Why are we picking the top-12 Colorado players we believe shined this spring? Well, it's in honor of the Buffs move to the Pac-12 combined with the fact we had some tough choices to make.
Redshirt freshman center Daniel Munyer had a great opportunity this spring to show coaches what he could do with senior Mike Iltis rehabilitating from a major knee injury and senior Shawn Daniels also recovering from a foot injury for most of the spring.
Munyer made the most of his chance spending a lot of time practicing with the first team offense, particularly in the second half of spring ball.
If Iltis isn't completely healthy by the time the season arrives -- an idea that isn't out of the realm of possibility -- Munyer could end up battling Daniels for the starting job this fall.
Coaches like Munyer's toughness and say he did a good job picking up the offense and making correct calls this spring. It helped that Munyer spend much of his time playing between senior guards Ryan Miller and Ethan Adkins. However, the two men Munyer competed with at center this spring also had those opportunities.
Munyer finished the spring tied with Daniel atop to the depth chart at center. Sophomore Gus Handler was listed third on the depth chart.
Honorable mentionThis is the first article in our series and a perfect time to mention a few names who didn't make our list but deserve credit for solid springs.
Fullbacks Evan Harrington and Tyler Ahles-- Both played well and adjusted quickly to the move from linebacker. CU is in decent hands here considering the program didn't really use a fullback much in the recent past.
Place-kicker Justin Castor-- Castor was hit and miss but began to find some confidence and consistency down the stretch. It was a nice bounce back after the way he was treated as a true freshman by the former coaching staff in 2010.
Senior cornerbacks Jonathan Hawkins and Arthur Jaffee-- These two played better than coaches might have let on this spring. Both might be hard-pressed to hold on to their positions on the depth chart this fall, but they came to play with the steadiness you would expect of seniors.
Linebacker Derrick Webb-- He was having a great camp until he suffered a hip injury that kept him off the field most of the final two weeks and the spring game. Fans will see a lot of him in the fall if he can stay healthy.
Running back Josh Ford-- The former Mullen High School star runs hard but doesn't quite have the speed you need from a Pac-12 back. That doesn't mean he can't or won't contribute in the future. He led the team in rushing in the spring game.