AT COLORADO: This Season (Sr.)—He started all 12 games at defensive tackle in earning honorable mention all-Big 12 honors from both the Associated Press and the league coaches. The coaches named him the winner of the Dave Jones Award as the team’s most outstanding defensive player, and he also won the Derek Singleton Award for spirit, dedication and enthusiasm. He was one of 10 players named by the coaches to CU’s prestigious Victory Club, and CU’s beat media also selected him as the recipient of the Best Interview Award. He saw the most single-season action of his career in playing 711 snaps from scrimmage, posting 59 tackles (43 solo) and a team-leading seven quarterback sacks, tied for the most by a Buff over the last nine seasons. His 11 career sacks tied for 23rd all-time at Colorado. He led the team in quarterback pressures (9) and tied for second in third down stops (11). He had a key fumble recovery, as it came with five seconds remaining at Washington State, as he pounced on the ball at the Buff 2 to end WSU’s threat to tie the game. He also had seven tackles and three hurries in that game, and in the loss to Texas, he posted a career-high nine tackles (with seven solo). He had eight tackles, one sack and a third down stop against Iowa State, as he was CU’s defensive lineman of the week for that performance. He battled through ankle injuries much of the season, and suffered an injured elbow early in the Big 12 title game against Oklahoma that limited his effectiveness.
2003 (Jr.)—He played in all 12 games, including 10 starts, seeing time at both defensive tackle as well as end; he made eight of his starts at tackle. He played 565 snaps on the year, racking up 26 tackles (19 solo, including four for losses and two quarterback sacks). He matched his then career high of six tackles in a game twice—book ending the season as he had five solo and one assist in the opener against Colorado State and two solo with four assists in the finale against Nebraska. He was CU’s defensive lineman of the week for the UCLA game, as he had four solo tackles, two for losses with a sack, a third down stop and a fumble recovery. He had a tremendous spring, as in CU’s three main scrimmages, he was in on 15 tackles, six for losses including four-and-a-half sacks. He was one of 13 players to earn CU’s prestigious Spring Victory Club honors.
2002 (Jr.-RS)—He sat out the entire year after suffering a nasty ankle injury that required surgery during the season. He also missed spring practice, as he was suspended from CU (by the University for violating the school conduct code), but was reinstated in good standing in June. He wound up taking his redshirt year and thus saved a season of eligibility.
2001 (Soph.)—He played in 12 games, making two starts (Fresno State and Missouri) and played 406 snaps. He had 29 tackles (18 solo), with four tackles for losses (two sacks) and a fumble recovery. He was coming on at the end of the season, with some big plays against both Nebraska and Texas (he had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery in the Big 12 title game). He had six tackles in the win at Iowa State, and had two sacks (for 24 yards in losses) at Kansas State. A natural end, he was moved inside to play the tackle position early in the year, mainly due to the fact that the Buffs only had one returning experienced DT. He wound up playing several snaps at both positions. He got off to a great start during fall camp but suffered a sprained elbow that sidelined him for a week. He had also missed one day of practice earlier in camp due to Giardia, a protozoan parasite that is most commonly picked up by drinking out of a stream; he said it just felt like a bad case of the flu. He was suspended for the bowl game by Gary Barnett, and thus did not travel to the Fiesta Bowl.
2000 (Fr.)—He saw action in seven games at defensive end (no starts), as he didn’t play until the third game of the season and had his year cut short when he suffered a dislocated elbow at Missouri in the ninth game of the year. His playing time was increasing at the time of his injury, as he ended the year playing 127 snaps and nine tackles (seven solo). He also had a tackle for loss, a third down stop and a quarterback pressure. He zoomed up the depth chart quickly upon his arrival, securing the second-team spot on the depth chart by mid-August.
HIGH SCHOOL—He earned PrepStar, SuperPrep and USA Today (honorable mention) All-America honors as a senior, and also made Prep Football Report’s Top 250 list (the No. 117 player overall in the nation). Rivals.com ranked him No. 20 on its Top 100 DE list in the preseason, while SuperPrep ranked him as the No. 32 defensive end in the nation (and the No. 22 player overall in the Midlands). He earned 4A first-team all-state honors from the Rocky Mountain News (the Denver Post selected him honorable mention), but the Post placed him on its top Blue Chip list for the state. He earned first-team all-area honors his sophomore through senior years, while the Boulder Daily Camera selected him first-team all-Boulder County as a junior (defense) and senior (offense, though the Camera selected him second-team on defense). He was a three-time all-conference selection, in the Metro North League his final two years and in the Front Range League as a sophomore. As a senior, he posted some monster numbers: he was in on 107 tackles, including 25 for losses and 11˝ quarterback sacks, along with 11 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and nine passes broken up. On offense, playing left tackle, he had 25 pancake blocks with about 75 percent of Niwot’s rushing yards coming on his side of the line. As a junior, he made 89 tackles, with 17 for losses and nine sacks, forced 14 fumbles, recovered eight, and had four PBU’s. He also returned an interception and a blocked punt for touchdowns and had about 20 pancake blocks on offense (tackle). He had 60 tackles, 14 sacks and two caused fumbles as a sophomore, and 55 tackles, nine sacks and five forced fumbles as a freshman. That’s 33 forced fumbles in his prep career, which saw him start all four years on defense. As a frosh, he sacked Longmont’s Joe Chrisman (now at Nebraska) three-and-a-half times and knocked him out of the game. Top games included a 25-24 win over No. 1 Dakota Ridge his junior year when Niwot was No. 2; he had 12 tackles, blocked a punt for a touchdown, and had a PBU on the last play of the game to help preserve the win. He had a school record 22 tackles in a 48-14 win over Hinkley, also as a junior, and had three sacks and a 78-yard interception return for a score in the game as well. In a 27-24 loss to Centaurus as a senior, he had 11 tackles, three forced fumbles and a recovery. Niwot was 3-7 his senior year, 7-3 his sophomore and junior seasons, and 5-5 his freshman year under coach Tiny Koehler. He ended his prep career with six tackles and a quarterback sack in the All-State game in June 2000.
ACADEMICS—He is majoring in history at Colorado, and is on schedule to graduate next May.
PERSONAL—Born November 6, 1981 in Santa Cruz, Calif. His hobbies include snowboarding, motorcycles (Harleys) and working on the family ranch. He was the first commit of the 2000 class, doing so on March 7 of the previous year, fulfilling a childhood dream of wanting to play at CU since he was in grade school.
Season G Plays UT AT—TOT TFL Sacks 3DS Hurr FR FF PBU Int
2000 7 127 7 2— 9 1- 1 0- 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
2001 12 406 18 11— 29 4-27 2-24 2 3 1 0 0 0
2003 12 565 19 7— 26 4-20 2-17 2 4 1 0 0 0
2004 12 711 43 16— 59 11-44 7-38 11 9 1 0 1 0
Totals 43 1809 87 36— 123 20-92 11-79 16 17 3 0 1 0