As real freshmen previous fall, Tarik Luckett, Mark Perry and KJ Trujillo went into Colorado’s football season preparing to redshirt.
Luckett, in point, was anticipated to not only redshirt, but to invest his days at observe running routes as a receiver.
All 3 wound up turning into important pieces to the Buffaloes’ secondary.
The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has developed keep-at-property orders all over the state and uncertainty about the 2020 football season, but CU continues to prepare and BuffZone is previewing just about every situation group for the Buffs. In this installment, we look at the defensive backs.
Season-ending accidents to cornerbacks Mekhi Blackmon and Chris Miller and the mid-season departure of basic safety Aaron Maddox compelled the real freshmen into motion previous season. They went by expanding pains, but also experienced loads of excellent times.
“I feel that will benefit us a good deal, just being able to get early working experience and we have continue to bought loads of time listed here at Colorado,” Trujillo claimed soon after previous season. “So by our upcoming few several years, we’ll absolutely be well prepared.”
Trujillo begun 7 game titles at corner previous season, while Luckett made two begins late in the year. Perry played as a reserve in the nickel/Star position and made his impact felt during the second 50 percent of the season.
When the Buffs return to the industry, they’ll have not only the skilled youngsters, who are now sophomores, but the return of their veterans, as Blackmon and Miller ought to be wholesome.
“With Chris and Mekhi coming again, I feel we’re going to have a excellent secondary,” Trujillo claimed. “They support us out a good deal. So we’re going to have a powerful, stable secondary, I believe.”
How the secondary puzzle arrives collectively is a mystery, on the other hand.
At cornerback, the Buffs have Blackmon and Miller as skilled veterans, as perfectly as Trujillo as a returning starter. Trujillo, who didn’t participate in the very first 3 game titles previous season, is now the Buffs’ most skilled corner and he bought greater as the season went along.
Miller has revealed wonderful probable during his 3 several years at CU, but accidents have restricted him to 4 begins and only 308 snaps played in his profession. If wholesome, he could be the Buffs’ best corner.
Blackmon, a junior college transfer in 2018, has begun 5 game titles more than the previous two several years and has played perfectly as a nickel corner.
Luckett and Dylan Thomas, who both arrived to CU as receivers, moved to corner previous year and ought to contend for taking part in time.
Nigel Bethel will also join the combine. Following transferring from Miami previous year, he was able to observe, but not participate in. Now, he’s eligible and provides the Buffs one more good quality selection at corner.
DJ Oats, who redshirted previous year, will hope to contend, as perfectly, and real freshman Christian Gonzalez was a 4-star recruit who could get started out at corner.
At basic safety, the Buffs return starter Derrion Rakestraw. The lone senior in the secondary group, Rakestraw has been a receiver and corner at CU, but has settled in at basic safety and seized the starting up position previous year and racked up 38 tackles and 3 interceptions.
Apart from Rakestraw, on the other hand, Perry (196 snaps previous season) and junior Isaiah Lewis (29 profession snaps) are the only safeties with working experience at CU.
Perry is absolutely sure to be on the industry if wholesome. He figures to be a front-runner for the Star position (a basic safety/linebacker hybrid), but he can participate in basic safety, as perfectly.
Lewis has working experience in the software and that will support his quest for a starting up occupation, but he’ll have competition. Junior college transfer Jaylen Striker was mentioned as a cornerback when he signed, but at six-foot-3, 195 pounds, he could uncover himself taking part in basic safety. The six-foot-3 Luckett and six-foot-two Thomas could wind up at basic safety, way too, as could Gonzalez.
Correct freshman Toren Pittman is projected as a basic safety and, while he could want some time to create, previous year proved that he could possibly want to be ready for motion.
As the Buffs look ahead to upcoming season, they have much more all round depth in the secondary than a year back and numerous proficient gamers combating for places on the depth chart. Fiuring out the best blend of gamers will be a single of defensive coordinator Tyson Summers’ primary tasks.
Here’s an original look at the projected defensive backs for the 2020 season:
Situation: Defensive backs
Seniors (2019 statistics): Derrion Rakestraw, six-foot-two, two hundred pounds (9 begins 601 snaps played, 38 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 5 move breakups).
Juniors: Mekhi Blackmon, six-, 165 (two begins, 199 snaps, 9 tackles, 1 sack) Isaiah Lewis, six-two, two hundred (22 snaps, four tackles) Chris Miller, six-, one hundred ninety (two begins, 168 snaps, ten tackles, 1 interception) Curtis Appleton, six-1, a hundred and eighty (wander-on four game titles played on specific groups).
Sophomores: Nigel Bethel Jr., six-, a hundred and seventy (sat out 2019 season soon after transfer) Tarik Luckett, six-3, one hundred ninety (two begins, 161 snaps, 8 tackles) Mark Perry, six-, two hundred (1 get started, 196 snaps, 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 move breakups) Jaylen Striker, six-3, 195 (junior college transfer) Dylan Thomas, six-two, 185 (seven snaps, 1 tackle) KJ Trujillo, six-, 165 (seven begins, 438 snaps, 21 tackles, six move breakups, 1 interception) Dustin Johnson, six-1, 185 (wander-on wounded in 2019) Anthony Lyle, six-1, 185 (wander-on) Ryan Travis, six-, two hundred (wander-on).
Redshirt freshmen: DJ Oats, 5-ten, a hundred and eighty.
Correct freshmen: Christian Gonzalez, six-1, 195 Toren Pittman, six-four, one hundred ninety.
Players lost: Delrick Abrams Jr., six-3, 185 (graduated 11 begins, 722 snaps, 54 tackles, seven move breakups) Lucas Cooper, 5-ten, 185 (graduated 1 get started, 52 snaps, 8 tackles) Uryan Hudson, 5-9, one hundred sixty (graduated wander-on) Aaron Maddox, six-1, 205 (transferred 3 begins, 210 snaps, 23 tackles) Mikial Onu, 5-11, 205 (11 begins, 706 snaps, 67 tackles, 5 move breakups, four interceptions) Trey Udoffia, six-, two hundred (transferred seven game titles played on specific groups).