WR Patrick Williams

2006 Statistics

Coach: Dan Hawkins
8-17, 2 years
2007 Record: 6-7
vs. Colorado State WON 31-28 (OT)
at Arizona State LOST 14-33
at Baylor WON 43-23
at Kansas State LOST 20-47
at Texas Tech WON 31-26
at Iowa State LOST 28-31
Alabama LOST 24-30

2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

Phase one for Head Coach Dan Hawkins was to get his feet wet playing in a BCS conference…the 2-10 first-year result was a wake up call that this wasn’t going to be nearly as easy as it was at Boise. Phase two was for a strong foundation to be set for rebuilding this into a winning program…four more wins came, including a season-defining victory over then-No.3 Oklahoma. But the second phase saw several problems on defense, troubles that led to their last four foes gouging the Buffaloes for 55, 31, 51, and 30 points, respectively. Now we see eight senior starters on D baiting prognosticators into predicting big things. With a budding sophomore QB and the top RB recruit from this year’s class buoying the offense, it’s hard not to think Colorado football may be back to it’s hallowed levels as soon as 2008.

Phase three seems to be a no-huddle wrinkle, a testimonial that coach’s son Cody Hawkins has enough of a command that this can be pulled off with great impact. This isn’t a strategy to gas opponents, but one where CU rushes to the line to see what the defense reveals (alignment/scheme) and play-calls accordingly. The line has responded well. The receivers have more permanent assignments, thus allowing them to focus on catching the rock and not have to worry about shifting all over and replacing each other every other play. Sophomore Hawkins seems like he can take another step in his rapid development. Expect bigger QB Nelson to find more reps after a great spring for the senior proved he can lead this team nearly as well.

The Buffaloes continued to tinker with the 3-4 on defense. It’s a new look, and like on offense, it has a way to go. But the eight returning starters are confident they will be able to keep up with the better offenses in this league due to the changes. The outside flanks look vulnerable with marginal DEs, new corners and Jordan Dizon gone. Burton, McKay, Herrod and Brown are strong players, so the outside isn’t at risk too much in light of the losses. Maturity has to mean taking less risks and making sure tackles happen. Dizon leaves a void of 160 tackles (stopped 20% of foe’s plays) – in cases of replacing top tacklers, teams usually come together to compensate, and then gelled, group play is the result. The missing corners seem like a bigger concern. With marginal safeties, the secondary will likely be the weak link.

More than just beating the Sooners, Colorado swept all of its games versus Big 12 South foes, something they’ve done only twice before (1996 & ’98). That signals much for making this team’s proverbial glass half full. But losing to faltering teams like FSU and Iowa State mean inconsistency could easily rear its ugly head at any time. Florida State and West Virginia are ambitious foes, and always-pesky Colorado State means September could produce a losing record. The four Big 12 games that follow will define the season for Hawkins’ bunch, but they’ll be warmed up from the non-cons. If this team is still over .500 at that point, the start of phase four looks probable – to make it look like they’ve been winning for years via relaxed, ingrained confidence. You know, getting the swagger back that has been missing since Gary Barnett took this program’s dignity when he left. Hawkins is the man Barnett evidently failed to be, showing his kids through example after example how to be the best person each can. This is a team worth following, for in this tough league, upstarts like the Buffs will continue to shake up the (national) results.

Projected 2008 record: 7-5
DB Daniel Dykes
QB - 3 DL - 4
RB - 3 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Cody Hawkins, 239-424-15, 2693 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: Demetrius Sumler, 100 att., 335 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Scotty McKnight, 43 rec., 488 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Demetrius Sumler, 5 TD, 30 pts.

Punting: Matt DiLallo, 61 punts, 40.1 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Daniel Dykes, 83 tot., 60 solo

Sacks: George Hypolite, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Cha'pelle Brown, George Hypolite, Daniel Dykes, Ryan Walters - 1 each

Kickoff Returns: Scotty McKnight, 1 ret., 21.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns:
Daniel Dykes, 1 ret., 7.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Byron Ellis-TB, Hugh Charles-TB, Stephone Robinson-WR, Dusty Sprague-WR, Tyson DeVree-TE, Tyler Polumbus-OT, Edwin Harrison-OT, Wes Palazzi-OG (transferred), Kai Maiava-FB
DEFENSE: Alonzo Barrett-DE, Jordon Dizon-WLB, Terrence Wheatley-CB, Lionel Harris-FS

