|2012 Defense As of December 11th 2011|
|DT||Will Pericak*||Nate Bonsu||Kirk Poston||Tyler Henington|
|Eric Richter||Justin Solis|
|DE||C. Uzo-Diribe*||Juda Parker||Kyle Koch^||De'Jon Wilson|
|Andre Nichols^||John Stuart|
|ILB||Derrick Webb*||Brady Daigh|
|Doug Rippy*||Lowell Williams|
|OLB||Jon Major*||Woodson Greer||Casey Walker|
||Parker Orms||Jered Bell||S. Harrington|
|Paul Vigo||D.D. Goodson||Brandon Brisco^|
|Greg Henderson*||River Thompson^|
|S||Ray Polk*||Terrel Smith||Will Harlos||Jermaine Clark||Ma'ne Manaea|
|Kyle Washington||Richard Yates^|
|* - Returning Starting. ^ - Non Scholarship Player|
With recruiting heating up for 2012, now is a good time to look at the needs for the Colorado Buffaloes. After only winning three games this past season and not having a winning season since 2005, upgrades are obviously needed across the board. Colorado is expected to take somewhere between 25 - 28 high school players with 28 seniors graduating this past year.
The Buffs currently have 59 scholarship players on their roster, 20 non-scholarship players. They have 18 verbal commitments including grey shirt OL Alex Kelley, so 77 scholarship players if all 18 verbals sign their LOIs with Colorado in February. The Buffs have 12 verbals on the offensive side of the ball, only six on the defensive side of the ball and that is with Colorado receiving two verbals this week from DE Kisima Jagne and DE John Stuart.
The highest profile verbals on defense are Justin Solis, a 6'3" 287 pound defensive tackle who ranks as the 46th best DT in the country and DE Kisima Jagne, a 6'5" 235 pounder from Arizona that had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Washington and Washington State. Jagne ranks as the 26th best defensive end in the nation according to rivals. Solis also had offers from Utah, Washington, UCLA, Arizona, Boise State and Georgia Tech.
Needs -The Buffs will get healthier at their weakest position this past season - cornerback. Expected to return from injury is sophomore Jered Bell and freshman Sherrard Harrington, both missed the entire season with injuries. With S Anthony Perkins graduating, expect CB/S Parker Orms to challenge for a starting position at either cornerback or safety. One side of the field is solid with sophomore Greg Henderson playing spectacularly as a freshman, being named second team All American by College Football News. Greg Brown and the defensive coaching staff could still use some depth at the position. Visiting this weekend is 4 star recruit Yuri Wright who is one of the top cornerback prospects in the country. If the Buffs are able to out duel Michigan and Calfornia for Wright, CU could be set at the cornerback position for a long time.
The staff has done a good job in the last week filling some holes on the defensive line. Colorado has received verbals from defensive end Kisima Jagne and John Stuart. With Nick Kasa moving to offense and seniors like Josh Hartigan graduating, the Buffs were thin on the edge. Junior Chidera Uzo-Diribe and sophomore Juda Parker both return and will be the expected starters on the end. Both have a ton of potential but consistency will be needed out of the position.
At linebacker, all three starters return in Doug Rippy, Derrick Webb and Jon Major but both Rippy and Major graduate after this season so expect the Buffs to be active at the linebacker position this last couple of months to bring in one or two more at the position. Cornerback and linebacker are the only two major position groups that have not had a verbal yet. Both should when it is all said and done.