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CU: It's Division I football. It's the Big 12

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  • CU: It's Division I football. It's the Big 12

    By Kyle Ringo

    It's Division I football. It's the Big 12
    Posted August 6, 2007

    Colorado football camp opened today with a two-hour practice this morning for newcomers, though there was a healthy number of veteran players mixed in as well because of class schedules.

    I was impressed by the new guys simply based on their size and speed, and I was reminded of coach Dan Hawkins' now famous national signing day meeting with the press.

    Back in February, Hawkins told a story about complaints he received from parents of players who were upset about the limited amount of time their sons would have off this summer versus what they used to have off under the old coaching staff.

    Hawkins raised his voice, saying, "It's Division I football. It's the Big 12. It's not intramurals."

    My point here is that the Buffs are beginning to once again resemble a Big 12 program. There are now 19 offensive linemen on the roster as opposed to six in spring ball. The team has wide receivers that look like they might be able to make a Nebraska, Oklahoma or Texas cornerback nervous.

    The entire team looks bigger and stronger and faster. The Buffs look more like what you might expect to find in a high-level Division I program.

    A few guys who stuck out right off the bat in the morning session were offensive lineman Sione Tau. The guy is massive. The guy is listed at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, and he is all of it and more.

    Wide receivers Markques Simas and Josh Smith also looked good. Both are fast and smooth and seem to have little trouble catching the ball.

    I was also impressed by new defensive back Anthony Wright, from Compton, Calif., as well as defensive linemen Eugene Goree from Murfreesboro, Tenn. I'd be surprised if Goree doesn't play this year as a true freshman.

    I will be blogging often during camp. I know this might put some readers into shock, given the fact that I hadn't really done a lot of blogging (any really) since the basketball season.

    I'll try to share some impressions on individuals and position battles as we go forward. And if anything major happens in a particular practice session look for it here or in an update on the Buffzone front page.

    As a reminder, practice sessions over the first two weeks of camp are open to the public. The next practice today is from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the lower practice fields north of Folsom Field across Boulder Creek.

    I'll be the guy in the Chicago Cubs hat. Feel free to say hello.

  • #2
    Wheat's the man...

    Still the champ

    Senior cornerback Terrence Wheatley said he remains the fastest player on the team despite the addition of some speedy freshmen this fall.

    Wheatley, who has been clocked running a 4.2-second 40-yard dash, said after competing against his new teammates during the summer that he isn't worried about losing the title.

    Wheatley is on the preseason watch list for the Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive back. Fellow defensive back Joel Adams said he will be surprised if opponents choose to throw in Wheatley's direction much in 2007.

    Adams said Wheatley showed up to a seven-on-seven competition this summer against the Wyoming football team in Fort Collins and made quick work of the Cowboys.

    Wheatley made an interception and caught a touchdown pass as a wide receiver, burning a player the Cowboys were touting as the fastest man on the field. Wheatley then took off his cleats and left, feeling he had nothing left to prove.

    "It was the most Hollywood thing I've ever seen," Adams said, giving his teammate a hard time.


    • #3
      Thanks for the updates! Man, I'm really drinking the Kool-Aid this year. Am I crazy for getting my hopes up?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Orange_Crush21
        Thanks for the updates! Man, I'm really drinking the Kool-Aid this year. Am I crazy for getting my hopes up?
        Yeah, maybe a little premature this year, we have a brutal schedule and a young team... A 500 record would be a pretty successful season all things considered.

        Things are definitely looking up for the program as a whole and there's no doubt this year's team will be better than last year's... '08 and '09 are the years we can really start to get excited-- but I'm excited for this year as well... I'm going to watch them play CSU, ASU and FSU in 3 consecutive weeks. 1 win would be good. 2 wins would be great. 3 wins seems unlikely given the fact we couldn't win more than 2 games in 4 months last season. But I'll be there with my black n gold on...

        In any case, I hope to see some true freshman jetting around at WR... Maybe another filling a hole at DB... And we have some true giants joining the OL. Much needed help. The X factor will be the play of the QB and how they incorporate B-Jax into the offense.


