By Marc Mandell 2/28/17
April 27th at 8pm EST is when the fun kicks off! The Draft is approaching and I cannot wait to see how some of our local athletes will do. So I wanted to take some time and have a look at the prospects coming out of CU Boulder. As a Denver native myself, I have watched the Buffaloes go from a cellar dweller to a top 10 team, in just a few short years!
I am going to start with CB Chidobe Awuzie, who has been an enormous part of the success for the Buffs, hence the declaration for the draft from the senior out of The People’s Republic of Boulder.
Here is his draft scouting report, before the combine/pro day of course.
Good: Extremely versatile, by playing in the slot or outside, as well as the ability to rush the passer and assist on run stopping. His fluidity will allow him to play in any defense. He can be a “shut down” corner, able to shadow a WR all day. He has terrific short area burst, and is a very sound tackler and is able to play competitively on special teams.
Bad: Size. He is a little small for the NFL, but just ask Chris Harris if he cared about that when he went un-drafted.
Result: He will be a terrific pick by any team who drafts him. His abilities to rapidly break down plays, adjust correctly and burst to the play make him a sought after commodity. Only his size will keep him from being a first day draft pick. We should see him drafted late Friday or early Saturday. I am very excited to watch him play at the next level.
At Oak Grove High School in San Jose, he was a stand out. Players that make the pro’s are often the best player that high school has ever seen. While in high school, Awuzie made the varsity team by his sophomore year, and while playing on both sides of the ball, he dominated every team he faced. In fact, he earned First team All-League status in both junior and senior years. He also lettered 3 times in basketball, and track and field. His senior year, while on special teams, he returned 5 punts for 60 yards and 5 kickoffs for 115 yards. Offensively, he rushed for 1,285 yards, with 9.3 YPC effort and 14 touchdowns. On defense as a S\CB he accumulated 69 tackles, 4 picks, two of which went all the way home, 4 blocked kicks, and 2 forced fumbles. This was his senior year… in high school. He was a versatile as they come. When he arrived in Boulder to begin his collegiate career, he didn’t stop.
His freshmen year in Boulder, he played in all 12 games, 7 of which were starts. Amassing 59 tackles, only the 13th in CU history to do so in a freshman year. He played in the slot and on the outside, shutting down the WR’s he faced every Saturday. He had two forced fumbles on defense, while adding to his versatility, he played on special teams through out his college career. He supplanted the incumbent starter, Allison Gillam, and dominated for CU the minute he arrived.
His junior year was his break out. He exploded in production. He was Second team All-Pac12 by the AP, and was First team All-Colorado. Here’s how he did it. He played in all 13 games, 12 as a starter and played a team high 897 snaps. He finished the year with 90 tackles, including 12 for a loss, and 4 sacks! Two INT’s, 7 passes defensed, and 2 more forced fumbles made him one of the most valuable assets for the Buffs. One of those INT’s came in the clutch against Oregon State in the waning moments of the 4th quarter to seal the victory for CU.
By the end of his senior year, Awuzie had made First Team All-Pac12, and was a huge part of getting the Buffaloes to the third best defense in the country in passing efficiency. Holding opposing QB’s to a measly 48% completion rating, and only 186 yards per game. He tacked on 60 more tackles, 4 sacks and 19 third-down-stops. Ranked 11th in DB’s in the country and nominated for 3 post season awards, The Jim Thorpe, Bronko Nagurski and the Chuck Bednarik awards. He finished his collegiate career with 273 tackles, 22nd all time at CU, 9 sacks, 3 INT’s, 25 passes defensed and 6 forced fumbles, 3 of those were recovered by the rest of his defense.
Pre pro day I think he will go in on day number three, but early. Third round for Mr. Awuzie. Whether he will make it three years in the pro’s or not remains to be seen, but I am certainly pulling for him, and you should too.