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Colorado Buffaloes Most Important Players: #22 Nate Landman

Landman is going to be a star, but maybe not until next season.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

I love Nate Landman. I loved when he committed and watching his highlight tape. I loved when he signed with the best linebacking corps in recent CU history. I loved when he came on at the end of last season and destroyed some teams. And I’m going to love it this year when Landman rips the face off of opposing running backs and dominates the line of scrimmage.

Alright, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. But, then again, I’m not. Just look at this play (starts at 3:10 if the embed isn’t working):

That is one of many plays Landman made last year in limited snaps. Nate had plenty of third down stops and plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s aggressive, physical at the point of contact, and rangy enough to make plays. It’s all I can do to keep from hyperbolizing out of control. Landman is built like a classic MLB at 6’3 and 230 pounds. He’s bulked up this offseason, and he looks built for a full twelve game schedule.

The reason that Landman is on this schedule is pretty simple: He can be one of the better players in the conference if he is given the opportunity. It’s hard to take Rick Gamboa or Drew Lewis off the field, but Landman has the talent to force his way onto the field. The reason he isn’t higher on this list is because of the aforementioned depth around him. Rick Gamboa is an all-time Steady Eddy at MLB, Drew Lewis is an athletic freak, and they are both seniors this year.

Landman as a sophomore could have a tough time seeing the field, and if he doesn’t perform to expectations, it won’t break the team. There’s plenty of talent around him, but no one has the potential that Landman does.