2016 Top Returning Buffs Countdown: No. 12 to 9

This group is highlighted by the Buffs' starting tight end and inside linebacker Addison Gillam, who has all-conference potential if he can stay healthy.

No. 12

Junior Safety Ryan Moeller

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 12 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 9 | Fans: No. 14

A former walk-on from Rifle, Colo., Moeller was placed on scholarship last summer. And through the first seven games of his sophomore campaign, he was second on the team in tackles before suffering season-ending injuries off-the-field. Moeller was hit as the passenger on a moped just a stone's throw away from the Buffaloes' old practice fields in October. Fortunately he has made a full recovery and is expected to man Colorado's starting free safety spot this fall. He is excellent in run support.

No. 11

Sophomore Cornerback Isaiah Oliver

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 8 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 12 | Fans: No. 15

The highest ranked underclassman on our list, Oliver is expected to take over the starting cornerback spot vacated by Kenneth Crawley. Also a decathlete on the Buffaloes' track team, Oliver is a superb athlete with solid defensive back instincts and a long frame. At this early stage of his college career, Oliver is simply lacking experience. He did play a total of 216 defensive snaps and he recorded 12 special teams points while getting his feet wet as a true freshman. Oliver was one of the stars of this year's spring game as he recorded five solo tackles, three pass deflections and one interception.

No. 10

Junior Inside Linebacker Addison Gillam

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 5 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 22 | Fans: No. 7

When healthy, Gillam is one of the Buffaloes' top five players. There is little debate about that. His instincts and closing speed are elite. But the list of injuries and ailments he has suffered from since earning Freshman All-American honors in 2013 is long. The silver lining is Gillam only saw action in two games last season and will be eligible for a medical redshirt. He is listed as a junior on Colorado's roster. Gillam was held out of spring practices for precautionary reasons and head coach Mike MacIntyre said he will be treated like an NFL veteran during preseason camp.

No. 9

Senior Tight End Sean Irwin

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 7 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 13 | Fans: No. 11

Irwin has quietly developed into one of the Pac-12's best tight ends. He established himself as an elite run blocker as a sophomore, and last year as a junior, he became a threat in the passing game. Irwin actually led all of Colorado's pass catchers with a 19.1 yards per reception average in 2015. But with just 15 total grabs, he probably should have been targeted more often. Irwin made a couple athletic downfield grabs that would have likely resulted in an interception had he not made the play. As long as Irwin is healthy, tight end is not a position Colorado fans need to worry about.

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