The Colorado Buffaloes have released their first official depth chart of the 2012 season (after four on a Friday!) and while we knew that true freshmen would play a very prominent role this year, some may not have expected to see them begin the role in a starting position.
B.G. Brooks of CUBuffs.com has a few highlights:
- Josh Tupou, a head-turner from Day One at nosetackle, goes into game week sharing that position with junior Nate Bonsu.
- Kenneth Crawley, one of three signees from H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C., will open at left cornerback against Colorado State (Sept. 1, 2 p.m., Sports Authority Field at Mile High). He'll also be a primary return specialist.
- Christian Powell, one of a trio of signees from Upland (Calif.) High School, emerged from camp as a co-starter at fullback with junior Alex Wood.
- Backup quarterback . . . for now it's a job-share situation. Sophomores Connor Wood and Nick Hirschman are listed as co-Nos. 2, an indication that the duel to back up transfer Jordan Webb was tougher to call than naming a starter. (Webb was named No. 1 after a mere eight days of camp.)
- The Buffs will go into the opener with the same punter - Darragh O'Neill - and placekicker - Will Oliver - that finished the 2011 season. But both were pressed in camp, O'Neill by Zach Grossnickle, Oliver by Justin Castor.
- Kickoff returns, per the depth chart, will fall to four freshmen. Crawley, slotted as the No. 1 punt returner, and three of his classmates - Marques Mosley, Donta Abron and Gerald Thomas - are the kick returners listed. But as with spots, that could change.
The coaches weren't messing around. Youth WILL be served in this year. You know what? I'm pretty damn excited about it. It's good to see that the hype around Powell, Tupou and Crawley (true freshman returning punts...) wasn't just coach speak.
I'm a bit surprised to see Parker Orms not in a starting spot, but I'm happy that he'll be able to contribute when needed and hopefully stay healthy throughout the year.
Not naming a back-up quarterback makes you wonder how they will split up the second-team reps in practice, but I'm sure that won't last too far into the season.
Time to dig in. What's everyone think?