Rakestraw said. "I'm starving. I'm ready to get back on the field. This is my last go-around, so I'm ready to go out there and show people what I can do. Go out there as a team and just win some games. You saw what we were doing at the end of the season. I'm ready to just continue that trend into the next season." After juggling positions during the first half of his career, Rakestraw goes into his senior season as the only player on the spring two-deep roster with starting experience at either of the safety spots. - Daily Camera

(DS#26 SS) Sr/2021 SS Derrion RakestrawColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/28/20 - William ShermanJr/2022, Colorado, 6-4, 305 (DS#24 OT) + More +

  Looking at the list of offensive linemen at Colorado this season gets William Sherman excited. "Since I've been here in 2017, this is probably the most talented and the most depth that we've had on the O-line," said Sherman, a junior tackle. "I'm excited for guys to compete, because there's going to be a lot of competition and it's going to make us a lot better." Offensive line improvement has been an ongoing pursuit at CU for several years and Sherman will play a key role in the Buffs taking a step forward this year.

Sherman, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound junior from Allen, Texas, is one of two returning full-time starters to the line, along with left guard Kary Kutsch. Colby Pursell, who started five games at right guard, also returns. Pursell is likely to move back to center, where he started all 12 games in 2018. Sherman has been CU's top-graded lineman each of the past two seasons - and he's done it while playing two different positions. He started nine games at left tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2018, earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention from the coaches. - Daily Camera


(DS#24 OT) Jr/2022 OT William ShermanColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/26/20 - Mustafa JohnsonSr/2021, Colorado, 6-2, 290 (DS#10 DT) + More +

  For three months, Mustafa Johnson was unable to use the exceptional workout facilities at the University of Colorado. The Buffaloes' 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior defensive lineman wasn't going to let the coronavirus pandemic stop his progress, though. "I miss (football) a lot," he said. "I miss the whole hitting aspect, but I really haven't skipped a beat (in workouts). I've been running and doing all my training, even with all this COVID that's going on." While concerns about the spread of COVID-19 canceled spring practices and forced Johnson and athletes around the country to work out on their own, the Buffs are still scheduled to begin their season on Sept. 5 at Colorado State. Voluntary workouts at CU began on June 15 and the NCAA Division I Council has approved a plan that allows preseason camp to begin Aug. 7. If practices and games are held, Johnson plans to be ready.

A former junior college transfer, Johnson had an exceptional first season with the Buffs, in 2018. He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors from the Associated Press after leading the conference with 8.5 sacks, leading the Buffs with 18 tackles for loss and racking up 73 tackles. In the past 22 seasons, no CU defensive lineman has had more tackles in a season. Last year, an ankle injury limited him to nine games and fewer than 20 snaps in two other games. He finished with 34 tackles and 4.5 sacks. In preparing for his senior season, Johnson said he feels 100 percent healthy. "I've been out running and playing basketball and doing all kinds of stuff," he said. "I'm good now." The Buffs need him to be, although he's not carrying the load by himself. - Daily Camera


(DS#10 DT) Sr/2021 DT Mustafa JohnsonColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/20/20 - Brady RussellJr/2022, Colorado, 6-3, 255 (DS#29 TE) + More +

  For three seasons, Embree, 31, was as an offensive quality control coach with the 49ers, working with his father, Jon, the team's tight ends coach and it was a job he loved. A few weeks after the Super Bowl, however, Embree got a call from new Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell and was hired as the Buffs' tight ends coach, giving him his first full-time assistant coaching job and the opportunity to return to place that has meant so much to his family. "For me, this was a unique opportunity," Embree said. "I told myself I wasn't going to leave where I was with the San Francisco 49ers unless the perfect opportunity came along and to me this is as perfect as it gets."

