His name is Dexter Wynn. He is the sixth best return specialist in the country and he is a one of the reasons for the Rams’ success the past three seasons.
Wynn is a senior who adds a great deal of leadership to both defense as a cornerback and special teams where he dazzles with his explosive speed and cat-like moves.
He has a tattoo that, in English, means faith and confidence; Wynn certainly has those attributes.
“I love returning the ball, definitely,” Wynn said. “I always visualize myself getting the ball and taking it to the house. The only thing I visualize is making big plays.”
More often than not he makes the big play and gives the Rams’ offense great field position to start their drive.
“I don’t know how many kicks he’s returned for touchdowns over the years,” said Rams head coach Sonny Lubick. “Every year he returns five or six of them for 30 or 40 yards and gives us great field position.”
In the past, Wynn has been such a threat returning punts that, after being burned by him a couple of times, opposing teams will opt to punt the ball out of bounds rather than be embarrassed a third time.
Lubick knew Wynn had great potential when he returned his first kickoff in his collegiate career 100 yards for a touchdown, setting a Mountain West Conference record.
Last season Wynn was a first-team all-Mountain West Conference selection as a return specialist and was picked to the second team as a defensive back. Wynn started all 14 games last year and led the conference in punt returns with a 16.2-yard average.
As a return specialist, Wynn is one of the best CSU has seen. As if that were not enough he dominates the secondary, often forcing quarterbacks to look to their second receiver rather than throw near Wynn.
Lubick has so much confidence in Wynn that he is moving him to wide receiver for 10-15 plays a game, but Wynn won’t let that affect his main priorities as a return specialist and defensive back.
“If it takes away from anything else then I won’t play offense,” Wynn said.
That’s important since the Rams have a very talented offense already and the head coach acknowledged that his team is where they are because of its effectiveness on special teams.
“The thing that has made Colorado State the program it is today is special teams,” Lubick said. “Dexter returning kickoffs and scoring touchdowns is very helpful to us.”
Wynn will be a key player in the game against CU. Expect big things when he’s returning the ball and, with the Buffs inexperience at quarterback, he may well be able to get his hands on an errant pass or two.
“Going into the game as a senior you just really don’t want to lose,” Wynn said.
And if Wynn has anything to do with it, his team won’t.