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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Colorado
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  09/09/21 - Mustafa JohnsonrSr/2022, Colorado, 6-0, 280 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  A couple of weeks ago, Colorado coaches let players know that Mustafa Johnson might be coming back to the team. On Tuesday, head coach Karl Dorrell said Johnson has been cleared to start practicing with the Buffaloes, although he didn't say when the veteran defensive lineman will be eligible to play. "It's huge," linebacker Nate Landman said. "He was one of our best leaders last year and a super productive guy on the field, a great leader off the field. "We're so excited to have him back and he means a lot to this team. He's a huge leader on that D-line and having him back is nothing but great for this program." Johnson elected in January to skip his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. He signed with an agent, but went undrafted and was unable to land a free-agent contract with an NFL team. He did receive a tryout with the New York Jets but was not signed.

He has been granted a waiver to return to CU and play his final season but has to go through practice time and serve a suspension because he did sign with an agent. When BuffZone reported last week that Johnson was coming back, sources told BuffZone that Johnson could make his debut on Oct. 2 against Southern California at Folsom Field. On Tuesday, Dorrell did not talk about a specific return date. "He will start the practice regimen," Dorrell said. "We just got clearance today, actually, about him being able to start practice. There's an acclimatization period that he needs to go through that a lot of our players when they begin practice have to do. There's also part of the stipulation of his reinstatement that he's got to serve as well. "He's just going to get himself in shape and he can help our team be better...He's going to have some time to get himself in shape. And he's excited. Our team's excited he's back and I'm excited. We feel he's going to really help us when we get into the meat of our season." - Daily Camera


(DS#999 DT) rSr/2022 DT Mustafa JohnsonColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  09/03/21 - Brendon LewisSo/2024, Colorado, 6-2, 215 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  The Colorado Buffaloes foiled the state's first family of football. Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis and the rest of the Buffs rumbled past Northern Colorado 35-7 Friday night, spoiling former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey's college head coaching debut. "I was excited to coach," said McCaffrey, who coached at powerhouse Valor Christian High School from 2018-19 before he was hired at UNC 20 months ago. "Again, the results certainly weren't what we were hoping for. But I'd rather play football and lose than not play football." McCaffrey, whose Bears (0-1) sat out 2020 because of the pandemic, had one son - Max - with him on the sideline serving as his offensive coordinator and another - Dylan, a transfer from Michigan - at quarterback. It was the Bears' defensive wrinkles that befuddled the Buffs early on before Colorado deciphered the schemes and turned a 14-0 halftime lead into a runaway. "I do take my hat off to Coach McCaffrey and that team that he's coaching," Colorado coach Karl Dorrell said. "For him not to have a season-and a-half and for them to play the way they did, I thought they fought really, really hard." In his first start, Lewis completed 10 of 15 passes for 102 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to sliding freshman Montana Lemorious-Craig, and ran eight times for 44 yards. - Colorado/AP College Football

(DS#999 QB) So/2024 QB Brendon LewisColorado
News Source: Colorado/AP College Football
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  09/03/21 - Nate LandmanrSr/2022, Colorado, 6-2, 235 (DS#6 ILB) + More +

  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#6 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Nate LandmanColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  09/03/21 - Mustafa JohnsonrSr/2022, Colorado, 6-0, 280 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  One of Colorado's best defensive linemen in recent years is coming back. Mustafa Johnson, who elected in January to skip his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, has been granted a waiver to return to CU. He was reinstated to the roster on Wednesday but is not yet eligible to play. According to a BuffZone source, Johnson must serve a suspension and CU has a few hurdles to clear in order to get him eligible. It's possible, according to a source, that Johnson could make his season debut on Oct. 2 against Southern California at Folsom Field.

After declaring for the draft, Johnson signed with an agent, but went undrafted and was unable to land a free-agent contract with an NFL team. He did receive a tryout with the New York Jets but was not signed. With one year of eligibility remaining, Johnson was able to file a waiver with the NCAA and was officially reinstated this week. He will be on scholarship as a "super senior" this season, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to all players by the NCAA because of the COVID-19 pandemic. - Daily Camera


(DS#999 DT) rSr/2022 DT Mustafa JohnsonColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/30/21 - Jarek BroussardrJr/2023, Colorado, 5-09, 185 (DS#32 RB) + More +

