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  For any athlete returning from a ruptured Achilles' tendon, the main question is not necessarily whether they'll play again, but if they'll be able to play at the same level they were at before the injury. That's the task in front of Colorado linebacker Nate Landman, who ruptured his right Achilles' during a Dec. 12 game against Utah. The All-American candidate is slated to make his return on Friday when the Buffaloes host Northern Colorado at Folsom Field (7 p.m., TV: Pac-12 Network) and he can't wait. "I'm definitely not the same player," Landman said Tuesday. "I think I'm a better player."

CU's leading tackler the past three years aggressively attacked his rehab this year and said he's gone through preseason practices without any setbacks and with an eye towards leading the defense once again. "One (way of being better), being in the film room and studying and learning a new defense," he said. "I learn new keys and things every day from my staff. So on the mental side, I'm way smarter than I was last year. And on the physical side, I feel faster and more explosive. I was even talking to (head coach Karl) Dorrell today and he thought the same thing." Tight end Brady Russell, who missed the bulk of the final five games of 2020 and spent much of the offseason getting himself ready, didn't hesitate in agreeing with Landman. "He's looked better than ever," Russell said. "Absolutely. That's not an exaggeration either. He just rehabbed so hard. He worked so hard. Me and him kind of had a similar offseason. His obviously was worse, but it's been fun working with him working back into things and trying to get back up to speed where we were. I think both of us have worked past where we were in the past. We're a lot better and more mature players than we've been before." - Daily Camera

(DS#10 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Nate LandmanColorado
News Source: Daily Camera



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