Wednesday Buff Bites - Just Can't Seem to Catch A Break

In arguably the two biggest weak spots on the entire football team, the Buffs have potentially lost four newcomers that were being counted on to elevate their respective positions. Most recently, blue chip commit DE Nick Kasa partially tore his MCL after being rolled up on during practice on Monday. Instead of deciding whether to use the swim or the rip move to get around the Colorado State offensive tackle, Kasa is now weighing the options of playing a shortened freshman season or redshirting. The 6'7" defensive end was the potential rush end that would not only play a role in getting to the quarterback but be a consistent mainstay of the Buffs defense.

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the Buffs also lost another blue chip recruit in DT Edward Nuckols, who failed to academically qualify out of high school. He is expected to grey shirt but once you start down that "difficulty in qualifying" path, who knows if we will ever see him in black and gold. Nuckols says he will be back in Boulder which is good news for 2010.

Now instead of four defensive linemen in the 2009 recruiting class, the Buffs might only have two to try and sure up one of the most important tasks in all of football; getting to the quarterback.

The equivalent weakness on the offensive side as it wide receiver. Last month, good news about junior college transfer Andre Simmons qualifying was being filtered throughout the media. Well, the Buffs are two weeks into camp and still no 6'3" 210 pound sub 4.5 running receiver on the field. And the situation doesn't look like their is a happy ending. Instead of Coach Hawkins relaying the "everything is fine, we are just dealing with paperwork" scenario for Simmons, the news wire has gone silent. Who knew it would be this hard to get an answer from the different "ruling bodies" in charge? I feel for Andre Simmons who has been on one large roller coast ride in trying to jump through hoops to academically appease both the NCAA Clearinghouse and the University of Colorado Admissions office.

But, at least we have Markques Simas, right? He and Scotty McKnight teamed to together will be an upgrade over the past three years at wideout, right? Nope, Markques Simas is suspended for the first two games for violating team rules or something like that "a long time ago." Around the same time as Simas' suspension, West Virginia went the opposite route in dealing with their receiver who had an incident "a long time ago;" suspend early reinstate before impacting games. West Virginia has reinstated leading receiver Jock Sanders six months after a drunken-driving arrest in Morgantown.

As any coach would now say, he needs the players who are "able" to play at defensive line and wide receiver to step up and claim the starting spots. And as fans, that is all we can hope for. Good news out of camp is that late 2009 signee Will Jefferson has looked good at reciever and is ahead of Jarrod Darden and Terdema Ussery, two other freshman recievers. But expecting big production out of freshmen doesn't always lead to a happy ending either. As for defensive line, until they actually lineup against a different colored jersey, who knows? But now, more than ever, the Buffs will be counting on Conrad Obi, Lagrone Shields, Will Perciak, Curtis Cunningham, Tyler Sale and Marquez Herrod to he the anchors of the defense.

One thing is for sure, a lot of eyes will be on these two positions come September 6th.

Links after the jump...

 Colorado_mediumThe Wiz of Odds: Let the Voting Begin for Poster Primary No. 4
Vote for the great Colorado Buffaloes schedule poster and look at how horrible to Colorado State poster is. Talk about portraying the wrong message!

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Q&A With Cody H. - CUBuffs.com
Junior quarterback Cody Hawkins talks about camp, the season, the change in offensive coordinators and more.

Colorado_mediumThe Longmont Times-Call -Article on Buffs' Linebacker B.J. Beatty

Bob Foster, CU’s outside linebackers coach for 2009, said it remains to be seen how good Beatty can be. "I think he has great quick feet," Foster said. "I think against certain tackles and guards, he’ll be really good. He’s still learning. "The only thing he lacks is a little bit of size when it comes to some of those big-old tackles with those long arms out there. He has great movement, great quick feet. ... He has to learn to use the tools he has — his arms and his hands and his hips, how he can move his hips to put a move on these big slow tackles. He’s not going to do a lot of power rushing."

