For nearly 15 years, noted college football writer Bruce Feldman has been compiling an annual ‘freaks list’ of players he deems are the “top workout warriors in the sport.” Checking in at number 26 on this year’s top 40 countdown was Colorado linebacker Drew Lewis. While Lewis was certainly a good choice, let’s expand upon the many ‘freaks’ on this 2017 Colorado Buffaloes roster.
Isaiah Oliver, Cornerback (Junior)
At 6’1, 190 lbs., the junior out of Goodyear, Arizona certainly isn’t the most imposing player on this Buffs squad. But he might just be the most athletic. Oliver, who doubles as a standout on the track team, is arguably the best two-sport athlete that has graced Boulder since Hale Irwin. In route to a fourth place finish in the decathlon at this year’s Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, Oliver set school records in both the 100m dash (10.82) and long jump (24-01.75/7.36m).
On the gridiron, Oliver (alongside QB Steven Montez) was awarded the John Wooten Award for his outstanding work ethic this spring. He’ll be a key member of the Buffs #MoneyGang this season while Chidobe Awuzie, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tedric Thompson are shredding offenses in the NFL.
Drew Lewis, Inside Linebacker (Junior)
Feldman was spot on with his assessment of Lewis. The 6’2, 225-lb inside linebacker had NFL scouts probably drooling over his leaping ability this spring.
And Pound-for-pound, Lewis might just be the strongest player on this Buffs squad. In April, he squatted 435 pounds for six reps and power cleaned 345 pounds, tied for second most on the team.
The Buffs continue to get after it in the weight room - power clean testing on Monday. Daniel Talley & Drew Lewis cleaning 345 pounds, Tanner Grzesiek 365!Posted by Colorado Buffaloes Football on Monday, April 24, 2017
Rick Gamboa, Inside Linebacker (Junior)
One of six captains for 2017, the 6’0, 230-lb junior from Sylmar, California is a freak when it comes to the film room.
“Rick, that’s someone that everyone looks up to on the defense,” Oliver told BSNDenver.com. “Just because you can ask him a question about anybody position on the field and he’ll know the answer. He knows exactly what everyone’s supposed to do, he knows what the offense is going to do. He can break down any offense in the nation I believe just based on the amount of film he watches and the amount of work that he puts in.” Thus, it was no surprise when Gamboa (along with RB Phillip Lindsay) was awarded the Eddie Crowder Award for outstanding leadership this spring.
Javier Edwards, Nose Tackle (Junior)
Perhaps the player I’m looking forward to watching the most in 2017, Javier Edwards is a FLAT-OUT BEAST! The 6’3, 350-lb junior college transfer squatted 500 pounds FIVE times during April’s strength testing, while benching 405 pounds twice. Edwards will be the first one to tell you that he needs to improve upon his technique, and should he do so, this behemoth will have a career in the NFL waiting for him. The big fella also showed some impressive athleticism at defensive back during the Spring Game.
As my colleague Jeff Hauser observed, Coach Mike MacIntyre’s got to find a way to get this man the ball on third down and goal.
Chris Mulumba, Defensive End (Junior)
Forget the fact that he didn’t play football in high school. Any 6’4, 280-lb man who was a national judo champion in his home country of Finland is bound to be a freak on the gridiron. "Judo is one-on-one," Mulumba told ESPN.com’s David Lombardi. "But football is basically 11 one-on-ones. So I have to win mine on every down."
DE Chris Mulumba— Colorado Football (@RunRalphieRun) April 21, 2017
OLB Terran Hasselbach
Both 355 lbs x 5 reps
To all the offensive lineman trying to slow down Mulumba one-on-one this season, good luck!