WR Derek McCoy

2002 Statistics

Coach: Gary Barnett
29-21, 4 years
2002 Record: 9-5
vs. Colorado State LOST 14-19

WON 34-14

at UCLA WON 31-17
at Kansas WON 53-29
at Oklahoma LOST 11-27
at Missouri WON 42-35 (OT)
at Nebraska WON 28-13
Oklahoma LOST 7-29
Wisconsin LOST 28-31 (OT)

2002 Final Rankings
AP-20, Coaches-21, BCS-13

2003 Outlook

The feeling in Boulder is that the success of 2002 largely was smoke and mirrors. Barnett's getting kudos for milking nine wins, an Alamo Bowl berth and the Big 12 North title out of an undermanned, controversy-ridden bunch than he had in 2001, when the Buffs ravaged Nebraska in December and went to a BCS bowl. Regardless, it all speaks for Barnett's abilities.

Barnett landed a solid defensive recruiting class of 12 players, and it looks like he'll need 'em immediately. Three of the Buffs' top four tacklers are gone from the nation's 60th total defense, a group that wore down against the run by mid-season and finished with the country's No. 81 rush defense. A not great defense, starters gone, inexperience abound … not a good combination. Allowing 5+ yards per play again cannot mean anything but a mid-pack Big XII finish, if repeated.

Ten games against Top 25 teams, three with legitimate Top 10-ers, means the work has been cut out for this squad. Too many line issues, on both sides of the ball, bode poorly for that work. It is as a 'team' that the problems will occur. Chemistry has to be in place with such a treacherous non-conference start, and it likely won't be. But to be an experienced two-or-three-loss team will mean more by late-season against Big XII foes than if they had a knife-through-butter schedule but no true challenges. Necessity is the mother of invention, and these talented kids will bond under Barnett's leadership skills to find ways for success. No one will want to face them once they find their chemistry, but will that magic be found this year?

So, again, look for them to struggle early only to be right there close for their division's title-chase. Barnett has done more with less, so this group fares well in the eyes of prognosticators. Surprises often abound from a Big XII dark-horse like they. Defense will be the area that keeps them from that next level, at least this year.

Projected 2003 record: 8-4
RB Brian Calhoun
LB Sean Tufts
QB Joel Klatt
QB - 2 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 3 DB - 4
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Joel Klatt, 3-0-0, 0 yds., 0 TD's

Rushing: Bobby Purify, 132 att., 739 yds., 3 TD's

Receiving: Derek McCoy, 41 rec., 643 yds., 7 TD's

Scoring: Derek McCoy, 7 TD's, 2 PAT, 46 pts.

Punting: John Torp, 3 punts, 49.7 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Medford Moorer, 107 tot., 75 solo

Sacks: Sam Wilder, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Medford Moorer, 4 for 84 yds.

Kickoff returns: Brian Calhoun, 6 ret., 13.2 avg.

Punt returns: Jeremy Bloom, 20 ret., 16.8 avg.


FS Medford Moorer
OFFENSE: Robert Hodge-QB, Craig Ochs-QB (transferred), Brandon Drumm-FB, Beau Williams-TE, Justin Bates-OT, Ryan Gray-C, Wayne Lucier-OG, Josh Foster-OT, Patrick Brougham-K, Chris Brown-TB (NFL), Marcus Houston-TB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Tyler Brayton-DT, Drew Wahlroos-ILB, Donald Strickland-CB, Roderick Sneed-WS, Kory Mossoni-SS, Mark Mariscal-P

written by Ryan Hockensmith

Barnett's most gaping hole is at quarterback, where Craig Ochs transferred to Montana and senior Robert Hodge departs. That leaves the job to top candidates James Cox and Joel Klatt. Cox, an athletic redshirt freshman, is an elusive pocket presence who can make short to intermediate throws and has the legs to scamper. Klatt, a true freshman walk-on who threw for a whopping three 2002 incompletions, figures to be his main competition. The worldly 21-year-old has a strong, accurate arm, one the former 11th-round draft pick used for two years as a third baseman in the San Diego Padres' farm system. He adds leadership quickly, if a starter. Both Cox and Klatt should split snaps in spring, with Klatt possibly holding a slight advantage. Neither will be expected to win games so much as monitor them, like Craig Krenzel masterfully did for Ohio State. But they'll get competition from three wild cards. Eric Greenberg returns this season after a two-year Mormon mission to Bolivia, and recruits Bernard Jackson and Brian White aren't established quantities. Depth is an understatement at QB, huh. Development is another story.

