Football: DL Shane Cokes embracing challenge at Colorado – The Denver Post

In making the decision to transfer to Colorado and play for head coach Deion Sanders, defensive lineman Shane Cokes knew he would have to work hard.

That wasn’t a big deal to Cokes, however. After four years in the Ivy League, he was ready for it.

“I came in here expecting that and putting the work for it,” Cokes said after a CU spring practice last week. “It’s been harder, but I’ve lived up to it, so I’m just excited to keep going.”

Related Articles

  • Prime dime: CU Buffs’ 2023 spring football game sold out

  • Football: Darian Hagan an asset to new CU Buffs RB coach Gary Harrell

  • CU Buffs, Deion Sanders plan to stay active in transfer portal

  • CU offensive coordinator Sean Lewis is in hurry to make Buffs football nasty again. “You guys got a really good one.”

  • Football recruiting: 3-star QB commits to CU Buffs

Cokes, listed by CU at 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, spent the past four years at Dartmouth. The Ivy League didn’t play in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so he only had three seasons of football, but he wound up playing in 22 games. He was a starter for each of the 20 games the Big Green played the last two seasons.

In his time at Dartmouth, Cokes racked up 87 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks and was second-team All-Ivy League the past two seasons.

“I don’t think people would give the Ivy League the respect that it deserves because the academic rigor and everything that comes with that, but I mean, there’s a lot of great players in the Ivy League, a lot of great competition,” he said. “But, I mean, Power 5 is Power 5, so obviously there’s going to be better players (at Colorado and in the Pac-12).”

After last season, Cokes got an NFL draft grade and didn’t like the results, so he chose the enter the transfer portal and look for a new place to play. Sanders and CU believe Cokes can help the defense and make the transition from the Ivy League.

“I found Colorado and just love the place,” said Cokes, who has two years left to play. “Just coming here, really the coaching staff and just the energy and the intensity that they brought – that feeling of creating change somewhere excited me.”

While at Dartmouth, Cokes went through an intense amount of work in balancing school and football and he believes that prepared him for his time at CU and beyond.

“No one takes it easy on you there just because you play football,” he said. “It made me a better player and better person for it so I appreciate that every day but it was a lot. … You expect what’s expected of you, so you just become better for it.”

The on-the-field intensity that Cokes and the Buffs began to experience during the first week of spring football was something new, however. (The Buffs are off this week for spring break, but resume practices on Tuesday).

“That’s been different,” he said. “Being an older guy at Dartmouth, in spring ball you kind of expect what’s going on since you’ve been there. But here, the intensity level every single day, like every day is a competition. You have to earn your number out there, so I mean, it’s been different but it’s been exciting. In these past few days, I’ve already grown to be a better player for it. So I appreciate it a lot.”

Cokes has been playing a variety of spots along the defensive line, which is what he did at Dartmouth. He’s also hoping to be a veteran leader, just as he was for the Big Green.

“It’s not the same, not the same people,” he said. “But, I mean, just taking those things I’ve learned from people like (head coach Buddy Teevens) and (defensive line coach Duane Brooks) at Dartmouth – just that whole coaching staff and what’s made me a great leader and taking that and applying here also. Don’t change it for anybody. Just continue to be that same successful leader that I was.”

Source: Read Full Article