FACE to FACE: Buffaloes Dante Wigley joins Mat Smith

Coming into the year, the Colorado Buffaloes (4-3, 1-3) knew they would have to replace three of four starters in the defensive backfield. Chidobe Awuzie (Dallas Cowboys), Ahkello Witherspoon (San Francisco 49ers) and Tedric Thompson (Seattle Seahawks) were all selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.

CU knew that junior cornerback Isaiah Oliver would man one of their vacated starting cornerback spots. The other was to be earned in fall camp. The decision came down to redshirt-freshman Trey Udoffia or sophomore, transfer Dante Wigley.

The coaching staff gave Udoffia the nod after impressing  was given the nod at the beginning of the season and fared slightly above average overall through the first half of the season. Then after an injury to Udoffia on the road against the UCLA Bruins (3-3, 1-2), Wigley entered the game and has stuck ever since.

Wigley was a key part of the 2017 recruiting class. Head Coach Mike MacIntyre knew that CU would have to replace the talent and experience that was leaving at his position. A Georgia native, Dante grew up near Atlanta and committed to playing for his hometown school. He spent his freshman season at Georgia Tech University (3-2, 2-1) where he redshirted.

Things didn’t work out with the Yellow Jackets and Wigley went the junior college route. He transferred to Holmes Community College in Mississippi and helped the Bulldogs to a 7-3 record and a victory in the 2016 Graphic Edge Bowl. Listed at 6’1”, 180lbs, he brings a physical demeanor to the defensive backfield that the Buffs were sure to rely on right away in 2017.

Wigley was a contributor from jumpstreet on special teams for the Buffs and ranks third on the team in special teams points. A little more than halfway through the season, having now received two starts, Wigley has been on the field for 202 defensive snaps. He has registered 11 tackles and is tied for first on with one fumble recovery.

Continued progress and that physical prowess Wigley brings will be needed more than ever this coming week. Colorado is gearing up for a very challenging matchup with the (#15/#18) Washington State Cougars on Saturday, October 21st from Pullman, Washington. The Buffs will attempt to slow down Wazzu’s high-powered passing attack led by Heisman Trophy Award candidate, redshirt-senior quarterback Luke Falk. The action gets underway at 8:45pm MT on ESPN2.

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