The next level for this offense looks like a no-huddle dimension. This was seen during the spring scrimmages, and it reveals how comfortable the QBs must feel if this is being tried. The funniest part is how, even with this comfort factor, a year under center hasn’t solidified anything status-wise for Cody Hawkins. It isn’t a knock on Hawkins as much as it is a compliment for senior Nick Nelson’s possible claim on the starting spot. Nelson ran a no-huddle variation in 2006 at Saddleback College and feels more comfortable now that he’s in his second year in Mark Helfrich’s system. Nelson is harder to bring down, but Hawkins is still the coach’s son and the incumbent after taking almost every snap last year. Hawkins had a stellar completion percentage in prep, and if he can continue to grow into playing better at this level, his numbers will keep him in the game. These two will find out which is starting by the start of summer – usually this guarded Buffalo information isn’t learned until the last week before the opener – so the first team can get in sync with the flow of the new looks.

The ground game took a hit last year, losing nearly 30 yards per game from 2006. It looks pretty interesting with the arrival of the No.1 running back in this year’s national class – Darrell Scott – arriving by June. Sizable Demetrius Sumler is the back likely to be displaced since he could only muster 3.4 yards per carry in his 100 tries last year. As the top guy after spring, Sumler beat out Brian Lockridge, a scat-back who seems to be a situational guy instead of an every-down type of player in the staff’s mind. Corey Nabors led the state in prep rushing twice, and he finally got a scholarship to keep his name in the hat for reps. But, c’mon, the spot is Scott’s to lose since there isn’t that one guy like Charles anymore to command the position. Scott had nearly 3,200 yards and 45 total TDs as a prep junior; big and fast, coaches project his impact as immediate and as helping the overall ground dimension. Maurice Cantrell could help the proceedings with his sprinters speed, and Nebraska’s Gatorade Player of the Year Jake Behrens is already a trusted member of the “carry club” to show the fullback(s) can have identity beyond blocking.

Pat Devenny has stepped up big-time to help the holes left at tight end. Riar Geer is currently suspended, so ex-QB Devenny brings his all-around game to wherever needed. But Devenny is a snarler, not a blocker, as is Walters. Devin Shanahan is a bigger option, but knee rehab has his prospects still unknown. Lots of capably handed TEs will help McKnight, Williams and Smith to get open. The way the WRs were interchangeably played last year, no one got used to being in for long, and the positions/roles each played were never set or established. Shuffling occurred too often, but that isn’t the concern now with the no-huddle in practice. “We can’t change guys as often,” says receivers coach Eric Kiesau, “so you just have to get a group out there and let them play and they have to kind of run the whole series. With the thin air, guys are going to get tired naturally. We'll get a whole new group out kind of like hockey players when they just jump over the wall and are ready to play." Josh Smith is slowly getting the nuances of the no-huddle, so he becomes the third receiver and an outside option that will continue to stretch the field. Patrick Williams is the consistent guy who leads by quiet example and who may have to branch out from his role underneath since he now starts. But it’s former walk-on Scotty McKnight who keeps wowing them in practice. The top Buffalo snarler, this smallish over-achiever seems to be the option inside for the multiple receiver sets. Kendrick Celestine seems to be that burner needed to distract foes. His speed cannot be ignored, or else.

The line has to replace its two tackles, with the left side the evident concern. Ex-TE Nick Solder is just not big enough to assure that he can do it all, so freshman Ethan Atkins seems to have hope for reps. Solder will probably be a tackle-eligible on goal line plays, so foes have now been warned of his soft hands. In-state Gatorade POTY Ryan Miller seems set for the right side; the former No.2 tackle prospect was starting there by mid-season last year due to improved pass protecting, not his strength coming into the season out of prep. Sanders has started since his freshman campaign, including every game since the second week of ’06. Devin Head seemed a bit overwhelmed, thus he lost his starting spot inside half way through last season. But Head held off bulging Erick Faatagi, a JUCO hotshot we’ve rarely seen since knee troubles and then classroom issues kept him out last year. Kai Maiava was yanked from the line, then he decided he wasn’t happy at fullback and decided to leave the team, and the hole that now needs filling is the reason a freshman is being tapped. Matthew Bahr isn’t a lock, but he does have a hold on the LG slot. Max Tuioti-Mariner is the No.7 guard prospect; he and Shawn Daniels look like the next in line if Barh doesn’t pass. Injuries to the starters along the line would hurt production since the inexperience behind them isn’t ready to start in the Big 12.

