Oft-criticized ex-corner, polarizing second-year flip among Colorado football breakout candidates

Sep 9, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Carter Stoutmire (23) reacts
Sep 9, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Carter Stoutmire (23) reacts / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Carter Stoutmire, who was the subject of Buffs fans' outrage when Cormani McClain was being kept behind him on the depth chart riding the bench to start the 2023 season, and McClain himself, were deemed by Buffaloes Wire's Jack Carlough to be potential breakout candidates for the 2024 season; along with Jaden Milliner-Jones, Isreal Solomon, Taje McCoy, and Omarion Miller.

"I’m expecting some of Colorado’s true freshmen from last season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, to take a big step forward this spring," Carlough prefaced before saying, "Potential breakout candidates include safeties Jaden Milliner-Jones and Carter Stoutmire, cornerback Isreal Solomon and linebacker Taje McCoy.

"Wide receiver Omarion Miller and cornerback Cormani McClain are also big names, although they each had breakout moments last season."

Stoutmire switched positions from cornerback to safety this offseason, leading to McClain likely stepping into an expanded role at CB.

Colorado football added Preston Hodge to cover other half of field Travis hunter isn't on

Stoutmire will be joined in the safety room by incoming transfer Preston Hodge, who Mike Farrell Sports' Mark Pszonak believes will be tasked with covering the half of the field that Travis Hunter isn't on.

"While Travis Hunter did his best to lock down one half of the field in 2023, the other half often became easy pickings for opposing quarterbacks," Pszonak prefaced before saying, "The Buffaloes knew that they had to resolve this issue and hope that Hodge’s addition will accomplish that. Coming off an impressive season with the Flames, when he finished with 48 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups, it is a safe assumption that he will be tested immediately and frequently so all eyes will be on Hodge to see how he responds."

With Stoutmire, Hodge, and Milliner-Jones as the last line of defense and Hunter, McClain, and Solomon tasked with containing opposing offenses' biggest playmakers, Coach Prime has a secondary that should honor his own contributions during his playing days.