Colorado_mediumYoung Texan stands tall on D-line - The Denver Post
With Edward Nuckols out for 2009 and Nick Kasa looking to be out for a better part of season, DT Nate Bonsu might be the one from the 2009 recruiting class to solidify the Buffs defensive line:

On either side of the ball, most freshman linemen could use a year in the weight room. Bonsu, however, arrived ready to go.

"He's really strong," junior defensive end Marquez Herrod said. "He squats almost what I do (600- to 700-pound range), and I've been here three years."

Colorado_mediumThe Longmont Times-Call - Tempering Wide Receiver Expecations

So the chances that Jefferson, Terdema Ussery and Jarrod Darden — a talented core of true freshmen — will somehow work themselves onto the field this season is pretty likely, although Eric Kiesau won’t admit it just yet. "We’re expecting so much out of these guys, but we’ve got to keep pinching ourselves and saying, ‘These guys were in high school four months ago, and now we’re expecting them to go out and play against some senior cornerbacks that have been in the Big 12 for a long time,’" the Buffs’ offensive coordinator said. "That’s why we have to have a ground check. These kids are still learning, and they’re still young. But they continue to get better as camp goes through." Kiesau did say Jefferson, a late arrival to Boulder after the Buffs offered him a scholarship just before camp began, is probably "a little further along" than the other two, but they’re all in the mix.

Colorado_mediumBuffs' starter not only QB in question - Colorado Daily
Third string is also a batte in fall camp. As they always say, you are just two plays away from being the starting quarterback.

Colorado_mediumLobato finds right fit at CU — Loveland, Colo., Reporter-Herald
Walk on freshman quarterback Seth Lobato has opened eyes at Buffs camp, even garnering more attention than Clark Evans at times.

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Goodman Finds Perspective - CUBuffs.com
Placement specialist Aric Goodman believes he's put a sub-par 2008 season behind him and is on track to rebound in 2009.

Colorado_mediumThe Longmont Times-Call - Ray Polk Showing Well at Safety
Healed and ready to hit Buffs’ Polk rebounds from surgeries to make mark as defensive back

Colorado_mediumChat: Chat with Tim Griffin - SportsNation - ESPN
Tim Griffin thinks a bowl trip for the Buffs is in the cards in 2009:

Travis (Omaha, Nebraska) Colorado is getting very little talk, but I believe they are a legitimate contender for the Big 12 North. What are your thoughts on the Buffs?

Tim Griffin (2:23 PM) Travis:You are right. The Buffaloes are getting little mention behind either Kansas, Nebraska and even Missouri in the North. The quarterback situation troubles me. Don't know if Cody Hawkins has the arm to really exploit Big 12 teams. Also the loss of Josh Smith to UCLA and Markques Simas for two games will hurt. But I do like their cornerbacks, who are among the best in the conference and a real weapon in this conference. I think the Buffaloes will run the ball with a collection of running backs. And another to keep your eye out for is the fact that all of their major games against major North Division foes -- Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas -- will be at home. Add it together and I think they might surprise some people. I definitely think a bowl trip is in the offing this season.

Colorado_mediumBuffs Will Play Thursday's Scrimmage at Regis High School
 The Buffs will travel Thursday afternoon to Regis High School for work that is closed to the public and media. Reason for the road trip: To get the team used to travelling and playing in an unfamiliar venue, Hawkins said

Colorado_mediumCU's Kasa mulling redshirt : Boulder Daily Camera

Colorado freshman defensive end Nick Kasa might have to undergo surgery after a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed he suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament on Monday during two-on-two pass-rushing drills. Kasa said CU doctors and athletic trainers have told him to expect a 6-8 week recovery time, which could allow him to return prior to the beginning of conference play in early October. "Right now, they don’t really know," Kasa said. "It could heal itself or maybe not. We’re just going see what happens. Surgery could be an option or it could not be."

Colorado_mediumCSU's QB picture is getting clearer | coloradoan.com
The Colorado St. Rams QB race might be down to two participants due to injuries to the other two quarterbacks.

Grant Stucker and Jon Eastman not only are the top contenders to become CSU's starting quarterback this fall, they might be the only candidates.

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