You Make the Call — Interior Defensive Line

Who is the best interior defensive lineman to play at Colorado 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 interior defensive linemen of the modern era. 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.

Troy Archer
6-4, 245 pounds
1974-75

Archer came to Colorado as a junior college transfer in 1974 and quickly established himself as a tough presence on the Buffalo defensive line. In just two seasons at Colorado, Archer amassed 176 tackles, still the fifth most by a Colorado interior lineman. His 14 career quarterback sacks was third-most at the time of his graduation, and Archer was named first-team All-American following his senior season. He was picked by Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian to play in the last-ever College All-Star game in 1976, which pitted college stars vs. the reigning NFL Super Bowl champs. Archer lined up with fellow All-Stars LeRoy Selmon, Dewey Selmon and Steve Niehaus, but lost to Pittsburgh 24-0 in a rain-shortened contest. (Archer's CU teammates Mark Koncar, Pete Brock, Dave Logan and Mike McCoy also played in the game). Archer was the second defensive lineman taken in the 1976 NFL Draft (No. 13 overall), and played three seasons with the New York Giants. Tragically, Archer's life was cut short in an auto accident in 1979.

Charlie Johnson
6-2, 265 pounds
1975-76

Before great Colorado middle guards Joel Steed and Laval Short, Charlie Johnson took on blockers and was a run-stuffer for the Buffs for two seasons in 1975 and '76. Johnson may not have the statistical numbers (173 tackles, nine sacks) of some other CU defensive line stalwarts, but he was named the team's defensive MVP and earned first-team All-Big Eight honors in 1976. He went on to star in the NFL for eight years, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl three times.

Bud Magrum
6-3, 230 pounds
1971-72

Magrum had already served as a Marine in the U.S. Armed Forces by the time he came to Colorado in 1971. After two seasons, Magrum left school for financial reasons and played two seasons in the CFL. Before that, Magrum was a terror on defense for the Buffs, playing three positions — middle guard, linebacker and defensive tackle — in two high-impact seasons. He became the first CU interior defensive lineman to be named All-American in 1972, following his senior campaign (he played five games at linebacker that season, before moving back to defensive tackle). He was also third-team All-American as a sophomore. Magrum became the first player in school history to record two 100-tackle seasons, and ended with 215 stops. He was named national player of the week after racking up 20 tackles in CU's 20-14 win at No. 6 Ohio State. Magrum's son, Ryan, was on the Buffs' roster in 1999, but a leg injury kept him off the field. The elder Magrum died tragically in an auto accident in 1991.

Laval Short
6-3, 255 pounds
1976-79

Short played defensive tackle as a freshman in 1976, then went on to anchor the Buffs' line as a solid middle guard the next three seasons. Twice Short led the Buffs in tackles, and his 372 career tackles still stands No. 5 on the all-time CU list. No other D-lineman has as many tackles in a single season (136) as Short managed in 1979. When he graduated after that season, no other Buff had sacked the opposing quarterback (24 1/2) or made as many tackles for loss (37) as Short. He played two seasons in the NFL.

Joel Steed
6-3, 270 pounds
1988-91

Steed, out of Denver's Hinkley High School, clogged the middle of the defensive line as the Buffs' starting nose tackle from 1989-91, one of the program's best three-year spans on defense. He started every game during that span, and ended his career with 192 tackles,12 1/2 sacks and 31 tackles for loss. But more than his numbers reveal, Steed excelled at taking on multiple blockers and freeing up his teammates to make plays in CU's 3-4 defense. The two-time first-team All-Big Eight performer (1990-91) was a third-round pick by Pittsburgh in 1992 and played eight seasons for the Steelers, earning All-Pro in 1997.

Honorable Mention
Justin Bannan
Frank Bosch
Tyler Brayton
Shannon Clavelle
Kerry Hicks
Gary Howe
Charlie Johnson
Curt Koch
Ryan Olson
Leonard Renfro
Arthur Walker


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