His quick maturation in Boulder has been a result of hard work, and many trips through the buffet line.
Since stepping foot on campus, Haigler has been ingesting a copious amount of food every day. It has helped him get up to 270-pounds.
“Even if I am not hungry, I am eating something,” Haigler said. “I have been told to set an alarm for the middle of the night and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a glass of milk. That's easier said than done, but whenever there is food available, I am eating it, and hydrating, too.”
“Tackle is a position where you need experience and the right kind of body for it so I knew I was going to have to work for it, but I always had a big goal to start pretty quick,” he added.
While Haigler is still on the lean side for a Pac-12 offensive lineman, he is a legit candidate to start at right tackle for the Buffaloes this season. Haigler and junior Sam Kronshage have been been rotating in with the first team offensive line trough the first nine preseason practices.
“I played [left tackle on] scout [team] last year and during the spring we kind of tried both sides. I think the right side felt a lot better for me,” Haigler said. “In the future, things definitely could change [and I could move back to left tackle], though.”
The Buffaloes' coaches eventually want Haigler up between 290-300 pounds. Even though he has not reached that mark yet, head coach Mike MacIntyre believes he is “definitely” big enough to play this fall.
“He is very strong,” MacIntyre said. “I thought he always had the athletic ability, it was just about getting used to adding the weight and being able to carry it. It looks to me like he is carrying it well. And you look at him, it doesn't look like he has an ounce of fat on him.”
If Haigler is successful in achieving his goal of being Colorado's starting right tackle this fall, the Buffs would likely have two redshirt freshmen starting on the right side of the line. Tim Lynott seemed to lock down the starting right guard gig in the spring. There is no substitute for experience, but Haigler and Lynott possess more maturity than most redshirt freshmen.
“I think my strength is that I am a fast learner, and I like to say I am coachable,” Haigler said. “I think I am smart and I can figure out certain things. And when it comes to playing with someone, I know their strengths and weaknesses and I can kind of play off of that for sure.”
Haigler was a three-star prospect coming out of Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, and he had four other offers, but Colorado was the only Pac-12 school to step up to the plate. He will have the next four years to show conference foes they were wrong for overlooking him.