CU football notes: Buffs begin full offseason with Shannon Turley

BOULDER, CO - Nov. 20, 2021: ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Brady Russell looks to the end zone against Washington during the November 20, 2021 game in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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With any staffing change, there is an adjustment period.

Last winter, Colorado football players had to adjust to a new strength and conditioning program for the first time in five years.

As the Buffaloes (4-8, 3-6 Pac-12) enter year No. 2 with Shannon Turley leading the sports performance program, they are eager to see the results.

Shannon Turley is beginning his first year as the Colorado Buffaloes’ director of strength and conditioning in football. (University of Colorado Athletics)

“I’m excited, especially for the amount of work he’s got done in his short amount of time here,” safety Mark Perry said. “And now that we get a full offseason with him, I think it’ll pay off for sure.”

Head coach Karl Dorrell hired Turley in late January. Considered one of the top coaches in his industry, Turley spent this year establishing a new program with the Buffs after taking over for Drew Wilson, who had been at CU for five years.

From linemen to punter Josh Watts, numerous players praised Turley’s efforts this season and CU expects a bigger impact going into the 2022 season.

“Yeah, I’m really excited just since he’s laid his foundation,” tight end Brady Russell said. “He didn’t get here until I think February, so (the offseason) was already shortened. And then he had to teach us the fundamentals of all the work that he does. Now we have a whole offseason already executing those fundamentals and building upon those, doing more complex movements.

“I’ve got a lot of belief in him. I think he does a great job.”

Turley was twice named national strength coach of the year while at Stanford, by FootballScoop.com in 2011 and by the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2013. He spent 12 years at Stanford, helping the Cardinal to three Pac-12 championships.

Life without Landman

During the last five games of this season, the Buffs’ defense was forced to play without star inside linebacker Nate Landman, who was out with a shoulder injury.

In Landman’s absence, the defense struggled, allowing 35.0 points and 204.6 rushing yards per game. In seven games with him, the defense allowed just 20.7 points and 160.0 rushing yards per game.

As the Buffs go into the offseason, they know they need to figure out how to play good defense without the man who wore No. 53 because he’s not coming back. Landman was a senior this season and he’s hoping to hear his name called during the NFL Draft in the spring.

“I mean, 53 is a leader,” Perry said. “I came in as a freshman and he was the big dog on campus and he’s taught me a lot. He’s taught me a lot about just reading formations and just different stuff like that. And he’s helped me just be confident in myself, so I always appreciate Nate for that.

“Nate’s always a great person to have around. He’s never about himself. He’s always putting the team first and just making sure that everybody around him knows what’s going on and helping us out.”

Perry is now one of the leaders the Buffs will lean on as he goes into his fourth season with CU in 2022. Although the Buffs will miss Landman, Perry believes the defense can thrive without him.

“I think we have guys that will step up,” he said. “They’re in the same room with him and they have a lot of the same qualities that he does. But I think eventually, we’ll get to a point where we’ll have people that can contribute just like Nate.”

Notes

CU allowed at least 200 rushing yards in seven games, including five of the last six games. … Russell led the Buffs with 11 receptions that went for a first down. Brenden Rice and Daniel Arias both had 10.