There were moments last season when Colorado’s Terrance Lang flashed the potential to be a dominant force on defense for the Buffaloes.
This offseason, the rising sophomore is striving to make those moments more common.
A 6-foot-7, 284-pound defensive end, Lang has had a good offseason and spring as he aims to improve upon last year.
“(Spring) is going good,” he said Monday. “I feel a lot more comfortable. I’m getting in a groove, I’m learning a lot from (defensive line) coach (Jimmy) Brumbaugh.”
Last season as a redshirt freshman, Lang played 263 snaps, recording 11 tackles, one sack and six quarterback pressures. Better as a pass rusher than against the run, Lang said it was a good learning experience for him.
“Last year was huge,” he said. “It’s actually got me feeling a lot more comfortable. I know to keep reading my keys and … it just slowed the game down a lot having that experience playing in the few games I did.”
With that experience under his belt, Lang has attacked the offseason, beginning with the Buffs’ nine-week strength and conditioning program in the winter.
“Terrance Lang has had the best offseason he’s had thus far,” strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson said in March. “He’s been consistently pushing hard every single day. It’s been a pleasure. Now he’s starting to see what that genetically gifted body can do from a physical standpoint.”
Lang, who played last year at around 270-275 pounds, said the work in the weight room has paid off.
“I started to realize how much the weight room was important on the field, how much it translated,” he said. “I knew I had the potential to be bigger. I just had to put my foot down, put my head down and work.”
Just a sophomore, Lang has a lot of room to grow, but head coach Mel Tucker is impressed to this point.
“I think he’s got good size and length,” Tucker said. “He’s stout against the run and he’s shown ability to rush the passer. I like that about him. He worked really hard in the offseason program to get himself in good shape so he can sustain and play hard. He just needs to continue to work on the little things and the details. I think he’s going to be a really good player for us.”
Lang was credited with two sacks in the Buffs’ first spring scrimmage last Friday, but he said he’s making strides against the run.
“I’ve been trying to take pride in playing the run this year because that was my weakness last year,” he said. “I’ve been focusing more on playing the run than anything.
“I’m trying to listen to what (Brumbaugh) has to say and just keep taking my game to the next level every day.”
Monday morning struggles
Following Friday’s scrimmage, Tucker said he was looking for the Buffs to take a step forward this week. For the first time this spring, however, the Buffs’ first-year head coach expressed frustration with his team on Monday.
“I didn’t think we were sharp today,” Tucker said. “I didn’t think the focus and intensity early in the practice was what it needs to be. It picked up once we got going, but I thought we started slow today and I wasn’t happy about that. We were careless with the ball at times and we weren’t physical on defense, so we have a lot of work to do to get ready for Wednesday’s practice.”
The Buffs have completed 10 of 15 spring practices and will return to the field on Wednesday.
Sophomore safety Hasaan Hypolite has been in a non-contact jersey all spring, but continues to get reps with the defense and could battle for a starting job next season. “I think he’s going to be one of our better players in the fall,” Tucker said. … Tight end Brady Russell has proven to be one of the Buffs’ hardest workers, Tucker said. “He’s a gritty guy but he’s making the most of his opportunities right now,” he said. … CU’s spring game is scheduled for April 27 at Noon at Folsom Field.