The new quarterback will rely on a solid ground attack that finished 9th in I-A with 230-plus yards-per-game, most of which came from not-to-be-too-missed work-horse Chris Brown. With talented but smaller backs returning, look for the Buffs' rushing offense to be more finesse than the bulldozing backfields of the recent past.

Senior Bobby Purify spelled Brown and racked up 739 yards (5.6 yards per carry) on the ground, and the slender 6'0" 200-pound slasher is a dangerous receiver. But Purify won't be a one-man backfield. True freshman Brian Calhoun got thrown into the fire late when Brown and Purify were dinged up. Calhoun looked fantastic in gutting Oklahoma and Nebraska for a combined 259 yards on 40 carries. He has 10.5 100-meter jets and can make the first guy miss. Even with a healthy Purify, Calhoun is too good to sit - he'll get his touches. Depth is again the word at hand.

There is a wild card whom could be that next stellar third-string back. Barnett is enamored with 18-year-old, 220-pounder Daniel Jolly, a scouting combine marvel who Barnett says will play this season. The nimble martial arts black belt has a 4.48 40-yard dash speed, 340-pound bench press and a 35-inch vertical leap. He should be a welcome change-of-pace from the smallish Purify (200 pounds) and Calhoun (185) and good for short-yardage situations.

Sophomore FB Lawrence Vickers, a converted tailback with good speed, might be a better running threat than the last FB, but he'll be hard-pressed to open up lanes as deep into the secondary as Drumm did.

At wideout, senior Derek McCoy is the top, and practically only, option. McCoy led Colorado in receiving categories, and can stretch a defense (15.7 yards per catch). But with a rookie quarterback, deep backfield and nobody else to break up double coverage, he'll be lucky to get to those numbers again. Other starting candidates include senior wideouts D.J. Hackett and John Donahoe, or junior Oregon State transfer Ron Monteilh.

Massive senior tight end Quinn Sypniewski looks good on paper (6'7", 250 pounds) but he'll be a block-first, catch-one-pass every-other-game option. Olympic skier and special teams sparkplug Jeremy Bloom would have been in the mix for increased offensive snaps, but he probably won't be back. Expect Purify to finish second in receiving as play-action and swing passes will pepper the game plan..

Even with that stable of backs, running the ball might be tougher than in past years. Three senior offensive line starters are gone. Senior Marwan Hage, a 6'3" 295-pound emotional backbone, will anchor the line from his guard position. He'll pace a starting group from veteran candidates Karl Allis, Gary Moore, Clint O'Neal, Derek Stemrich, Drew Shader and Clint Werth. But those six players combined for just 130 snaps last season, and the last three will miss spring practice after major off-season surgeries. Parade All-American Brian Daniels (6'5", 280 pounds) was a top-25 interior linemen recruit and Barnett says he's so advanced he could see playing time this season. With the devastated depth chart and inexperience along the line, Daniels is a good bet to see major snaps and be a core around which to build. Fellow fresh Edwin Harrison, a 6'5" 300-pounder who produces more pancakes than Emeril (70 dominant blocks as a prep senior), will play if needed. Bottom line is, Barnett's rebuilt an offensive line before. He has the pieces to put together an above-average group in 2003.


