TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Nick Hirschman #8 of the Colorado Buffaloes reacts during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Buffaloes 48-14. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Colorado Sports Information department released the names of the players who would be missing spring ball this season and alongside some of the expected guys are a few surprises that could have a big impact on this team going forward.
The biggest news, by a long shot, is the update that Nick Hirschman could miss all of spring practice due to surgery that he will undergo to fix an injury in his foot. He had been largely expected to be battling Connor Wood for the starting spot heading into fall practice and the 2012 season, but Wood and John Schrock will most likely see the majority of playing time with the ones and twos in March and April. Observers have been impressed by Wood's work in practice last year, and this opportunity could give him a leg up over Hirschman and incoming recruit Shane Dillon.
Also ruled out because they are still rehabilitating from previous injuries are senior linebacker Doug Rippy, sophomore running back Malcolm Creer, junior DT Nate Bonsu, and senior safety Vince Ewing.
Sophomore and redshirt freshman corners Jered Bell and Sherrard Harrington, offensive tackle Jack Harris, and sophomore linebacker Brady Daigh (had postseason surgery on his wrist) are all expected to be healthy enough to participate.
Losing a senior like Rippy isn't a huge deal, as he should have plenty of time to recover and get back into shape over the summer and fall, but guys like Malcolm Creer and Nate Bonsu could really use the practice time. Creer would be right in the middle of a battle with Tony Jones and Josh Ford to replace Speedy Stewart and Nate Bonsu being out leaves the Buffs with just three defensive tackles until the fall. Having Bell and Harrington back should be a huge boon to a secondary that could improve by leaps and bounds in 2012.