Buffs Get Through Situational Practice

The Buffs struggled through their yearly situational practice on Friday at Folsom Field. Inside, some practice notes, including Gary Barnett's comment on the Mell Holliday situation, a look at fullback Brendan Schaub and some news on freshmen Gardner McKay, Kevin Moyd and their NCAA Clearinghouse issues.

Colorado conducted an extended practice at Folsom Field Friday. The practice was intended to give players the chance to work on unique game situations when clock management is crucial, as well as special teams situations such as onsides kicks, punting against a full rush, and quick field goals.

It was a sloppy practice, but head coach Gary Barnett said that's always the case with this kind of practice.

After the practice, the team, in full uniform, ran over a dozen 80-yard sprints, then called it a day. They will have the next two days off before beginning game week preparations on Monday for the Sept. 3 game with Colorado State (1:30 p.m.).

Schaub could play crucial role
On Thursday, the team learned that No. 3 tailback Mell Holliday was ineligible. (see note below). One player that may affect directly is fullback senior Brendan Schaub. If Lawrence Vickers, the team's starting fullback, is called on to play much tailback, Schaub will likely see action at fullback in CU's two-back sets.

That's fine with Schaub, the former transfer from Whittier College, a small private school near Los Angeles. Schaub's performance this August has left coaches confident in their depth at fullback. And it led to a reward for the 22-year old.

On Aug. 18, Schaub thought he had messed up. He and his teammates were returning to the Dal Ward Center after spending the morning helping CU freshmen move into their dormitory rooms.

"Coach Barnett said, ‘Hey Schaub. I need to see you,'" Schaub said. "I thought I was in trouble."

He wasn't.

"He said, ‘We've decided to put you on scholarship. You've had a great camp.'"

Schaub said the news came as a great relief.

"It was probably the best day of my life so far," he said. "It's a team game, but getting a scholarship means they recognize you as an individual. It was a pretty big deal for me and my family."

He played football and lacrosse at Whittier, as he had done at Aurora's Overland High School. But Whittier was known more for its lacrosse than football, so Schaub transferred and walked on at CU, looking for more of a challenge. He came to CU at 210 pounds. These days, he's playing at 245. He credits Greg Finnegan's program for his increase in stature – and the encouragement and example of a couple of teammates.

"There's days it doesn't look good as a walk-on," Schaub said. "There's days it doesn't look like you're ever going to play. But my friends, Joe Klopfenstein and Paul Creighton, my two best friends, said, ‘Stick with it.' They were so much bigger and stronger than me. Then finally I got to their level in the weightroom. I had seen their dedication. That brought me up."

Holliday in wait mode
Tailback Mell Holliday said Friday afternoon he hopes the NCAA will grant him a waiver to play this fall for the Buffs. Holliday had been named the No. 3 tailback by head coach Gary Barnett last Saturday, but earlier this week the junior from Omaha learned he was ruled not eligible by the NCAA. Holliday said he would stay in school and with the team either way.

See related story: Holliday Hopes Appeal Favors Him

After Friday's practice, Barnett did not sound confident that Holliday would be reinstated.

"I don't give that a lot of hope for coming through," he said. "It really threw us for a loop because he was our third (tailback)."

McKay and Moyd have NCAA Clearinghouse issues
Colorado true freshman Gardner McKay out of Crenshaw High School has not practiced since Monday because he has not yet been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, head coach Gary Barnett said Friday.

Neither has freshman running back Kevin Moyd, from Miami Northwestern, for the same reason.

According to Barnett, both are eligible to play but both players' high schools were lax in getting the players' transcripts to the NCAA Clearinghouse.

The Clearinghouse looked at Moyd's paperwork Friday, and he will be able to practice Monday, Barnett said. But the Clerainghouse has not yet read McKay's transcript, even though it's been turned in. Once it's been read, McKay will have to sit out two penalty days (for late paperwork), then he will be OK'd to practice and play.

Barnett said he didn't know when the Clearinghouse would read McKay's paperwork and OK him to play.

"In that business, it's an 8 to 5 job," Barnett said. "They don't stay up late to read your transcript."

McKay had been running with the second team at cornerback. Moyd was the No. 4 tailback.

Barnett said the team has not completely settled on its secondary personnel for nickel and dime looks. He said that linebacker Brian Iwuh, who used to play safety, could fill the role if needed. … Five new walk-ons were invited to join the program for the fall after tryouts earlier this week. …Several players missed Friday's practice. Among them, Edwin Harrison had the flu…Gerett Burl has a hamstring issue …Dominique Brooks is still nursing his high ankle sprain …

BuffStampede Top Stories