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#76 Gus Handler
Position: Offensive Lineman
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 290
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Barrington, Ill.
High School: Barrington
Experience: Redshirt

AT COLORADO: 2013 (Sr.)—He started all 12 games at center, and played all but two snaps for the entire year (830 of 832), the most snaps by any player on offense and the third-most on the team.  He had a plus play percentage of 64.8 percent for the season (538 plus plays, but all the others weren’t negative, some were even).  He had 31 knockdown blocks and two touchdown blocks, while allowing two quarterback sacks, seven hurries and was flagged for four penalties.  He had a 70 percent or greater plus play mark for four games, with a top number of 72.9 versus Central Arkansas.  He returned to practice at full health in the spring after injuries basically decimated his junior season.  He shared the team’s Offensive Trench Award with Jack Harris.  He was once again on the official watch list for the Rimington Award, one of 44 players who competed for the nation’s most outstanding center accolade.

2012 (Jr.)—His season was marred by two different injuries, causing him to appear in just five games (all starts) and play just 279 snaps from scrimmage.  He suffered a high ankle sprain in the second game of the year (versus Sacramento State) and missed the next three games; he returned and played the entire Arizona State and Southern California games, but at Oregon, he was in for just 13 plays before severely spraining his MCL (knee) and would be lost for the remainder of the year.  He graded out to 83.5 percent for the year (233 plus plays of the 279), with five will-breaker blocks and a touchdown block.  He allowed just one quarterback sack and two other pressures while being flagged for three penalties; his best game grad was 86.4 percent against Arizona State as he topped 80 percent in four of the five games.  He had solidified his hold on the starting spot at center with an excellent spring, and was one of 51 players on the official watch list for the Rimington Award.

2011 (Soph.)—He saw action in all 13 games at center, starting the last 10 after splitting time with Daniel Munyer to open the season.  He played 613 snaps from scrimmage, grading out to 81.6 percent on the year (exactly 500 plus plays); he had 14 great effort blocks, a team-high four direct touchdown blocks, and allowed just one quarterback sack and only two pressures.  His top game grade was 90.1 percent versus Arizona, one of six games where he graded out at 80 percent or higher.  He had entered the fall listed third at center, but quickly ascended into co-first team status by the start of the season after a great fall camp.  He ended spring ball at around 270 pounds, down 20 or so from the fall, but regained the weight by midsummer and played around 290 during the season.

2010 (Fr.-RS)—Did not see any action, but dressed for eight games (all six in Boulder, Colorado State in Denver and the Oklahoma game in Norman).

2009 (Fr.)—Redshirted; practiced the entire fall on the offensive line.

HIGH SCHOOL—He earned mention on Prep Star’s All-Midwest Region squad and was ranked the No. 29 player from the state of Illinois by Rivals.com, coming in as the No. 7 offensive lineman on that list.  ESPN ranked him as the No. 52 offensive tackle in the country.  Projected as a center in college, lettered twice as an offensive tackle at Barrington High School under coach Joe Sanchez. His senior season, he was named first-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette and the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, second-team All-State by the Chicago Tribune and All-Area by the Chicago Sun-Times.  He also earned first-team All-Mid-Suburban Conference honors and was named to the Great Northwest 2008 Football offensive squad by the Pioneer Press.  Barrington compiled a 9-3 record his senior year and he played in and started every game and also played every snap on offense.  He lists his most memorable games against Libertyville his senior season where Barrington won 21-14 to open the season and christen a new stadium.  He was named the team’s offensive player of the week against Rolling Meadows in the second game of his senior season, a 20-13 win.  As a junior, started at offensive tackle for the 5-4 Broncos and played every snap on offense.  He earned the team’s offensive player of the week honor against Conant in a 28-6 victory his junior season.  He also played on special teams on the kickoff return unit and hands team both his junior and senior seasons and occasionally saw action on the punt team, as well.  Also an honorable mention all-area performer in baseball, lettering four times; as a junior, he batted .330 and had 10 home runs and 30 runs batted in playing first base, third base and outfield.   

ACADEMICS—He graduated with a degree in History from Colorado in December 2013.  He made the high school honor roll each of his eight semesters as a prep, when he earned academic all-league honors in both football and baseball.

PERSONAL—He was born July 8, 1991 in Barrington, Ill.  Hobbies include producing and listening to music, working out and collecting Jordans.  His father, Fritz, played both football (nose guard) and baseball (1B, P) at Valparaiso, and his mom was a varsity swimmer in college.  A younger brother, Sam, is a redshirt freshman wide receiver at UCLA.  His uncle, Kurt Handler, played football at Ohio Northern and another uncle, Eric Handler, played football at Gettysburg (Pa.) and is the vice president of communications for the YES Network, which covers the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.  A cousin, Reid Handler, played baseball (pitcher) at Meridian CC and Keystone College.  One grandfather, Fred Handler, was the baseball coach from 1958 through 1982 at St. Bonaventure, where he was also an assistant basketball coach (1958-74); his other grandfather (mother’s side) played basketball at Carnegie Mellon. 

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