Q&A: Update on Hagan's Crew

Back in an assistant coaching role in 2016, Darian Hagan helped tutor the Buffaloes' first 1,000 yard rusher in six years. BuffStampede.com caught up with Colorado's running backs coach to get an update on Phillip Lindsay and the Buffaloes' other ball carriers...

How are the running backs looking this spring?

Darian Hagan: “They are looking pretty good. Phil is Phil. Kyle [Evans] was having a good spring until he got hurt. Michael Adkins has been a pleasant surprise with him being healthy and running hard. He is doing a good job. We had to move Donovan [Lee] back over. He is a smart dude. He hadn't been in any running back meetings but he got back on the field at running back and did his thing. So I am pleased with him. And Beau [Bisharat] is doing a really good job. He has gotten bigger, faster, more patient running. He is at a different level now than he was last fall."

You mentioned Phil is Phil... what can a running back that established himself the way he did last season work on?

"Everything, don't rest of your laurels, keep working on your craft. He continues to keep doing everything he is coached to do and does it with passion and does it with the pride all the time. He is just a joy to be around and coach. He is fun to be around. And he is a guy you can get on but it is not going to stick with him. Like Coach 'Chev' always says, 'One snap and clear.' He can mess up on one play but the next play he is not thinking about the play before. He is thinking about the current play and that is something a lot of guys don't have."

It has been a long time since a runner here put together back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons... is that something that Phillip Lindsay has as a goal? Is that something you have talked to him about?

"No, we haven't talked about it but I think it is expected. You did it before, you can do it again. Everybody on our offensive line is back except for Alex [Kelley]. The capability is there, he just has to execute."

Following the severe hip injury, it seems like Kyle Evans is in pretty good spirits?

"Yeah, he is a happy guy. He is a guy where nothing is going to keep him down. He is positive that he is going to be back for camp. With his mental make-up and his body structure, there is a possibility that he could do that."

How much of a hit is that your depth, at least for the remainder of this spring?

"It was a major hit, that is why we had to move Donovan back. When you have two guys that played a lot of snaps last year like Phil and Kyle and neither one of them got hurt and then in spring ball, on a fluke hit, he gets hurt, it is shocking because you don't anticipate it. It is good that Donovan has the ability to move back over, though."

Beau Bisharat mentioned in high school he ran in a power scheme versus the zone scheme he had to get adjusted to here. It appears that was a tough adjustment for someone that was used to always running downhill in high school?

"Yeah, he does like to run downhill and make cut-backs but with our zone, it is a downhill run but it can bounce and he was not used to doing that. He has gotten better at doing it this spring so he is understanding what we are trying to do, understanding where his eyes should be. He is getting better. He has come a long way."

Michael Adkins has obviously struggled with consistency in the past... is his reemergence this spring a result of him just realizing this is his last opportunity?

"I think so. He knows this is his last year and he wants to go out in style. He wants to go out doing big things, which he is certainly capable of. After being a starter and being relegated to a back-up role, it is a shock to your system. He came to me and asked, 'Coach, what do I have to do?' I said, 'Dude, you have to be consistent. Don't get hurt and be consistent and sky is the limit.'"

It sounds like he has done that so far this spring?

"Yes, he has done that so far. He has come out with a different attitude. Sometimes when a starter gets relegated to a back-up role, there is a tendency to pout a little bit, but he has come back with a different attitude, different approach and different mindset. I am pleased with where he is right now."

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