Deaysean Rippy hasn't played a down in a college football game yet, but he might have the biggest set of expectations to live up to in 2014 among members of the Colorado linebacker corps.

Rippy is the only player in the linebacker meeting room who was rated with four stars coming out of high school. With some fans, that's all that matters.

Of course, those stars and that reputation mean zilch to coaches and players on a college team. If anything, they want to see such highly rated players prove they were worth all the hype.

Rippy began that process when he arrived at CU last summer as a transfer from Pittsburgh. He was heavily recruited by former CU coach Jon Embree before choosing to go to Pitt in 2012. He never felt completely comfortable there and contacted Colorado's director of player development, Darian Hagan, about becoming a Buff.

Rippy says he probably would have ended up at CU in the first place if Embree would have allowed him more time to make up his mind in the recruiting process out of Sto Rox High School in McKees Rocks, Pa. He always loved the school and everything he heard about it from his cousin, former Buff linebacker Douglas Rippy, and his good friend, former CU wide receiver Toney Clemons.

"Obviously my cousin Douglas Rippy played here and it's kind of something I wanted to do to carry on the tradition," he said.

Now that's he is here and another redshirt season is behind him, he's eager to compete for playing time at outside linebacker against veterans such as Woodson Greer and K.T. Tu'umalo.


Rippy spent last year on scout team playing against the first-team offense each week. He said because of that there are things he is just now learning about the CU defense. He has some catching up to do.

"It's kind of a little frustrating because at the same time you're trying to give a good look and also compete," Rippy said. "The only way you get a starting job on Saturdays is if you're competing, you know the plays, you know everything that has been asked of you."

Coach Mike MacIntyre is happy to have Rippy's size and speed in the mix among his linebackers, but he's never one to heap praise on a player too early. He was guarded with his comments about Rippy both before spring ball began and after the first spring practice Friday.

"Deaysean ran around and did some good things," MacIntyre said. "When he first got here last year of course he knew he wasn't going to play and he was a little bit out of shape. He is in better shape and when we put the pads on, we'll see. He is a good looking guy running around out there."

Rippy said he gained some confidence competing last season in practice against the CU starters. He said he believes he has the ability to play on Saturdays in the fall. Now he just has to prove it.

"Spring is where you don't want to make mistakes, but you're going to make mistakes and that's where you want to fix your mistakes going into summer camp and eventually into the season," he said.

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