You Make the Call - DE/OLB

Colorado has faced opponents with some colorful characters at the defensive end/outside linebacker (3-4) over the years. Inside are BSN's top 5 CU players at those positions in the modern era. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to a poll where you can vote for your No. 1 and/or make a case for a player left off the list.

Chad Brown
6-4, 240 pounds
Altadena, Calif.
After playing his first two seasons on the inside, Brown moved to the outside linebacker position in CU's 3-4 defense, where the Buffalo defense could utilize Brown's impressive combination of speed and strength. He led CU with 125 tackles as a junior in 1991, adding 15 TFL and eight sacks. Brown is No. 6 on CU's all-time tackles list (369), and seventh (tied with Kanavis McGhee) on the TFL list with 38. Despite playing through three separate injuries as a senior — broken hand, back spasms and separated shoulder — Brown was named first-team all-Big Eight. He earned a spot on the first team the year before, when he was also named second-team All-American. Brown was chosen in the second round of the NFL Draft by Pittsburgh in 1993. He played four years with the Steelers, eight with Seattle, and played last season with New England. He's amassed 1,068 tackles and 78 sacks in his 14-year career, so far.

Bill Brundige
6-5, 235 pounds
Haxtun, Colo.
Brundige moved back and forth between defensive tackle and defensive end during his career, but had a huge senior season in 1969 at end. That season he set a CU record with 24 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks. The 13 sacks mark stood until 1992, but no Buffalo has duplicated Brundige's single-season TFL mark. His 37 career TFL is No. 9 on the CU list. Brundige was named first-team All-American by Football Writers Association, second-team by AP and UPI. That same year, he earned the Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year award, as well as a spot on the first team. Brundige played eight years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, and is considered by many as one of the great all-time Redskins players. If you're not sure you ever saw Brundige play, chances are you did as he was involved in one of the most replayed clips in Super Bowl history. It was Brundige who blocked Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian's field goal attempt near the end of Super Bowl VII. Rather than fall on the ball, Yepremian picked it up and tried an ugly, ill-fated pass that was intercepted and returned for a score. Miami held on to win the game, however.

Kanavis McGhee
6-5 250 pounds
Houston, Texas
McGhee's best season may have been his sophomore year in 1988 when he brutalized opponents with 102 tackles, 11 TFL and 5.5 sacks. McGhee earned those stats in only 10 games before breaking his ankle. He earned national defensive player of the week against Oklahoma in 1988 with 23 tackles. He was named first-team All-American by Walter Camp in 1989. UPI gave him a second-team All-American nod his sophomore and junior years. At the time, McGhee was just the fourth Buff to earn first-team all-conference honors as he did from 1988-90. McGhee was also a member of the All-Big Eight decade team (1980-89). He is No. 13 on CU's all-time tackles list (297), seventh on TFL list (38). McGhee played five seasons in the NFL.

Herb Orvis
6-5, 235 pounds
Petoskey, Mich.
Orvis was in the Army stationed in Germany when CU head coach Eddie Crowder met him and invited him to play football at Colorado. Orvis was awarded the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year following his sophomore season in 1969 when he had 75 tackles, including nine sacks. The following two seasons, Orvis earned first-team all-Big Eight honors, and was a near consensus All-American in 1971, his senior season. Orvis earned national lineman of the week honors after garnering 12 tackles and two sacks in CU's 41-13 win over No. 4-ranked Penn State in 1970, a game that ended up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Orvis' 20-career sacks ranks No. 5 on CU's all-time list. Former teammate Bobby Anderson recently remembered Orvis as a "wild man" (it was a compliment) in a Daily Camera story. After being drafted No. 16 in the first round in 1972, Orvis went on to play 10 years in the NFL. In a 2001 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story, a writer named Orvis to the NFC Central's all-time "Black and Blue Team," saying the honored were not the division's best, but "they all inflicted bruises." With the nickname Crazy Herbie, Detroit Lions former director of player personnel said Orvis "was nuts. You'd have to step on his head to stop him. There was no quit in him."

Alfred Williams
6-6, 240 pounds
Houston, Texas
The gregarious bookend to McGhee in CU's 3-4 defense could talk the talk and walk the walk. As a true freshman, Williams had 11 TFL, and he was just getting started, ending his career with a CU-best 59. He also is CU's career leader in sacks with 35. Williams had 88 tackles, 21 TFL and 12.5 sacks in 1990, CU's national championship season. He was a unanimous first-team All-American that year, and consensus A-A as a junior. Williams was named the Big Eight's Defensive Player of the Year in both 1989 and 1990, also appearing on the first-team all-conference defense those years. Those years, CU coaches also voted him the team's outstanding defensive player. Williams became the program's first national trophy winner when he was given the Butkus Award in 1990 (nation's best linebacker). A forgotten factoid: Williams briefly played on the CU men's basketball team, suiting up for one game against Kansas in 1990 — he recorded one steal and a rebound in one minute of play — but decided hoops was too much of a risk for his senior year of football. After CU, Williams, a first round draft choice by Cincinnati, played nine years in the NFL – winning two Super Bowl rings and an All-Pro selection with the Denver Broncos.

Honorable Mention
Tyler Brayton, Bill Fairband, Greg Jones, Sam Harris, Pete Perry, Mike Schnitker, Randy Westendorf, Ronnie Wolfork

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