Auburn transfer declared immediately eligible at Colorado

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Slowly but surely, there are signs of progress at Colorado as the football program tries to compete in the tough Pac-12 under head coach Mike MacIntyre.

However, like a lot of coaches facing a tough rebuilding project, MacIntyre is open to junior college players and transfers when the fit makes sense. He got great news on Monday that the NCAA ruled former Auburn offensive lineman Shane Callahan immediately eligible to play in 2014.

In a school release, the Buffaloes said they had applied for a waiver with the NCAA based on "family reasons" so that Callahan would not have to sit out a year after transferring.

"We're happy for Shane and his family that the NCAA declared him eligible to play this year," MacIntyre said. "It's great to have another state of Colorado athlete on our football team."

The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder redshirted his first season on the Plains and played in two games as a backup last year during Auburn's run to the BCS National Championship Game.

Callahan was one of the best linemen in the state of Colorado coming out of high school. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the end of his senior season and figured to be in the mix for playing time at Auburn prior to transferring.

Instead, he'll provide some much-needed depth in Boulder and very likely be able to grab a starting position.

Colorado returns four starters along the line from last season but none of them stood out with their play. Callahan could replace left tackle Stephane Nembot after the latter struggled in pass protection last year. Callahan also could be the answer at right tackle. Having his status cleared up going into camp is huge and should allow the coaching staff to pencil him in somewhere to provide an offensive boost.

The Buffaloes still face an uphill battle to get back to a bowl game, but adding a highly touted prospect like Callahan in early August should still be a nice little boost for the team heading into the season.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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