Set a Colorado record with 49 career starts (every game of his collegiate career), which also set the record for the most games played by a defensive player (topping the old mark of 48 previously held by four players). He became just the ninth defensive lineman to record 200 or more tackles in a CU career, finishing with 207 (which included 125 solo, the fourth most ever by a Buff defensive lineman); the 207 ranked 61st overall in CU history. He also had three career blocked kicks, the most by any CU player in two decades.
One of four team captains, he was an honorable mention All-Pac 12 performer as selected by the league coaches, he shifted full-time to defensive end three games into the season after starting the year at tackle; he played at both spots the first two games. His teammates selected him as the Zack Jordan Award winner as the Buffs' Most Valuable Player; a Boulder High School graduate, he was the first player from Boulder to be Colorado's MVP in 43 years, or since tailback Bobby Anderson won it in 1969. He also the recipient of the team's Dave Jones Award as the outstanding defensive player and received the Buffalo Heart Award, given by the "fans behind the bench." He enjoyed his finest season as a Buff, racking up 62 tackles (fourth on the team with 38 solo) with a lot of "garnish," topped by four forced fumbles, the most by a CU defensive lineman since 1990.
In 563 snaps from scrimmage, he also had eight third down stops (including two on fourth down), six pressures, four passes broken up, six tackles for loss including two quarterback sacks, three tackles for zero, a fumble recovery, a touchdown save and a blocked PAT kick. He matched his career high with 10 tackles (3 solo) in the season opener against Colorado State, and also racked up eight against Arizona State and Utah; he had five or more in six games, with his solo best of five coming against Sacramento State (he had six total). In the preseason, Phil Steele's College Football ranked him as the No. 26 defensive tackle nationally, also selecting him to its second-team preseason All-Pac 12 team.
He Started all 13 games, the first six and the last four at left defensive end, one at right defensive end and two at defensive tackle (though CU's front three were basically interchangeable). His teammates selected him as the co-recipient of the Dave Jones Award, presented to the team's most outstanding defensive player (shared with outside linebacker Josh Hartigan). He earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 honors from the league coaches, and garnered second-team All-Colorado honors from the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation. He played 652 snaps from scrimmage in finishing fourth on the team in tackles with 64 (33 solo); he had just a half-sack on the year but led the team in quarterback hurries with eight. He had five tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage (two for losses, three for zero), five third down stops, two passes broken up, a caused interception and a fumble recovery (the latter against Arizona). He had a career-high 10 tackles (seven solo) at Ohio State, with seven (one solo) at Utah, six (two solo) at UCLA and five on five other occasions. Phil Steele's College Football selected him to its preseason second-team All-Pac 12 squad, ranking him as the No. 37 defensive tackle in the nation; College Sports Madness named him to its third-team preseason Pac-12 unit.
He started all 12 games at nose tackle, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press and the league coaches (he was second-team by the Dallas Morning News and third-team by Phil Steele's). He shared the team's Regiment Award with Rodney Stewart, presented by the coaches for the greatest contribution with the least recognition. In 621 plays, he was in on 45 tackles over the course of the season, 30 of the solo variety which included a team-best 16 at or behind the line of scrimmage (the most tackles for zero, 11, with five for negative yardage including two quarterback sacks). He also had six third down stops, four quarterback hurries and three QB chasedowns, or near-sacks. He had season-highs of seven tackles at California (six solo, including a team single-game best of three third down stops) and against Kansas State (five unassisted), with two for losses in each game; he had at least one tackle for zero in nine games. He earned the CU's Special Teams Player of the Week nod for the Colorado State game, when he blocked a Ram 37-yard field goal attempt as the first half ended to preserve a 17-0 CU lead. He was also the team's Lineman of the Week for the Hawai'i game, when he had two tackles, one for a loss, with both being third down stops. He was a preseason, fourth-team All-Big 12 Conference selection by Phil Steele's.