TB Bobby Purify


Returning Starters in bold
QB Joel Klatt-So James Cox-Fr
FB Lawrence Vickers-So J.P. diZerega-Jr
TB Bobby Purify-Sr Brian Calhoun-So
WR Derek McCoy-Sr Ron Monteilh-Jr
WR John Donahoe-Sr Jeremy Bloom-So
TE Quinn Sypniewski-Sr Jesse Wallace-Jr
OT Gary Moore-So Frederick Staugh-Fr
OG Marwan Hage-Sr Drew Shader-So
C Jack Tipton-Fr Mark Fenton-Fr / Derek Stemrich-Jr
OG Karl Allis-Sr Vaka Manupuna-So
OT Clint O'Neal-So Del Scales-Fr
K J.T. Eberly-Jr Kevin Eberhart-Fr



written by Ryan Hockensmith

Defensive backs Medford Moorer, Clyde Surrell, J.J. Billingsley, Phil Jackson and Brian Iwuh are back, so Colorado should be good against the pass. Moorer will start at free safety again and provide valuable help in the box for an undersized defensive front. The 6'2" 195-pounder has big-play ability (four INTs, two TDs), height so bigger receivers cannot out-size him, the physicality of a nose guard, and the instincts of a linebacker (107 tackles). Moorer will be the defensive spine of this team, but he'll have familiar faces, plus a few dynamic newcomers, surrounding him.

Cornerback Surrell returns opposite fellow probable starter Jackson for a pair of solid corners. Surrell is a smallish-5'10", 180 pounds, and Jackson goes 6'1", 190 - but both are good in coverage and capable of making big plays. Billingsley, a Sporting News all-freshman selection at safety, finished with signs he will develop even further in 2003. A standout hurdler and hoopster in high school, Billingsley is a future star. Colorado utilized five DBs most of 2002, even sometimes going with only one linebacker, with frosh Iwuh effectively playing the nickel back spot at times. Against teams that spread it out and throw the ball more (i.e., Texas Tech), expect the same this year. All five likely starters are dangerous blitzers, with instincts individually as well as in the group, which gives ample options for additional backfield pressure.

Gem recruits Lorenzo Sims (cornerback), and safeties Chris Russell and Dominique Brooks also could contribute. All are sub-4.5 40-yard dash guys and will provide excellent depth, if necessary, and the foundation for a top-tier secondary for years to come. Barnett is sure to rotate them in for this seasoning. Growing pains early will be fruitful by 2003's end.

Any and all backfield presence the secondary can provide will be welcomed by an undersized front seven. Heart-and-soul defensive tackle Tyler Brayton is gone, taking the crew's veteran leadership with him. Tower Sam Wilder, a 6'5" 265-pound converted defensive end, will start at one tackle spot a year after posting 10 TFLs. His interior cohort will come from the trio of DeAndre Fluellen, Brandon Dabdoub and Matt McChesney. Fluellen dropped 20 pounds last year, yet maintained a team-best 475-pound bench press and played 301 snaps in 2002. He's the favorite, but Dabdoub, second-best on the team with a 445-pound bench, pushed him last spring and summer, and probably will probably improve on last year's 184 plays to help keep the Buffalo line fresh. Junior McChesney, coming off a redshirt year, is the X Factor. His 6'4", 280-pound frame ought to be a nice space-eater in the middle, but he's versatile enough to play defensive end, too. Lining him up unpredictably will bode well for penetrating success(es). JUCO transfers John Guydon and McKenzie Tilmon will push everyone and make this position's competitive nature a plus.

On the perimeter, Barnett has bookend returning starters Marques Harris and Gabe Nyenhuis. Harris stands only 6'2", 230 pounds, but plays much larger. The former prep state champion wrestler is so versatile (how versatile is he?)… Colorado tinkered with him at outside linebacker last spring, and Harris played nickel back as a frosh. Nyenhuis, a 6'4", 260-pound physical specimen, won Colorado's speed-strength and conditioning championship for the entire team last spring, but he hasn't yet translated all his athletic ability onto the football field (four sacks last season). He should be dangerous off the edge in 2003, though. Sophomore James Garee's abilities have also been slow in developing.

