You Make The Call — Cornerbacks

Who is the best Colorado cornerback in the modern era ? Inside, take a look at BSN's top 5, then vote for your No. 1.

The following are BSN's top five Colorado corners of the modern era (1960-present), listed in alphabetical order. At the bottom of the page are eight more honorable mention players. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to a poll where you can vote your No. 1 and/or make a case for a player left off the list.

Cullen Bryant
6-1, 220 pounds

The Colorado Springs (Mitchell) product was a beast in the weight room, and uncharacteristically big for a cornerback in any era. But Bryant, who could put up well over 400 pounds on the bench press, turned his effort in the weightroom into results on the field for three seasons as a Buffalo. Bryant — a three-year starter — was a standout on the 1971 CU team. That squad ended 10-2 and ranked No. 3 in the country behind Oklahoma and Nebraska. It's considered among the top three Colorado teams ever, along with the 1990 national championship squad and the 1994 team. Bryant had seven interceptions in 1972, and left CU No. 4 on the all-time interceptions list at the time. (He's still tied for eighth with 11 career picks). Bryant was a consensus All-American in '72, CU's first cornerback to earn the honor. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1973 in the second round. He switched to the offensive backfield in the pros and led the Rams in rushing in 1978 and '80. As a rookie in the NFL, Bryant was a great kick returner, averaging 28.4 yards per kickoff. That included a 93-yard return for a touchdown.

Deon Figures
6-1, 195 pounds

Figures had 12 career interceptions and 27 passes broken up. Remarkably, he intercepted two passes in four different games. Among the most memorable were his end-of-the-game pick against Notre Dame in the 1991 Orange Bowl, which helped seal Colorado's 10-9 victory and national title. Earlier that season, Figures' pick with under a minute to play against Washington helped preserve another win. By the end of his senior season in 1992, opposing offensive coordinators had seen enough of the talented Colorado defensive back, and Thorpe Trophy voters had seen enough to give Figures the hardware. The Compton, Calif. native was also a consensus All-American first-team pick and was named Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year. Figures went on to play six years in The League where he had nine interceptions.

Mark Haynes
5-11, 185 pounds

When Haynes graduated in 1979, only one defensive back in school history had made more tackles than Haynes' 256. As a senior corner for the Buffs, his teammates voted Haynes the Zack Jordan Award, given to the team's most valuable player. Haynes was also named first-team All-Big Eight and first-team All-American by the Associated Press. Pro scouts drooled over Haynes' combination of speed (4.4 40 yard dash) and toughness, and he was taken No. 8 in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Haynes was selected as an All-Pro four times during his 10-year pro career with the Giants and the Denver Broncos, in which he had 17 interceptions.

Chris Hudson
5-11, 190 pounds

Hudson became Colorado's second Thorpe Award winner (given to the nation's outstanding defensive back), following in Figures' footsteps, when he won the trophy in 1994. Hudson is one of only six Buffs to earn three first-team all-conference honors, which he did his sophomore through senior seasons. He was also named first-team All-American as a senior in '94. Hudson, who had a knack for making big plays as a defensive back and return specialist, is second on the CU all-time list with 15 interceptions. He played six years in the NFL with three different teams.

Victor Scott
5-10, 190 pounds

Some longtime observers say that if there had been a Thorpe Award in 1983, Scott would have been a finalist. As it was, Scott was voted the Buffs' most valuable player that year by his teammates, and earned first-team All-Big Eight honors in 1982 and '83. Scott earned a starting spot midway through his true freshman season and never relinquished it. He was a standout player on teams that won just 10 games in four seasons. Fast and tough, Scott had a knack for making the big play. In a game that ended with a 25-25 tie in Stillwater in 1982, Scott had three interceptions, and took two of them in for touchdowns. A second-round pick by Dallas in 1984, Scott played five years for the Cowboys.

Honorable Mention
Ronnie Bradford, 1989-92
Charles Greer, 1965-67
Ben Kelly, 1997-99
Dave McCloughan, 1987-90
Odis McKinney, 1976-77
Rod Perry, 1973-74
Donald Strickland, 1999-2002
Mike Spivey, 1974-76

Vote for Colorado's top running back of the modern era in Ralphie's Den: MESSAGE BOARD

BuffStampede Top Stories