Future Buffalo Terry Washington hopped in his car last night and drove to Boulder from Garden City, Kan., so he could watch the Buffs practice. Washington initially signed with the Buffs in 2003, but failed to qualify academically, and went the Juco route, getting his studies in order and playing at Garden City CC. He signed again in February as part of CU's 2005 class.
A two-way player at Cleveland Military Institute in St. Louis as a prepster (running back and defensive back), Washington will play corner at CU, the position he's played at GCCC. Washington, a speedster, will have an opportunity to compete for a spot in the two-deep in August.
He spent a few minutes chatting with his future position coach, Craig Bray, and watched the Buffs go through a 90-minute scrimmage.
BSN spoke with Washington afterwards.
Buffalo Sports News: What did you think of what you saw today?
Terry Washington: I thought we were looking pretty good. But I think we'll be a little better when I get here. (laughs)
When will that be?
TW: I'm going to be here at the end of May, as soon as I graduate from (Garden City CC). I'll be here for the first day of summer school, like May 27.
BSN: What are you doing to stay in shape?
TW: I go on the track and run a lot. There are a couple other guys who are going off to the Big 12 (from GCCC), and we still lift weights together.
BSN: What are your expectations for this fall for yourself as a player?
TW: A lot of tackles, a lot of interceptions. I'm going to try to make the secondary a little better, be a team player.
BSN: Word is you're a fast guy. What's your 40 time?
TW: At the junior college I ran a 4.35.
BSN: Coach Bray on Wednesday said right now the secondary lacks some speed, and needs to play perfect to be effective. So you think you can bring some quickness to the defensive backfield?
TW: Yeah, quickness and power. A little more hittin' from the corner. That's what I do.
The Buffs conducted their first scrimmage of spring ball on Saturday. A crowd of roughly 200 watched the 90-minute, 94-play practice under sunny spring skies.
Head coach Gary Barnett said rather than looking for progress from any of the units, he was looking for standout individuals.
"We're trying to figure out which guys we can count on in the fall," Barnett said. "I'm not really concerned where we are offensively or defensively. I'm more interested in who it is that's making the progress that we need to make in order to be able to count on them in the fall."
The need — and opportunity — for playmakers to emerge was heightened as eight probable starters missed part or all of the scrimmage. On offense, the top four receivers — Evan Judge, Dusty Sprague, Blake Mackey and Alvin Barnett — missed all or most of the practice due to various injuries. Judge, Barnett and Sprague are expected back soon, but the jury is still out on when Mackey will return from a knee injury.
|Reggie Joseph had two catches Saturday. (BSN)|
Quinn Sypniewski (concussion from Friday) was out of the lineup on offense as well.
Dropped passes plagued the receiving corps. The trio of CU quarterbacks went a combined 18 of 37, but at least seven passes were dropped, including four of starter Joel Klatt's throws. Defenders also broke up an additional seven passes.
In competition that pitted the first teamers vs. the first teamers, and seconds vs. seconds, Joe Klopfenstein caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Klatt. Paul Creighton also punched it into the end zone on a 3-yard run. Mason Crosby (21 yards) and Isaac Garden (39) were good on their lone field goal attempts.
|Bernard Jackson scrambles left. (BSN)|
Quarterback Bernard Jackson led all rushers with 45 yards on 8 attempts. However, after making a good cut to the inside on one scramble, Jackson failed to secure the ball and fumbled. Chris Hollis picked up the loose ball and rambled 36 yards the other way.
Asked who stood out on offense, Barnett pointed to a number of players, including Hugh Charles and Patrick Williams. Charles ran for just 12 yards on 9 carries, but has looked good all spring. Meanwhile, Williams led all receivers with 5 catches for 45 yards.
"Hugh Charles has really impressed me," he said. "He gives us a dimension in the backfield that we have not had, and that's just pure speed. Right now we're not doing anything to exploit that, we're just getting him into the system and getting him to learn the offense, but he's been a guy that's been impressive."
On Williams, Barnett said, "Patrick Williams is gonna just keep getting better and better."
Barnett also praised the two backup quarterbacks, Jackson and Cox, who are battling for the No. 2 spot. While Joel Klatt wore the gold "no contact" jersey Saturday, Jackson and Cox did not.
"They both have good mobility and I wanted to give them a chance to show what they can do when they get into tough situations," Barnett said.
"Ryan Walters continues to impress me," Barnett said.
He also said that linebacker Joe Sanders made the most of inside linebacker Thaddeaus Washington's absence from Wednesday's practice, and is playing well. That gives the Buffs five players — Washington, Sanders, Akarika Dawn, Jordon Dizon and Chris Hollis — who have a strong combination of talent and experience at the two inside positions.
"Our linebackers, we're going to be pretty deep there. There's a lot of competition going on," Barnett said.
He also said Brad Jones continues to impress at outside linebacker behind Iwuh.
"He's got great suddenness and speed," Barnett said. "He's got all the range that you want. We've got some guys at linebacker that are going to help us both in the run game and the pass game. We've gotten a lot better at coverages."
As for Iwuh, Barnett joked that he may have to sit him during these scrimmages because he's such a fierce hitter.
Sprague was fine at the beginning of the scrimmage, but on the day's third play got a dose of Iwuh. Sprague ran a crossing route across the middle and Iwuh laid him out.
"Sometimes we need to keep Iwuh off the field when we're playing against our own guys," Barnett joked. "He's knocking guys out. Iwuh just knocked (Sprague) into yesterday. It's still Friday afternoon for Dusty."
SCRIMMAGE STAT LEADERS
Bernard Jackson, 8-45
Brandon Caesar, 6-25
Byron Ellis, 10-23
Hugh Charles, 9-12
Lawrence Vickers, 5-9
Paul Creighton, 1-4, TD
Joel Klatt, 8-16-71 yards, 1 TD,1 INT
Bernard Jackson, 3-8-28
James Cox, 7-13-94, 1 INT
Patrick Williams, 5-45
Joe Klopfenstein, 2-20, 1 TD (11 yards)
Dan Goettsch, 2-25
Reggie Joseph, 2-26
Marcus Gonzales, 1-37
Cody Crawford, 1-15
Lawrence Vickers, 1-13
Hugh Charles, 1-12
Chase McBride, 1-9
Tyson DeVree, 1-7
Byron Ellis, 1 for -2
Corey Reid, 7
Ryan Walters, 7, 2 TFL
Akarika Dawn, 6, 1 TFL
Thaddaeus Washington, 6
Jordon Dizon, 4
Alex Ligon, 4, 1 TFL
Brian Iwuh, 3
Joe Sanders, 3 1 TFL
James Garee, 3