Scouting the Big 12: Colorado

Colorado is a team that's been to the previous two Big 12 title games yet the program gets little respect. The Buffs had a surprise first round choice last April and have a pair of players that fit that mold as we move into the 2003 campaign.

Derek McCoy is a big play wide out that caught our eye in '01. His long build offers the passer a nice target and he is just as effective catching the ball over the middle on third down as he is running deep past defenders. McCoy's seeing a lot more double teams lately, which makes his job more difficult, but still has the makings of a top sixty pick.

One beneficiary of McCoy's double teams would be DJ Hackett, another tall and slender receiver with solid hands. Hackett does not show the big play speed of McCoy but has the ability to be a fourth wide out in the NFL.

Bobby Purify lacks the top size/speed numbers and runs best on the inside. He has the style of a big back but will not be able to take the pounding of an every down runner yet at the same time is not fast enough to be a third-down back.

Guard Marwan Hage is a tough blocker who looks for someone to hit and stays with the play. Hage is a limited athlete and lacks the ability to play in space.

Tight end Quinn Sypniewski works hard but does not stand out as either a blocker or pass catcher.

While the headliner on defense last year was Tyler Brayton, after once again breaking down the film from we think the best CU lineman in 2002 was actually Gabe Nyenhuis. An explosive pass rusher that quickly gets up the field, Nyenhuis alters his angle of attack and pursues laterally with speed. What stood out about his game were the deceptive strength Nyenhuis plays with and the ability to hold his ground against blocks. A good season could move him into the top 32.

End Marques Harris also plays with great speed and agility, making plays in all directions. Harris is undersized for the line and projects to outside linebacker right now.

Safety Medford Moorer is a hard hitter and aggressively lays his shoulders into opponents, working to intimidate ball carriers. Moorer also displays discipline-defending centerfield and stays with assignments. While he shows some skills over the slot receiver, Moorer is probably better off in a two-deep scheme but has starting potential at the next level.

Inside linebacker Sean Tufts is a blue-collar worker but a two-down defender with limited range.

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