Over the past week, the CU Buffs have lost 12 players to the transfer portal, raising concerns about the loss of talent on the roster.

Fortunately, the Colorado Buffaloes have added far more talent this offseason than they’re set to lose, but these departures will still impact the roster in 2023 and beyond. Which exits will have the biggest impact, and which are the least consequential? Let’s look.

CU Buffs exiting transfers on offense

Jayle Stacks, RB, appeared in 11 games: Between Dylan Edwards and Kavosiey Smoke, Coach Prime has already added a large amount of talent to the running back room, but it seemed as though there’d still be room for Stacks to have a role. However, as spring ball progressed, it became clear that Stacks was buried on the depth chart, making his decision to transfer a logical one. Stacks tallied 118 yards and a score for the CU Buffs over his 36 career carries for the Buffaloes.

Austin Smith, TE, appeared in 7 games: Smith served primarily as a special teamer for the Buffaloes, but given his impressive frame and strength, and the departure of Brady Russell, it seemed Smith could finally break out in a shallow tight end room. Unfortunately, he failed to make an impression, and Louis Passarello (among others) passed him by.

Zach Courtney, TE, appeared in 0 games: Courtney always appeared to be the odd man out at tight end, so his decision to transfer out of the program comes as no surprise. It is mildly concerning that the CU Buffs are losing both Courtney and Smith though, as Seydou Traore hasn’t quite lived up to expectations so far. Expect Colorado to prioritize targeting a true inline tight end in the portal.

CU Buffs exiting transfers on offense

Ryan Williams, DL, appeared in 11 games: Williams finally earned a rotational role last season, and that role would have expanded this season if not for the influx of talent along the defensive line. With transfers from Fresno State, Michigan, Arkansas, and Dartmouth already flying by Williams on the depth chart, he didn’t have a chance to expand his role at all. If anything, his role was shrinking, and so it made sense to exit.

Tyas Martin, DL, appeared in 12 games: Martin’s case is almost identical to that of Williams. He finally started to make the leap last season, as a rotational player, but with so much talent being added to the position group, Martin found himself without a spot in the lineup.

Allan Baugh, DL, appeared in 1 game: Baugh signed with the Buffaloes out of the elite high school program St. Thomas Aquinas, in Florida, and never really managed to find a role with the team. He was entering his third season and failed to crack far less talented defensive line rooms under Karl Dorrel. Given how crowded the DL room suddenly is, Baugh’s departure doesn’t surprise, and it shouldn’t have much of an impact.

Na’Im Rodman, DL, appeared in 30 games: Of the departures along the defensive front, Rodman’s is by far the most meaningful. Rodman was arguably Colorado’s best defensive lineman over the past two seasons, appearing in 21 of the 24 games and registering 53 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks over that span. That said, given the immense amount of high-end defensive line talent Coach Prime has already added to the program, Rodman would’ve been relegated to a rotational role, and there’s no way Rodman would’ve hung around for that in his final year of eligibility.

Kaden Ludwick, LB, appeared in 0 games: The loss of Ludwick should have a minor impact on the rest of the roster. He hadn’t begun to impact the Buffaloes at all on the field to this point, while Colorado has already seen a number of linebackers from the Karl Dorrell era make a positive impression (Isaac Hurtado, Marvin Ham II and Aubrey Smith have all earned their numbers) and have highly coveted transfers already on the roster from Alabama and Clemson. It makes sense why Ludwick would look for opportunities elsewhere

Keyshon Mills, CB, appeared in 0 games: Keyshon Mills unfortunately never got to prove himself on the gridiron for the Colorado Buffaloes, but he’s still a highly recruited corner whose departure will ding the program’s secondary depth. That said, Colorado has added enough bodies that they’ll be just fine without contributions from corners that couldn’t even crack the rotation under Coach Dorrell.

Nikko Reed, CB, appeared in 18 games: Alongside Rodman, Reed is one of the most impactful players that Coach Prime has lost to the portal and one of the few portal transfers who projected to make an impact on the team this season. Reed played himself into being one of the team’s starting corners the past two seasons and was a rare bright spot on defense. Unfortunately, he wasn’t playing well enough in camp to preserve his job as a starter, and he wasn’t interested in sticking around as an upperclassman backup. That said, the CU Buffs have now lost both of last year’s starting corners.

Simeon Harris, CB, appeared in 11 games: Harris was one of the CU Buffs’ top-rated freshmen a season ago, and quickly found playing time on the roster. Although he wasn’t going to start this season, it was still easy to project how he could have a major contributing role at some point under Coach Prime. However, Harris will instead choose to transfer elsewhere and certainly has the talent level to hang around in the Power-5.

Dylan Dixson, S, appeared in 2 games: Although he didn’t play much during his one season with the team, Dixson was the top signee from the CU Buffs’ 2022 class, and his departure hurts the team’s depth in the secondary. As was also the case at corner, though, Coach Prime has already replenished the departing talent with spring practice standouts Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig and Myles Slusher.