"I've been thinking about for two weeks. It's always seemed so far away, but now it's so close," senior TE Jesse Wallace said Monday. "I've been here five years and it seems like five minutes. And the season's gone by real fast."
Wallace was part of the 2000 recruiting class, along with OL Sam Wilder.
"It's started to hit me today, and I'm sure it'll hit me even more this week," Wilder said. "It's pretty crazy it's coming to an end. It's gone by fast. It's going to be bittersweet on Saturday."
For Wallace, the best part of playing at Folsom Field, and playing on the Colorado team, has been the relationships he's formed with teammates.
"Going out there with all the fellas, the energy we all have when we go out there – you don't get it anywhere else," Wallace said. "The cammeraderie that I've built with all the guys has been tremendous. That's the part that I'll miss the most."
Asked how they plan to mark the special day of playing their last game at Folsom, both had similar answers — by beating Kansas State.
Teammate Bobby Purify also came in with the 2000 class and was set to graduate last year, but was given a fifth year of eligibility after missing most of 2003 with a high ankle sprain. Purify said he's approaching Saturday's matchup with Kansas State at home on Senior Day the same way he approaches any game.
"I like playing on the road more anyway," Purify said. "I like playing in front of opposing crowds. I feel like when I'm at home, I have a lot of pressure. I can't get too emotional with it because then I'm not going to play well.
"I always like playing on the road. I like to hear silence."
One senior who won't be suiting up Saturday is TE Quinn Sypniewski. Like Purify, Sypniewski was awarded a medical redshirt after a nagging toe injury kept him out most of last season. However, Sypniewski suffered a broken lower leg in practice this fall and will probably not play again this year, though he could possibly play in a bowl game.
He's still wearing a protective boot on his ankle and doctors have also diagnosed him with a high-ankle sprain. Sypniewski — who graduated in August with a degree in journalism, and is currently working on a minor degree in history — said he's going to explore the option of turning pro next year. At the same time, he will apply for a second medical redshirt year to keep the option of returning to CU open if one is granted. Texas TE Bo Scaife and Oklahoma QB Jason White are Big 12 players who have been granted sixth years because of injuries in recent years.
"I'm trying to make the most informed decision I can," Sypniewski said. "There's a whole lot of things I have to consider."
OL Terrance Barreau – Transfer started at guard all year
DT Brandon Dabdoub – Strongest player on team
WR Mike Duren – Former walk-on earned a schollie and contributed in ‘04
PK J.T. Eberly – Tough luck with Achilles injury ended season
DT Matt McChesney — Heart and soul of '04 defense
WR Ron Monteilh – Steady at WR
RB Bobby Purify – Has chance to break into top 3 on CU rushing chart
OL Derek Stemrich – Knee injuries hampered career
TE Quinn Sypniewski – Will apply for sixth year
DT McKenzie Tilmon – Backup at defensive tackle
TE Jesse Wallace – Steady contributor the past two years
OL Sam Wilder – Solid player on both sides of line at CU
Sypniewski has already graduated, and six others, Dabdoub (communications), Duren (communications), Eberly (business/finance and marketing), Purify (sociology) Stemrich (architecture) and Wilder (economics) are set to graduate next month. Four others – Barreau (business/finance), Monteilh (economics), McChesney (history) and Wallace (communication and political science) – are scheduled to graduate in May, 2005. Tilmon (ethnic studies) will likely be done in Dec. 2005.
Robinson Earns Big 12 Honor
Redshirt-freshman punt returner Stephone Robinson was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a go-ahead 48-yard punt for a touchdown against Kansas Saturday.
It was the former Mullen High star's first touchdown as a collegiate player.
"It's a pretty big honor. I didn't really expect it. It caught me off guard, but it feels good," the soft-spoken Robinson said.
The touchdown was the first punt return for a score by a CU player since Jeremy Bloom achieved the feat in the 2002 Big 12 title game against Oklahoma. Bloom and Robinson talk on the phone a couple times a month, and they had a conversation over the weekend about Robinson's play.
"He said ‘It's about time,'" Robinson reported. "(Bloom) hates that I don't fair catch. But other than that he said I've been doing pretty good."
Robinson said he prefers not to fair catch — unless the situation calls for it — because it gives him a better chance to make a play.
"I'm going to get tackled anyway, so…," he said.
On the season, Robinson has averaged 8.9 yards on 28 returns. Colorado has more often than not played in a pressure formation, trying to block the punt, rather than set up a return.
Purify Felling OK
Nursing two sprained shoulders, Bobby Purify said Monday he could play today if CU had a game.
Purify moved past former teammate Chris Brown on the all-time CU rushing charts in Saturday's game at Kansas. Purify has 2,724 yards, Brown has 2,690.
Asked if he had spoken with Brown – who plays for the Tennessee Titans and led the NFL in rushing at one point this fall — since passing him, Purify grinned and said, "I'll probably give him a call today or tomorrow just to let him know."