Three Buffs Named to Big 12 10th Anniversary Team
BOULDER- Three former University of Colorado football players were named to the Big 12 Conference's 10th Anniversary team Thursday. Tight end Daniel Graham (1998-2001), offensive lineman Andre Gurode (1998-2001) and kick returner Ben Kelly (1997-99) were selected by a combined media panel an on-line fan poll.
Graham capped his CU career with a monstrous season, helping lead the Buffs to their first Big 12 championship in 2001. He was the winner of the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. He was also named a consensus All-American as he hauled in 51 passes for 753 yards and six touchdowns. He ranks eighth all-time in receptions (106) and seventh in receiving yards (1,543) in CU history. He was also tied for first place with 11 touchdowns among tight ends until current Buffalo Joe Klopfenstein broke the record this season. He was drafted by the NFL's New England Patriots in 2002 as the 21st pick of the first round. He has earned two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Gurode started his first two and a half seasons at center for CU before moving to guard in the middle of his junior year. As a senior in 2001, Gurode earned All-America honors after starting every game at right guard. He was also a unanimous All-Big 12 selection, while pacing a balanced offensive attack that averaged 228.5 rushing yards-per-game and 205.9 passing yards. He was selected as the fifth pick in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He still plays for Dallas, having started at both center and guard on the offensive line.
Kelly was a standout cornerback and return specialist fir the Buffs, and despite only playing defense, Kelly ranks 30th all-time in all purpose yards at CU (2,205). His 1,798 kick return yards easily ranks him first all-time. He also holds the Big 12 record for kickoff return yards in a season, with 777 in 1997. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft. He played for the New England patriots in 2002, earning a Super Bowl ring with the world champs.
CU's three selections to the Big 12 10th Anniversary Team are tied for third in the conference behind Oklahoma and Texas. Selections by school: Oklahoma (6); Texas (5); Colorado (3); Kansas State (3); Texas A&M (3); Iowa State (1); Missouri (1).