  Running back Jarek Broussard earned Pac-12 offensive player of the year honors in 2020 because of what he did with the ball in his hands, rushing for 813 yards during the five-game regular season. Broussard and running backs coach Darian Hagan both believe he's improved in all areas, especially as a pass blocker. "I hit the weight room pretty hard this summer," Broussard said. "It's a confidence thing. You just can't be scared to make contact with that guy and stick to your fundamentals. "Wanting to (do it) is one big thing, but another thing is setting that tone. We have a deep backfield and if I'm able to go out and make a big play or put somebody on their back, that's going to bring energy to the offense, to the whole group in general. Setting the tone is the biggest thing." - Daily Camera

(DS#32 RB) rJr/2023 RB Jarek BroussardColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/30/21 - Carson WellsSr/2022, Colorado, 6-3, 250 (DS#20 OLB) + More +

  In spending the early part of the summer in 2020 working on the family ranch in Florida, Carson Wells kept in shape and gained some strength in preparation for his junior year. Colorado's top outside linebacker gained something else, too. "I finally got some confidence back last year," he said. "And I just keep building off of that." After battling a leg infection during his redshirt year in 2017, Wells had a good 2018, with 4.5 sacks. In 2019, he missed two games with injury and racked up 57 tackles, but only one sack. Last year, Wells exploded, leading the country in tackles for loss per game (2.67).

Despite CU playing only six games during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season, Wells had 16 tackles for loss, including 6.5 sacks. "I knew I had put in the work, especially over quarantine (in 2020)," he said. "I knew I put in the work and it finally showed off. Just doing work in the weight room, doing work studying the film. I was a much smarter player last year and I feel like that was a big difference." This season, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Wells is aiming to be even better. "There's always room to get better each game," he said. "I'm my hardest critic so I get back in there the next day watching film. There's always something to improve on, so there's still room to get better." - Daily Camera


(DS#20 OLB) Sr/2022 OLB Carson WellsColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/25/21 - Brenden RiceSo/2024, Colorado, 6-2, 205 (DS#16 WR) + More +

  Brenden Rice provided a glimpse of potential greatness as a true freshman with the Colorado Buffaloes in 2020. It was just a starting point, however, and the talented receiver from Chandler, Ariz., shook his head and smiled when asked recently what he did to improve this offseason. "A lot," said Rice, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound second-year freshman. "I was very out of control in my routes. I was out of control in my running. I didn't really know how to make everything look the same." Despite that, Rice caught six passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns in CU's five-game regular season in 2020. Including a punt return for a touchdown, he scored on three of the nine plays on which he touched the ball.

CU head coach Karl Dorrell, offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, and offensive quality control coach Reggie Moore have all spent time working with Rice in preparation for this season. "His game has really gone to the next level," Chiaverini said. "He's got to still be consistent catching the football, but he's explosive." Considering his surname and position, it seems fitting that Rice is developing into one of the Buffs' best receivers. After all, his biological father, Jerry Rice, is the greatest receiver to ever play the game, with NFL records for receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and total touchdowns (208) that might never get broken. Rice, however, is proud of the fact that he's become a potential star on his own merit. - Daily Camera


(DS#16 WR) So/2024 WR Brenden RiceColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/22/21 - Jack LambrJr/2023, Colorado, 6-3, 233 (DS#999 OLB) + More +

  Colorado's scrimmage at Folsom Field on Saturday didn't offer much of a season preview of the inside linebacker position. All-American candidate Nate Landman sat out to keep his body fresh. Veterans Jonathan Van Diest and Robert Barnes didn't participate either. It did, however, give newcomer Jack Lamb a good opportunity to play. A graduate transfer from Notre Dame, Lamb was involved with several defensive plays throughout the day. It was the latest sign that Lamb has put some injury troubles behind him as he competes for playing time with the Buffs. "Physically I feel really good, completely healthy right now," Lamb said early in camp.

"I feel like I'm in really good shape. Especially being out here in this altitude, it's been nice for getting in shape, too, so I feel good." Lamb played three seasons at Notre Dame, but the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder dealt with several injuries. That led to him falling on the Fighting Irish depth chart and making the move to Boulder. "It's been really exciting, just a whole new environment," he said. "A lot different than Indiana, obviously, in terms of weather, scenery and all that. Also just meeting all these new dudes, everyone's been great so far." - Daily Camera


(DS#999 OLB) rJr/2023 OLB Jack LambColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/22/21 - Jarek BroussardrJr/2023, Colorado, 5-09, 185 (DS#32 RB) + More +

  On the second play of Colorado's scrimmage on Saturday, Jarek Broussard took a handoff, made a cut and went 66 yards for a touchdown. A few minutes later, on his second carry of the day, he went 42 yards before being chased out of bounds. "That's just Jarek Broussard," receiver Dimitri Stanley said. "You guys saw it last year. He's just a breakaway runner. He can make anything happen. He can fit in the tightest holes and just gets it going." The 2020 Pac-12 offensive player of the year, Broussard looked to be in top form during the Buffs' first scrimmage of preseason camp.