The targets and backs seem ready to make Colorado one of the major offenses in the league. The way the no-huddle comes together will tell if Hawkins has an advantage with this tactic or just something that will distract his players more than the other team’s guys. This will be the difference between finishing above or below .500.


C Daniel Sanders


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Cody Hawkins-So (5-11, 190) Nick Nelson-Sr (6-1, 230)
FB Maurice Cantrell-Sr (6-0, 240) Jake Behrens-Jr (6-0, 230)
TB Demetrius Sumler-So (5-10, 215) Kevin Moyd-Jr (5-7, 185)
Brian Lockridge-So (5-7, 175)
WR Patrick Williams-Sr (6-2, 205) Josh Smith-So (6-0, 180)
WR Scotty McKnight-So (5-11, 180) Cody Crawford-Sr (5-11, 175)
TE Patrick Devenny-Jr (6-3, 240) Luke Walters-Jr (6-3, 235)
Riar Geer-Jr (6-4, 250) (susp.)
OT Nate Solder-So (6-8, 280) Ethan Adkins-Fr (6-4, 295)
OG Matthew Bahr-Fr (6-4, 280) Shawn Daniels-Fr (6-3, 280)
C Daniel Sanders-Sr (6-3, 325) Keenan Stevens-So (6-2, 280)
OG Devin Head-Jr (6-4, 295) Erick Faatagi-Sr (6-2, 310)
OT Ryan Miller-So (6-7, 315) Sione Tau-Fr (6-5, 320)
K Jameson Davis-Fr (5-10, 195) Aric Goodman-So (5-10, 180)



There were statistical slips from the prior season (2-10) that seemed to be divided into two categories – before the Kansas game, and then after the Buffs lost 19-14 to their North Division rivals. Prior to and including that pivotal eighth game, CU allowed 190 points. In the five games that followed, 193 points were allowed. Now, we are not insinuating that the D was at fault for excessive losses; Colorado went 4-4 and then 2-3, so the defense was only as complicit as any of the other important phases of team play for why the record wasn’t better. But in explaining the dimensions of what just happened and how that leads to what is about to happen, we take note of this trend that saw so much scoring at year’s end. Really, the job that the secondary did in bending-but-not-breaking against Texas Tech (allowed 431 yards but only three TDs and had four INTs) to seal that 31-26 win obviously isn’t the beginning of any slide, but a thing of beauty versus the country’s top passing team. The part to point out is how the run stopping has been deteriorating for two years.

Third-year coordinator Ron Collins got a few sparkling examples (in those scoring onslaughts against Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska) of how linemen at the BCS level are more volatile due to seeing top competition every week. CU lost 16 yards per game on the ground and (therefore) gained seven points per game from their 2006 averages. Three senior linemen (returning starters) mean improvements are near, especially with George Hypolite and Brandon Nicolas occupying the middle. All-American Hypolite’s 34 solo tackles were part of the top Buffalo lineman’s stat line, as were his team leading six sacks. Not bad for a converted running back (his recruited position) that hasn’t lost a step. Nicolas was off and on during spring, but his 28 solo tackles (the next top DL tackler) compliment his 10 third-down stops. Both of these guys act like glorified ends. Kaynor is the same ex-DE, while Goree is the biggest DT on the roster at 295lbs and was seen with the 1s while Hypolite and/or Nicolas sat during spring. If the inside is so stout, we feel the ends – with significantly less tackles than their counterparts – are a big reason the run stopping has slipped. Maurice Lucas has yet to surpass his freshman campaign’s impact, which is a bit disappointing considering his physical package. Marquez Herrod looks like he’ll stand up better at the point of attack, and his plight is a great story of overcoming the odds. Jason Brace has played inside and out, a benefit for the three-man sets soon to be seen. On that note, the qualities of the tackles make them more great interchangeable parts for 3-4 and 3-3-5 looks.

