This year’s standouts should improve record next year
Freshman tight end Riar Geer sat in a chair on the club level at Folsom Field after the Colorado Buffaloes’ 30-6 dismantling of Texas Tech back on Oct. 14, awaiting his turn to appear on 850 KOA’s post game show.
Geer had just completed, arguably, his best day in his short time as a Buffalo, catching four passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. As head coach Dan Hawkins spoke to KOA announcer Joel Meyers, Geer simply sat in his chair and smiled.
“Riar had a great day,” Hawkins said after the victory. “The great thing about Riar is, he will be around for another three years.”
The crowd inside the Flatirons Club roared with applause, and the freshman received the kudos normally reserved for fifth-year seniors.
Why all the hoopla surrounding Geer? He is one of a handful of freshman the Buffaloes have turned to in what has been a disappointing season to give the players, coaches, and fans of the Buffs something to look forward to.
“I think the way we sort of progressed and just kept fighting this season should give everyone a boost,” Geer said. “We are not going to back down, and we have a solid group of young guys, including myself, who can help the program grow.”
Geer leads the team in nearly every receiving category this season, catching a team high 23 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Geer attributes his success to great coaching and solid play from his teammates.
“If it was not for the coaching staff calling the right plays that put me in a position to make plays, I wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Geer said. “All of the credit goes to them.”
Geer primarily played quarterback in high school, and Hawkins said that makes his production as a freshman all that more impressive.
“It’s one of those deals where the guy is a freshman and you think about, wow, he’s kind of getting thrown into the fire,” Hawkins said. “Here’s Riar, and he’s really coming around. He’s a freshman. And not only is he a freshman, he was primarily a quarterback when he was in high school, so a lot of those nuances are really coming to him, and he’s doing a good job.”
Geer has developed a camaraderie with junior quarterback Bernard Jackson that Jackson said has allowed them to foster what has become a great combination.
“I wouldn’t say I always look for (Riar), but he is definitely one of those guys you can count on,” Jackson said. “He isn’t going to drop the ball, and once he has the ball in his hands, he is a playmaker.”
The experience Geer has had this year, though it was disappointing from a team standpoint, will undoubtedly help Geer down the road in an offense that at times has featured the tight end.
“Anytime you can get any playing time, it only helps you grow as a player,” Geer said. “Mistakes will be made, but you just learn and move on.”
Another key freshman contributor this season has been cornerback Cha’pelle Brown. Brown has been used primarily as a nickel defensive back, but his 349 plays from scrimmage are behind only four other CU defensive backs, all of whom are starters.
“I think any time you take the field, you want to show everyone what you can do,” Brown said. “Being a freshman, you want to take advantage of every opportunity you get, because you never know.”
Brown also has 35 total tackles this season to go with one interception.
Both Geer and Brown have the support of their coach, who said he likes how each of them has grown this season.
“I think anytime you throw a guy into the fire like that, you don’t know how they will respond,” Hawkins said. “But each of those guys (Geer and Brown) has really stepped up this season, and that will only benefit them and the program down the road.”