Although a couple of carries later in the scrimmage netted only six yards, he unofficially averaged 28.5 yards per rush (114 yards on four attempts). "Jarek looked good early," head coach Karl Dorrell said. "We got his reps and got him out." CU's star running back spent most of the day watching his fellow backs get their carries, and the Buffs showed off their depth. Alex Fontenot, Deion Smith, Joe Davis and Jayle Stacks all had some nice runs, as did walk-on Charlie Offerdahl, who scored a late touchdown. - Daily Camera


(DS#32 RB) rJr/2023 RB Jarek BroussardColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/22/21 - J.T. ShroutrJr/2023, Colorado, 6-2, 213 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  This certainly wasn't how Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell wanted to settle on a starting quarterback. On Monday, Dorrell announced that sophomore JT Shrout has a "significant injury" to his knee, sustained during the Buffaloes' scrimmage at Folsom Field on Saturday. Returning freshman Brendon Lewis is now slated to be CU's starter when the Buffs open the season Sept. 3 at Folsom Field against Northern Colorado. "They did the MRI and he does have a significant injury and he will be out for a period of time," Dorrell said.

Asked if there was a chance Shrout could return this year, Dorrell said, "I don't know. We'll see after the surgery. I know that sometimes when they get in there, they find out, 'Oh, it wasn't as bad.' It's hard to tell." For now, however, it's a tough break for Shrout and the Buffs. Lewis and Shrout had battled all offseason for the starting job, with coaches often saying the competition was extremely close. Dorrell had planned to settle on a starter later in camp. On Friday, he said Shrout and Lewis have been "literally 1A and 1B. They both are playing really well." - Daily Camera


(DS#999 QB) rJr/2023 QB J.T. ShroutColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/21/21 - Alex FontenotrSr/2022, Colorado, 5-11, 195 (DS#51 RB) + More +

  Alex Fontenot led Colorado in rushing in 2019, with 874 yards and five touchdowns. A 6-foot, 205-pound junior from Richmond, Texas, Fontenot spent his first two years at CU waiting for his turn. He redshirted in 2017 while Phillip Lindsay played the starring role. In 2018, the Buffs added graduate transfer Travon McMillian, who rushed for 1,009 yards, while Fontenot got only 11 carries for 43 yards. By 2019, Fontenot had won the starting job, played in 11 games and finished with 874 yards and five touchdowns on 185 carries (4.7-yard average), while adding 27 catches for 122 yards.

Now, he's looking to re-prove himself among a group that is loaded with talent. It starts with Broussard, but Fontenot, Ashaad Clayton, Deion Smith, Joe Davis and Jayle Stacks are all talented, as well. "This is probably the best group we've had in a long time," Fontenot said. "I'm just interested to see how (the coaches) go about it and how we perform." Last year, CU's approach was to roll with Broussard, who finished second nationally with 26.0 carries per game. He handled 76.5 percent of the rushing attempts by CU running backs. "There should be more distribution for our running backs, for a number of reasons," head coach Karl Dorrell said. - Daily Camera


(DS#51 RB) rSr/2022 RB Alex FontenotColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/18/21 - Robert BarnesrSr/2022, Colorado, 6-2, 232 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  As one of the new guys on the Colorado football team when he arrived in January, Robert Barnes knew he had to earn respect first. It didn't take long, however, for the transfer from Oklahoma to start speaking up and become a leader. "He came in as a grad transfer and really went to work right away, the first week and everybody was noticing, 'Who is this guy?'" head coach Karl Dorrell said. "No one really that was on the team last year really knew who he was, but I think he quickly has established respect and that leadership that he's brought just because of his work ethic. "He's always been vocal; he's always been very encouraging with his teammates. Those are all really great qualities of leaders who really understand how to pick guys up that need to be picked up and how to get on guys that need to pick it up. He's been a great addition for us."