The linebackers are also a part of that slipping run defense, and losing Dizon’s 120 solo tackles mean those stops have to go to someone. Meet replacement Marcus Burton, a big, fast, instinctual pursuer who has led the team in tackles for the final spring scrimmage twice in a row now. Burton missed ’07 due to academics, and much of ’06 was a struggle due to a broken leg. Back at full strength (jarring hits all spring) and more mature for everything he’s recently been through, a healthy Burton means Dizon can be replaced. Appropriately named Jeff Smart reflects his All-Academic status with savvy play in the middle, but he seems too small to be effective at the line versus Big 12 foes. Sipili was a Freshman All-American and poised to start last year before a fight and subsequent suspension cost him his ’07 season (but no eligibility), and we think he’s the guy for the MLB spot. B.J. Beatty (most improved lineman this spring) should be the main pick as the fourth linebacker with his rush end tendencies in the 3-4. Jones started every game, so he’s not going to be displaced by Beatty. But Jones has to be careful if Beatty keeps flooring like he did all spring. JUCO OLB Shaun Mohler looks like he could shake up the depth chart, too. "The bottom line for us is we're going to try to find the best 11 guys to get on the field," defensive coordinator Ron Collins said. "I don't care who those guys are but that's what we're trying to get accomplished. I don't care if it's six linebackers, five, four… it doesn't matter." Interesting.

Replacing Dizon is one thing, but replacing Wheatley - and probably Burney, too - looks like it won’t be done as easily. Multiple off-season surgeries (both wrists as well as both shoulders, already had right knee done) have Burney redshirting (99% sure). Luckily, Cha’pelle Brown has one of the vacancies sewn up. Brown had 10 third-down stops as a starting nickel back, and his 12 pass break-ups led the team. At 5’7, Brown plays much bigger and can handle big WRs with superior technique. Gardner McKay has the size Brown lacks and just as much speed. McKay can be an excellent cover guy, but not much has been developed behind these two, so they have to stay healthy. Smith isn’t bad, but he has been burnt at critical times. Senior safeties Dykes and Walters have to seal the deep middle better. Both had big stakes in the excessive points let in last year. Idaho-transfer Walter’s absence this spring meant psycho Anthony Perkins (most improved DB this spring) showed his wares with the first team and made his case for a starting nod. Limon standout Sandersfeld will also get a long look, but he needs some weight to be a BCS safety. Putting more of the back seven on the field at once is a smart goal in this day of needing speed to keep up with being spread out. It is also a good way for the Buffs to keep the play in front of them, thus mimicking the way they schemed Oklahoma and Texas Tech for those big wins.


DT George Hypolite


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Maurice Lucas-Sr (6-4, 260) Lagrone Shields-Fr (6-2, 250)
DT George Hypolite-Sr (6-1, 285) Taj Kaynor-Jr (6-5, 265)
NT Brandon Nicolas-Sr (6-3, 290) Eugene Goree-Fr (6-1, 295)
DE Marquez Herrod-So (6-2, 270) Jason Brace-Jr (6-4, 250)
SLB Brad Jones-Sr (6-3, 225) B.J. Beatty-So (6-2, 220)
MLB Jeff Smart-Jr (6-0, 210) Michael Sipili-So (6-1, 255)
WLB Marcus Burton-Jr (6-0, 255) Bryan Stengel-Jr (6-2, 225)
CB Gardner McKay-Sr (5-11, 165) Jimmy Smith-So (6-2, 195)
CB Benjamin Burney-Sr (5-11, 190) Cha'pelle Brown-Jr (5-7, 180)
SS Daniel Dykes-Sr (6-2, 210) Travis Sandersfeld-Fr (6-0, 190)
FS Ryan Walters-Sr (6-0, 200) Anthony Perkins-Fr (5-10, 190)
P Matt DiLallo-Jr (6-1, 190) Tom Suazo-Sr (5-10, 185)




Matt DiLallo and the coverage team produce pretty straight-forward results, but the one thing that seems of concern is how so many kicks were blocked all spring. Coach Hawkins thinks this is a positive that speaks of their kick-blocking prowess, but what it means will only be told in real game scenarios. The PK candidates both transferred here from north and west – Davis from Idaho and Goodman from Wyoming. Goodman knows the ropes as a Freshman All-American (10-for-16), but it was Davis who won the starting nod. The receiving trio of Williams, McKnight and Smith look like a decent return unit, but the speed on this team means guys like Espinoza will get their shots.