Safety Position Takes A Hit

The bad news coming out of practice Monday was that junior safety Dominique Brooks will probably be out four weeks with a high ankle sprain he suffered in Saturday's scrimmage. Also inside, several players went down in Monday's practice with various ailments on the first day of classes.

Dominique Brooks was in a battle with Tom Hubbard, Tyrone Henderson and Ryan Walters, along with J.J. Billingsley, for the two starting safety spots. Walters had his knee scoped Friday. It was a successful surgery, as doctors found what was causing Walters a problem. Head coach Gary Barnett said Walters would probably be back at practice later this week.

But that may be too late for Walters to make a final push for a starting spot in CU's fisrt game vs. Colorado State Sept. 3. At this point, it looks like Billingsley has one safety spot sewn up, and Hubbard and Henderson will vie for the other spot. Asked who stood out in Saturday's scrimmage after looking at tape since then, Barnett pointed to Billingsley.

"I thought he played particularly well. He had an outstanding scrimmage," Barnett said, before also mentioning freshman linebacker Marcus Burton and junior running backs Mell Holliday and Brendan Schaub.

Billingsley redshirted last season then missed spring after being dismissed from the team for academic reasons.

Monday's practice was the first after Saturday's scrimmage. While he said it went well for the most part, Barnett wasn't a totally happy camper. That's because several players went down with ailments in the afternoon session, which took place on the first day of classes.

"First day of classes, and nobody eats right, to come out here and try to do a Division I practice…They've just got to get back into the swing of things," Barnett said.

A list of those with various ailments included Edwin Harrison (low blood sugar), Daniel Sanders (elbow), Tyler Polumbus (shoulder) and Brian Daniels (cramping).

"It seemed like it went on and on and on and on and on," Barnett said.

With so many offensive linemen out, Barnett said, "Coach Borbely was doing it with band aids out there. A lot of the freshmen got a lot of reps today."

Scrimmage Blues
Barnett spoke further about his frustrations with the fact the Buffs haven't been able to scrimmage as much as they typically do this fall. Because the team lacks experienced depth, and can't afford significant injuries, they've been going ones vs. twos most every time they scrimmage full tackle. That's made it more difficult to really assess where the team is at this point.

"The scrimmage opportunities don't show much because we go ones on twos. And both twos aren't very good," he said. "So the ones don't get anything out of it. … It's a little frustrating right now because of that."

Barnett added that the first-stringers have gone ones vs. ones in non-full tackle drills this August and that's been beneficial.

"I think we're doing OK," he said.

Jordon Dizon (shoulder) should be back this week …Brooks (high ankle), Sept. return…Ryan Walters (knee scoped), back this week….Akarika Dawn practiced Monday.