What are your measurables
(height, weight, 40)?
6’4 ½, 297. Last time I ran the 40 was my freshman
year and I ran a 5.01.
What made you decide to join Colorado?
The school was big. Anyone who comes here can tell
you about the beautiful scenery. Here is what it
came down to when deciding what school it should
be. If I woke up tomorrow and could never play
football again, would I be happy at the institution
I was at? And that’s what made me decide to join Colorado.
other schools were interested in you?
The ones I had scholarships from were: Sacramento State, Utah,
Washington, Colorado and UTEP.
Take me back to last season. How much pressure was
there replacing a first round draft pick in Nate
I didn’t take it as “guess who played my spot”.
Just moving from the right side to the left side, I
still got to block the QB. Nate did a phenomenal
job. I still talk to him today. I didn’t see it as
me replacing him, just as a new duty that I had to
take. I felt like I did a very good job and looking
for it to continue.
How much did he help you in
the two years you spent together?
Honestly, a lot. When I came to the collegiate
level, I was like “Who is the best offensive
lineman?” Why is he the best and how I can I get
there? I saw Nate and I tried to emulate what he
did. We became good friends. I still talk to him
today. He really helped me. He taught me technique
after my redshirt year. I used to go over to his
house every Thursday and we’d go over about two
hours of film. He would tell me some techniques,
some things he’d see, some gestures the DL would do
that would help me in the game. He taught me how to
attack them and what the defenses like to do. I can
say that Nate helped me get to where I am today.
Was it a challenge to make the transition from right
to left tackle?
When I first got here, I was flipped flopped. I
came here to play left tackle, and then I moved to
right, back to left and then played at right tackle
again. Coach Marshall said that I looked more
natural at the left side with my steps. To me, it’s
just a matter of flipping your feet and the plays in
You only had one penalty in 630 snaps last year. Is
that something you take a lot of pride in?
Definitely. I might have had two. My freshman
year, you know you have the jitters, I jumped
offside a lot. I definitely didn’t want to do that
again. Penalties cost you, so I make sure I keep
myself tight and don’t take away from any types of
plays we get.
What is your best attribute?
I would say that it is my pass protection. A lot of
people tell me that I have a clean kick step and
quick feet. At my weight, I’m able to move well.
That’s the feedback I get.
What part of your game are you trying to get better
I want to get better at run blocking. Sometimes I
can get stalemated. That’s all things we can work
out with leverage.
It was a tough season in 2011 with just three wins.
Do you think that winning two of your last three
games last season will carry the momentum over into
It carries over swagger. This program needs some
attitude. I see it carrying it over from the end of
the season to spring ball and now to our summer
workouts. Guys are moving around with a sense of
urgency. If I had to say one word to describe how
the team looks, we move with a sense of urgency.
You spent one year playing in the Big 12 and last
year in the Pac-12. Did you notice any difference
between the two conferences?
It comes down to the team. Some may be quicker than
others, some may be stronger. Someone asked me who
had better DL, Pac-12 or the Big 12. There are
definitely bigger, stronger guys in the Big 12 and
faster guys in the Pac-12. But there’s still going
to be that freak that’s going to be really big and
strong. Nick Perry is a prime example. And my
freshman year I had to go against Jeremy Beal from Oklahoma.
Are Perry and Beal the two toughest guys that you
There’s a bunch. Nick Perry is a hell of a player.
I also played against Cameron Jordan as a freshman.
Your offensive line coach Steve Marshall has 33
years of coaching experience. How valuable is that
to you and the rest of the line?
It definitely is. He is a character though. I want
to put that on record. He’s a great coach though,
teaches us a lot of things. He takes pride in his
coaching and knows a lot. In the film room, it
He sees the details and wants
to fix them. It’s a great opportunity to have him
What are your personal
expectations for this season?
I want to do as well as the team does, to be honest.
If we can win the Pac-12 championship, I wouldn’t
care if I had three holds a game. I’m an offensive
lineman, we’re the unsung heroes. At the end of the
day, no one even knows about us. I want to put a
ring on my finger.
So it’s a team-first
Oh, yeah. The personal expectations are good. But
if I had a choice between team and personal
accolades, I’ll take the team. I can only go as far
as the team.
Are there any NFL players that
you would compare yourself to? Do you want to be
the next Nate Solder?
I would love to, but I’d have to grow 4 inches.
That’s not looking too likely. I will say one guy
who I’ve gotten to hang out with is Joe Staley [of
Have you gotten any pointers from him?
I went to a Giants game with him. I live in
and my brother currently plays with the 49ers. He
actually lives with him. One time he brought him
over when I was home, I got to talk to [Staley]. My
coach made me study him on film. He’s a character.
He’s a great guy. If I could pick anyone, it’d be
him. He’s not the tallest tackle, but quick on his
That’s awesome that you’ve had
so many different guys you can talk to.
I’ve been very fortunate with my connections, and
people who can help me out.
Do you have a favorite NFL team? Is it the 49ers?
Yeah, born and raised. My dad really harped on the
49ers. He really loved them. My brother played for
Harbaugh in college. I knew Harbaugh before he even
Is it tough being a 49ers fan in Broncos’ territory?
It’s just tough finding 49ers apparel. I represent
them no matter what, even when they were 2-14.
Hopefully now they’ll be Super Bowl contenders.
Who was the best Buffalo that you’ve faced so far in your
Hmm…I’d have to say Chidera Uzo-Diribe. The kid
came in scrawny and tiny. But now, we thrive on
going against each other because all we do is
push each other. I’m telling you right now,
he’s going to be a beast.