Heir Apparent

Outside linebacker Brad Jones saw action in all 12 of CU's games last season, making 19 tackles as he played behind Brian Iwuh. With Iwuh gone and likely headed to the NFL, Jones, a third-year sophomore, is trying to step forward and put his mark on the position.

Buffalo Sports News: Since last year you've been thought of as the heir apparent to Brian Iwuh at outside linebacker. What was it like working behind him last year?
Brad Jones:
I think it was good that I got to play behind somebody like that – a great player. Iwuh definitely showed me a lot of different things; things coaches can't really teach you. Stuff that only people that are playing the game are going to know. A lot of little things that I'll have advantages from just from playing behind him.

BSN: What kind of stuff?
Jones:
Just things that you see if you look at the (opponent's) stances. Little things that sometimes people don't notice. Stuff that worked for him.

BSN: How much are you weighing right now?
Jones:
About 220.

BSN: Is that what you want to play at in September?
Jones:
Yeah, probably around 220. Maybe a little bit heavier. I like 220, though.

BSN: You were a track guy in high school.
Jones:
Yeah, I was.

BSN: Are you still as fast as you were?
Jones:
I think I'm definitely faster than I was. I always loved track. I miss it a lot.

BSN: Have you thought of running track here?
Jones:
I have, but then I think about, with spring ball I've got to concentrate of football. I wouldn't want to miss out on anything. Track is cool, but I'm here for football.

BSN: How is Coach Cabral treating you? He's coaching your position for the first time this spring, right?
Jones:
Yeah. Coach Cabral and Coach Collins are both coaching it actually. They break the "Sam" linebackers off with Coach Collins for a little bit every day. But it's cool. I like Coach Cabral. Me and Coach Cabral have always got along ever since he recruited me.

BSN: What are you working on specifically this spring?
Jones:
I think I'm working on what everybody's working on right now: Just learning the defense. That's a big jump to wash away the whole defense, everything you knew, and build it back up. It's a lot of stuff.

But I'm working on making sure I know all my assignments so in a game I won't have to think about it – it just comes naturally.

BSN: What's the biggest challenge – the new terminology? Different schemes and plays?
Jones:
All of it. It's new schemes, new assignments, new terminology. New coaches. Really, everything is new. Sometimes, some people revert back to the old terminology. We have to correct them, "No, we don't call it ‘curl flat,' we call it ‘area 1' or ‘area 2.'

But it's cool. I really do like the defense.

BSN: How is it different?
Jones:
It's a lot more of everything. Last year, it was real simple. Everbody's stuff was pretty straightforward. I don't think we ever did any "man." Most of the stuff this year is all man. It's just a lot more stuff.

NOTES
The Buffs got back to practice Monday night after taking the past 10 days off for spring break. The biggest noticeable difference was the team practiced in decent weather, after braving temperatures that often fell below freezing during their first seven practices. Monday's weather was in the 40s. Also, with the time change over the weekend, the Buffs had an hour more of daylight to work in.

• Head coach Dan Hawkins went skydiving over the break and used the experience as a lesson for the team. Before Monday's practice, Hawkins showed a video of his adventure to the Buffaloes. "I don't think there was anyone more scared of doing it than me," Hawkins said. "I think there are a lot of guys who would say, ‘no way.‚ But there is a way. I want our guys to get their minds right and then they can (overcome fears)."

• Senior cornerback Gerett Burl was back at practice Monday after missing the first two weeks for disciplinary reasons.


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