AT COLORADO: Career Notes-The first offensive tackle at Colorado to earn All-America honors since 1979 (Stan Brock), he became the first-ever to garner consensus All-America honors at the position for the Buffaloes. He played 2,540 out of a possible 2,542 plays on offense his sophomore through senior seasons; of those, exactly 1,400 were called passing plays, and he allowed just five sacks those three years. He allowed 21 pressures overall (14 as a sophomore), so the man he was blocking influenced a pass play 26 times in those 1,400 plays, or just 1.8 percent of his career. He was 6-7½ and 245 pounds when he arrived at CU as a true freshman in 2006. Invited to play in the Senior Bowl in January 2011.
2010 (Sr.)-CU's starting left tackle, once again starting all 12 games and playing all 847 snaps on offense and was one of CU's four co-captains, as selected by his teammates; they also selected him as the recipient of the Zack Jordan Award as the team's most valuable player. One of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, he was a consensus All-American, afforded the honor from four of the five the NCAA recognizes for that status: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Walter Camp. He also earned All-America honors from ESPN.com, Pro Football Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Phil Steele's College Football. A unanimous first-team All-Big 12 Conference performer, the league coaches selected him as the league's Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was named the Male College Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, and also garnered first‐team All‐Colorado honors from the state's NFF chapter. He had the best year of all the CU linemen in 2010 and likely since Andre Gurode in 2001, grading out to 94.3 percent for the season, with 799 plus plays out of 847 total. He graded at 90 percent or higher in 11 of 12 games, and cleared 80 percent in the other, at California. He had 18 knockdown/finish blocks three times (CSU, Hawai'i and Kansas State) and had 15 against the vaunted Nebraska defense, with a team-high 142 total (at least six in all 12 games). He also had 10 touchdown blocks, allowed just one quarterback sack and three pressures while being flagged for just one penalty. He was CU's most decorated in the preseason since 2006 (PK Mason Crosby), with his top honor being named to the prestigious Playboy Preseason All-America team; he also earned first-team honors from The Kickoff and Consensus Draft Services, second-team mention from Lindy's Big 12 Football and Phil Steele's College Football, and third-team from Athlon and CFI. A unanimous preseason All-Big 12 selection, in addition to being one of 63 players on the original watch list for the Outland, he was one of 87 on the list for the Lombardi Award and one of 30 for the Lowe's Senior Class Award (for the top senior, on and off the field). Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 72 player overall (all positions) in the nation. ESPN.com ranked him as the No. 5 "freak" in the nation as far as conditioning is concerned; with less than 8 percent body fat on his frame, he power-cleaned 415 pounds (for three reps), hang-cleaned 473 (also three reps), owned a 4.88 time in the 40 and a 32-inch vertical jump. Those numbers helped him earn the team's Iron Buffalo Award for the second straight year for all offensive linemen. He was also a co-recipient of the team's Greg Biekert Award for attention to detail.
2009 (Jr.)-Started all 12 games at left tackle, playing 850 snaps on offense (all but two of the team total). He earned first-team All-Big 12 honors from the league coaches (honorable mention from the Associated Press), and was a fourth-team All-American by College Football Insiders; he also earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation.
He graded out to exactly 90.0 percent for the season, a team-best, and over 80 percent for all 12 games and 90 percent or better seven times; his top grade was 96 percent at Oklahoma State. He also led the team with 97 finishing/knockdown blocks and seven touchdown blacks. He allowed just three quarterback sacks and four pressures, while being called for five penalties. He was named for the second straight year as one of the recipients of the team's Gold Group Commitment Award which recognizes excellence with class in a variety of areas. For spring practice, he was the recipient of the John Wooten Award for outstanding work ethic, and was the Iron Buffalo Award winner among the offensive lineman, given to those at each position who represent hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage lifted in the weight room.
2008 (Soph.)-He moved from tight end to tackle for spring practice (adding 30 pounds to his frame for the position switch), and adapted quite well to his new position to the point where he assumed the starting role at the key spot to protect the blindside for right-handed quarterbacks: left tackle. He started all 12 games in playing every snap on offense (843), matched by just one other player. He graded out to 80 percent or better six times and 90 percent or higher three times, including the best single-game grade by any CU lineman for the year, an amazing 98.8 percent against Kansas State, the highest by a CU lineman since 1990. He was CU's offensive player of the week for that Kansas State game, and the team's lineman of the week for the Iowa State contest. He was led all linemen with 69 knockdown blocks and added three touchdown blocks while allowing just one sack. He was also named one of the recipients of the team's Gold Group Commitment Award which recognizes excellent with class in several areas of school, community and life in general.
