Best of 2008 #8: Buff Linebacker Shaun Mohler

25 hours of course work in six months in order to become academically eligible to play at CU.

That is what linebacker Shaun Mohler did at Orange Coast College this spring and summer to just have a chance to come to the University of Colorado. He passed all seven of those classes and still had to wait for the NCAA Clearinghouse to tell him he was eligible.

What LB Shaun Mohler did was truly amazing. One thing that hampers the Buffs especially in recruiting junior college players, is the admission standards that comes with playing in Boulder. No, its not Stanford or Notre Dame but it is close. That is why he was the only junior college transfer to become a Buff last year. Let's just say what happened at Kansas State last year with 19 JUCO's signing would never happen at the University of Colorado. That total might not happen over the next 10 years!

Mohler, a one time Nebraska commit, would have coasted easily into Nebraska but after Bill Callahan got fired, he wanted out of Lincoln and visited Colorado. The rest is history.

Shaun Mohler has always been a favorite of The Ralphie Report. Fans want players to immerse themselves into their respective universities as much they do. We want to believe that every player bleeds the colors of the university. Shaun Mohler made us feel that way. When he was taking 25 hours of course work, he still found the time and motivation to work out to be in top shape when he arrived in Boulder. Some other big time recruits had to take one class and couldn't find the time. So it is easy to make Shaun Mohler a favorite.

He wasn't just a feel good story either. The Buffs knew they were getting a player out of Orange Coast College. Rivals.com ranked Shaun as the best Junior College outside linebacker prospect in last year's recruiting class. Mohler was named Orange Coast's most valuable player both of his seasons, he was first-team All-American, All-State and All-Mission Conference, earning the league Player of the Year last year. His highlight film showed why he received all of the accolades.

Mohler saw playing time from day one with the Buffs. A reserve at first, the coaches couldn't keep him off the field. Once he was on the field, he become one of the Buffs most consistent defenders.

Opponent  Solo   Assisted   Total   Ints   TFL   Sack 
Colorado St.         3                  -            3          1          1          -  
Eastern Wash.         5                    4          9         -           -            -  
West Virginia         6                    1          7         -           -            -  
+ Florida St.         5                    2          7         -            1          -  
3 Texas         7                    4        11         -            1          -  
@ Kansas         7                    3        10         -            1          -  
Kansas St.         6                    3          9         -           -            -  
@ 19 Missouri         5                    4          9         -            2          -  
@ Texas A&M         3                    5          8         -            2           1
Iowa St.         1                  -            1         -           -            -  
14 Oklahoma St.         7                    5        12          1         -            -  
@ Nebraska         5                    6        11         -           -            -  
Totals       60                  37        97          2          8           1

Against Colorado State, Mohler did not start and in the Iowa State game, he was hurt. Other than those two games, he was a very consistent defender. The best part is Mohler got better as the year went on. To his own admission, he had a tough time adjusting to the speed of the game. Looking at these stats, I think he adjusted pretty well.

Looking at the overall defensive team stats for the Buffs this year, Mohler excelled.


Tackles Tackles For Loss Sacks Int Ret.
Name Solo Ast Ttl Solo Ast Ttl Yds Solo Ast Ttl Yds No Yds TD
Smart 57 52 109 3 0 3 7 1 0 1 4


Mohler 60 37 97 7 1 7.5 45 0 1 1 7 2 36 0
Walters 50 31 81 2 1 2.5 18 1 1 2 14 2 37 0
Brown 56 17 73 4 1 4.5 11

0
2 27 1
Jones 46 22 68 11 1 12 46 6 0 6 36


Dykes 32 15 47 3 0 3 16 1 0 1 10 1 0 0
Lucas 27 20 47 4 2 5 14 1 1 2 10


Hypolite 23 20 43 6 1 6.5 26 3 1 4 19


McKay 29 13 42 4 0 4 10

0



Brown 32 9 41 3 1 3.5 4

0
1 57 0
Nicolas 18 17 35 6 1 6.5 20 2 1 3 13


Perkins 22 13 35

0


0



Smith 26 9 35

0


0



If Shaun starts against CSU and doesn't get hurt against Iowa State, he is probably the team's leading tackler this year. Finishing second on the team in both tackles (97) and tackles for loss (7.5) right out of junior college is an amazing feat. Mohler was rewarded for his play today as he was named by the AP, Honorable Mention All Big 12. He also might be the overall best story of the year in the Big 12.

Great find by Hawkins, Cabral and the staff on this one. An offseason of aggressive training and lifting will also do wonders for Mohler. Next year, he will once again be a stud and with Jeff Smart, B.J. Beatty, Jon Major, Doug Rippy and Lynn Katoa back, linebacker is one position the Buffs don't have to worry about.

Shaun Mohler is a player that makes you feel good to root for the Buffs!

see the best of and worst of list so far after the jump...

Best of 2008 List
10) The Victory Against CSU at Mile High
9) The Iowa State Second Half
8) Buff Linebacker Shaun Mohler

Worst of 2008 List
10) The Off the Field Issues
9) The Defensive Line Scheme/Play

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