Top Buffs Countdown: No. 40 to 37

The first group in this year's Top Buffs Countdown includes two young defensive linemen that are coming off a solid spring...

Honorable Mention

No. 40

True Freshman Offensive Lineman Jake Moretti

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: NR | Tyler Ziskin: No. 34 | William Gardner: NR

The Buffaloes' top ranked signee with the 2017 class, Moretti is eligible for this list because he was an early enrollee. But Moretti was not able to participate during spring practices and his availability for preseason camp is unknown at this point. Given the severity of his knee injury, and the fact the Buffs had an established seven deep up-front coming out of the spring, chances are Moretti will redshirt this fall. But his potential for the future is through the roof.

No. 39

Redshirt Senior Big Athlete George Frazier

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 35 | Tyler Ziskin: NR | William Gardner: No. 37

Two disappointing drops in the end zone - one at Michigan, and the other against Utah - marred Frazier's junior campaign. He was, however, the winner of the 2016 Eddie Crowder Award, which the coaches present to the player who displays outstanding team leadership. And he has been named a team captain for a second consecutive year. After splitting time at fullback and defensive end this spring, Frazier will try to get back to being the versatile, playmaker he was as a redshirt freshman in 2014.

No. 38

Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Lineman Lyle Tuiloma

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 39 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 31 | William Gardner: NR

After turning heads on scout team while redshirting in 2015, Tuiloma failed to crack the rotation on a veteran defensive line last year. He likely will this season, though. Following spring ball, Tuiloma looked like the top candidate to back-up Javier Edwards at nose tackle. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Tuiloma has a wide frame. A question mark might be conditioning, but as a back-up, Tuiloma likely won't be on the field enough for that to be a big issue in 2017.

No. 37

Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Lineman Frank Umu

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 37 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 30 | William Gardner: NR

Tuiloma and Umu were co-recipients of the Dan Stavely Award, as the Buffs' most improved defensive linemen this spring. Umu has continued to add size to his frame since arriving in Boulder and he could factor in at different spots on the defensive line, but he will likely battle for the vacated starting three-technique spot that was manned by Jordan Carrell last fall. Umu got his feet wet with 18 defensive snaps and as a part-time member of the CU's field-goal/PAT team during his redshirt freshman season.


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