Buff corners to compete for starting roles

There is only 26 days before Fall Camp at Colorado gets underway for the first time in the Mike MacIntyre era in Boulder. BuffPlayBook.com caught up with new Colorado Corners Coach Andy LaRussa to get his take on the corner position he coaches.

When a new coaching staff takes over a program a couple of things usually happen.

First the players must learn a new system.

Second the players have to earn a starting position. It's much like starting over. Each player has to prove himself to his new position coach.

That's exactly what's happening at the University of Colorado, including a great spring ball session that appears to give some coaches the information they need heading into fall football camp just 26 days away.

BuffPlayBook.com recently caught up with several CU coaches to get a positional review heading into fall camp.

We will begin with the corner position for the Buffs.

New corners coach Andy LaRussa isn't lacking confidence, which he is hoping will carry over to his players. When asked about his first impressions of the corners at Colorado, LaRussa smiled and didn't hesitate in answering the question.

"My first thought was how athletic they were," LaRussa said. "They run well and they are very long from an athletic standpoint."

To compete is one thing that all of the players on this Colorado team have to do and that's something that the new Buff coaching staff appears to be stressing since their arrival.

"They have a competitive fire about themselves," LaRussa said. "They know that they are fighting for a starting position. They have to learn how to compete at a high level again and I feel that this will carry over to how they compete on the field against our opponents. You have to instill it into their system again after last season. Each one of the players want to redeem themselves and they are working hard everyday to do just that."

LaRussa isn't shy about demanding a lot from his players, but he is also quick to teach and coach his players in a positive manner.

"These guys have great attitudes," LaRussa said. "They did everything we asked them to do. They responded well to our coaching style, they had to learn a complete new system, their third time to do so in four seasons."

One thing that impressed LaRussa, a coach that made the transition to Colorado from San Jose State with Coach Mike MacIntyre, is the overall character of this Buff team.

"What really sticks out about this team is how great young men we have on this team," LaRussa said. "Our coaching staff is working hard to teach this team how to work hard everyday, not just on game day. We teach them that athleticism only will take you so far, the rest is determined on how willing a young man is to give us everything he has day in and day out."

According to LaRussa, the top two corners coming out of spring camp and headed into fall camp will most likely be Kenneth Crawley a 6-foot-1, 170-pound sophomore and Greg Henderson, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior.

"Crawley has great speed," LaRussa noted. "He has good ball skills and he is very competitive. Another thing that gives him a better advantage is how smart he is on the football field, he is smarter than most people will give him credit for."

"Henderson also is very smart," LaRussa said. "He is very savvy on the football field and puts himself in good position to make a play on the ball. He is a quiet leader of our group, he leads by example."

Other corners that Coach LaRussa expects to compete for starting roles include Harrison Hunter, John Walker, Yuri Wright, Jeff Hall and Brandan Brisco. One player LaRussa is looking forward to getting back from an injury is Josh Moten. It's uncertain when Moten might return.

When asked about who was the biggest surprise coming out of fall camp, LaRussa smiled before answering.

"They all did something to surprise me," LaRussa said. "They all had flashes at times. If I had to say one thing that was a pleasant surprise it would have to be their overall competitive natures."

LaRussa made it clear that all of his players will have to bring that competitive nature back to Fall Camp, because nothing is set in stone as far as who runs onto the field as starters against Colorado State.

"We have several top freshmen recruits coming in that can make a difference for us," LaRussa said. "Of course with any freshman you have to wait and see how they pick up the speed of the game, but from an athletic standpoint we have a couple that will have a shot of earning some playing time."

It appears that LaRussa is ready for football season to arrive.

"I can't wait," LaRussa said smiling. "Great things are ahead for this football team, it would be ok with me to start camp tomorrow."

The Colorado Buffs Football team will report on August 5 which will mark the beginning of the MacIntyre era in Boulder.

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