Practice Report: March 13

Inside, a practice report from CU's first spring scrimmage under new head coach Dan Hawkins. Also, some news on senior defensive end Alex Ligon.

If there was any notion that Hawk Love means anything less than hard work in adverse conditions, it was dispelled Monday during Colorado's first spring practice under new head coach Dan Hawkins.

The Buffs went through a spirited practice, nearly three hours long, amid frigid temperatures in Boulder, ending the session well past sundown as the thermometer dropped below 30 degrees.

But the tempo was crisp and Hawkins didn't back down from the weather.

"That's life," he said. "And I'm happy to be alive, and it was fun to play football.

"I liked the way we ran around. We had some good hustle and guys were working hard. I thought it was a good start."

The session was divided into 32 periods, clear for everyone to see on the new portable timer clock at the practice field. Players divided into units by position and went through drills for much of the session before coming together for some scrimmage work late.

The team was noticeably vocal during the scrimmage situations.

"I want our guys to enjoy themselves," Hawkins said. "I totally believe a guy that's enjoying himself is going to play better than a guy who's going through drudgery."

The coach emphasized it was a good beginning, but he wants consistency.

"It's not just about one day," Hawkins said. "Nobody wants a good husband one day out of the week, they want him seven days a week. We've got to strap it on and be consistent every day and every scrimmage.

"It's one thing to come out and be excited on the first day, but we need to be excited in Day 10 and Day 14."

• Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mark Helfrich may not decide on a quarterback starter until mid-August.

• Late practices are not Hawkins' preference. But the team will likely go from 5-7 or 7:30 all spring. That's because too many players have late afternoon practices during the time slot that's preferable to practice.

Hawkins reiterated the reason the team will not practice on Saturday's in the spring (sticking to a M-T-TH-F schedule) is to give players and coaches the weekends off.

• The players and coaches on both sides of the ball are getting used to new schemes, as they've combined things from coaches who've brought ideas from different places.

"It's all very new (for the players)," Hawkins said. "And to some degree some of it's new to us. We've kind of combined some things on both offense and defense."

• Senior wide out Blake Mackey is coming off knee surgery that caused him to miss 2005. He wore a blue jersey Monday, participating in drills and scrimmage situations. The senior is probably the team's fastest wide receiver.

He came up limping after one route near the end of practice, but was able to continue.

Hawkins said, "We need that guy," about Mackey.

• Senior defensive end Alex Ligon tore a pectoral muscle last week and it appears he'll miss all of spring.

• Redshirt-freshman defensive end Sam Zimmerer didn't participate fully Monday and is reportedly suffering from an illness. No word on if he'll be full-go at any point this spring.

• Offensive linemen Tyler Polumbus and Jack Tipton are not allowed to have contact, but were participating in non-contact work Monday.

• Good news is that receiver Jarrell Yates, once thought to miss spring, was practicing near full speed.

• Redshirt-freshman safety Joel Adams is once again walking on this spring. He is on scholarship on the ski team, and was an alternate this past weekend when the Buffs claimed the national championship in Steamboat Springs. The ski team stayed at Adams' family ranch in Steamboat during the championships.,

Asked if it was colder skiing, or practicing football on Monday, Adams replied, "It was definitely colder playing football today."

• Those temperatures, and the poor lighting at the practice field, combined for a lot of dropped balls during the practice.

Reggie Foster has moved back to safety. Paul Creighton will concentrate on tight end, and not play fullback.

• Former Buff linebacker, and current Carolina Panther, Sean Tufts was at practice.

Patrick Devenny isn't 265 pounds. He looks a fit 215, and is playing quarterback, contrary to rumors.

Hawk Quote of the Day
"We all want a spot on the planet, we all want a slice of the pie. My promise to those guys is if they come out and bump their hump and do the right thing, and if they can do something well consistently, I'm going to get them a shot, I'm going to get them in there. That's not just a special teams role, that's on offense and defense too." — Dan Hawkins talking about how he promises to use any player at any position he may prove himself worthy in.

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