You Make the Call — Safety
Michael Lewis/Getty
Michael Lewis/Getty
BSN Editor
Posted Jun 26, 2006


Colorado has had its share of big hitters gunning at opponents from the safety position over the years. Inside are BSN’s top 5 CU safeties of the modern era. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to a poll where you can vote for your No. 1 and/or make a case for a player left off the list.

Dick Anderson
6-2, 205 pounds
1965-67
Boulder, Colo.
The elder of the Anderson brothers, Dick was consensus first-team All-American and first-team all-Big Eight as a senior in 1967 when he led the conference with seven interceptions, still tied for the Colorado single-season record. When he graduated, he held CU records for tackles (266) and interceptions (14). Anderson has been elected to the Big Eight and Colorado Sports halls of fame, as well as the CU All-Century team. He had a stellar NFL career, playing 10 seasons for the Miami Dolphins. He was a member of the Dolphins’ 1972 unbeaten team, and was an All-Pro performer three seasons.

Michael Lewis
6-1, 215 pounds
1998-2001
Richmond, Texas
A member of the 2001 Big 12 Championship team, Lewis collected more tackles (349) than any other defensive back in school history. He’s still No. 8 on the all-time tackles list, regardless of position. Like others on the list, opponents knew Lewis could bring the wood every down, and he made more sacks (6.5) than any other defensive back in CU history. As a junior, teammates voted Lewis the team’s MVP. He was named first-team all-Big Eight and third-team All-American in 2001. Lewis was drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft by Philadelphia, where he’s developed into a respected pro player. The Sporting News named him to its Top 100 NFL Players list in 2005.

Pat Murphy
6-0, 200 pounds
1968-79
Durango, Colo.
Known as a fierce hitter should a ballcarrier make his way into the CU secondary, Murphy was named to Walter Camp’s first-team All-American squad as a senior in 1970. The three-year starter was a team leader, and didn’t miss a game his junior year despite playing much of the season with a rib injury. Murphy held the CU mark for career passes broken up with 20 when he graduated.

Mickey Pruitt
6-1, 205 pounds
1984-87
Chicago, Ill.
A consistent defender at the beginning of Colorado’s rise from the ashes, Pruitt was named first-team all-Big Eight three seasons in a row, from 1985-87, one of only six Buffs in program history to be named all-conference three times. Pruitt was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in 1986, and by the time he hung up his CU jersey the following season, he was CU’s all-time leader in tackles by a DB (332), and held the mark for passes broken up (30). Pruitt was voted the team’s most valuable player as a senior in 1987 by his teammates, and is a member of CU’s All-Century team, which was selected in 1989. He played five years in the NFL after going undrafted.

John Stearns
6-1, 180 pounds
1970-72
Denver, Colo.
“Bad Dude” Stearns quickly earned a reputation as a big-time hitter playing in the Colorado secondary, where he started for three seasons. His teammates voted him Colorado’s MVP in 1972, the same year he earned first-team all-conference mention. His 16 career interceptions were a school record following his senior year. Stearns also punted for the Buffs, and excelled as a baseball catcher. Drafted by the NFL and MLB, Stearns chose the baseball route, and played 10 seasons as a catcher in the majors for the New York Mets.

Honorable Mention
Eric Hamilton, Hale Irwin, Tim James Steve Rosga, Ryan Sutter

Vote for Colorado’s best safety in Ralphie’s Den: MESSAGE BOARD

Previous Top 5 Lists:

Top 5 DE/OLB

Top 5 Offensive Tackles

Top 5 Return Specialists

Top 5 Offensive Guards

Top 5 CU Running Backs

Top 5 CU Centers

Top 5 CU Cornerbacks

Top 5 CU Interior Defensive Linemen

Top 5 CU Tight Ends

Top 5 CU Inside Linebackers

Top 5 CU Punters

Top 5 CU Wide Receivers



Related Stories
Lewis May Have Blown His Last Play
 -by WarNest.com  Oct 16, 2006
For Lewis, Helping Birds Will Help Himself
 -by WarNest.com  Dec 16, 2006
Should He Stay or Should He Go? Michael Lewis
 -by WarNest.com  Feb 16, 2007

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from BuffPlaybook.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
S Michael Lewis (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Colorado > Alumni
Football > Lamar Consolidated HS > Alumni
[View My HotList]