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Top 15 CU Buffs football players of the decade - #8

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
June 3, 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!

#8 – Nelson Spruce

Before even entering his senior season as a Colorado Buffalo, Nelson Spruce has already done enough to justify him as a top ten player of the decade.

Like McKnight before him, Spruce is a sure handed, masterpiece route-runner, who creates first downs like it’s his job… And it will be after this season.

So what puts Spruce ahead of Scotty? Well, the fact that after breaking Paul Richardson’s receptions in a season (106), and Derek McCoy’s touchdowns in a season records last year (12), Spruce will likely pass all of the major career records this upcoming season, two of which are held by McKnight.

The senior captain needs just 11 receptions to pass McKnight’s mark of 215, four touchdowns to pas his mark of 22, and 254 yards to pass Michael Westbrook’s career record of 2,548. In other words Spruce will leave Colorado holding every major single season, and career record except Paul Richardson’s single season receiving mark of 1,343. And with 13 games on the schedule, who knows, maybe he could catch that one too.

Nelson’s 106 receptions in 2014 ranks 4th all time in the Pac-12, and crazy enough it was only good enough to earn him second team all-conference honors. Tough to argue with NFL draft picks Nelson Agholor and Jalen Strong, who went in the first and third rounds respectively.

I honestly just hope that CU fans appreciate what they are seeing in Spruce, and that is one of the great receivers in school history.


Previous players:

#9 – Scotty McKnight

#10 – Jimmy Smith

#11 – Cody Hawkins

#12 -Hugh Charles

#13 – George Hypolite

#14 – Greg Henderson

#15 David Bakhtiari


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