Jon Embree was a tight end at CU from 1983-86, twice leading the Buffs in receiving. After playing in the NFL, Jon got his start in coaching at CU as a volunteer in 1991. In 1993, he was hired to coach tight ends and he spent 10 seasons on the staff. He then spent two years, 2011-12, as the Buffs' head coach. Taylor Embree, right, played receiver at UCLA from 2008-12. Reggie Moore, left, was his receivers coach with the Bruins. Moore has been hired as a quality control coach at CU. I knew the fight song since second grade," he said. "Obviously my dad played here, my uncle (Sean) played here. To me, this is a unique opportunity because this is home for me and there's a lot of pride and a lot of tradition. I'm familiar with CU. There's not a place I'd rather start my coaching career then here." - Daily Camera


(DS#29 TE) Jr/2022 TE Brady RussellColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/12/20 - Chris MillerrJr/2022, Colorado, 6-0, 190 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  When healthy, Chris Miller has been arguably the best cornerback at Colorado the past two seasons. CU coaches are hoping he can be more than that. A 6-foot, 190-pound junior, Miller could be wind up being one of the most versatile and impactful players on the Buffaloes' defense next season. "We were doing a Zoom donor meeting a couple weeks ago," defensive coordinator Tyson Summers said, "and one of the questions that was asked was, 'Who do you feel is going to be a player that really jumps out this season?' And (Miller) was one of the first names that I mentioned in that group." A cornerback since he arrived in Boulder from Denton, Texas, in the summer of 2017, Miller was listed as the starting strong safety in a recent "pencil" depth chart released by CU. He is also a candidate to play in CU's "star" position, a defensive back/linebacker hybrid.

"We feel that he's a unique player that can do a lot of things," head coach Karl Dorrell said. "We want him in multiple roles and he's embraced that challenge. But it's just a matter of getting him in those positions to see if he can handle all that information. We do plan on him being a big factor." For Miller to be a big factor, he has to be healthy, and that's been his biggest challenge. He has played in only 10 games at CU, with his 2018 season cut short because of a fractured thumb and his 2019 season limited to four games because of a torn ACL. He also missed spring practices in 2019 with a dislocated shoulder. "Physically I'm feeling good," Miller said last week. "I've been working really hard trying to get back as healthy as I can. I'm trying to be ready and have a great year and show the NFL scouts that I can be a great player and I will be." - Daily Camera


(DS#999 CB) rJr/2022 CB Chris MillerColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/09/20 - Antonio AlfanoSo/2023, Colorado, 6-3, 285 (DS#999 DE) + More +

  Antonio Alfano may have a chance to play for the Colorado Buffaloes after all. On May 29, CU told BuffZone.com that Alfano, a former five-star recruit who transferred from Alabama in January, was no longer enrolled in school and no longer on the team. Head coach Karl Dorrell told BuffZone, however, that Alfano remains indefinitely suspended and there is a path for him to return to active status if he chooses to take it. Dorrell declined to specify the steps Alfano needs to take in order to return. According to a source close to Alfano, he received a medical withdrawal from school for the spring semester. - Daily Camera

(DS#999 DE) So/2023 DE Antonio AlfanoColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  06/06/20 - K.D. NixonSr/2021, Colorado, 5-08, 190 (DS#30 WR) + More +

  Speaking to a crowd in Boulder's Central Park on Friday morning, KD Nixon walked over to a police officer and shook his hand. "I couldn't do that growing up. I was scared to do that," said Nixon, a young black man who grew up in DeSoto, Texas, and came to the University of Colorado to play football three years ago. Nixon and dozens of other CU athletes, coaches, administrators and community members gathered on Friday for Buffs March. An estimate of more than 500 people, including police officers, took part in the roughly mile-long walk to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest against racial injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

On May 25, Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, died after being restrained by police. Floyd pleaded with officers that he couldn't breathe as they held him to the ground and one officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. Those who participated in Friday's Buffs March, took a knee for 8:46, remaining silent throughout with fists raised, at the end of the walk. "It's a blessing," Nixon said of seeing so many people take part in the protest. "This is authentic. This ain't nobody trying to, you know, bring racism against people. No, this is everyone versus police brutality. This is everyone standing together saying, 'Let's be stronger." - Daily Camera


(DS#30 WR) Sr/2021 WR K.D. NixonColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  05/30/20 - Antonio AlfanoSo/2023, Colorado, 6-3, 285 (DS#999 DE) + More +

  Former Alabama football player Antonio Alfano, a 5-star recruit in the 2019 signing class, has left the program at Colorado, according to a report by the Boulder Daily Camera. The school confirmed Alfano's departure to the Daily Camera's Brian Howell, according to the report. Alfano enrolled at Colorado in January after leaving Alabama without ever playing in a game. Alfano, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound native of New Jersey, was recruited to the Buffaloes by former head coach Mel Tucker, a one-time Alabama assistant. Tucker left for Michigan State in February and was replaced by Karl Dorrell.