Linebacker Sean Tufts will be relied upon to have a bounce-back year and pace the second tier of Colorado's defense. A high ankle sprain put Tufts on the sideline for the first half of 2002, but he returned for the final six games and tallied 34 tackles. He has the ability to be a Butkus Award candidate. His flanks will come from a crowded pack of sophomores Chris Hollis, Andrew Ward and Akarika Dawn, redshirt frosh Thaddaeus Washington and incoming recruit Travis Berry. Injuries forced back ups Chris Hollis, Andrew Ward and Akarika Dawn into action last year, but the three played only 69 combined snaps. Depth here is inexperienced and, if injuries prevail, could be an Achilles' heel for this squad.


DE Marques Harris


Returning Starters in bold
DE Gabe Nyenhuis-Sr Matt McChesney-Jr
DT DeAndre Fluellen-Sr Marcus Jones-Fr
DT Sam Wilder-Jr Brandon Dabdoub-Jr
DE Marques Harris-Sr Alex Ligon-Fr
ILB Sean Tufts-Sr Chris Hollis-So
ILB Thaddaeus Washington-Fr Jason Ackermann-So / Travis Berry-Fr
CB Sammy Joseph-Fr Vance Washington-So
CB Phil Jackson-Sr Allen Mackey-Jr
SS Akarika Dawn-So Omar Stewart-Sr
WS Brian Iwuh-So Clyde Surrell-Sr
FS Medford Moorer-Sr J.J. Billingsley-So
P John Torp-So J.P. Heaton-Fr




It's not often that a school recruits two kickers, but that's what Barnett did with Mason Crosby and Kevin Eberhart. Both are athletic blue-chippers who have the leg to kick field goals or punt. They'll compete to start with redshirt sophomore punter John Torp, and with J.T. Eberly and Justin Zaitz for the vacated kicking job. With fantastic punt returner Bloom (16.8 yards per return, two touchdowns) deciding to stick around instead of hitting the slopes, Colorado is blessed with a dangerous weapon once again. On kickoffs, Calhoun is the top returnee, but if he's needed as much as expected in the backfield, one of the frosh recruits could handle these duties. If coverage can come close to what it was on punts to rank the Buffaloes 2nd nationally in net average, it doesn't matter who punts.


NOTE: suspensions this spring (not known how long they will be):
ILB Thaddeus Washington, CB Gerett Burl, WR Blake Mackey, FB Jeff Tolbert

Even spring battles could not produce a clear-cut QB and the race continues heading into the fall. Barnett said he was pleased with all three this spring and would have to evaluate film and fall (practice) performance to name a starter against CSU. We believe it will be Klatt… Sophomore TE Joe Klopfenstein is an impressive youngster who stood out this spring and nabbed four catches in the spring game. Barnett was pleased with his efforts and looks for good things from this guy. The offensive line has been the real push as far as consistency and Barnett knows that the key to a successful season is the play of this group. They still have some work to do and will need to mold this fall… Brian Calhoun just might up-seat Bobby Purify at RB this season. He is quicker and nearly as strong as Purify and had a fantastic spring, garnering National Champs.net MVP honors. Incoming freshman Daniel Jolly should be good too- good enough to gain the #3 spot and get a considerable amount of carries. We all know how much Barnett likes to use freshman backs!

Safety J.J. Billingsley was held out of spring practice due to suspension. He will return in the fall. His (and others') absence allowed some of the younger, inexperienced guys to have a crack at the lineup and some really stepped up- namely CB Sammy Joseph and safety Tyrone Washington. Washington and (#1 FS) Medford Moorer have had busy springs, thus making themselves better and better each day. Billingsley will not be guaranteed a spot on the two deep when he returns… The strength of the defense all spring seemed to be the defensive line. Gabe Nyenhuis and Matt McChesney were among the standouts, but the entire group (of those who were healthy) played very well. There is concern about DE Marques Harris, who missed most of the spring due to a slipped disc. That's an injury that may plague him all year long, so depth will be vital.

Jeremy Bloom is an ambassador to the game of college football. This guy turned down millions of dollars in endorsements (and the risk of getting hurt) as a moguls skier, all for love of the game. He returns as one of the most dangerous punt returners in the nation and will certainly boost CU's special teams. The battle for kicker is still in a dead-heat, with Kevin Eberhart and J.T. Eberly dueling for placekicking honors.