During the past few years, the Colorado secondary has become known for producing NFL talent.

Since 2016, the Buffaloes have sent four cornerbacks to the NFL, including Isaiah Oliver, who skipped his senior year at CU and was a second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in April.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins Aug. 1, BuffZone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the cornerbacks, which must replace Oliver and try to find the next star to lead the way.

"Isaiah was so talented and made so many plays and we may not have another Isaiah," CU defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said, "but I think we'll have a really good group that can make up those plays collectively."

CU’s Dante Wigley, right,, zeros in on UNC’s Ellis Onic II during their game in September.
CU's Dante Wigley, right,, zeros in on UNC's Ellis Onic II during their game in September. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

It's a group that has some work to do this fall to figure out which corners will be in the starting lineup when CU plays rival Colorado State in the opener on Aug. 31.

Junior Dante Wigley and sophomore Trey Udoffia come into camp as the veterans, in terms of Division I experience. Both made seven starts and played at least 545 snaps last year.

In the spring, however, junior college transfer Delrick Abrams Jr., and redshirt freshman Chris Miller played well. Miller was named the team's most improved defensive back in spring.

"We saw some good things from Chris Miller, who I think is going to be really good," Eliot said.


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Last year, just three corners — Oliver, Udoffia and Wigley — saw significant playing time, but that could change this year with at least four players that coaches are confident in using on game days.

Sophomore Ronnie Blackmon, who is also in competition to return punts and kickoffs, hopes to earn some playing time, as well. He's been improving while mostly playing at nickel back.

This summer, the Buffs added some depth with junior college transfer Mekhi Blackmon, who likely needs some time to put muscle on his frame. He is listed at 6-feet, 160 pounds.

True freshman L.J. Wallace could also be in the mix. He's got the ability to play safety, as well.

As a whole, it's a group that has to improve and step up its game in the Pac-12.

"We need all the guys to become more and more consistent," cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose said in spring. "We want to be very consistent. We want to be on top of it all the time."

Whether or not the Buffs have NFL-caliber talent at the position remains to be seen, but going into fall camp, there's healthy competition fueling the group.

"That competition is tight," Eliot said. "You have the guys from last year that had experience, but then you've got a really talented couple of kids behind them.

"It's good competition right now."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.