Scouting the Big 12: Colorado

Its been a turbulent off-season for the Colorado Buffaloes. Problems have piled up and the program in disarray as players are leaving in droves. This is a team that has consistently placed solid talent into the NFL including several high draft choices. That will not be the case next April.

The prospects on offense are marginal.  Bobby Purify returns after an injury plagued 2003 left him on the sidelines.  A quick to running back with both vision and instincts, Purify displays the ability to slide off defenders then fall forward when tackled, picking up precious yardage. Using an effective straight arm, he aggressively puts his shoulders into defenders and works his runs.  Purify lacks the top size\speed numbers and occasionally does too much east-west running rather than taking it up the field.  He does not possess the great upside for the next level but is a serviceable back who could get late round consideration.  Tackle Sam Wilder is a hard working blocker strong at the point of attack.  An aggressive lineman, he stays square and jolts opponents with a punch of his arms.  Wilder lacks overall explosion, athleticism and upside for the next level.  Derek Stemrich is a hard working lineman who can play either center or guard. A solid position blocker, Stemrich turns defenders off the ball then seals blocks with good body positioning.  Like many of his CU predecessors, Stemrich has only marginal athleticism and upside for the next level. Joel Klatt is a solid college quarterback that makes as many plays with his legs as he does with his arm.  Possessing only marginal accuracy, Klatt sprays throws outside of 10-yards and is a marginal prospect for an NFL-practice squad. Junior tight end Joe Klopfenstein displays solid pass catching skills in the short field while Quinn Sypniewski returns after sitting out last season with a toe injury.  Neither are prospects that will be drafted until the late rounds.  One player who left the program and is headed to Wisconsin would be running back Brian Calhoun.  A shifty and elusive ball carrier with a quick first step, Calhoun is a patient back who lets blocks develop then slips off tackles and works to finish runs.    A quick footed back that immediately bounces it to the outside avoiding piles, he also displays the ability to make defenders miss.  Undersized, Calhoun is more of a situational runner who must improve his pass catching abilities to make it at the next level.

Another prospect who left the team is defensive end Marques Harris, an athletic pass rusher that plays low with leverage, stays on his feet and immediately alters his angle of attack chasing the ball carrier.  Harris plays with speed coming off the edge or chasing the action laterally.  Lacking the explosive first step, Harris does not possess the size to be an every down end at the next level and may be moved to linebacker.  More importantly he must get his act together before any team will take a chance on him as Harris is a player who gives half hearted efforts and does not have the best reputation off-the-field. Tackle Brandon Dabdoub is a hard working lineman tough to move off the point.  Quick off the snap, he is a heady ball player that immediately locates the action and works to get involved.    Only a limited athlete Dabdoub is a straight-line defender with marginal pass rush skills and abilities for the next level. 

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