Over the next three weeks, BSN Buffs will be breaking down our top 20 Colorado Buffaloes entering the fall of 2017. These rankings were voted on by BSN Buffs editor Jake Shapiro and staff Chase Howell and Sam Weaver.

Last season, Colorado’s defense led them dominate the Pac-12 South and earn a bowl berth, largely on the shoulders of their shutdown secondary. The departure of 2016 starters Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson and Akhello Witherspoon has opened the door for new talent to emerge, like rising junior Nick Fisher. Fisher, who has been a big part of CU’s enviable depth at defensive back for the last two seasons is set to become a key contributor to the Buffs defense in 2017.

As a freshman, Fisher played in all 13 games, lining up on defense and with the special teams unit. Last year he played in twelve games, including an especially productive matchup against Washington State that earned him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors after he recorded six tackles, a legendary fourth down stop and a pass break up. It was a preview of everything that Fisher is capable of once he earns a starting spot.

In 2017, Fisher will play alongside Isaiah Oliver, Afolabi Laguda and Ryan Moeller who are returning as veteran leaders of the defensive backs. With a versatile skill set, Fisher can line up at cornerback or at safety, where he played during spring practice. An overflow of talent at corner, including rising sophomore Anthony Julmisse, could mean that Fisher takes the bulk of his snaps at safety this fall. His athleticism and experience will make him an immediate contributor in either role.

The Buffaloes still boast an incredibly talented secondary heading into the 2017 season. As Colorado hopes to build on the dominance of their defense and return to the Pac-12 Championship, Fisher’s continued evolution will be immensely important.

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Sam is a sports writer and photographer from Austin, Texas. She covers the Colorado Buffaloes for BSN Denver and the NFL for SB Nation. Twitter and Instagram: @SamanthaNWeaver