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CU Buffs’ Kary Kutsch hoping for NFL opportunity

Offensive lineman earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention last season

Kary Kutsch of the O-line during ...
Kary Kutsch of the O-line during the University of Colorado Football Spring Showcase on April 30, 2021.

Through all of his work to prepare for this week’s NFL Draft, Kary Kutsch has taken some time to appreciate his opportunity.

A native of Redding, Calif., he was lightly recruited out of high school, went to a junior college and then made the most of his time with the Colorado Buffaloes.

Now, he’s hoping to get a call during the draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday.

“As a kid this was the dream,” said Kutsch, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman. “I kind of pictured myself being here, but it is kind of crazy to think that it is a rather prestigious spot to be in. … To be even considered for the pros is pretty wild.

“Yeah, it’s really exciting. It still doesn’t feel real … but it’s not kind of real until it is real.”

For Kutsch, the NFL is still a hope and a dream, but it could become real this week, either through the draft or with an undrafted free agent deal.

“I’m in limbo right now until a team signs me,” he said.

Kutsch hopes he has done enough to earn the chance to play in the NFL.

After earning All-California Community College Region I first-team honors during his one season at Butte (Calif.) College in 2017, Kutsch came to CU. He wound up playing four seasons with the Buffs, the last three as a regular starter at guard.

In all, Kutsch played in 40 games with the Buffs, with 28 starts. He started all 12 games at left guard last season and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Through the past five years, Kutsch has gone from receiving one scholarship offer out of high school – from Sacramento State – to getting noticed by NFL scouts. He had an impressive 29 reps on the 225-pound bench press at CU’s pro day on March 16 and has been in contact with a few teams.

“I feel pretty good,” Kutsch said about his draft preparation. “A couple of teams are calling now and kind of confirming things a little bit here and there. The picture’s not exactly clear yet. I won’t know until it’s all finally decided, but things are clearing up a little bit, making me feel a bit better.”

The Los Angeles Chargers are one team that has expressed some interest, Kutsch said. Like almost all draft hopefuls, however, he’s really not sure where he will end up.

CU has had an offensive lineman drafted in each of the last two drafts: tackle Will Sherman in 2021 (sixth round, New England) and tackle Arlington Hambright in 2020 (seventh round, Chicago).

Since 2002, however, only one guard from CU has been drafted: Ryan Miller in 2012 (fifth round, Cleveland). Through perseverance and betting on himself, Kutsch has put himself in position to be the first guard drafted since Miller.

“I pride myself in that,” he said. “I’m happy I took the path I took and it kind of made me who I am. It kind of helped me. There’s not really chip on my shoulder, I guess, but more something to prove to myself.”

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