Daniel Jolly about the workout. Also, some news on the injury front surfaced, as one starter will miss the rest of spring after undergoing surgery this evening."> Daniel Jolly about the workout. Also, some news on the injury front surfaced, as one starter will miss the rest of spring after undergoing surgery this evening.">

Practice Report -- April 5

CU ended the first phase of its spring practice sessions Monday, its first day of live tackling. The session also marked the fourth consecutive day of practice, the first time CU has had four straight days of practice in the spring since 1983. BSN spoke with RB <a href="http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=148&p=8&c=1&nid=16083"><b>Daniel Jolly</b></a> about the workout. Also, some news on the injury front surfaced, as one starter will miss the rest of spring after undergoing surgery this evening.

"They worked really hard," interim head coach Brian Cabral said. "Our players and coaches worked really hard the past four days, and there's a much deserved rest tomorrow."

Colorado will take Tuesday off before returning to the field Wednesday.

Jolly is competing with junior Lawrence Vickers at one of the running back positions. Coaches have avoided calling it a true fullback position, because both Vickers and Jolly have skills beyond the typical fullback. The 6-0, 230-pounder said Monday's practice went well.

"We banged a little bit today. It was fun just to get the cobwebs out," he said.

Asked how it is to go back to live tackling after four months away from it, Jolly said, "You're going to end up taking a couple Tylenol the first few days. You have to get used to it; get used to having leverage and protecting yourself in situations that you haven't been in for a couple months."

Like many of his teammates have been saying, Jolly said he had a good offseason and feels "stronger, bigger and faster."

When asked which of his running back mates have been impressive so far, Jolly said, "I've been really impressed with the unit as a whole. They've got us doing a lot of things. We just have a lot of different people who bring a lot of different things to the table. It's just exciting because you never really know who's getting the ball in different kinds of situations. It's fun to watch and to be a part of."

Running backs coach Shawn Simms too said he's been pleased with his group's effort. Along with Jolly and Vickers, that group includes junior Brian Calhoun, senior Bobby Purify, sophomore Brandon Caesar and redshirt freshman Isaiah Crawford .

And former tight end Paul Creighton is working in at fullback.

"He's doing a good job," Simms said. "We've just got to find more ways to get him more reps in there. But in watching him blocking and he's been catching the ball well -- that big body of his is going to help us."

Jolly said he wasn't concerned about the fact there are so many players vying for carries.

"My main concern is winning," he said. "I'm not interested in how many carries I'm going to get, or how many carries Bobby's going to get. I know that all of us are going to get adequate touches, and as long as we're winning we're going to be happy. That's the mindset we've had here for years. We've rotated three or four backs before I was here. That's just something that you expect at Colorado. We're just here to win."


Group Effort - Cabral has said along that he is leaning on the other coaches as he's taken on the interim title through spring ball. A reflection of that is the fact that he's asked a different assistant coach to address the entire team after each spring practice. Dave Borbely talked to them after Sunday's practice, while Monday, it was Chris Wilson's turn. Wilson told the players he was proud of how they fought through four straight practices to begin the spring session.

"This is a group effort," Cabral said. "And for our players to hear from them, I think it means a lot to them when they hear positive things from the different coaches."


The first big injury news of spring ball came Monday when it was learned that sophomore cornerback Terrence Wheatley would undergo surgery Monday evening for a dislocated wrist injury he sustained Sunday. Wheatley injured the wrist Sunday when he fell awkwardly on it during a drill. The bad news is that Wheatley, who was listed No. 1 at one of the corners, will miss the rest of spring practices.

Linebacker Kyle Griffith has been ill for the past week with a strain of Hepatitis. He was to have a liver biopsy Monday. "We've just got to see what's going on with the liver," Cabral said. "I'm concerned. He's one of my players."

Redshirt freshman receiver Stephone Robinson strained a hammie, and didn't participate Monday. His return status is day-to-day.

Linebacker Depth a Growing Issue

Cabral said Monday that he doesn't expect sophomore linebacker Walter Boye-Doe's situation to be cleared up before the end of the semester. Boye-Doe has not been at spring practices, and has asked for a release to transfer to either SMU or TCU in his home state of Texas, to be closer to family. Even if Boye-Doe does return, CU will be thin at linebacker, in terms of experience. While junior Akarika Dawn (will), sophomore Thaddaues Washington (mike) and junior Brian Iwuh (buff) are penciled in as starters right now, Cabral said he's still waiting for some linebackers "to establish" themselves at the position. Listening to him speak, you get the feeling he plans to push his unit throughout the spring and not settle on a rotation until well into August.

Cabral said he is leaving the door open for one of three or four incoming recruits to compete for playing time at linebacker in the fall.

"I need one of them to play for sure," he said. "I need our freshmen to come in and compete and challenge (for a position). Right now, I don't have any players that have established themselves. I need someone to come in and push them. And if a freshman can push them, then I want the better player."

Greg Newman will likely get a look at middle linebacker, while Maurice Cantrell could fit at the weakside spot right away, Cabral said. Brad Jones is another linebacker in the class, and Cabral mentioned Josh Hunt as a possible player at linebacker, although he'll likely get a look at defensive end too.

"I really liked our class of linebackers," Cabral said.

Speaking of linebackers, Cabral said wearing two hats – head coach and linebackers coach – has worked out better than he expected in terms of being able to spend time with and focus on the linebackers. In fact, when asked about it, Cabral smiled and said his linebacking crew has "probably got more attention than they want right now."

Joseph Situation

Cabral said he didn't know anything further about assistant coach Vance Joseph's situation, or when it might be settled. Joseph was placed on administrative leave with pay last week while the university investigates a possible violation of university policy. Cabral said he hadn't spoken with Joseph Monday, but planned to speak with him later that night.


Wheatley and sophomore Sammy Joseph were standouts at the cornerback spot through three days of spring. Wheatley's absence means junior Vance Washington and sophomores Gerrett Burl and Lorenzo Sims will get a shot to grab coaches' attention. Sims has been impressive so far, but he needs to learn the cornerback after playing mostly safety in 2003. The new zone look should play to his strengths, however.

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