CU’s Marques Mosley may have a better shot at more playing time with Jered Bell tearing his ACL last week.
CU's Marques Mosley may have a better shot at more playing time with Jered Bell tearing his ACL last week. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

Marques Mosley is trying to become a major contributor to the Colorado defense once again and an injury to a teammate might be have helped his cause.

Mosley is one of a handful of safeties competing for playing time. It is a competition that suddenly became more interesting last week when senior Jered Bell suffered a season-ending torn ligament in his knee.

"He was one of the starters or one of the main guys and him going down just makes everyone else have to compete more," Mosley said.

Bell was expected to be the starter at free safety with Tedric Thompson likely to start at strong safety. But now players like Mosley, senior Terrel Smith, junior Richard Yates and redshirt freshman Ryan Moeller find themselves fighting for a starting job.

Bell's injury might have been most significant to Mosley of all the Buffs because like Bell, he can play both safety and cornerback. He provides versatility to a coaching staff that values it.

"My first year, a lot of guys went down so I was in position where I kind of had to play a lot," Mosley said. "Now I have a lot of older guys in front of me and now I have to make plays."

Former CU coach Jon Embree once predicted Mosley would be a "fantastic player." That prediction came during Mosley's true freshman season when he played in all 12 games and 524 snaps on defense. He finished the season as the team's sixth leading tackler and seemed to be in position for a bright future.


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Then CU made a coaching change and Mike MacIntyre changed the schemes and culture and Mosley fell behind. He played in 11 games as a sophomore but was only on the field for 127 plays. He finished with 16 total tackles compared with 56 the year before.

Now entering his junior season, Mosley is hoping to get back to a larger role.

One area Mosley likely won't be making an impact is as a return man. In 2012, Mosley was the Buffs' leading kickoff returner averaging 26.1 yards on 21 returns. He also ran back a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the season finale against Utah.

Mosley said he is disappointed not to be competing for the kickoff return job this season.

"I like having the ball in my hands but they don't see me as that guy," Mosley said.

Pencil depth chart

MacIntyre said he is continuing to work with a pencil depth chart and doesn't plan to release the pecking order at most positions until just before the season opener Aug. 29 against Colorado State. He has already named Sefo Liufau his starting quarterback.

"It keeps them competing for sure," MacIntyre said.

Bell expected back

MacIntyre said Bell told him he would like to appeal to the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility after suffering the second torn ACL injury of his career last week in practice.

MacIntyre said over the weekend that he believes the NCAA generally grants a sixth season to student-athletes who have lost two entire seasons to injuries.

Staying put

MacIntyre said sophomore Travis Talianko won't be moved from linebacker back to safety in the wake of the injury to Bell because Talianko has gotten too big for safety. Talianko, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds on the CU roster, was originally recruited to San Jose State by MacIntyre and played one season there as a safety. He transferred to CU from a junior college this summer.

Notable

A group of approximately 250 foreign students visited practice on Monday and learned the fight song with some help from CU staffers. ... MacIntyre said the Buffs had a bounce in their step Monday after having Sunday off and with no more two-a-day practices to dread.

Contact BuffZone.com writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @KyleRingo.