BOULDER— Senior offensive tackle Nate Solder has been named to the prestigious Playboy Preseason All-America Team.
Solder making the team marks the 24th time the magazine has honored a Colorado Buffalo on its preseason team, and he is the 23rd player to be so honored. The last offensive linemen to be selected from CU was guard Ryan Johanningmeier in 1999, with the last offensive tackle being Mark VanderPoel in 1990, CU’s consensus national champion season.
“Nate embodies everything that is great about a college student-athlete,” head coach Dan Hawkins said. “He is a great student, a great player and a great representative of both the University of Colorado and college athletics.”
A biology major, Solder was an Academic All-District team member last fall in addition to garnering first-team All-Big 12 honors by the league coaches.
This is the 54th year of the Playboy All-America Team, the direct descendent of the original All-America as conceived by Walter Camp back in the 1890s. Camp, then Grantland Rice, then a number of other editors and writers selected an All-America team for Collier’s Magazine until it went out of business in 1956. An enterprising Hugh Hefner, who had just started Playboy Magazine in 1953, realized a great college football tradition was about to disappear. He hired Collier’s writer Francis Wallace who then selected the team for Playboy in 1957. Anson Mount took over the next year and became the most successful college football prognosticator over the next 29 years. Gary Cole took over for Mount when he passed away in 1986 and, with the help of football guru Gil Brandt, has been selecting the team and predicting Playboy’s Top 25 ever since.
Solder is earning the most preseason accolades by any Colorado Buffalo since PK Mason Crosby in 2006; Crosby was a member of the Playboy preseason team in both 2005 and 2006. He’s the lone Buffalo and one of just a handful of players in the nation to be named to the team twice.
“While I am happy to get all this recognition, I’m not an individual awards guy,” Solder said. “But I am truly excited and honored to be a member of the Playboy preseason team, I know how time-honored it is and this is a nice gift for all the hard work over the last several years.”
Solder has been raking in the preseason accolades, making several first- or second-team All-America teams by various preseason publications. Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 72 overall player for all positions, and he is on the watch lists for both the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy, the latter with teammate Ryan Miller, a junior guard.