Monday Practice Notes

One of last season's starting cornerbacks, senior Gerett Burl, has again been suspended from the CU football team for violating unspecified team rules. Also inside, notes from Monday's practice.

Gerett Burl has again been suspended from the team for violating unspecified team rules. Burl missed the first two weeks of spring ball on suspension, returned last week (though he didn't wear pads until Friday's scrimmage), then was absent again Monday.

Head coach Dan Hawkins said the suspension was "indefinite." However, when asked of Burl's chances to come back to the team, he pulled out a movie reference.

"You ever watch that movie ‘Dumb and Dumber?'" Hawkins said.

In the movie, Jim Carrey's character asks the woman of his dreams if she'd ever consider him as a boyfriend. The woman says he's got a one-in-a-million chance.

Carrey's character says: "So, yer sayin' there's a chance?'

Hawkins repeated that phrase, then added: "That would be about the chance (Burl's) going to get, right there."

• Wide receiver Tim Lemon will not return to the Buffaloes. The former pro baseball player who walked on to the team last August had a death in his family and went back to California over spring break. His wife and young daughter still live in California, and Hawkins said Lemon decided to hang up the cleats over the break. Hawkins said he's encouraging Lemon to return to Boulder to finish up the semester of school, but he would no longer play football.

• Another wide receiver, freshman Jarrell Yates, is still bothered by a knee issue and will not practice anymore this spring. The move will also help him focus on academics. Hawkins said Yates isn't in trouble academically, but can use the time off to get ahead in that department.

• Senior Mell Holliday has made a move and is running No. 2 at tailback.

"He's been very impressive in all his opportunities," Hawkins said. "He's a very physical runner. He's probably the most physical guy we've got back there."

• It's looking doubtful that quarterback James Cox will participate in Saturday's spring game (thumb). Blake Mackey won't.

• Future Buffalo offensive lineman Bill Boyer (Green Mountain) was at Monday's practice.

• Also at the practice was Rangeview running back Corey Nabors, who led the state of Colorado (5A) in rushing in 2005 as a senior. He was wearing a CU T-shirt and was very friendly with CU players and coaches. Asked after practice if Nabors was going to walk on at CU in the fall, Dan Hawkins said he couldn't comment on the situation.

• A small crew from ESPN was at practice filming for an upcoming special. They had a boom mike and camera stuck in the middle of huddles and drills all afternoon/evening. Hawkins said that while it's probably good positive publicity, he's not terribly fond of being followed around that closely by a camera in practice.

"I really don't like that," Hawkins said. "You feel unnatural because sometimes you think it precludes you from saying what you want to say. It's always kind of difficult. But the fact that they're here and are going to do a feature on the Buffs I think is a good thing."

• Senior Marcus Jones looks like a different player than in years past. He's moving in drills with a better pace and is more physical.

• A bit of irony in the defensive line, and a testament to its thin depth – when coach Romeo Bandison hollers for the freshmen to move a sled after a drill, George Hypolite, Maurice Lucas and Taj Kaynor jump to it. What's funny is that Hypolite and Lucas — who both played last fall as true freshmen — are among the most experienced players along the defensive line right now.

• The Buffs are doing something different than the past few years on kickoff return. They're dropping five blockers back to form a wall and running the return man straight up the middle. The past few years, they've had the two outside blockers on that back line criss-cross and try and take out the opponent's fastest cover men. The new, more traditional tactic makes more sense and could help spring the return man. Hugh Charles' straight-ahead speed could be a big weapon here.

• Linebackers coach Brian Cabral demoted senior Thaddaeus Washington from the first string earlier in the spring after Washington missed a scrimmage. In his place, walk on R.J. Brown has been getting reps with the ones. Washington had a good scrimmage, however, on Friday and moved back into the first team…until he did something during a drill Monday that displeased Cabral, who quickly inserted Brown alongside Jordon Dizon and Brad Jones. Cabral said afterwards it's been good to see Brown step up to the challenge, and Cabral thinks the walk on can be a solid back up in the fall.

• For the second-consecutive year, placekicker Mason Crosby has been named to the Playboy Preseason All-American team. Crosby, by the way, could very well end up the team's punter in the fall, as well.

• What's becoming more clear in the punting situation is how valuable longsnapper Greg Pace was. The bevy of punters rarely get a clean snap when things go live (or when there is any defense lined up rushing the punter), and it's made for a lot of awkward looking punts.

• Monday's practice ended with a three-play scrimmage between the big guys — the offensive line was on defense and the defensive front was on offense. Defensive end Walter Boye-Doe hit fellow end Abraham Wright with a long touchdown pass, and threw incomplete on two others. The defense had to run wind sprints afterwards.

• The spring game is set for Folsom Field at 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, and the day's festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. with CU's "Healthy Kids Day," a 90-minute interactive experience for kids 13-and-under on the floor of Folsom Field. Players will sign autographs, and Ralphie will also be there.


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