Alfano was suspended by Dorrell in March for violation of team rules. He was also suspended at Alabama in September before entering the NCAA transfer portal in October. "He's kind of disappeared a little bit," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in September. "I talked to our team today about the fact that people make mistakes. We all mistakes. I make mistakes. Probably everybody in this room makes mistakes. We make mistakes as parents. We make mistakes as coaches. We make mistakes in just about everything that we do. But I think you compound the problem when you don't confront the mistakes that you make and you create greater consequences for yourself because of the choices and decisions that you make after you make a mistake. So hopefully this will be a learning experience for all the guys on our team." - Birmingham News


(DS#999 DE) So/2023 DE Antonio AlfanoColorado
News Source: Birmingham News
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  05/13/20 - Tyler LytleJr/2022, Colorado, 6-4, 215 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  The Blake Stenstrom era never really got off the ground with the CU Buffs football program. Now the former Valor Christian star and 2018 three-star quarterback recruit appears to be headed east after announcing Tuesday night on Twitter that he intends to transfer to Princeton. He played in three games for CU in 2019 while serving as a backup to Steven Montez, completing 1 of 3 passes with one interception. His biggest highlight came on a 27-yard run in a brief appearance against USC.

With Montez gone for the NFL - he signed with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent - the quarterback position is one of many things in flux for first-year head coach Karl Dorrell. Among those expecting to compete for the starting nod are incoming three-star recruit Brendon Lewis, senior Sam Noyer and junior Tyler Lytle. "It is really a wide open position," Dorrell said during a Pac-12 Webinar on Tuesday. "We're coaching them all hard and we're just going to see how the things fall in place when we get a chance to line up at the beginning of the season." - Denver Post


(DS#999 QB) Jr/2022 QB Tyler LytleColorado
News Source: Denver Post
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  05/02/20 - K.D. NixonSr/2021, Colorado, 5-08, 190 (DS#30 WR) + More +

  Three years ago, KD Nixon and Laviska Shenault came to Boulder with visions of dominating together and they've posted some big numbers. During the past two seasons with the Colorado Buffaloes, the duo from DeSoto, Texas, has combined for 229 catches, 2,876 yards and 17 touchdowns. It's also been rare to see one on campus without the other. That will change this year, however, with Shenault in the NFL and Nixon playing his senior season at CU. This will be a much different unit without Shenault and Tony Brown, who each had 56 catches to lead CU last season. Shenault was a second round choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, while Brown signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Browns.

Nixon, meanwhile, is eager to fill their shoes and lead the Buffs' receiving corps. "Our No. 1 goal was always to be the best receivers in the nation, both of us," Nixon said this winter of he and Shenault. "Also our goal was to take care of our family (by reaching the NFL). He's at an advantage right now and he's leading the way." They've shifted their goals a bit this year. "He takes off in the NFL and I take off in college," Nixon said. "I'd be the best receiver in college football, he'd be the best receiver in the NFL. That's just our goals. We're not slowing down just because we're not together. No, let's take it up another notch." Nixon, without question, wants to take his game up a notch. After a very good sophomore season in 2018 (52 catches for 636 yards), he didn't produce as he had hoped last year. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Nixon, who is the Buffs' lone senior receiver this year, had just 35 catches for 465 yards in 2019. Only 170 of those yards came in the last eight games. - Daily Camera


(DS#30 WR) Sr/2021 WR K.D. NixonColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  05/02/20 - Jeremy BloomSr/2006, Colorado, 5-09, 173 (DS#21 WR) + More +

  It's been nearly 16 years since Jeremy Bloom lost his battle with the NCAA, but it wasn't much of a surprise that he was a popular guy on Wednesday. "My phone has been ringing off the hook today," the former Colorado Buffaloes receiver said with a laugh. This week, the NCAA Board of Governors announced it will allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness (NIL). Details of the new legislation are still being ironed out and it is pending approval by the divisions by January of 2021, but it was a major step for the NCAA, which has long fought against NIL compensation in an effort to protect its model of amateurism.

