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Scouting Report

OVERVIEW

A three-star cornerback recruit out of high school, Awuzie was a running back and cornerback at Oak Grove and initially committed to Washington State before switching to Colorado. He saw immediate playing time as a true freshman nickel corner with seven starts in 2013, posting 59 tackles, 1.0 sack and four passes defended. Awuzie started the first nine games of 2014 at free safety before an injury ended his sophomore season, finishing with 64 tackles and eight passes defended. He returned to start 12 games as a junior cornerback in 2015 and earned Second Team All-Pac 12 honors with a career-best 90 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions, adding 4.0 sacks and 12 passes defended. Awuzie started all 14 games as a senior and posted 64 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 15 passes defended and one interception, earning Second Team All-Pac 12 honors. He accepted his invitation to the 2017 Senior Bowl.

A four-year starter at Colorado, Awuzie has been a staple of the CU secondary the past four seasons, spending time at every possible position both inside and outside and at cornerback and safety - shared team MVP honors with quarterback Sefo Liufau after his senior season. He is a fluid athlete with the feet and body control to mirror receivers and seamlessly transition with various routes. While toughness isn't a question mark, Awuzie doesn't have ideal size/length/strength measurements for the next level and those limitations will show on film, mostly in the run game, however, he is one of the better blitzing corners in the draft class. Overall, Awuzie has only average speed and ball skills, but his versatile athleticism, football intelligence and competitive nature will be welcomed on a NFL depth chart, projecting best as a nickel back.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Balanced athlete. Controlled footwork to pedal and transition to stay attached at the hip to receivers. Patient, but decisive process and limits wasted steps. quick eyes, reflexes and reaction to receiver movement, staying on top of routes and getting his head turned to locate. senses seem to heighten on money downs (responsible for 45 career stops on third and fourth downs). Trusts what he sees and processes it quickly to break on the ball - intelligent player. knack for blitzing and pressures (usually from the slot), creating disruption in the backfield with his closing speed - holds the school-record for sacks (9.0) by a defensive back, adding 26.0 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles over his career. standout tackler on all special team coverages, adding a blocked field goal off the edge as a senior. Graduated with a degree in business management (Dec. 2016). Totaled 42 career starts with snaps at both outside cornerback positions, inside in the slot and various safety roles.

WEAKNESSES: Better timed speed than play speed. lack of ideal size and length shows in coverage. Tough as nails, but below average play strength. late to shed and too easily taken out of the equation by blockers. bad habit of tackling high and needs to clean up his striking mechanics. quick-footed, but lacks the make-up burst to close gaps in a flash. needs to improve his spacing in zone coverage. out of position on combination routes and will be caught grabbing when beat. collected 39 passes defended over his career, but only three interceptions. doesn't have ideal body armor with several nagging injuries over his career, including a right turf toe injury (Dec. 2016) late in his senior season, which also sidelined him for the Senior Bowl -- suffered a lacerated kidney in practice (Nov. 2014) and missed the final three games of his sophomore season.