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Colorado Football 2012: Linebackers Doug Rippy, Jon Major Looked At As Leaders

Jon Major and Doug Rippy, linebackers for the Colorado Buffaloes, are looking to make the most out of their senior seasons and have worked closely together since coming to the team in the same 2008 recruiting class.

Both have battled injuries throughout their collegiate careers but have worked to become the leaders for linebackers coach Brian Cabral's unit.

"What I like about the two of them is they are kind of sticking together this year," Cabral said. "They're working together, they're studying together, they're doing everything trying to encourage, challenge and help each other. That also brings out the best of my unit. It's kind of fun to see them be pretty tight and be twin brothers."

Major was a big recruit in 2008 for coach Dan Hawkins, but a torn ACL slowed his early development well into 2009. In 2010, Major was having an all-conference-caliber season before injuring his MCL. He started all 13 games in 2011 while playing through nagging injuries and could be in line to be named a team captain this season.

Rippy has been limited to only 18 games with ankle and knee injuries. He started seven games in 2011 and was leading the team in tackles before tearing his ACL and MCL against Washington. The coaches have brought him along slowly this preseason, but he and Major are the leaders of a relatively young defense.

"We have to know what everyone else is doing. If we can get everybody lined up and running to the ball, we'll be fine," Rippy said. "Everybody makes mistakes and they're at the point now where they make a little mistake and the next day they're coming out and they don't make the same mistake."

The Buffaloes open the 2012 season Sept. 1 against Colorado State.

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