Q&A with Romeo Bandison

Colorado defensive line coach Romeo Bandison began this season hoping to coax solid play out of a young and inexperienced group of players. After four games, one of those players has announced his decision to transfer and another is just coming back from injury. He discusses where things stand now and the future.

Nick Kasa returned from an injured knee and was in the West Virginia game for five plays. How did he look?

Romeo Bandison: "He made a tackle. If you make a play one out of five times, 20 percent of the time, that's pretty good. He looked good out there. Ran around. Moved quick. His knee didn't seem to be an issue for him. I think earlier in the week that could have been a concern for him. He just wasn't sure if he should be going this fast, limited practice, limited contact. I think he thought about it and was excited and wanted to go. He didn't seem out there like he was worried about it at all. He just went played, went fast, and I thought the first time out did a good job."

There were some concerns at the start of the season about the defensive line being young and inexperienced. Four games in, how have they handled it and how have they played?

Romeo Bandison: "They've played well for young inexperienced men. I mean, Marquez (Herrod) had experience, but Will (Pericak)has played d-line for a year and is starting. I think he is doing as well as you can expect from a guy who is a freshman and has ust played d-line for such a short period of time.

"Curtis (Cunningham) is doing prettty well. He's been pretty productive making tackles here and there. So that's good to see. Forrest (West) is fast and instinctive. So he just runs fast, gets to the ball and gets himself in position, and I think Nick is the same way. He really knows how to get in position. If he gets in bad position, he will come back out and get to where he needs to be. So those guys move fast and play fast. They run around and don't think too much."

How has Marquez played?

Romeo Bandison: "He's been doing well. Very steady just like I expected. He makes plays. He's reliable, doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He does a good job for us."

I think Eugene Goree was probably a guy people expected to see a little bit more of but he has not been out there as much. How is he doing?

Romeo Bandison: "Today he had an awesome day I thought. Today, he went 100 miles and hour, showed up. He had a smile on his face. He did well today. He hasn't been consistent. So that's what I'm going to look for out of Eugene and we'll keep working on that. I think he cares. I think he wants to be good. I think he wants to do well. If today is any indication, I think he is working his way back in the mix."

You face Texas this week. What sort of issues and challenges do you face with them?

Romeo Bandison: "Well, the smallest guy on their o-line weighs, I think, like 297 pounds. They're all seniors and juniors. They've got a quarterback who can be five inches off the ground and complete a pass or be on his back foot falling on his butt and complete a pass. He can outrun you. They've got the (Jordan) Shipley kid. I mean, they've got so many weapons. They don't do a whole lot, but they do everything well, and they are very efficient. It's the kind of game where you better play the best you ever played and be in your gap and do your job. That's the only chance you have.

"Those guys have the ability to take big advantage of your mistakes. So we can't make mistakes to give us a chance."

How is Conrad Obi coming along?

Romeo Bandison: "We moved him inside. I think he's big, he's physical. He works hard and he goes fast. I think that gives us a little bit extra on the inside where we need it. He's never played inside. So he's learning that position. But I think he can help us there. So that kind of gives us a better mix of guys inside and out. I think it will make us better with him on the field and guys the size of Nick and Will Pericak. It helps us with a little more speed and I think gives us a better chance."

How many guys are you expecting to sign in your group at defensive line?

Romeo Bandison: "The last we talked about, it was two. One guy didn't qualify last year, Eddie Nuckols. And then Taj Kaynor is graduating so it leaves me with 10 and we put the d-line at 12 scholarships. So last time we talked about it, we were supposed to be at 12. So I'm expecting two guys."

Does Lagrone Shields leaving the program change that at all?

Romeo Bandison: "Well, I imagine I am going to be at 12 scholarships which is how I am going to approach it. Coach Hawk always says you guys just recruit until I tell you to stop. So if I can sign five guys, I'm going to sign five until he says you're done at four."


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