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Top 15 CU Buffs football players of the decade - #10

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
June 1, 2015


For the next couple weeks we will be counting down the top 15 Colorado football players since the 2005-2006 season. Of course, it’s not the most fun decade to be looking at, but I think the down period created an interesting challenge when creating this list.

As it always goes with these lists, there is not an exact formula to determine the top 15, I tried to weigh a player’s success at CU over all other factors, but of course things like NFL success and fan favorite status creeped into the decision making process.

I’m sure people will disagree with placement, or certain players being left off, but that’s part of the fun of these, so as we work down the list, let me know where you disagree!

#10 – Jimmy Smith

Sometimes it can be hard to quantify the greatness of a corner, often the better they are the worse stats they have, but here’s a stat that shows just how good Smith was, in his last two seasons at Colorado, he only allowed 11 completions in man coverage, and only one of those went for a first down.

As a Senior he was only thrown at 20 times in many coverage. That season he was honored with first team All-Big XII honors from the league coaches, as well as Phil Steele and Collegefootballnews.com. He was on the official watch list for the Jim Thorpe award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, and won the Dave Jones Award, as CU’s most outstanding defensive player.

As a Junior he was named second-team all-conference while racking up a career high 70 tackles, and  2 interceptions.

While he only had 3 starts during his freshman and sophomore seasons, he did have this play against Nebraska, possibly the most exciting of his career.

Jimmy went on to be a first round pick in the NFL (27th, Ravens) where he has had an extremely solid career aside from a few injuries. He was instrumental in the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII victory. In 2014 he was well on his was to a potential Pro Bowl selection before suffering a foot injury, but that didn’t stop the Ravens from signing him to a four-year 41 million dollar deal this April, with 21 million of that guaranteed.

Previous players:

#11 – Cody Hawkins

#12 – Hugh Charles

#13 – George Hypolite

#14 – Greg Henderson

#15 – David Bakhtiari


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