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Dr. Saturday

Jered Bell emerges in Colorado’s cornerback void, then tears his ACL

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

Colorado defensive coordinator Greg Brown has been on the job for just a few months and already he could be considered a jinx.

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Last Friday, during a meeting with CU's other assistant coaches, Brown said he thought sophomore Jered Bell could be a potential starter at cornerback — big news, considering the Buffs were looking to replace NFL draft picks Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown and had seen little production out of the other players competing for the positions.

So, Brown, pleased with his new find, pulled Bell aside before Saturday's practice and told him how highly he was thought of and that ample playing time was in his future.

Three hours later, Bell, while doing a routine non-contact drill, collapsed to the ground, clutching his knee.

By the end of the day, news surfaced that Bell had torn his ACL leaving Brown scratching his head and back looking for answers in the secondary.

That's tough. What an unfortunate deal," Brown told the Boulder Daily Camera. "He had just worked himself into position to be a guy."{YSP:MORE}

Luckily for Brown, there are no shortage of contenders for the starting cornerback roles, just none who have shown the same type of athleticism and adeptness Bell had during both spring practices and the early parts of fall camp. Sophomore Parker Orms was the favorite to play next to Bell, but he's missed camp with calf cramps and swelling in his leg that required ACL surgery a year ago.

While the secondary had great talent a year ago, it was also one of the Buffs worst areas statistically: Colorado's pass efficiency defense was a dismal 153.3, worst in the Big 12 and 112th nationally. CU gave up 27 passing touchdowns to just 1o interceptions and was ripped for at least 250 yards through the air on five different occasions.

So now, Brown is looking for a few good men to fill the cornerbacking roles so he doesn't have to resort to using safeties to fill the spots until someone emerges. When he finds them, he'll be careful not to jinx them, too.

"There is no question that is the biggest need on the team right now, I mean the entire team," Brown told the paper regarding the cornerback position. "Going into our season, we've got to settle on a pair of corners who can get the job done and give us a chance to win, and we're nowhere near finding that answer yet."

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