Junior Defensive Lineman Leo Jackson
Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 31 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 20 | Fans: No. 21
In 2015, his first year with the Buffaloes, Jackson did exactly what he was brought in from the Junior College ranks to do: help bolster Colorado's defensive line depth. In fact, Jackson even exceeded those expectations by playing 586 defensive snaps and recording 33 tackles. Listed atop the depth chart at the defensive tackle spot opposite Jordan Carrell, Jackson hopes to make more plays behind the line of scrimmage this fall. He only had two tackles for a loss last season.
Junior Offensive Guard Gerrad Kough
Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 26 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 24 | Fans: No. 22
After grayshirting, redshirting, then getting his feet wet in a back-up role as a redshirt freshman, Kough was expected to emerge as one of the Buffaloes' top offensive linemen in 2015. We got a little ahead of ourselves, though. Kough still appears to have a lot of potential, and he plays with a mean streak between the lines, but he tied for the lead in penalties and was second on the team in sacks allowed. Kough will enter camp listed as a co-starter with Jonathan Huckins at left guard. Kough is still considered the favorite to win the starting gig.
Senior Outside Linebacker Jimmie Gilbert
Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 21 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 17 | Fans: No. 27
Because he has not redshirted, Gilbert has quickly run through his eligibility, and he now enters his final season in Boulder. Gilbert led the team in sacks with six in 2015, and also finished tied for second with 10 third down stops. He has been known more as a pass rush specialist, but his tackles-per-snap ratio was among the best on Colorado's defense last season. Gilbert has slowly transitioned from looking more like a basketball player to looking more like a football player, and if he improves his consistency a notch this fall, he is capable of recording double-digit sacks.
Sophomore Running Back Patrick Carr (Transferring)
Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 25 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 21 | Fans: No. 16
After voting for this year's Top Buffs Countdown was completed, Carr announced his intention to transfer out of Colorado's program, to a college located closer to his home in Texas. Carr was the only CU back that averaged less than four-and-a-half yards per carry in 2015, but he had arguably the best top-end speed of any player on the team. Carr was listed as a co-starter with Phillip Lindsay on the post-spring depth chart so he would have clearly had an impact this season. That said, running back is one of the positions where Colorado has solid depth. Expect Donovan Lee to see an expanded role in the backfield as a result of Carr's decision to leave Boulder.