Could Chris Miller be CU's most versatile player next season?

Chase Howell

The "pencil" depth chart the CU Buffs released last week is one of the most meaningless depth charts you will see. 

A coaching staff that hasn't been able to be in-person with their players or watching them live on the field, aren't going to have a great idea about where guys will fall on the depth chart.

They can watch all of the film they want, but most coaches will tell you it's more about what they see on the grass.

Anyway, the depth chart got released and there were a few unexpected surprises. 

The biggest surprise, that had many CU fans talking, was placing Chris Miller at the starting safety spot. Derrion Rakestraw was the other starting safety. While Mark Perry is penciled in as the starter at the STAR position.

It came as a surprise not because he was a starter but because of the position. Miller played mostly cornerback and wide receiver in high school. During the three seasons he has spent with CU, he's been at the cornerback position every season. He started a few games this past season at cornerback. 

But they want to utilize his versatility. And the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. 

"He’s been at corner, he’s going to be at safety and he’ll probably play some at what we call the STAR position, which is a 5th defensive back in the alley," head coach Karl Dorrell said about Miller. "We feel that he’s a unique player that can do a lot of things."

 When the 6-foot, 190-pound junior was recruited to Colorado, then head coach Mike MacIntyre said he reminded him a lot of forever Buff Chidobe Awuzie. 

Awuzie is now starting at cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys. But if you'll remember from the 2016 season, he didn't play that much cornerback on the outside. He was often in the Buff Backer (now known as STAR) or nickel corner spot.

In 2016, they had two natural cornerbacks that could lockdown from the outside, in Ahkello Witherspoon and Isaiah Oliver, allowing Awuzie to roam free. 

With the Buffs returning plenty of experience at the cornerback spot, it makes sense to move Chris Miller around.

CU will have a heated battle at the cornerback spot. Mekhi Blackmon was a starter last season before getting injured but is penciled as a backup. Tarik Luckett and KJ Trujillo, two sophomores that started as true freshmen last season, are penciled in as the starters.

Nigel Bethel, a transfer from Miami, is the backup to Trujillo. Any of the four could win the starting job so it makes sense to utilize Miller's versatility instead of having to battle with four other guys. 

"We've told him that we feel for what he can do for us on defense, we want him in multiple roles and he's embraced that challenge," Dorrell said. "But it's just a matter of getting him in those positions to see if he can handle all that information but we do plan on him being a big factor on our back end but he'll be in a couple different spots."

It will come down to the playbook but expect to see Chris Miller all over the field next season.

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