Lemon Having an Impact

Call it an affect of old age setting in if you want, but forgive Colorado walk-on receiver Tim Lemon if he's still having trouble with his new teammates' names. Lemon, who will turn 25 in September, comes to Colorado after six years of minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals' organization. Inside, we hear how things are going for the wide receiver, and how he's already had a positive impact on the team.

At 6-2, 205 pounds, Tim Lemon is one of the more physical receivers in CU's August camp. And he's drawn attention from Darian Hagan, the offensive assistant coach who works closely with the receivers, for his willingness to block.

On Friday, Lemon said his main objective is to continue to learn the pass routes, so that he can continue to feel more comfortable, allow his abilities to emerge and help the team. Hagan agreed that's Lemon's main task right now – learning the offense.

But Lemon's presence has already had a positive impact on his fellow receivers. Hagan relayed a scenario that unfolded in a recent practice, when the receivers were "messing around" and not taking things as seriously as Hagan wanted them too.

"He pulled them aside and talked to them about being a professional," Hagan said. "He said when you get on the field, it's time to go to work.

"When Coach tells them that, they really don't appreciate it. It's just Coach being overbearing. One of their own colleagues telling them, they stepped up and had a great practice."

The following is a brief interview with Lemon following Friday's practice. Again, be forgiving of the team's elder statesman if he's not quite got all his teammates' names down.

BSN: Do you feel like a football player yet?
Tim Lemon:
It's starting to come around. It's taken a little longer than I thought, but I'm starting to feel that quick burst come back and getting in and out of my routes. I'm just learning the plays -- that's what it's all about right now, just trying to learn the offense.

BSN: From the first couple days until now, it seems like you're getting more comfortable.
TL:
Yeah, you're confidence comes from what you know. When you know the plays, you feel comfortable to run them. When you're going up to the line and are saying, "I think I run an out here"…You know what I mean? You're not comfortable to be yourself. So learning the plays and learning the concepts, that's allowed my ability to come out a little more.

I'm still not anywhere near where I want to be, but I'm starting to get there.

BSN: What are your expectations for this fall? As far as playing time, that kind of thing.
TL:
It's very hard to tell right now. We have a lot of good receivers out there. Alvin Barnett and Reggie Joseph are who I'm competing with. They're both good players and they know their plays. I'm just coming in as an older guy trying to learn the plays and mix my way in and hopefully try to help the team in some way.

BSN: Tell me about the guys you go up against in practice every day, the defensive backs. How are they doing?
TL:
We have a great defense. Hands down, we do. They battle with us day in and day out. They're up on us, bumping us. They're definitely making me push to the next level quicker.

I came here and I didn't know what to expect. I was ready as much as I could be, but I saw they were bumping right away. So I said, ‘OK, action right away.' They're teaching me to use my hands. They're tough. We've got some tough corners.

We've got some guys who can play. I mean, 22, who's 22?

BSN: Lorenzo.
TL:
Lorenzo. He's a great back. Also we have that incoming freshman. I don't even know his name.

BSN: Gardner McKay.
TL:
Yeah. Exactly. He's good. (laughs) I'm still trying to learn the names.

But we have a great defensive group back there.

BSN: What about the quarterbacks , the top four guys. Do they throw a different ball? Can you tell a difference between them?
TL:
They're similar. But Brian White has some zip on his ball. He really has some zip. All of them have great touch. We're pretty stacked at the quarterback position with Joel (Klatt) leading it. (James) Cox is a great quarterback also. Also, the fourth guy.

BSN: Bernard?
TL:
Oh, Bernard. Bernard (Jackson) was actually the guy I was talking about who has the zip. Yeah, Bernard has the zip. Brian has great placement. He's a big framed guy. They're all good.

BSN: What about Boulder. How are you taking to Boulder?
TL:
It's been nice. It's beautiful. Really nice people. I've noticed the people here are different than in L.A. (where Lemon is from). They actually say ‘hi.' It's a little different in L.A. Everybody's trying to make money. But it's been a good experience. My wife came out with my daughter and they liked it. It's a great place.

BSN: So, you're having fun?
TL:
Yeah, I'm having a good time. Like I said, I'm just trying to find my place on the team so I can help out.


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