He earned third-team Freshman All-American team honors from both collegefootballnews.com and Phil Steele's College Football, while The Sporting News and Rivals/Yahoo! Sports named him first-team Freshman All-Big 12. He also was named first-team All-Colorado by the state's chapter of the National Football Foundation. He started all 12 games at defensive tackle, the first freshman (true or redshirt) to start every game for an entire season in CU history; Leonard Renfro had the previous high with seven starts his redshirt frosh season in 1990. (He was the first to even start one game since Brandon Dabdoub in 2001.) He was in for 556 snaps from scrimmage, recording 36 tackles (24 solo, six for losses including three quarterback sacks and three for zero gains) to go with six third down stops, two fumble recoveries, two passes broken up and a forced fumble. He had a season/career-high eight tackles at Iowa State (five solo, two for losses with a sack), and he closed the year with six tackles (three solo, one sack) versus Nebraska. He added a wedge break on kickoff coverage duty on special teams. He was a recipient of the Gold Group Commitment Award, selected by the CU coaches, which recognizes excellence with class in a variety of areas. He added 35pounds to his frame between arriving on campus as a freshman and the start of the 2009 season.
Redshirted; initially projected as a tight end as a true freshman, he was moved to defensive tackle just three days into camp practices. A valuable contributor on the scout team, he earned the Defensive Scout Team Award for his effort over the entire fall, which also earned him a Gold Group Commitment Award from the coaches.
He earned All-Midlands honors from both Prep Star and SuperPrep, the latter ranking him as the No. 70 overall player in the region. Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 8 player in Colorado and the No. 33 linebacker in the nation, while Scout.com pegged him as the No. 10 performer in the state and the No. 26 middle linebacker nationally. The Tacoma News-Tribune named him to its Western 100 team at linebacker (one of 12). Closer to home, he was named All-Colorado by the Denver Post (for his play at linebacker), along with garnering first-team All-State, All-Centennial League (at both positions) and All- Region honors (the latter from the Boulder Daily Camera). As a junior team captain, he was named first-team All-Centennial League and second-team All-State (Rocky Mountain News) on defense, and was All-Region on offense at tight end. At tight end, he was named to the Daily Camera All-Region team and earned second team All-Centennial League honors. Boulder's overall Most Valuable Player and captain as a senior, he caught 33 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, while at fullback, he had 23 rushes for 110 yards and three scores. At linebacker, he recorded 118 tackles, 6.5 quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and three recoveries. As a junior, he caught 18 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns on offense; he was the team MVP on defense as at linebacker, he recorded 126 tackles (96 solo) with five quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and two recoveries. As a sophomore, he received the team award for Hardest Working Underclassman, as he had 89 tackles, playing mostly linebacker, and also had 18 tackles as a freshman after being called up to varsity. He lettered three times in basketball, playing center, and was team captain as a junior and senior. He also lettered twice in track, participating in the 100-meter dash and throws (discus, shot put); he was a state qualifier in the shot as a senior.
ACADEMICS: He is majoring in Business (Finance) at Colorado. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference honors both as a sophomore and redshirt freshman. He maintained a 3.97 GPA in high school, earning an academic letter three years and CHSAA Academic All-State honors as a junior and senior. A member of the 3.5-4.0 Honor Roll all four years in high school, he graduated 40th in his class of 460.
Born December 30, 1989 in Boulder. He enjoys spending time with his family, and his hobbies include playing pickup basketball games, pottery and fly-fishing; his favorite fishing destinations are Green River, Wyo., and Sitka, Alaska, where his family has visited several times. He took part in the 2008 New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge at Boulder Reservoir in 20-degree temperatures. He regularly volunteers with football and basketball youth camps at Boulder High School and tutors middle school kids in pottery classes. His mother (Wynn) is the assistant to the vice president of administration for the CU system, and he has an older brother (Tom) and sister (Zoe) who already attend CU. (Last name is pronounced pre-check).