Nate Solder finalist for Outland Trophy

Colorado senior left tackle Nate Solder was named one of three finalist for the prestigious Outland Trophy presented annually to the nation's best interior lineman.

Nate Solder has been a key reason for the Buffs' increased offensive production this season, particularly down the stretch this season.

Running behind Solder and the rest of the offensive line, tailback Rodney Stewart has more than 1,200 rushing yards and is the first Buff to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season since 2004.

Solder provided springing blocks on both of Stewart's touchdown runs last week and has played every snap from scrimmage for the CU offense this year.

Colorado offensive line coach Denver Johnson has said several times in recent weeks he believes Solder is playing at an All-American level. CU coaches have graded Solder at 90 percent or better in all but one game this year and Solder provided the best game of his career last week in a win over Kansas State, grading out at nearly 99 percent.

A Colorado player has never won the Outland Trophy. Former Buff Joe Garten is the only other CU finalist in history. He finished as the 1990 runner-up.

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