2016 was an incredibly special year for Colorado Football. However, it was bittersweet for one key contributor. Senior outside Derek McCartney was off to a great start to last year’s campaign before tearing his ACL against Michigan in the team’s third game of the year. McCartney was forced to sit and watch from the sidelines as his teammates completed the biggest turnaround in Pac-12 history.

He stayed busy while not on the field, as he was named to the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of just 12 Division I players honored; the 25th annual team is perhaps the most coveted off-the-field honor in the sport, as it recognizes and celebrates those who dedicate their time to bettering the community and the lives of others.

As the calendar flipped, so did McCartney’s health. Back from the knee injury, McCartney is working his way towards being 100 percent. Coaches report only good things of his progress and he feels the same way. He enters 2017 as a team captain, voted by his teammates and is one of 10 Buffs to serve as captain twice. Grandson of former CU head coach Bill McCartney, Derek has played in 27 career games with 25 starts and ranks No. 39 all time at Colorado with 9.5 career sacks.