Making history seems to be part of Addison Gillam's repertoire. He's already done it several times in his brief career as a linebacker at Colorado.

He figures, why spoil the theme?

Gillam would like to become an All-American this season and an All-Pac-12 Conference player a year after being unanimously chosen as a freshman All-American following a season in which he became the first freshman in CU history to lead the team in tackles.

He set seven school records for freshmen last fall and that helped him become one of the first two sophomore team captains for the season in CU history this season. The other is his teammate quarterback Sefo Liufau.

Gillam was a two-year captain for his high school team. He's used to the responsibility but admits the fact that some of his older teammates are looking to him as a leader has taken some getting used to.

"I think I've been doing pretty well, trying to be more vocal and keep guys going in practice," Gillam said. "That's what our coaches want. So I'm working on it."

Gillam has been limited at times this month in practice after suffering an injury to the AC joint in his shoulder. His ability to stay healthy could make all the difference in whether he is able to achieve his personal goals as well as the team reaching its goal of playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2007.


But Gillam is used to shoulder injuries and playing through that pain. He said he suffered a torn labrum in both shoulders and broke part of his shoulder socket in his right shoulder during his junior year in high school.

"I've played through shoulder pain before so I'm kind of used to it," Gillam said.

One of his individual school records last season came in a home game against Oregon in which he made 18 total tackles (14 unassisted). It was one of numerous double-digit tackle games for Gillam, whom coach Mike MacIntyre is expecting a lot from once again this year.

MacIntyre said after Friday's practice that Gillam is hitting the benchmarks he expected to see him reach in terms of developing his technique and preparation.

"He's making more plays," MacIntyre said. "He's making more picks. He's causing some fumbles. He's tipping passes more. He understands where to be. Instead of being a foot off, he's over there knocking it down or picking it off.

MacIntyre said the middle linebacker is supposed to make a lot of tackles in the CU defense. He said when Gillam has a double-digit tackle game it isn't necessarily a negative in terms of how other players around him are playing.

MacIntyre said he judges based on where Gillam is making the tackles. If they're within five yards of the line of scrimmage, it's generally positive. If Gillam is making the plays further down field it can be an indication of other Buffs getting beat.

"I'd rather have the middle linebacker making 15 than the safety making 15," MacIntyre said. "When he's got six or seven and the safety has 15, then we're in trouble. I would say he'd be a 10-14 tackle guy a game, with assists. He should be."


MacIntyre said he plans to go with the 'hot hand' at running back this season but each running back has certain things they do well and those players will be on the field when those skills are needed. ...MacIntyre said redshirt freshman defensive end Tim Coleman has looked good this week in practice after battling injuries and a scare earlier in camp in which he was taken off the field in an ambulance for precautionary reasons after reporting neck pain.

Contact Writer Kyle Ringo at or on Twitter: @kyleringo.