Coaches Like Borders' Potential

Inside, some notes from following Tuesday's practice, including a look at how some of the younger offensive linemen are doing.

Looking Ahead: CU will lose two starters and two backups off its offensive line after this season, including centers Mark Fenton and Bryce MacMartin, and guards Brian Daniels and Jack Tipton.

Among the offensive linemen not slated to play this season, tackle Quinton Borders has stood out. "He's very close to what we need to have success," offensive line coach Chris Strausser told BSN Tuesday. "He moves his feet very well, he's got explosive hips and he's very athletic. Really, he's been a positive surprise for us."

Strausser also likes what he's seen from true freshman Wes Palazzi. Though he's scheduled to redshirt Palazzi's been working with the second team at guard these days because of depth issues at the position. The work with the twos is giving Palazzi lots of good experience.

Redshirt-freshman Jeremy Hauck is still probably a ways away from contributing, but he's proven to be a hard worker. Fellow redshirt-freshmen Devin Head and Paul Backowski have already played this fall, and could continue to do so in certain situations. Strausser said it's that time of year where the younger players who don't get a lot of reps in games have to work hard to get better. He said he wants the younger linemen to pick it up a notch in that regard.

As for center, the million-dollar question is who will play there in 2007. Both Fenton and MacMartin will be done with their eligibility after this season. Strausser will likely have to experiment by moving some people around in the spring. Daniel Sanders is probably the first candidate right now. Palazzi will probably also get a look at center.

"We're going to have some good competition next year from a few of those younger guys," Strausser said.

• When freshman longsnapper Justin Drescher makes the trip to Columbia in a Buffs uniform, he'll be playing against a former teammate. Dresher was a junior offensive guard on Southlake Carroll High two seasons ago when Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel was the senior starter. Carroll went undefeated and won the Texas state championship that season.

Drescher isn't surprised by the success Daniel has had at Missouri, where Daniel has thrown for 1,020 yards and rushed for 131 in his first season as starter.

"He's a good guy," Drescher said. "He competes real hard and he likes to win, just like any other guy.

"He was a great leader (in high school). He has a lot of confidence in his abilities. Now that he's the man (at MU), he likes that. He's a great player."

Meanwhile, Drescher has played well as the Buffaloes' longsnapper on punts, field goals and point after attempts.

• One could argue that Colorado is the best 0-4 team in the country. But what's probably indisputable is that the Buffs are the loosest 0-4 team in the country. This week's evidence? At the end of Tuesday's practice, the team was working on field goals when — unbeknownst to the players — trainers had snuck dozens of water balloons onto the practice field hidden in Gatorade coolers.

A couple of trainers and most of the assistant coaches suddenly converged on the players and let loose a barrage of balloons, scattering the players like ants. Several players retaliated by grabbing into the coolers for water balloons themselves. By the looks of things, running backs coach Darian Hagan got the worst of it.


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