        • #5
          i think buffs NEED to get to a bowl game this year or it's going to be a terrible year for recruiting. we are already well behind the other teams in recruiting and recruits won't be impressed with a losing record coming off 2-10 (especially considering that the year after is going to be an even tougher schedule). that being said, if we sign darrell scott, even if he's the only recruit we get all year, i will be extremely happy


          • #6
            Deep routes good fit for freshman
            Smith is impressive in scrimmage
            By Tom Kensler
            Denver Post Staff Writer
            Article Last Updated: 08/12/2007 11:53:04 PM MDT

            Boulder - After watching fleet freshman Josh Smith catch a 54-yard touchdown pass and have an apparent 40-yard score nullified by a penalty, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said the impact of a deep threat becomes even more obvious when the sport is thought of as a numbers game.

            "Football comes down to basic math," Hawkins said Sunday following his team's first scrimmage of fall camp. "If a defense pretty much dedicates nine guys to stopping the run (and if there is no passing threat), it comes down to simple addition and that's tough.

            "You've got to have people who can win one-on-one battles."

            Nicknamed "J-Fly" by his teammates, Smith stole the show with his sprint routes, making cornerbacks look as if they were wearing ankle weights. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Moorpark, Calif., has the potential to become CU's most exciting - and dangerous - wideout in years.

            "It was a lot of fun out there," Smith said. "I really enjoy this offense. It's vertical. That's why I chose this school over a lot of other places (including UCLA and Washington State).

            "Receivers are expected to make the short, knickknack catches. But with Coach Hawkins really being into the deep ball, I feel like this is a perfect fit."

            Redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins, the coach's son who is in a battle with junior-college transfer Nick Nelson for the starting quarterback job, said Smith already is a vocal leader. But Smith had better learn to keep his emotions in check after crossing the goal line. The offense drew a 15-yard celebration penalty when Smith needlessly dived into the end zone after nabbing the 54-yarder from Nelson.

            Dan Hawkins got in Smith's face, yelling: "This isn't a video game!"

            Smith later said he learned his lesson.

            Another freshman wideout, Kendrick Celestine, scored from 5 yards on an end-around - the first of five touchdowns during the two-hour, 103-play scrimmage watched by about 1,500 fans at Folsom Field.
            Not to be outdone by the youngsters, junior wide receiver Patrick Williams caught two touchdown passes from Cody Hawkins, both times outjumping a defender in the left corner. Also, CU backs ran effectively, helping to produce 609 yards of total offense.

            Both contenders for the starting quarterback job moved the chains effectively. Hawkins threw two TD passes to Nelson's one. But Nelson provided the biggest thrill when, while scrambling away from a blitz by linebacker Jordon Dizon, he hit Smith for the long touchdown.

            Nelson bruised his throwing hand on the play, apparently hitting Dizon's helmet after releasing the pass. But Nelson played in later possessions, and X-rays were negative.

            "Cody did have a real good game today," Nelson said. "He's pushing me. And hopefully, I'm pushing him. I think (the competition between the two) is still really close."


            Individual running and passing statistics from the scrimmage were not released. "Too much information for the enemy," was the reason given by assistant athletic director David Plati. ... The state's top-rated high school senior, Ponderosa linebacker Jon Major, watched the scrimmage from the sideline. ... Freshmen Kai Maiava (6-1, 295) and Ryan Miller (6-8, 320) got some time with the first-team offense at the guard positions.


            • #7
              Oh how sweet it will be to have a deep threat again...

              Honestly, any production on offense in the passing game will be an improvement.

              And I'm definitely pulling for Hawk to get the nod at QB-- the idea of a 4 year starter is nice... Then again, I'm interested to see if his size will be a big factor on this level-- it's tough to succeed at that position if you're under 6'.

              Ryan Miller at guard? Interesting.

              Hugh Charles and Stephon Robinson still worry me. Charles is scared to get hit and Robinson makes too many mental mistakes. I hope they prove me wrong this season...

              I may go to the scrimmage this weekend, because I think it's on Saturday, not Sunday-- but don't quote me on that.
              Last edited by Buff_bronc_fan; 08-13-2007, 08:50 PM.


              • #8
                yes this week's scrimmage is on saturday. you can quote me