Light Coming On For Moyd?

Wouldn't you know it? Reporter notices tailback stands out — maybe for the first time in his year and a half in a Colorado uniform — during scrimmage on Friday. Reporter makes mental note to do a story on said tailback. Then...

Reporter requests to talk to tailback and his position coach after practice Monday, envisioning a story about the young kid who's finally growing up and living up to the potential people saw when he was in high school in Florida.

Then, as team breaks into their respective position units after practice, said tailback gets a tongue lashing from position coach. Alone, he goes through a grueling drill, diving on a football every five yards for the length of a practice field while his fellow running backs watch.

Turns out, Kevin Moyd fumbled the ball in a scrimmage situation Monday. His coach, Darian Hagan, was just showing him some tough love, making him dive the lenght of the field. It's the same thing Hagan's been doing since Moyd arrived on campus 20 months ago.

But despite Monday's minor setback — it's worth noting Moyd's fumble was only the second time a running back has fumbled during scrimmage play this spring — Moyd may have turned a corner, figuratively. If he keeps it up, he may get the opportunity to turn the corner, literally, on game days this fall.

"He's had some pretty good scrimmages," Hagan said. "Friday he had a great scrimmage, both in pass protection and in the running game. He's starting to master the little things."

Then there's the step backwards. Moyd forgot to take his playbook with him when he went home for spring break. On the first practice after the break, it showed. He was back in Hagan's doghouse, where he'd spent much of the past year.

To his credit, