Ronnie Blackmon showing versatility in CU Buffs’ secondary

Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Colorado”s Ronnie Blackmon tries to the strip the ball from receiver Curtis Chiaverini during practice on March 22.

Junior Ronnie Blackmon is angling for more playing time on the Colorado defense, and he’s hoping his versatility will help.

The 5-foot-10 cornerback is also working at nickel back and the Star position. He’s hoping to learn safety, as well.

“That’s basically what I want to do is play everywhere in the secondary,” he said.

Head coach Mel Tucker said Blackmon is competitive and “has a chip on his shoulder,” and that the versatility will help Blackmon and the Buffs.

“There’s a lot of jobs open and there’s nothing set in stone,” Tucker said. “We just have to continue to make the most of our opportunities. Guys that have position versatility, they really help the depth of your team.”

Blackmon, who played just 95 defensive snaps last year, is trying to take advantage of a new opportunity with the first-year coaching staff.

“With the new coaching staff, I feel like we can all go out there and compete and show what we’ve got and they’re going to put the best players on the field,” he said.

CU’s primary punt and kickoff returner last year, he’s also working on his game there. While he had some big returns in 2018, he also led the team with eight fumbles (losing one).

“Special teams is a real big deal to me, all aspects of it,” he said. “I’m going to look forward to keep getting better at my technique and make sure I don’t have any fumbles or turnovers like that again.”

Tucker said that after 12 practices, the players are reacting better to on-field calls. “I see guys playing faster and that’s because they know more of what to do and how to do it,” he said. “Guys tend to communicate more because they have more awareness of what’s going on. I think we’ve gotten better.” Tight ends accounted for seven of 24 receptions Friday, led by Jalen Harris’s four catches for 35 yards. CU’s quarterbacks – Steven Montez, Tyler Lytle, Sam Noyer and Josh Goldin – have thrown 81 passes with no interceptions in the two scrimmages. The spring game is scheduled for April 27 at Noon at Folsom Field.

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