One of the most high-profile battles on this issue took place between the NCAA and Bloom nearly two decades ago. "This was the crux of my whole battle," Bloom, 38, said. "This is the thing that they have been fighting for the last 50 years. … So it is a monumental day." Bloom, who starred at Loveland High School, was an electric talent for the Buffs. The first time he touched the football, in the 2002 season opener against Colorado State, he went 75 yards for a touchdown on a punt return. His first career catch was a 94-yard touchdown against Kansas State - the longest passing play in CU history until last season. He had three return touchdowns in his career and caught 22 passes for 356 yards as a sophomore in 2003. Colorado's Jeremy Bloom returns a punt 75 yards for a touchdown against Colorado State on Aug. 31, 2002, in Denver. He was also a world-class moguls skier and competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. - Daily Camera


(DS#21 WR) Sr/2006 WR Jeremy BloomColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  04/30/20 - K.J. TrujilloSo/2023, Colorado, 6-0, 165 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  As true freshmen last fall, Tarik Luckett, Mark Perry and KJ Trujillo went into Colorado's football season preparing to redshirt. Luckett, in fact, was expected to not only redshirt, but to spend his days at practice running routes as a receiver. All three wound up becoming important pieces to the Buffaloes' secondary. The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has created stay-at-home orders around the country and uncertainty about the 2020 football season, but CU continues to prepare and BuffZone is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we look at the defensive backs.

Season-ending injuries to cornerbacks Mekhi Blackmon and Chris Miller and the mid-season departure of safety Aaron Maddox forced the true freshmen into action last season. They went through growing pains, but also had plenty of good moments. "I think that will benefit us a lot, just being able to get early experience and we've still got plenty of time here at Colorado," Trujillo said after last season. "So through our next few years, we'll definitely be prepared." Trujillo started seven games at corner last season, while Luckett made two starts late in the year. Perry played as a reserve in the nickel/Star role and made his impact felt during the second half of the season. - Daily Camera


(DS#999 CB) So/2023 CB K.J. TrujilloColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  The wait is over for Laviska Shenault. After questions about his health and durability forced his first-round talent out of the opening round of the NFL draft, Colorado's standout receiver did not have to wait long to hear his name on Friday, as the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Shenault with the 10th pick of the second round (42nd overall). Shenault becomes the Buffs highest selection in the draft since both Nate Solder and Jimmy Smith were selected in the first round in 2011. Shenault is the 10th underclassman from CU to get selected in the NFL draft and the 273rd NFL draft pick overall that called CU home. He is just the second Buffs player to be selected by Jacksonville and the first since the Jaguars took former CU cornerback Chris Hudson in the third round of the 1995 draft.

The Buffs enjoyed another big moment before Friday night's second and third rounds were complete, as speedy outside linebacker Davion Taylor went to Philadelphia late in the third round (103rd overall). "Definitely had first round hopes, but, I mean, at the end of the day it is what it is," Shenault said following the draft. "I understand everything happens for a reason, but I'm just ready to work, to be honest. That's really all there is to that." Shenault caught 142 passes for 1,775 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons, adding another 276 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. - Daily Camera


(DS#12 WR) Jr/2020 WR *Laviska Shenault Jr.Colorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  There are several Colorado Buffaloes hoping to hear their names called during the draft, but Shenault is expected to be the first off the board. Throughout the history of the NFL Draft, CU has had 24 first-round picks, but none since 2011 when tackle Nate Solder (No. 17 overall to New England) and Jimmy Smith (No. 27 to Baltimore) were first selected. Four CU receivers have been first rounders, with Rae Carruth (No. 27 to Carolina in 1997) being the most recent. Shenault, who skipped his senior season at CU to enter the draft, certainly has the ability to hear his name on Thursday night, but his health has been his biggest obstacle. It didn't help his draft status when he aggravated a core muscle injury at the NFL Combine in February.

Shortly after the combine, Shenault had surgery. On Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, reported that Dr. William Meyers of Vincera Core Physicians in Philadelphia sent a letter to all 32 teams about Shenault. "I watched Laviska go through regular football drills yesterday at 5 ½ weeks postop and he looked terrific," Meyers wrote in a letter sent Tuesday. "I believe by April 25, 2020, he will be at 100% for full football activities." Could that vote of confidence be enough to secure Shenault's spot in the first round? - Daily Camera


(DS#12 WR) Jr/2020 WR *Laviska Shenault Jr.Colorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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