Travis Sandersfeld is the anti-Allen Iverson. He loves practice and makes the most of it.

The junior defensive back from Limon came on as a replacement in the season opener for Colorado against Colorado State after starting nickel back Parker Orms suffered a season-ending knee injury. Sandersfeld made an interception and finished with the third most tackles on the team, including one stop for loss.

"It was pretty much just practice," Sandersfeld said. "Coaches put me in situations during practice. Parker would go ones and they put in twos and I`ve been doing it all camp. It`s just getting practice. Practice makes perfect."

Sandersfeld is now the starting nickel back because of Orms` misfortune.

Travis Sandersfeld is now the Buffs’ starting nickel back after Parker Orms was lost with a season-ending knee injury in the opener.
Travis Sandersfeld is now the Buffs' starting nickel back after Parker Orms was lost with a season-ending knee injury in the opener. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )
It wasn`t the way he wanted to earn the opportunity but he is hoping to make the most of it even though he will likely share playing time at the position with fellow junior Jonathan Hawkins.

Sandersfeld was able to go into the game when his number was called and play with confidence because he had seen sporadic action earlier in his career. He has been a strong special teams contributor the past two seasons. While coaches and teammates don`t necessarily refer to him as Mr. Dependable, they certainly think of him that way.

"If we asked him to go play corner, he`d do it cause he knows it," secondary coach Ashley Ambrose said. "If we asked him to play safety, he`d play safety. He`s just one of those guys.


Advertisement

He knows everything about it, the defense, and he can run."

Sandersfeld dreamed his whole life of playing for the Buffs. He rooted for CU throughout his childhood growing up on the eastern plains. His favorite player was former CU running back Chris Brown.

He was a dominant athlete at the high school level playing most plays in most games on both sides of the ball as a quarterback and a defensive back. His experience as a high school quarterback has helped him at times as a defensive back in college, even though the game is much faster with more complicated schemes.

Tedford wary of Buffs

California coach Jeff Tedford said his team will get a much tougher game this week than their Week 1 opponent was able to provide. The Bears beat UC Davis 52-3.

"This week will be a new test," Tedford said. "Colorado has some big, physical offensive linemen."

Speaking on the Pac-10 Conference coaches` teleconference, Tedford spoke highly of CU quarterback Tyler Hansen and his receiving corps. He also is impressed with senior cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown.

Tedford said he was happy to hear earlier this summer the Buffs were joining the conference in 2011 or 2012.

"I think it`s a great addition. No question about that," he said. "They`re formidable athletically and a very good football team. My understanding is they`re a very good academic school as well. So that`s a good fit for the Pac-10."

CU coaches familiar with Cal QB

If Colorado coach Dan Hawkins had his way, Cal quarterback Kevin Riley might have been a Buff. Hawkins recruited the senior from Portland, Ore., and knows Riley`s father.

Riley is among the most successful quarterbacks in the nation coming into the 2010 season. He has thrown for 40 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards, including statistics from the opener.

"We recruited the heck out of Kevin when he was coming out of high school," Hawkins said. "I know his dad, and I think he is a very, very good player, a very competitive guy, a very smart guy and very heady guy."

Line dancing

CU offensive line coach Denver Johnson said Shawn Daniels was pushing senior Keenan Stevens for the starting center job before suffering a foot injury in the season opener. Daniels was in a boot Tuesday and it`s unclear when he will return to play.

Johnson said competition continues at left guard and right tackle. Juniors Ethan Adkins and Mike Iltis are competing for the job at guard. Adkins was the starter there most of last season and again against CSU, but Iltis played, too.

Johnson was pleased with redshirt freshman David Bakhtiari`s performance in his first college action against the Rams. Bryce Givens also was able to play and is returning to health, which could mean Givens becomes the starter at right tackle again and Bakhtiari moves to guard. 

"He did, I thought, amazingly well for a rookie," Johnson said of Bakhtiari. "I thought he held up amazingly well. I thought he had a good ball game. I think he is the right kind of guy with the right kind of makeup. It looked like it was old hat to him."

Redshirt updates

Hawkins said he believes sophomore defensive tackle Nate Bonsu will redshirt this season as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.

Offensive lineman Eric Richter also is expected to redshirt after transferring from a junior college. He has three seasons to play two.

Hawkins said senior wide receiver Andre Simmons probably won`t redshirt.