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Colorado to be represented in Shrine Game, Senior Bowl

Four senior Buffaloes will play in the All-Star games.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Even after the Alama Bowl the season will go on for the Buffs. That’s because four proud seniors will wear the black and gold in post-season All-Star games.

Sefo Liufau and Chidobe Awuzie will represent the Buffs in the Senior Bowl. Kenneth Olugbode and Ahkello Witherspoon both accepted invites to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

The Senior Bowl will be played in Mobile, Alabama but the time has yet to be determined. The Shrine Game will be played on January 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida in ghastly Tropicana Field (the Tampa Bay Rays’ field with terrible turf).

Liufau will go down in legend as he has led this monumental comeback with unparalleled heart. On the season, he 2171 passing yards, 494 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns. He’s Colorado’s all-time leader in total touchdowns with 72 and will look to add to that in his final game against Oklahoma State. Playing in the Senior Bowl will be his audition for the NFL, where he will likely be drafted in the late rounds or signed as an undrafted free agent.

Awuzie has transformed himself from energetic special teamer to omnipresent defensive wrecking ball in his four years on campus. Awuzie can truly do it all on defense and it’s reflected in his career stat line of 261 tackles (~65 per season), 25 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 3 interceptions, 24 pass breakups and 6 forced fumbles. Besides his immediate impact, Awuzie’s very presence in this vaunted secondary is invaluable in that he makes everyone else’s job easier. In the Senior Bowl, Awuzie will try to secure his position as a 2nd- to 3rd-round pick, and maybe even jump into the 1st-round.

Olugbode began his Colorado career playing snaps few and far between, but he has become a dynamic playmaker who leads the Buffs’ linebacker corps. With brutes in front of him eating space and with elite athletes behind him in support, Olugbode has become one of the best in the nation at flying around the field to make plays all across the field. He leads the Buffs in tackles by a mile with 102, and his 2 interceptions and 2.5 sacks show his versatility. In the Shrine Game, Olugbode will try to impress teams enough to be drafted in the later rounds.

Witherspoon has been one of the true breakouts of the college football season, as he’s gone from inconsistent backup to shutdown corner. A great athlete at 6’3, Witherspoon is able to stay in front of any receiver and his ridiculous range makes him almost impossible to throw on, even if he allows any space. With Awuzie occupying the other side of the field, Witherspoon has faced all kinds of action and has responded with brilliance in each and every game. His interception at Oregon sealed an incredible victory and his 18 pass breakups lead the nation. Witherspoon is hoping his play in the Shrine Game will warrant a mid-round draft selection, or at least keep him in the draft.

Even after the Alamo Bowl, Buffs will be in action and will proudly represent Colorado. We thank them and all the other seniors for their all dedication.