On a bitter cold and snowy day in Boulder this week, Travares Tillman laughed when asked about the adjustment of moving to wintry conditions.

Colorado's new cornerbacks coach grew up in Georgia and has lived there the past several years. He has also played in Houston, North Carolina and Miami. But, he was quick to point out that he played for two years with the Buffalo Bills.

"This is nothing here," he said. "(Buffalo) is angry snow coming at you sideways."

OK, so dealing with snow won't be totally new for Tillman, but his role with the Buffaloes will be a new experience for the former Georgia Tech star and eight-year NFL veteran.

Last month, new CU head coach Mel Tucker hired Tillman, 41, giving him his first opportunity as a full-time college coach.

"I'm so excited," Tillman said. "Coach Tucker, I'm going to run through a wall for him. Whatever I have to do to make this team successful, I'm going to do it."

Tillman was a two-time, second-team All-ACC selection at Georgia Tech in the late 1990s and then was a second-round pick of the Bills in 2000. He played in the NFL through 2007.

Tillman spent four years coaching football and track at Calvary Day School, but when Georgia hired Kirby Smart as head coach in 2016, Tillman's path changed.

Smart was an assistant coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 and Tillman was a part-time starter. Through that relationship, Smart offered Tillman a position as a graduate assistant with Georgia, where Tucker was the defensive coordinator.


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"Having that opportunity and being there as a GA, I was able to be on the field and gain that experience there," Tillman said. "I had the safeties and coach Tucker had the corners, so I gained a lot of experience in those first two years at Georgia."

This past season, Tillman shifted to working in quality control for the Georgia defense.

"He is a great teacher and has played the game at a high level in college and professionally," Tucker said. "He relates well to the players and is very knowledgeable about the game. He's also an excellent recruiter and really brings a lot to the table."

Although taking the job at CU means moving his wife and three children across the country, Tillman said he didn't hesitate when Tucker offered the job.

"That's my mentor," Tillman said. "I was with him at Georgia for three years and I learned an awful lot from him, how to be a coach, how to relate to players, just how to be a professional.

"He's just a genuine person. You don't meet many people that you look at them and you can take them at face value. He's going to tell you if you're doing good, if you're doing bad. He's a family guy; he treats my family like gold. It was easy for me to pick up and come out to Colorado."

Tillman said he's been impressed with Tucker's style of coaching defensive backs.

"He really breaks it down and makes it simple for the guys," Tillman said. "The defense we run can get complicated at times, but he has a way of breaking it down and simplifying it for those guys."

Tillman is eager to apply what he's learned from Tucker to mentoring CU's cornerbacks. The Buffs return a talented, but still fairly raw group of corners, including Delrick Abrams, Chris Miller, Trey Udoffia and Dante Wigley.

"I've watched some film, but it's hard to tell on the film and not seeing them on the field yet," Tillman said. "I'm going to reserve judgment until I get my hands on them and teach them techniques that we need to perform in order to be successful."

Tillman hopes to be successful, as well, and with Tucker, defensive coordinator Tyson Summers and other veteran coaches around him, he comes into CU with confidence.

"I've got all the resources," he said. "There's no hesitation or nervousness in me because I know I have the support staff around me, and if I have a question, I know I have guys that are right here to guide me and steer me in the right direction."

Notable

Former CU safety Evan Worthington has been invited to participate in the NFL scouting combine. It takes place Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis. ... Former CU co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Klayton Adams has a new job. Adams, who spent the past six seasons at CU, was introduced as the offensive line coach at Wyoming on Jan. 11. He has left that position, however, and on Thursday was announced as an assistant offensive line coach with the Indianapolis Colts.

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