Colorado's football team will go into this next season with each of its top three cornerbacks back from last year.
Based on what he's done in his first spring at CU, though, Ahkello Witherspoon might be tough to keep off the field.
During Saturday's annual spring game, Witherspoon had an interception and then broke up three passes on the final four plays - including one that secured the 21-17 win for the Black squad.
"I thought I had a good day," said the sophomore, who transferred from Sacramento City Community College. "I just love coming out here and competing."
Witherspoon had a team-high four pass breakups in the first three scrimmages of the spring. He had four more on Saturday.
"I definitely think I've done a good job," he said. "I just try to go out and commit myself every day, day in and day out, just to really go hard and push (his teammates), as well. If they're better, we're better; if I'm better, we're all better. It's really fun, actually, just getting the chance to compete against someone that already has a spot from last year."
Senior Greg Henderson and junior Kenneth Crawley are the returning starters, and despite Crawley missing much of spring with a hand injury, they are still listed atop the depth chart. Sophomore Chidobe Awuzie also played a significant role last year and figures to do so this year, too.
Witherspoon, meanwhile, is making his push for playing time.
"I learn something new every day pretty much," Witherspoon said. "The biggest thing I've really learned that helps me on a daily basis is that not everybody's spot is set in stone. It's a different desire to have to push through somebody."
On Saturday, he pushed through a few receivers to knock down several Sefo Liufau passes. He knocked the ball away from Lee Walker in the end zone on the final play.
"The last one was real exciting, especially because there was a little commotion between the Gold squad and the Black squad," Witherspoon said. "It just felt good to know that it ended the game."
Jones stands out
Michael Adkins II, Phillip Lindsay and Christian Powell are getting most of the attention at running back these days. But, senior Tony Jones reminded everybody on Saturday that he's still in the mix, too.
Jones rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries on Saturday. No other back had more than 39 yards.
"I'm just trying to do my job and just try to make the best out of this spring," Jones said. "It's my last season and I'm just trying to take advantage of every opportunity that's given to me."
Jones was third on the team in rushing a year ago, with 249 yards. He has 866 yards in his career at CU and felt good about how he performed throughout the spring.
"I think I busted my butt and I did everything I had to do," he said. "I think I did everything I was coached to do. At the same time, I still have things I have to work on."
Six captains named
On Friday night, the Buffs elected six captains for the 2014 season. On offense, quarterback Sefo Liufau, guard Daniel Munyer and receiver Nelson Spruce will serve as captains; on defense, it'll be linebacker Addison Gillam and defensive tackle Juda Parker; and safety Terrel Smith will represent the defense and special teams.
Munyer, Parker, Smith and Spruce are seniors, while Gillam and Liufau are sophomores.
Head coach Mike MacIntyre said that the coaching staff makes suggestions for what they look for in captains before the team votes.
"I've never been in a program where two sophomores were named captains, and the team voted them that way," he said.
Coaching switch could stick
MacIntyre left open the possibility that he will coach CU's cornerbacks during the season when asked about coaching responsibilities after the spring game.
MacIntyre coached the cornerbacks this spring allowing regular cornerbacks coach Andy LaRussa to focus on defensive ends and defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat to work exclusively with the defensive tackles.
MacIntyre said coaches will remain in those roles early in fall camp and they will decide at some point in August whether to switch back to the roles they all held last season.
"It depends on how far along our ends have come," MacIntyre said. "We'll just have to evaluate that at the time. When you have more eyes and you have more people in meetings and all that, if you're just coaching two guys you can get a little bit better at it. So we'll have to evaluate that in camp."
CU handed out several awards for spring performance. The award winners included: Daniel Munyer (outstanding leadership); Nelson Spruce (outstanding work ethic); Josh Tupou (outstanding toughness); Will Oliver (outstanding academics); and Wesley Christensen (most uncommon player).
Several players were voted as the most improved in their position groups: Phillip Lindsay (offensive back); Stephane Nembot (offensive lineman); Chidobe Awuzie (defensive back); Kenneth Olugbode (linebacker); Derek McCartney (defensive lineman); Sean Irwin (big skill payer); and Bryce Bobo (special teams player).
CU will wrap up spring ball with one last practice on Monday. ... The Buffs report for fall camp on Aug. 1, with the first practice slated for Aug. 2. ...Pac-12 Conference media days will be held in the Los Angeles area once again July 23-24. Pac-12 coaches will once again make an East Coast swing through New York City and ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on July 25. ...Going into the spring game there were no players on the roster scheduled for post-spring surgeries.