Ex-5-star's position switch among most intriguing Colorado football spring storylines

Jan 2, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Team Pressure linebacker Sav'ell Smalls (9) and defensive line
Jan 2, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Team Pressure linebacker Sav'ell Smalls (9) and defensive line / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sav'ell Smalls' position switch from EDGE rusher -- the latter of which he was initially recruited out of high school to Washington as a 5-star at -- to tight end is one of the most intriguing storylines of the Colorado football program's spring, says BuffZone's Brian Howell.

Howell listed Smalls as one of his breakout candidates in 2024 at his new position; one that the BuffZone writer sees as one with potential.

"A five-star recruit as an edge rusher coming out of high school in 2020, Smalls didn’t play much in his three seasons at Washington," Howell prefaced before saying, "He didn’t play much last year at CU, either, with 38 snaps on defense. This offseason, he moved to tight end, which gives him a fresh start and CU a 6-foot-3, 260-pound option at a position of need. He played tight end a bit in high school and has potential. If nothing else, he’s one of the most intriguing players to watch this spring."

Sav'ell Smalls making familiar position switch to Colorado football fans

As Buffaloes Wire's Tony Cosolo pointed out, the position switch Smalls is making is one Colorado fans have seen before -- specifically, from Nick Kasa during the 2012 season ahead of a three-year NFL career.

"Nearly 15 years ago, Colorado fans watched Legacy High School (Broomfield) product Nick Kasa make the switch from DE to TE late in his junior season with the Buffs," Cosolo prefaced before saying, "Kasa became CU’s starting tight end in 2012 and impressed enough to get drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2013. He later signed with the Denver Broncos as a practice squad tight leading up to Super Bowl 50."

In a pro-style offense under Pat Shurmur in 2024, Smalls could get the volume of targets Michael Harrison (31 catches, 284 yards, five touchdowns) got in 2023. Harrison followed Sean Lewis to San Diego State via the transfer portal this offseason.