Colorado cornerback Christian Gonzalez lines up against Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 in Eugene, Ore, (Casey Paul/University of Colorado)
Colorado cornerback Christian Gonzalez lines up against Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 in Eugene, Ore, (Casey Paul/University of Colorado)
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Throughout his first two seasons with the Colorado Buffaloes, Christian Gonzalez developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the Pac-12.

In his third season of college football, he will play somewhere else. Late Thursday night, Gonzalez announced that he will put his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

“Buff Nation, I want to say thank you for everything,” he wrote on social media. “Thank you for all of the support and all the love over the past 2 years. I also want to say thank you to the coaching staff and everyone who helped me make a mark in the Pac. 12. After long talks and consideration with my family, we have decided that it is best that I move on from the University of Colorado.”

Gonzalez’s announcement came just a few hours after it became official that CU cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin is leaving the Buffs to coach cornerbacks at Oregon.

Gonzalez is the 11th scholarship player from CU to enter the transfer portal since September, but he is without question the most impactful player to leave, as he has started all 18 of the Buffs’ games over the past two years.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Gonzalez came to CU as part of the 2020 recruiting class from The Colony (Texas) High School. He was recruited to CU by former head coach Mel Tucker, who left CU before Gonzalez arrived.

Under head coach Karl Dorrell, Gonzalez earned a starting job right away. He started all six games during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season of 2020, playing 89.4% of the defensive snaps (372 of 416). He had 24 tackles and four pass breakups that season.

This season, he played more snaps than anyone on the defense (781 of 834, 93.6%). He finished with 54 tackles, six pass breakups and five tackles for loss.

Gonzalez was rated as the third-best player in CU’s 2020 recruiting class, according to 247Sports.com. Each of the top three have now transferred. Running back Ashaad Clayton recently committed to Tulane, while defensive end Jason Harris left CU last year and transferred to Arizona.

Overall, six players from the 2020 class have transferred.