Thursday Practice Notes

Inside, notes from Thursday's practice.

• The Buffs held their final spring practice on Thursday in preparation for Saturday's annual spring game, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Folsom Field. Head coach Dan Hawkins said he's looking forward to Saturday's scrimmage, which he expected to last roughly 80 plays and which will be divided into four quarters and feature a traditional offense vs. defense. The game will be broadcast on KOA Radio. A television broadcast, featuring Tim Neveritt and former Buff quarterback Joel Klatt as on-air talent, will be taped and aired at a later date.

"I love to see guys come out and make plays," Hawkins said. "Hopefully, some people will come out (to watch) and we will have a decent turnout with people in the stands to raise the anxiety level a little bit. There are some guys where the lights go on and they go on. There are other guys where the lights go on and they go off. You never know exactly how that wiring takes place, but you need to see guys step up in those instances and make those plays."

• CU is sponsoring a "Healthy Kids Day" event prior to the spring game. It begins at 10:30 a.m. at Folsom and is geared for kids 13 and under. Kids will then be allowed to stretch with the team at Folsom prior to the game. Players and coaches will be available for autographs afterwards.

• After he has each practice this week, Hawkins was upbeat about the progress the team has made late in the spring session.

"I think we have really made some huge strides this last week," Hawkins said. "I like (the team's) attitude, I like where we are going and I like their buy-in. All of that is just awesome. When you get to this point your senior leaders have to do a great job of making sure the team (carries over and) has a great summer."

The coach also praised his players for making the transition from the previous coaching staff to the current one.

"Their acceptance and their attitudes have exceeded my expectations," Hawkins said of his team. "These guys have just jumped in and said ‘You‚re our coach, let's go.' They have been that way to our whole staff."

• When fans arrive at Folsom Saturday, they'll notice some new graphics. The words "University of Colorado" have been added in large letters to the upper façade of the east Folsom Field stands, with the words "1990 National Champions" in large letters on the lower façade.

• Hawkins and his staff hosted at least eight in and out-of-state high school prospects Thursday, all of whom got a tour of the facilities, sat in on meetings and watched practice.

• Thursday's session ended with another quirky drill that pitted offensive players vs. defensive players in a golf chipping contest. Hawkins brought a couple of golf clubs and had players alternating to try and chip the closest to a player wearing an orange jersey about 40 yards away. Junior linebacker Joe Sanders won the tie-breaker for the defense, although his swing — like most of the others — was not exactly PGA worthy.

"I want them to have fun and I want them to enjoy it out here," Hawkins said. "I don't want it to be such a grind; I want them to come out with a sense of wonderment of what might happen today. I love just throwing them a little curveball and making it fun and exciting."


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