You Make the Call - Fullback

Brandon Drumm, 2001 Big 12 title game/Getty

You might think CU's history of fullbacks is undistinguished…until you begin trying to name a top 5. Then a surprising number of names, most known for doing the dirty work, try and bull their way onto the list. Inside are BSN's top 5 CU FBs from 1950-present. 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.

John Bayuk
6-1, 220 pounds
1954-56
Salida, Colo.
John "The Beast" Bayuk was, for his era, a massive 220 pounds and combined his size and toughness with decent speed. He served as the workhorse for the Colorado offense from 1954-56. He led the Buffs in rushing each of those three seasons, and ended his career with 1,943 yards (No. 16 all-time), including a 5.3 yards per carry average and 23 touchdowns. He rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead fourth-quarter score, in CU's first bowl victory, a 27-21 win over Clemson in the 1957 Orange Bowl. Bayuk earned first-team All-American honors his senior season (Sports Illustrated), as well as a first-team all-conference nod.

Brandon Drumm
6-2, 230 pounds
1998-2002
Anchorage, Alaska
Drumm was recruited as a tailback out of Alaska by Rick Neuheisel. Following a redshirt year, Drumm moved to fullback where he languished mostly on the bench for two seasons. Then, under the tutelage of running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, Drumm dedicated himself to learning the craft of blocking, and made himself into one of the best blocking fullbacks in the country his junior and senior years. Though it was an adventure whenever the CU quarterback handed the ball to Drumm, he proved a solid receiving threat out of the backfield. Most impressive was that with the help of Drumm's devastating blocks, the Buffalo ground game churned out nearly 5,900 rushing yards in 2001 and '02, playing for the Big 12 title both seasons, winning it once.

Bo Matthews
6-2, 228 pounds
1971-73
Huntsville, Ala.
Matthews earned playing time behind another great CU fullback, John Tarver, when Matthews was a sophomore on the 1971 team, one of the best squads in CU history. A formidable blocker, Matthews helped pave the way for tailback Charlie Davis' then-Big Eight record 342 yards vs. Oklahoma State that fall. The next two seasons, Matthews owned the fullback spot. Matthews still stands No. 30 on CU's all-time rushing list with 1,339 yards. Matthews has the distinction of being picked higher than any Buffalo in the NFL Draft. He was taken No. 2 overall in the first round in 1974 by San Diego, one pick behind Ed "Too Tall" Jones. He played nine years in the NFL, gaining 1,566 yards.

James Mayberry
5-10, 215 pounds
1975-78
Amarillo, Texas
When Bill Mallory came to Colorado as head coach in 1974, he installed an I-formation offense that liked to feature the fullback. In his sophomore season, the squatty, powerful Mayberry began sharing starting duties at the position, then led Colorado in rushing the following year. In 1977, Mayberry powered his way to 1,299 rushing yards (most ever by a CU fullback), averaging a healthy 5.3 yards along the way. Mayberry still stands sixth on the CU all-time rushing list with 2,544 career yards. He put 250 yards on Oklahoma State in '77, and only four CU players have more 100-yard rushing games (11) than Mayberry.

Lawrence Vickers
6-0, 235 pounds
2002-05
Houston, Texas
Many contend Vickers' talents were misused during his time in a Colorado uniform. So diverse were his talents that his final two seasons, the CU offensive coaches had created a name for his position — "V-back" for versatile back. However Vickers was involved, good things tended to happen when he touched the ball. In addition to being a solid blocker, and although he lacked breakaway speed, he was always reliable as a rusher and receiver, and Vickers had 53 first downs his final two seasons. He's one of 10 CU players to record 500 career yards in receiving and rushing. Perhaps above all else, Vickers emerged as a spirited team leader by his junior year, and was elected a team captain by his teammates during his senior season. Vickers was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the 6th round of April's NFL Draft.

Honorable Mention
Wilmer Cooks, James Hill, George Hemingway, Merwin Hodel, Jim Kelleher, Erich Kissick, Terry Kunz, John Tarver, Anthony Weatherspoon, Chuck Weiss

Vote for Colorado's best fullback in Ralphie's Den: MESSAGE BOARD

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Top 5 CU Running Backs

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