2007 (Fr.-RS)-He played in all 13 games including the Independence Bowl, making four regular season starts. He was utilized on special teams and on offense, where he was primarily as a blocking tight end. He did catch three passes for 50 yards, a 16.7 average, with all the grabs coming in the Miami-Ohio game. He earned seven special team points, on the strength of three tackles, one inside-the-20, and three knockdown blocks. He added 25 pounds to his frame since arriving at CU, but it's not affected his speed.
2006 (Fr.)-Redshirted; practiced all fall at tight end, and was a key scout team performer. His teammates selected him for the Special Teams Scout Award acknowledging his effort and commitment.
HIGH SCHOOL-Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 45 tight end in the nation as the eighth overall prospect in the state of Colorado. He earned first-team all-state (2A) honors on both sides of the ball: by the Rocky Mountain News at tight end, and from the Denver Post at linebacker. He was a two-time, first-team All-Tri-Peaks League performer, at both positions as a senior and on defense as a junior. He was a two-year starter at tight end and middle linebacker, twice being named the most outstanding linebacker in the Tri-Peaks League; he started at defensive end as a sophomore and saw significant action as the backup tight end. As a senior, he had 31 receptions for 513 yards and eight touchdowns (and ran one reverse for a short game in the state playoffs), with 118 tackles, 76 solo, five for losses including two sacks, and a fumble recovery. He caught 24 balls for 276 yards and four scores as a junior, when he racked up 94 tackles (66 solo, three for losses with one sack) and made two interceptions. As a sophomore, he had seven catches for 110 yards and one touchdown, while making 44 tackles (31 solo, three sacks) with five fumble recoveries. He saw spot action late in the year on the varsity as a freshman. For his career, he caught 62 passes for 899 yards and 13 touchdowns, while recording 256 tackles (173 solo, 83 assists) with six quarterback sacks and six fumble recoveries. Top games as a senior: in a 62-28 win over Salida, he caught four passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns; in a 41-14 victory over Lamar, he had two receptions for 94 yards, both touchdowns (50 and 44 yards), along with 11 tackles on defense (eight solo); and in a 17-14 win over Kent Denver in the state semifinals, he had 15 tackles, including 10 solo stops. Under long-time coach Bob Marken, Buena Vista posted a combined 27-4 record in his three full seasons on the varsity: 12-1 his senior year, losing in the state finals to Holy Family; and 8-1 his junior and 7-2 his sophomore seasons, losing in the first round both times; BVHS won the Tri-Peaks League title all three seasons. He also lettered three times in basketball at center, averaging 15 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior when BVHS was the league and district champ, and lettered twice in baseball, playing first base and pitching (right-hander).
ACADEMICS-He graduated with a degree in Biology in May 2010 (with a 3.52 grade point average); he took postgraduate classes toward a second major in integrative physiology during his final semester. One of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes for 2010 and the recipient of an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, he was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (considered the "Academic" Heisman). His scholarship was sponsored by the National Football League, and while in New York for the NFF ceremony, he had the privilege of meeting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors as a redshirt freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, and also attained CoSIDA Academic All-District status his junior and senior years. He was the recipient of CU's Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic excellence for the 2008 and 2010 seasons. He boasted a 3.93 GPA in high school, was a member of the National Honor Society and a regular honor roll student his entire prep career. The Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame named him one of 11 Scholar-Athletes for 2005. He earned academic all-state honors his sophomore through senior years, with his high school, Buena Vista, the team state champion in 2003. He was a member of the National Art Honor Society and was the Optimist Student of the Year for 2005-06.
PERSONAL-Born April 12, 1988 in Denver. His hobbies include kayaking, rafting, fishing, skiing and reading. An older brother (John) played outside linebacker for Stanford until suffering a career-ending neck injury. A fairly accomplished artist (paintings and sculptures), some of his work earned all-state honors in high school. He also has done a fair share of community service, including coaching Pee Wee basketball and speaking to the entire Buena Vista elementary school student body; he has been a student aide and mentor to many of their students. Buena Vista is a small mountain community (population 2,500) and is located at about 8,000 feet above sea level between Leadville and Salida. Following Christmas 2009, he traveled to Guatemala and volunteered at an orphanage; as a sophomore, he went to Italy during the summer to help rebuild a town after it suffered many collapses from an earthquake. At CU, he regularly participates in the "Read with the Buffs" and "Buffalo Hugs" programs. (Last name is pronounced sold-er.)
ADDITIONAL STATISTICS—Special Team Tackles: 2,1—3 (2007).