Big Man on Campus

When most people who know anything about football look at Justin Nonu, they immediately think "defensive tackle." But the freshman, who tipped the scales at a ripe 300 pounds at Sunday's player weigh-in, is determined to make his mark at linebacker.

Justin Nonu spent the summer back home in Oceanside, Calif., and arrived in Boulder Saturday, a day before Sunday's camp report date. He and most of his fellow newcomers took part in their first CU practice Monday morning. On Sunday, Nonu measured at 300 pounds. But on Monday, it was clear to see that Nonu has very good agility and quick feet, even at his current weight. Rather than sluggish or rumbling, the Oceanside product moves well. On one play, coaches chided him for giving up on an offensive player, and so Nonu turned and caught him from behind 20 yards down the field.

Asked about his size, Nonu said: "I'm 300. But I still move like I'm 230."

He said people assume he's going to play defensive tackle. But he's determined to play ILB.

Asked if he wanted to play linebacker, Nonu said, "Yeah, for sure. That's the position I play. I can't play D-line. It's not me."

He said he played his senior season at Oceanside at about 250 pounds. He said coaches want him to eventually get down to 240 pounds, which may be a longterm project.

As camp progresses, we'll keep tabs on whether Nonu stays at linebacker, or if coaches decide to give him a look at defensive tackle, where the Buffs are thin this fall.


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