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CU's Men Of Steele?

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Colorado defensive back Kenneth Crawley, right, gained some valuable experience in 2012, playing in 11 games as a true freshman and recording 52 total tackles. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.
Colorado defensive back Kenneth Crawley, right, gained some valuable experience in 2012, playing in 11 games as a true freshman and recording 52 total tackles. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.

Some unsurprising news surfaced June 5 when college football guru Phil Steele released his 2013 preseason All-American team:

Nobody from Colorado is on the list.

Any time a team, out of 124 Football Bowl Subdivision squads, ranks 119th in total offense (302.3 yards per game), 120th in scoring offense (17.8 points), 121st in total defense (488.5 yards), dead last in scoring defense (46 points) and yields a program-worst 1-11 record, college football’s most popular prognosticator isn’t going to dish out much love.

To be fair, Cal, Utah and Washington State didn’t have any representatives on Steele’s list, either.

While it’s too late for any of the Buffs to convince Steele to change his mind, might one or two of them see their names on the 2014 version of his list?

It’s a long shot, but here are a couple of names to look out for a year from now:

Paul Richardson: Against Cal on Sept. 10, 2011, in Boulder, Richardson set a school record when he hauled in 11 passes for 284 yards. That showed what the 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver is capable of. Despite missing four mid-season games because of a knee injury suffered during a practice session in October, Richardson finished that season second on the team in touchdown receptions (five) and third in receiving yards (555). The former UCLA commit missed all of last season, however, after tearing his ACL in the final week of spring drills. CU dearly missed his presences as the Buffs made moving the ball and scoring points look as challenging as wringing water from a rock. As the Buffs move away from former coach Jon Embree’s pro-style offense and into first-year coach Mike MacIntyre’s pass-happy Pistol system, Richardson should tally plenty of receptions and touchdowns. That’s if he stays healthy.

Kenneth Crawley: As a true freshman last year, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound defensive back made 52 total tackles and seven tackles for loss — not pupil-popping numbers by any means, but decent for a 19-year-old nonetheless. Coming out of Washington’s H.D. Woodson High, Crawley was a four-star recruit and received a total of 29 Division I offers before choosing Colorado. He's talented, and after playing in 11 games as a true freshman, he should be better and more mature this season. And as Crawley found out last year, Pac-12 teams like to throw the ball, so opportunities to defend passes and make tackles should be aplenty.