A quick position-by-position look at the Colorado Buffaloes heading into spring football:

Quarterback: The Buffs have just two full-time scholarship players competing: senior Jordan Gehrke and redshirt freshman Steven Montez. Between them, they have one career start (Gehrke, in 2014). Part-time receiver Jaleel Awini will also compete, as will walk-ons TJ Patterson and Tyler McGarry. The hope is that a clear front-runner emerges.

Running back: This is an experienced and talented group. Juniors Michael Adkins II, Donovan Lee and Phillip Lindsay lead the group, while sophomore Patrick Carr comes in after a solid debut season last fall. Redshirt freshman Dino Gordon will look to break into the lead group, too. All of them have the ability, when healthy, to compete for starting roles.

Tight end: Senior Sean Irwin leads the way. He's a skilled blocker and proved last season he has good hands as well. Junior George Frazier (also a fullback) and sophomore Dylan Keeney also have experience.

Wide receiver: Looking to replace record-setting graduate Nelson Spruce, the Buffs turn to a talented group led by juniors Shay Fields, Bryce Bobo, Devin Ross and newcomer Kabion Ento, a junior college signee. Sophomores Jay MacIntyre and Lee Walker made some plays last year, too, and freshman Justin Jan will look to make his mark. The Buffs would love to see a couple of these players separate themselves from the pack.


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Offensive line: There is a lot of experience back, but the Buffs are hoping to come out of spring with a clear indication as to which five linemen will start. Projected left tackle Jeromy Irwin will miss the spring as he finishes recovery from a torn ACL. However, the Buffs have three seniors (Shane Callahan, Alex Kelley and Sully Wiefels), three juniors (Jonathan Huckins, Gerrad Kough and Sam Kronshage) and a sophomore (John Lisella II) who all started at least one game last season.

Defensive line: A solid and experienced group led by seniors Jordan Carrell and Samson Kafovalu and junior Leo Jackson III. Much of the focus will be on a trio of redshirt freshmen - Brett Tonz, Lyle Tuiloma and Frank Umu - looking to earn playing time and give the Buffs depth.

Defensive end/outside linebacker: Eight scholarship players will compete this spring, with returning starters Jimmie Gilbert and Derek McCartney leading the way. The Buffs want to get more consistency out of this position, though, and need both to show improvement. The Buffs also hope sophomore NJ Falo can push for a starting role.

Inside linebacker: Injuries and attrition have taken a toll on this spot, as only three players will be on hand this spring - seniors Kenneth Olugbode and Ryan Severson and sophomore Rick Gamboa. On the plus side, all three have starting experience. Gamboa led the team in tackles last year and Olugbode was fourth. The Buffs need this group to play better as a whole.

Cornerback: There isn't much depth here, as just four scholarship players will participate. They are good ones, though, with returning starters Chidobe Awuzie and Ahkello Witherspoon leading the way. The hope is that sophomores Nick Fisher and Isaiah Oliver step up and prove they are capable of starting.

Safety: Just like corner, there are only four scholarship players here this spring, but they are talented. Senior Tedric Thompson and junior Ryan Moeller were the primary starters last year, and junior Afolabi Laguda gained experience. Sophomore Jaisen Sanchez hopes to push the veterans.

Specialists: Senior kicker Diego Gonzalez is back but will have competition from kickoff specialist Chris Graham and punter Alex Kinney. It's not out of the question that Kinney wins the kicking and punting jobs.