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William Sherman brings talent, versatility to Buffs’ offensive line

  • Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman, right, could play tackle or...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman, right, could play tackle or guard for the Buffs during the 2018 season.

  • Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman, right, profiles as a tackle...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado offensive lineman William Sherman, right, profiles as a tackle according to head coach Mike MacIntyre.



Loaded with inexperience, the Colorado offensive line goes into this season with plenty of questions to be answered.

It is a group, however, with plenty of intriguing players, with William Sherman being near the top of that list.

A redshirt freshman from Allen, Texas, Sherman may or may not start for the Buffaloes, but his versatility ensures he will play a key role for a group that will be in the spotlight. Better offensive line play is crucial to the Buffs (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12 in 2017) getting back to the postseason.

Sherman has been working with the first and second units at both left tackle and left guard during preseason camp this month.

“Playing guard and tackle is really fun,” he said. “Playing on the inside, it’s a little different from playing on the outside because you don’t have as much freedom, so I’m working on just learning both and being able to translate technique from one to the other.”

Part of what makes Sherman intriguing is his size. Listed at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Sherman is actually only 275, making him one of the lightest linemen in the mix for playing time.

Despite being relatively light, Sherman has the skills and strength to excel at both spots.

“We really like Will at tackle and guard,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “Right now, his skill set with weight is a little more suited for tackle. But he is gaining weight.

“The other good thing is when he pulls at guard, he really can move. We kind of see him at tackle right now, but there’s no doubt he can go in and play guard.”

When Sherman came to CU a year ago, he weighed in at just 260 pounds, but had a good offseason in the weight room.

“I put on a little weight over the offseason,” he said. “I was finally about to get up to 280 and then I got my wisdom teeth removed and I lost 12 pounds from that, so I’m just trying to slowly put on weight the right way again.”

The Buffs, of course, would like Sherman to put on more weight at some point, but he’s not too worried about being able to play at his current weight this season.

“I’m feeling comfortable, but I feel like I can put some more on and still be able to move the way I do,” he said.

For Sherman, the biggest change this year is in his knowledge of the offense and being settled into his surroundings.

“Second camp is definitely really good for me,” he said. “I know what to expect going into this camp. It’s really more mental than physical and that’s something I carried in from last year to now.”

Guard Tim Lynott and tackle Aaron Haigler, both juniors, seem to be set as starters on the right side of the line. They are the most experienced players up front, with 40 career starters between them. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Colby Pursell is likely to start at center, as he’s excelled in that spot throughout camp.

On the left side of the line, however, the Buffs have a group that includes Sherman, senior Josh Kaiser, junior Brett Tonz and redshirt freshman Jake Moretti.

Like Sherman, Kaiser can play guard or tackle; Tonz is a guard/center with minimal game experience but potential to be a solid starter; and Moretti is a tackle whose health seems to be the only thing holding him back from becoming a star.

“Everybody has strengths and weakness,” co-offensive coordinator/line coach Klayton Adams said. “We just need to figure out basically, as we get closer to the first game, who are we going to be offensively, which I think we’re close to finding out.

“We’re just trying to figure out what that group is going to look like.”

At some point this season, whether on the first snap against Colorado State on Aug. 31 or somewhere down the line, that group is likely to include Sherman. When his name is called, he’ll be ready.

“Regardless of what happens, I just want us to win,” Sherman said. “So, whatever I need to do is what I’m going to do.”

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or