We’ve ranked Josh Kaiser. We’ve ranked Aaron Haigler. Those counting at home have no doubt deduced that three members of the offensive line (at least) are left. Three of the 11 most important players. That should tell you how important we think offensive line success is to have any team success this season. In the middle of all this, literally, is Colby Pursell.
Pursell has shot up our internal rankings this fall camp. This summer was the fan’s first introduction to Colby, and it soon became clear why the coaches have been merciless in singing his praises. Entering this year as a grayshirt redshirt freshman, Pursell has been on campus for a year and a half without losing any eligibility, which is huge. Since he has been on campus, he has been quietly working on his body to the point that he can finally enter his freshman year at a solid 290 pounds. With a height of 6’4 (generously listed), he is the coach’s prototype at the position.
Pursell has been a consistent performer in camp, and with every coach raving about him, he is entrenched as the starting center. He may be CU’s center since Alex Kelley (which was two short years ago, I know) as a freshman. He is so important to this team because if he pans out, the Buffs go a lot farther. A solid center automatically upgrades the rest of the OL, as Kelly showed, and allowing Montez to step up in the pocket or McMillian to get a few extra yards for free is key to keeping drives alive. If Pursell disappoints, there is no clear cut replacement behind him and that means there are deep problems at the offensive line.
Fitting of a center, Pursell is a fulcrum for the offensive line, and therefore the season at large. If he’s as good as fall camp portends him to be, then CU will be in better shape than I thought along the trenches. If he disappoints or performs like a freshman (which he is), there are going to be some long games ahead.