Courtesy photo/Eastern Illinois
The Colorado Buffaloes have apparently found a new defensive line coach.
USA Today’s Dan Wolken tweeted Tuesday morning that the Buffaloes are expected to hire Kwahn Drake as defensive line coach, replacing Jim Jeffcoat, who has not been retained after five seasons in Boulder.
Source: Kwahn Drake (Eastern Illinois co-DC) expected to join Colorado staff as defensive line coach
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 23, 2018
CU has not announced or confirmed the hire.
Drake spent this past season as the defensive line coach at Eastern Illinois, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team in the Ohio Valley Conference. Last month, EIU head coach Kim Dameron promoted Drake to co-defensive coordinator.
“I thought he did a really great job last year,” Dameron told the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier. “One of the reasons we were as good as we were defensively was because of how his kids played. I felt good about our defense last year and Kwahn takes ownership like the other coaches do and I thought this was warranted.”
Prior to EIU, Drake was an offensive analyst at Memphis in 2016, and was at Tulane for four seasons. He was a defensive graduate assistant for two years before coaching the Green Wave defensive line in 2014-15.
A 2009 graduate of Nicholls State, Drake coached defensive line at the high school level before going to Tulane.
The Buffs return two of three starters to the defensive line in their base 3-4 defense: seniors Javier Edwards and Chris Mulumba. Both were first-year Buffs in 2017 after transferring from junior colleges.
CU also returns senior Jase Franke and junior Lyle Tuiloma, who were regular contributors. Highly regarded freshman Terrance Lang is also back after redshirting this past season.
CU has made its defensive line a priority this offseason after they struggled up front last season.
In addition to changing coaches, the Buffs signed three defensive linemen in their 2018 recruiting class: Israel Antwine from Millwood (Okla.) High School, Tava Finau from Luther Burbank (Calif.) High School and Mustafa Johnson from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College.
Jeffcoat coached CU’s defensive line the past five years and was with head coach Mike MacIntyre for the past seven years, including two seasons at San Jose State.
Surgery for Maddox
Safety Aaron Maddox, who transferred to CU this month from Pima (Ariz.) Community College, said on Twitter that he had surgery on his shoulder.
“Turns out I played my freshman year of JuCo with a torn labrum in my left shoulder.. no worries.. surgery done & im coming back stronger than ever!!” Maddox tweeted.
Maddox was one of five junior college players signed by the Buffs in December. With spring practices running from Feb. 16-March 17, it’s unclear if Maddox will be able to participate.