Shaver (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Christian Shaver came into spring football focused on his job as an outside linebacker.

With the Colorado Buffaloes hurting for healthy bodies on the inside, though, coaches turned to Shaver.

Now, the sophomore finds himself in a bit of a utility role.

"I love it," said Shaver, who is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. "I just want to be on the field most of the time, so whatever I can do (to get on the field). I have a love for inside and outside. Right now we have a need for inside, so I'm doing that for sure. I love it."

Injuries took a major toll on the Buffs' inside linebackers early in spring, but Kenneth Olugbode and Ryan Severson (despite having the flu on Wednesday) are back. Shaver's performance in their absence impressed Buffs' head coach Mike MacIntyre.

"We're keeping Shaver inside because he did really well while they were gone," MacIntyre said.

The decision to keep Shaver inside also has plenty to do with the emergence of a few outside linebackers - most notably NJ Falo. A true sophomore who played inside backer most of last season, Falo was moved to the outside this spring and is starting to blossom.

"NJ Falo, to me, has made a big step in the last two practices since we got back from spring break," MacIntyre said. "He's making sacks and making plays."

MacIntyre said that as Falo has increased his knowledge and confidence on the outside, his level of play has increased.

Shaver doesn't have the luxury of focusing on one spot, but he also has increased his knowledge and confidence and believes he can help the defense,.


"It's a little bit difficult, but it's fun because now I have a bigger understanding on the entire defense," he said. "I see things I haven't seen before."


CU has a stable of quality running backs, but three in particular are standing out this spring.

"They're all making plays out there, but the three that are making plays continuously are Phillip (Lindsay), (Patrick) Carr and (Donovan) Lee," MacIntyre said. "They're making the most plays every day. Every day they show up making a play."

Lindsay led the Buffs with 653 rushing yards last season while Lee added 286 and Carr had 272.

Junior Michael Adkins II was CU's leading rushing two games into last season, with 209 yards, but a hamstring injury on his first carry of the third game ended his season. MacIntyre said Adkins has had "good days and bad days" in spring so far.

"He's a little bit rusty, but he has shown some good signs and some good things," MacIntyre said.


Colorado linebacker NJ Falo, left, has excelled this spring in his shift from inside linebacker to outside. Go to for more photos.
Colorado linebacker NJ Falo, left, has excelled this spring in his shift from inside linebacker to outside. Go to for more photos. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Sophomore safety Jaisen Sanchez has a torn ACL. He will have surgery on April 14 and is expected to miss the entire 2016 season. Sanchez played all 13 games last season, mostly on special teams. He played seven snaps on defense. ... MacIntyre said the transition of moving Klayton Adams to offensive line coach (from tight ends/running backs) and Gary Bernardi to tight ends (from offensive line) has gone well. "They've been together for five years so they know each other well," MacIntyre said. ... The Buffs are scheduled to hold a closed scrimmage at Folsom Field on Friday morning in their 10th practice of the spring.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or