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.
Now we're getting to the superb ones, Rick Gamboa will be an integral part of the 2017 Colorado Buffaloes as the quarterback of the defense, he's the one that will be getting the plays and lining up his teammates.
To understand Gamboa's influence on the 2017 CU football team, it's important to understand just how high the middle linebacker's football IQ really is. Starting cornerback Isaiah Oliver can explain it better than anyone else.
"Rick, that’s someone that everyone looks up to on the defense," Oliver explained. "Just because you can ask him a question about anybody position on the field and he’ll know the answer. He knows exactly what everyone’s supposed to do, he knows what the offense is going to do. He can break down any offense in the nation I believe just based on the amount of film he watches and the amount of work that he puts in."
This is a guy that started 24 games in his first two seasons and it is not because of his athleticism. Gamboa gets it done in a lot of ways but his best asset is being able to see things two or three steps ahead of everybody else.
The 6-0, 230-pounder has the numbers to back it up. His redshirt freshman season he led the team in tackles with 96, setting a record for redshirt freshmen at CU while only playing in 11 games. Last season he split a lot of time with Addison Gillam but he was able to rack up 79 tackles, placing himself third on the team.
This season Gamboa way more than he was last season, with Gillam expected to be gone, so he has a great shot at leading the team in tackles in 2017. Expect to hear, "Gamboa on the tackle," over the PA system a lot this season.