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Brenden Rice, Christian Gonzalez enter transfer portal

Karl Dorrell faces a make or break 2022 season, but is losing top talent on both sides of the ball.

Syndication: The Register Guard [Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard] / USA TODAY NETWORK

The exodus of talent has begun in Boulder, as the Colorado Buffaloes have now lost two of their best players and another starter. Star receiver Brenden Rice announced on Saturday night that he will depart from the program, following defensive backs Christian Gonzalez and Mark Perry in the transfer portal.

Rice and Gonzalez seemed almost too talented to be stuck in the morass that was the 2021 Buffs. That turned out to be true, as they have more than enough skill to be impact players on better teams. There’s no reason to risk injury on a team that looked middling at best, hopeless at worst, not when they have NFL dreams and a long list of college suitors.

Maybe these players are leaving because their position coaches are no longer at CU. Darrin Chiaverini, offensive coordinator, receivers coach and lead recruiter, was fired after he coached the worst offense since the halcyon days of Bernard Jackson. Defensive backs coach, just left for the Oregon job. More likely, however, it seems that these players are jumping a sinking ship before it’s too late.

There’s a growing sentiment that Karl Dorrell is not on stable ground. There’s pressure to show improvement this upcoming season after the Buffs were fortunate to finish 4-8. He has a new offensive coordinator in Mike Sanford and a solid defensive staff, all of his own choosing, but with graduations and transfers, this team is lacking talent on both sides of the ball. Unless there is considerable internal development – something Dorrell favors over high-level recruiting – the future is not looking good for this regime.