Spring top 12: Conrad Obi

This is all you need to know to understand how good Conrad Obi was this spring. Fellow defensive tackles Curtis Cunningham and Will Pericak each played nearly 1,200 combined snaps over the past two seasons and Obi finished the spring rated higher in coaches' minds. Obi is No. 2 on our list of the best Buffs of spring ball and we had a tough time not making him No. 1.

Consider that while Cunningham and Pericak have been racking up the playing time the past two years, Conrad Obi has managed to be on the field for less than 100 combined snaps in those two seasons.

He looks well on his way to earning significantly more playing time as a senior in 2011 after making one of the most dramatic leaps forward this spring in the recent history of the program.

Sometimes a player just needs a different voice in his head than the one he has been hearing. That might have been the case this spring for the Obi, who responded to the coaching style of Jon Embree, Mike Tuiasosopo and Kanavis McGhee, all of whom worked with him at times.

"It was a building process," Obi said in April. "I had to learn a lot of hard lessons and things like that. I feel like that's how life is now that I'm grown up. It's block by block by block. You want to get somewhere, you keep working to get there."

If the season started today, Obi and Pericak would be starting at the two defensive tackle positions for CU with Cunningham serving as Obi's backup.

We should note that Cunningham was hampered by an elbow injury this spring. So Obi will probably have to turn it up even a notch or two further to hold on to his starting job once fall camp arrives.

All indications are he is ready and willing to do that. He wants to play during his senior season and be a factor for a Colorado defense that will face big challenges in trying to stop the likes of Ohio State, Oregon, USC and others.

"We have a lot of capability," Tuiasosopo said of his defensive line group. "We've got to keep driving it out of our guys. There is ability there. We're trying to build something special here and we've got a lot of playing experience. Guys have played a lot of ball."

Obi finished the spring as the Buffs second leading tackler behind linebacker Doug Rippy. Obi had 20 total tackles, including six for losses and another three that went for no gain or loss. He produced two sacks and forced a fumble in the three main spring scrimmages combined.

Now that's a solid spring for any defensive lineman on any roster, and it's reason to believe the kid from Georgia once labeled a project has finally broken through.

Want to read past editions of the Spring top 12?

Daniel Munyer

Josh Hartigan

Nick Hirschman

Kyle Slavin

Paul Richardson

Jack Harris

Tony Jones

Rodney Stewart

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