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Winter Is Here - The Buffs Depth Chart Approacheth

Welcome to the least consequential, most anticipated moment of the college football season - it's the Colorado Buffaloes spring depth chart!

Fight CU Down The Field...
Fight CU Down The Field...
Christian Petersen

Here is the "pencil depth chart" fresh off the presses.

The first thing to discuss is the injuries. Terrence Crowder, Gerrad Kough, Alex Lewis, Daniel Munyer, Juda Parker, and Kyle Washington all missed the entire spring with injuries. Vincent Hobbs is likewise listed as inactive, having spent the entire spring at home dealing with his family issues (contrary to Kyle Ringo's report). Add in injuries to Yuri Wright, Brady Daigh, and Jeffrey Thomas, and you can pretty much guess that this is fluid at best. But let's dig deeper into each position group:

QB: Ugh, the QBs. If any group has had CU fans reaching for pearls to clutch, it's the QB position at CU for... for pretty much forever. We're left with a group of four, minus the 2 QBs we pretty much could have eliminated on our own before the spring- Stevie Joe Dorman and walk-on John Schrock. The remaining players, Jordan Webb, Connor Wood, Nick Hirschman, and Shane Dillon are all still in play and expected to receive equal reps. MacIntyre didn't name a starter last year until 5 days before the opener, and his comments appear to indicate that the same should not be unexpected this year as well. One thing to consider- Nick Hirschman is graduating in May, and could conceivably transfer to another D1 school and play immediately, in addition to the always available option of dropping down a level. (UPDATE: I based my comment about Hirschman graduating on a tweet he sent out- see Trader Jesse's comment below, but note the date- April Fool's Day. Take it for whatever you want, but it is curious timing. Who doesn't know they're graduating in May until April? I mean, unless you're like me and might fail a class because of a TA who hates you)

RB: Christian Powell and Tony Jones are currently listed as co starters, and one wonders if they could share time in the same backfield, as Powell has a history at FB and we still have a FB position. Donta Abron and Josh Ford are listed in tandem as the next up backs, with both having their respective strengths. Further down the line is Malcolm Creer, who could be another potential transfer. He got screwed as a freshman by being forced into minimal action, and he retains a redshirt option if he were to transfer.

WR: One thing that seems odd is that 4 of our top 6 receivers seem stacked at one position, the X. Ultimately I doubt this means much. DD Goodson is listed as co-starter at the Z. There is zero chance that we ever open up in a 2 receiver set with Goodson split wide. As soon as Richardson takes live contact, he will be the starter there and Goodson (and Canty) will man the slot. MacIntyre has already said that we'll be running plenty of 3 wide sets, so I expect all of the top 5 or 6 to get their reps. I could even see McCullough running some routes as a tight end in certain sets, given the dearth of talent there. Speaking of...

TE: It's not a surprise to see Slavin running with the ones, but it is a bit of a surprise to see Scott Fernandez at 2, considering how this offense seems to like to use their TEs. One disappointment here has got to be Austin Ray, who is running 4th. He would appear to have ideal size for the position.

OL: Not a lot of surprises here, considering the injury situation, and I wouldn't mind seeing Jack Harris and Stephane Nembot lock down their respective tackle spots, with the injured Alex Lewis and Daniel Munyer holding down the guards. Adding Gus Handler at center seems to me to be as solid a line as could be constructed. There's plenty of potential there. I am a little disappointed that Marc Mustoe hasn't added any weight.

But the real intrigue comes on defense, with plenty of depth chart questions and position movement.

DL: The biggest surprise here, to me, was seeing De'Jon Wilson at #4 DT. I never really saw him as anything other than a DE, and to see him that far down, possibly out of position on the depth chart behind a walk on, is disturbing. I imagine that Juda Parker will have something to say about the DE position opposite Chidera Uzo-Direbe once he's fully healthy.

LB: The Mlke linebacker spot had might as well be called the white guy linebacker spot, with Addison Gillam, Brady Daigh, and Clay Norgard running one through three. Wait... Addison Gillam? Yup. Apparently he looks great, and he certainly has the size to be an impact player already. He was also a greyshirt at SJSU, so he's a bit older and more mature than a real freshman. I'll be interested to see where 220 lb and fast Kyle Washington ends up on the depth chart when he can finally play. I would guess that's he'd pencil in behind Webb. Otherwise, Webb and Woody Greer seem right where I expected them to be.

DB: This is where things get really interesting. The current starters at CB are Kenneth Crawley (field) and Greg Henderson (boundary), with Henderson listed as the #1 nickel. Watching him in high school, I thought Henderson projected to safety, and I think he would be an outstanding nickel. Yuri Wright hasn't practiced and is listed as the third string "field" corner, behind Crawley and walk-on Harrison Hunter. I would expect that to change once Wright gets healthy. I don't know what either field or boundary mean. But it'll be interesting to see how they're deployed differently than the patented Greg Brown "left" and "right" system. At safety, converted QB/ converted CB Josh Moten is currently running first at "boundary" safety, ahead of Parker Orms and Marques Mosely. Orms is also suffering from yet another leg injury, and one wonders how long he can keep this up. At the "field" spot, Terrel Smith is ahead of Jered Bell and 2 walk-ons, Isaac Archuleta and Richard Yates. This situation all still seems fluid to me, and this is the position group I'm most interested in watching how it plays out.

ST: No surprises here. Will Oliver and Darragh O'Neill retain their spots. Even though everyone hates it, MacIntyre is still a believer in the rugby punt. O'Neill is the #1 Holder and Justin Gorman the #2. Ryan Iverson is the snapper. They are who we thought they were. Castor and Oliver are co- KO guys, as if that's a thing.

Ultimately, we should take into account injuries before really starting to wring our hands at all positions. There's a lot of intrigue, but not a lot of finality. We're at the end of the first act of a three act play, and a lot of change can, and should continue to happen. What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: I'm not particularly comfortable speculating on potential transfers, even though I've got a handful of guys in mind. I mentioned Hirschman just because he's graduating. I am comfortable also adding to the list Vincent Hobbs, who is currently home in Dallas, Davien Payne, who is currently academically ineligible and suspended, and De'Jon Wilson, who MacIntyre has said is dealing with personal issues and needs to figure out if he wants to remain in the program. I'm not saying that they will or will not transfer, just that they're definitely in a danger zone. I've got a few other guys in mind, but they will remain nameless unless further evidence is made public.