JUCO transfer Delrick Abrams eager to make impression with CU Buffs

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Delrick Abrams walks the sideline during the University of Colorado’s scrimmage on Aug. 11.

When the latest season of “Last Chance U” debuted on Netflix last month, Delrick Abrams, Jr., was ready.

The first-year Colorado cornerback played for the Independence (Kan.) Community College team featured in the third season of the hit show, and Abrams wasn’t going to miss it.

“I watched the whole season the first night it came out,” he said.

While not prominently featured during the documentary of the ICC season, Abrams said, “I’m actually surprised how much I was in it.”

Netflix cameras won’t be following him around this year, but Abrams is hoping for more of a starring role with the CU defense.

A junior, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Abrams — nicknamed “Slim” by his teammates — is competing for a starting role at cornerback for the Buffs and has impressed coaches and teammates throughout preseason camp.

“You’ll have space and separation, so you put the ball up,” backup quarterback Sam Noyer said, “and the next thing you know he’s breaking it up because he can cover all that length with his athleticism.”

Cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose said Abrams has put himself in starting competition by working hard since he got to CU in January.

“He goes hard, he practices hard,” Ambrose said. “He’s constantly learning more and more about it.”

None of the praise given to Abrams is a surprise to ICC head coach Jason Brown, who recruited Abrams out of Vernado (La.) High School in 2016. Abrams played the past two years for Brown’s Pirates.

“I think he’ll be a draftable kid (coming out of CU),” Brown said. “He’s long, athletic, he’s got great coverage skills. He’s got to improve his ball skills, but he knows I’ll say that to him. He’s just a competitor. He’s going to lead the pack in running. He’s just going to fight and claw until he gets the job done.”

Brown and a lot of junior college coaches have rosters full of players who are projects, either on the field, in the classroom or both. Abrams was a bit of both at ICC.

“He was failing his first semester of classes during the fall,” Brown said. “I brought him in and I kind of ripped his butt and, from that point on, it triggered. Some kids it triggers and some kids it don’t, and he triggered.

“Maybe the rigor wasn’t the same (as high school) and he came here and you have to manage a lot. We do a lot more. We’re practicing at 5 in the morning and lifting and study hall and dorm checks. All of that’s helped him be great at Colorado thus far since spring.”

Brown said he has good relationships with CU coaches and talks to them often, adding, “They rave about (Abrams) there.”

“Last Chance U” often features players that were once booted from their Division I team, those struggling in class, or those who stir up some drama. That may have been why Abrams wasn’t featured much on the show.

“Delrick is a guy I never really had to get after except for right in the beginning,” Brown said. “They didn’t showcase Delrick as much as everyone else and he wasn’t one of the guys they chose to follow 24/7 because Delrick is a quiet leader and he’s a guy that’s always going to do the right thing.

“He’s probably one of my all-time favorite kids to ever coach. Great, great human being; great character kid; leader; just a great spirit, man. Colorado has a great one there.”

Abrams certainly hopes to prove he can be great for the Buffs, and he’s thankful for the opportunity.

“I’m very fortunate to be here,” he said. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t have any offers, and nobody knew about me so I had to take the JUCO route.”

Abrams played well at ICC and said, “It humbled me. I had a good (defensive coordinator), a good corners coach. They really prepared us for D-I.”

At CU, Abrams is enjoying the daily competition not only with his fellow corners, but going against the Buffs’ talented receivers.

“My thing is to come every day and compete with each other and get each other better,” Abrams said. “I’m having a lot of fun being with my teammates and building brotherhood on the field.”

He’s also pleased to practice with no cows around. Abrams laughed when asked about the memorable scene when ICC practice was interrupted by a cow running on the field.

“That was the first time it happened. We got scared,” Abrams said. “No cows (here). I’m ready to see the buffalo, though.”

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