Mell Holliday has been getting a lot of work with the second team offense at tailback, and did so again Monday. Fellow walk-on Maurice Little was getting some reps there too. Hugh Charles and Byron Ellis are 1A and 1B, Barnett said, and were taking turns with the first-team offense.
"It's because we don't have anybody else," Barnett said of Holliday and Little's running with the twos. Bad news, or perhaps a wake-up call for freshman Kevin Moyd. "We don't have anybody else that's stepped up to do what they need to do. Kevin Moyd is coming along real slowly. Those guys are further ahead."
Without the services of a veteran tailback like Bobby Purify, running backs coach Shawn Simms seems to be working hard to develop his unit's pass protection skills. After Lawrence Vickers, the running backs have little experience in protecting the quarterback.
Monday, Simms was turning up the heat on his players in two protection drills. The first featured running backs one-on-one against other running backs. In a later drill, linebackers tried to get to a cone the running back was protecting. Vickers and Charles seem the most game ready in this department, with Ellis not far behind. Simms stopped the drill numerous times to, umm, emphasize the importance of blocking.
Among the linebackers, Brian Iwuh was the most impressive, bull-rushing whoever he went up against and basically overpowering them.
Simms wasn't the only coach getting after players today. In fact, it appears the staff as a whole was turning the knobs just a little higher Monday afternoon. And the intensity spilled over into some of the drills. Offensive lineman Gary Moore and linebacker Joe Sanders had to be separated by teammates. Not 10 seconds later, the two were back at it again. Later, offensive lineman Edwin Harrison and defensive end Alex Ligon got into a tussle and exchanged some heated words before being separated. All in a good day's football practice.
Harrison is still wearing the blue jersey, but he's seeing more and more action each day.
"Well, he's fast."
Vance Washington continues to work with the wide receivers. It's obvious Washington upgrades the speed of the group. And he's got a quick burst – he can get to full speed, probably more quickly than anyone else in the group. However, the former cornerback's hands are still suspect. He's basically learning how to catch the ball.
Asked about Washington, Barnett said, "Well, he's fast. He'll make our corners better."
Safety Ryan Walters had an MRI on his knee which was negative. But it was sore Monday, and he didn't get in a full practice. Ligon was back at full go, as was linebacker Jordon Dizon. Thaddaeus Washington reciveved a stinger, but returned to practice. Dan Goettsch and Tyson DeVree are still wearing blue jerseys. Fellow tight end Riar Geer, was full go for the first time.
First day back for Dizon
Dizon had spent the past week in an orange jersey, nursing a slight shoulder strain. He was back full go Monday.
A year ago, Dizon was turning heads in camp and eventually became the first true freshman ever to start the first game of the season at linebacker for Colorado. Monday, Dizon was one of the last players to leave the field after helping fellow linebacker, and fellow Hawaiin R.J. Brown, with some longsnapping drills. Dizon was also working extra with true freshman Marcus Burton, who is back playing the will spot (Dizon's position), after a spell at buff linebacker.
Q: How is Marcus Burton looking?
Jordon Dizon: He's good. He's really good. He's just got to get the fundamentals down. I didn't have any fundamentals (this time last year). He's just got to get his fundamentals and his reads down and he'll be a flat-out great player.
Q: Have you been talking to him and tutoring him along the past couple weeks?
JD: Yeah. Actually the whole summer since he's been here. I've been mentoring him. Me and Akarika (Dawn). We were teaching him the whole summer, then he went to buff (linebacker). Now he came back. He's doing excellent.
Q: When did he move back over to will linebacker?
JD: When I went down, then Kyle (Griffith) went down. Marcus went right in there (with the second team) and did what he had to do. He's ahead of where I was last year.
Q: So is he back to will for good now?
JD: I hope. He's good competition for me and Akarika. Competition's just going to make us better, so I hope he stays.
Q: How'd your practice go today, first day back in a while?
JD: You know, I kind of cheated today. I had fresh legs. But I had a really good practice. Akarika has been really nice to me, mentoring me, teaching me his game. He's a senior, and I'm glad to have him here.
Q: Your weight, you're up to 230?
JD: Yeah, I'm getting up there. I didn't practice for five days and I was eating all this food. At one point I got up to 231. But I weighed 228 today. My girlfriend made me cut down on my eating.
Q: What are you hoping to play at?
JD: It's hard to keep on the weight, especially for me. I eat different types of food. My staple is rice and we don't eat a lot of rice (at CU). That's my high-calorie intake. But I'm hoping to stay in the 220s because it makes you more durable, you can take more hits.
Q: Which game are you most looking forward to playing this year?
JD: I would have to say either Texas or Miami. Miami is a big opportunity to be in the spotlight, or whatever. But Texas is in our conference. And they are ranked higher than Miami. So that's a great opportunity for this team to get in the spotlight.