Q&A with WR Dusty Sprague

The Buffalo coaches were looking for playmakers to emerge this spring and sophomore receiver <A HREF=[PlayerNode:1223662]>Dusty Sprague</A> is one player who's made strides in that direction. Inside, a conversation with Sprague and some notes prior to Saturday's annual spring game.

Q: I know coming into spring, the goal was to work on the passing game. Do you feel like you got some things accomplished in the passing game?
Dusty Sprague:
Yeah, I definitely feel like we made some progress this spring. We need to keep working into the summer to get ready for the fall, but we feel like we made strides on offense.

Q: What about for yourself? How did your spring go?
DS:
It went well. Other than the one hit (when Brian Iwuh knocked Sprague out of a scrimmage two weeks ago). It's great to get to practice in the spring and get scrimmage time so you get to go live. Every opportunity that you get, you can make yourself a better player.

Q: Did you feel any after-effects from your broken collarbone from last fall?
DS:
No. It's been fine. I haven't felt anything with it. I worked hard this offseason to get the strength back in it. Knock on wood, it's gone pretty well.

Q: What are your expectations for yourself in Saturday's spring game?
DS:
Personally, I want to come out an execute, no missed assignments, catch every ball that I have offered to me to catch. I just want to come out and bring energy to the game.

Q: You mentioned your offseason work. How big are you right now?
DS:
I'm around 190. I fluctuate a little. I want to put on a good five pounds for next season. That'll be the biggest that I've ever been.

Q: (WR) Marcus Gonzales. It seems like he's had a pretty good spring. Has that been your impression?
DS:
Yeah, he's had a great spring. He's just come out and made plays. He's been playing fast and making plays, and that's what he's got to do. He's been working himself up for some playing time. He's a big guy and he moves well and catches the ball. Those are the things you need.

Q: Who's the toughest defensive back for you to go up against in practice?
DS:
That's a hard one. All of them are good athletes. Both Lorenzo (Sims) and (Gerett) Burl have been doing a great job. Lorenzo's toe is hurting him (he's been practicing with a broken toe), but he's been working hard. I thought at the end of last season, he was playing his best. But both of those guys are great players. Hopefully, Lorenzo can get healthy and get back to 100 percent.

Q: Tell me about the farm you grew up on.
DS:
I grew up on a farm in Holyoke. We have about 4,000 acres and raise corn and wheat.

Q: What's harder: A day's work on the farm or two-a-day foottball practices in August?
DS:
During the winter you're working on the machinery. It's sort of dirty work, but it's not too hard. But you get into the summer and you're hauling a gear box to a sprinkler on a 100-degree day with 100-percent humidity in the corn field – that's a pretty tough day. I'd say that tops everything right there.

Q: Will you spend time on the farm at home over the summer?
DS:
Yeah. We have wheat harvest towards the end of June and into July. It's always a family deal; everybody goes home and helps harvest the crop. So I'll be home then at the end of June or the beginning of July. It depends how the crop matures this year.

Q: So your two brothers (Aaron and Russell, who both played football at Colorado State) will be there too?
DS:
Yeah. Everybody comes back. Aaron's actually farming right now. My other brother is heading out to law school at Nebraska. It's pretty funny, we've touched CSU and Nebraska both.

Q: Do you guys every get into it over the different schools?
DS:
No. They've been great. Of course, they have pride in their alma mater, and I would expect them to. That's the same way I'm going to be. But at the same time, they've supported me 100 percent. My family's great.

Spring Game on tap
By Friday's practice, workers had brought in bleachers that line the west and south edges of the north practice fields, where Saturday's spring game will take place.

A Healthy Kids Day event, which includes skill and fitness stations for those 6 to 13 years old, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the practice fields. Kids will receive t-shirts and lunch. An autograph session with CU football players is also planned, and the first 300 kids will be allowed to stretch with the team at 12:30.

The spring game, which pits the offense vs. the defense, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Parking in the lot adjacent to the practice fields is free, but officials expect it to fill up. It will be closed once it is full.

O'Neal out
Starting offensive tackle Clint O'Neal missed practice Friday after being taken to the hospital to treat an infection he developed in his finger. At first, the infection was thought to be staph infection, but doctor's found that wasn't the case. Gary Barnett said O'Neal will be fine, but will miss Saturday's spring game.

O'Neal's absence leaves the Buffs shorthanded along the offensive line for the planned 80-play scrimmage.

"We're only going to have eight linemen, so that's going to be a struggle," Barnett said. "It means Gary Moore and (Tyler) Polumbus will get a lot of work in tomorrow."

Fox plans segment
Fox Sports Rocky Mountain plans to put microphones on two players and Coach Barnett during Saturday's spring game. Barnett did not know Friday which players would be miced up. FSRM will also conduct in-game interviews on the sidelines and produce either a special or segment for their television station.


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