The Colorado Buffaloes football team received its first commitment for the 2010 class, as ATH/QB Danny Spond (Columbine HS) informed Fox 31 News today that he will be heading to Boulder.
Spond plays MLB and QB for the Rebels, and has the talent to play either at CU (possibly even TE). He has informed Rivals.com that he wants to play QB at the college level.
Day 5 of practices. Helmets, shoulder pads, shorts and no tackling.
Today was the first time the Buffs practiced outside. The weather was nice and sunny (65-70 degrees), with some wind coming out of the West. The advantage for the players and coaches in practicing outdoors is that they are more spread out, and capable of having more room for drills, as opposed to being bunched up in the dome. The disadvantage for spectators, like myself, is that it is twice as hard to see everything that is going on.
Nonetheless, here are some observations from practice:
- Players, coaches, and fans were greeted with a big banner that read “PASSION” when walking through the gates onto the practice field–a reminder of why these student athletes play this game.
- The Defense looked very sharp throughout most of practice.
- Defensive coordinator Ron Collins has shown various formations, which has given the defense the ability to bring pressure from all over. Marquez Herrod, Marcus Burton and Patrick Mahnke all recorded sacks, and Mike Sipili batted down a pass. Continue reading
Day 4 of spring practice in the bubble.
The $3 million facility has been getting a lot of use by Hawkins and the Buffs, and why not? With Colorado weather being so unpredictable, I don’t blame the fourth year coach for holding practice in a controlled environment. Also, the soft playing surface in the bubble is a lot more forgiving than the thawing ground of the outside practice fields.
After the weekend, the young CU team was in full pads again today, picking up where it left off on Friday.
Here are some of my observations from practice:
- The Buffs didn’t mess around today and went to an 11-on-11 no huddle, two minute drill immediately after team stretches.
- The offense moved the ball well, and Markques Simas made a nice grab (approx. 20 yards) down the field for a TD on one of the plays. Continue reading
Day 3 of practices. Again in the bubble. First day of full pads.
Here are some observations from todays practice:
- If I were to place a theme on today’s practice it would be special teams and urgency.
- Like they’ve done all spring, the offense worked out of a huddled offense. However, there was a sense of urgency in breaking the huddle and sprinting to their spots for a quick snap.
- Special Teams have been an emphasis all spring, and today was no exception. Hawk has also made it an emphasis to get the best players on the field as much as possible. Point in case: Nate Solder (6’9″) and Ryan Miller (6’8″) lining up on the field goal blocking team. Miller showed off his size as he was able to get his hand on a field goal attempt from Aric Goodman. To Goodman’s defense, it could have been a kick from Mason Crosby, and Miller still would have blocked it with the penetration he created. Continue reading
January 8, 2010, Pasadena, California. Book your flight, reserve your hotel room, and buy your tickets. The Buffs are going to the National Championship.
D-a-r-r-e-l-l S-c-o-t-t make sure the sophomore’s name is spelled correctly when he’s handed the Heisman in December.
Dan Hawkins: unanimous choice for National Coach of the Year.
I hope Jimmy Smith doesn’t go pro after winning the Thorpe Award.
Ok, so maybe I got a little ahead of myself…after all, it was just the first practice of the spring.
The 2009 season will be the 20th year that linebacker coach Brian Cabral has been a coach for the Buffs, and 19th as a full-time assistant, which is the most in CU sports history. In his time at CU, he has coached seven All-Americans:
- Alfred Williams (’89-1st team, ’90-1st team), Kanavis McGhee (’89-1st team), Matt Russell (’96, 1st team), Jordan Dizon (’07-1st team), Chad Brown (’92-2nd team), Jashon Sykes (’99-2nd team), Ted Johnson (’94-3rd team).
Heading into the 2009 season, the linebacker position is arguably the most talented on the team. As Spring practices approach, the Buffs will return 2 starters from last years team, and will look to replace 3 year starter, and 2008 sack leader Brad Jones. Ten scholarship athletes, and six walk-ons will compete for three available positions.
Depth at the tight end/fullback position (in Hawkins’ system, the positions are interchangeable) will be one of the strengths for the Buffs as it heads into the 2009 season. This Spring, coaches plan to move away from the spread offense, and use more two tightend/two back formations to accomodate the depth at tightend, and lack of depth at wide receiver. In 2008, the Buff offense saw a decent amount of productivity at the tightend/fullback position, combining for 48 receptions, 456 yards, and 7 touchdowns. The majority of that productivity will return for the 2009 season.
Riar Geer showed great potential when he led the team in receptions (24), yards (261), and touchdowns (3) as a redshirt freshman in 2006. However, his 2007 and 2008 seasons were plagued by injuries and a suspension. He looked solid late in the 2008 season, as he hooked up with Cody Hawkins on a seam route and took it 68 yards for a touchdown against Nebraska. The 68 yard reception was the longest play from scrimmage for the Buffs in 2008. Coaches and fans hope this is a sign that Geer can return to form for his senior campaign in 2009. He will be limited in Spring practices, after undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason. If Geer can stay healthy in 2009, he has the potential to be an All-Big 12 performer.
When Dan Hawkins joined the Buffs from Boise State, fans had hopes of a high powered offense attack with the ability to stretch the field with its passing game. However, in Hawk’s three years in Boulder, the Buffs pass offense has ranked 12th in the Big 12 in 2006, 10th in 2007, and 11th in 2008. In a pass-happy Big 12, the Buffs will need to improve these rankings if they hope to compete at a Big 12 North Title. This Spring, CU will have four scholarship wide receivers competing for playing time, and seven walk-on’s competing for a roster spot.
The anticipated debut of Markques Simas will be a huge boost to the Buffs. He has great size (6’2″, 200lbs.), speed, and route running abilities. It was a huge blow to the Buffs offense when he was declared academically ineligible last Fall. From what I’ve seen in practices, he is by far the best receiver on CU’s roster. If he keeps his grades up, he can be an All-Big 12 receiver in the immediate future. He should start and see plenty of action in 2009.
Spring football in Boulder is officially 5 days away.
Leading up to the first scrimmage on April 11, I will be taking a closer look at each position.
Today’s feature: the Offensive Line.
In football, the foundation of success is built upon a teams ability to control the line of scrimmage. Football games are won and lost in the trenches. In the Dan Hawkins era, productivity from the offensive line has been very inconsistent due to injuries, academic issues, transfers, and lack of experience. This inability to dominate the line of scrimmage has been the major contributing factor to the underachieving offenses for Hawkins at CU.
I received positive feedback from last week’s Week in Review, so here’s the second installment:
…15 days away from the start of spring football practices for the Colorado Buffaloes (March 31). I will try and give a daily update once those practices start.
…Colorado was originally scheduled to play against Miami, OH on Sept. 12, 2009. However it is starting to look like this game may not take place. According to ESPN, CU will play Toledo on Sept. 11 (Friday), instead.
…Tim Griffin of ESPN had a nice little interview with Buffs RB Rodney Stewart a few weeks ago. Check it out.