A 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker, Barnes brings not only experience to CU's defense, but first-hand knowledge of what an elite team is supposed to look like. He played in 34 games - including 10 starts - over four seasons at Oklahoma. The Sooners went 45-8 with four Big 12 titles and three appearances in the College Football Playoff during Barnes' time there. "I just knew that I wanted to help with the culture shift," Barnes said of coming to CU. "That's one thing (defensive coordinator Chris) Wilson was telling me before I came here and I wanted to be a part of that." - Daily Camera


(DS#999 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Robert BarnesColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/13/21 - Brady RussellSr/2022, Colorado, 6-3, 255 (DS#34 TE) + More +

  There is never a great time for an athlete to get injured, but missing the bulk of the 2020 season was not the worst thing for Colorado's Brady Russell and the Buffaloes' tight end group in general. "It's about the best timing it could have been because it was during a crappy year, and it was a time when it could prepare some other guys," Russell said. "I think it was good for some of those other guys to get experience in a year like that. So now they can come with me and we can bring younger guys and just build a whole core nucleus in that room, rather than in the past when I've been taking 80-90 plays a game and I just feel awful on Sunday and I have to recover my body all week."

A 6-foot-3, 255-pound junior, Russell injured his leg early in the Buffs' second game of the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season and didn't play the rest of the season. He was also limited during spring practice. Now healthy, he is, without question, one of the keys to the offense as the Buffs prepare to open their season Sept. 3 against Northern Colorado. "He's completely healthy, so that's a good thing," head coach Karl Dorrell said. "He has that experience dimension, and also the savviness of the position that I think some of the younger players are starting to learn by emulating and watching what he's doing. It's good to have him back on the field and he's a great leader." - Daily Camera


(DS#34 TE) Sr/2022 TE Brady RussellColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/11/21 - Terrance LangSr/2022, Colorado, 6-6, 285 (DS#71 DE) + More +

  Phillip Lindsay was a senior running back with an eye toward the NFL in the fall of 2017, but the Colorado star took notice of one particular freshman that year. Lindsay, now with the Houston Texans, joked at the time that he wished he had Terrance Lang's size and added that as soon as Lang figured out the work ethic involved with being a Division I college football player, he had unlimited potential. "That kid is going to be a special kid," Lindsay said in 2017.

"There's not many kids that are going to be like him." Lang, who spent that 2017 season on the sidelines as a redshirt, is now a 6-foot-7, 285-pound defensive end who has shown improvement every year of his CU career. "I've definitely figured it out," Lang said with a laugh when told of Lindsay's comments from four years ago. "Freshmen and sophomore years are always a little bumpy, but once I got a little experience and some years under my belt I got a lot more comfortable and confident in what I was doing, so I did feel like I figured it out a lot." This season, CU will rely heavily on Lang, who has worked to become a more complete player and is the Buffaloes' most experienced defensive linemen. - Daily Camera


(DS#71 DE) Sr/2022 DE Terrance LangColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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  08/10/21 - Jarek BroussardrJr/2023, Colorado, 5-09, 185 (DS#32 RB) + More +

  Averaging 26 rushing attempts per game is a heavy workload for any running back, let alone one with a 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame and a history of knee injuries. Yet, asked if he'd be OK with seeing that number reduced this year, Colorado's Jarek Broussard smiled, puts his arms out, shrugged his shoulders and said, "I ain't trippin' off getting the ball because, I mean, obviously I would want the ball. But, we have a good room and it would be very beneficial to see more guys contribute to the team success. "If I have to, I'll do what I gotta do to help the team win." Broussard battled back from two knee injuries in previous years to earn Pac-12 offensive player of the year honors in 2020 after leading the Buffs with 813 rushing yards during the five-game regular season. He added 82 more in the Alamo Bowl.

Nationally, Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim was the only player to average more attempts per game (28.7) than Broussard, in part because the Buffs didn't have great options around him. This year, Alex Fontenot, the Buffs' leading rusher in 2019, is back from injury, and Ashaad Clayton is a more mature second-year player. Deion Smith, who is also back from injury, Joe Davis and Jayle Stacks help to make the room even deeper. "We have a deep room and we all just feed off each other's success," Broussard said. "Despite me getting player of the year accolades, all that does is it motivates the other guys in the room. Fontenot was the leading rusher when I was here (in 2019), so that just gave me the confidence in myself to like, 'Okay, maybe I could do that, too." - Daily Camera


(DS#32 RB) rJr/2023 RB Jarek BroussardColorado
News Source: Daily Camera
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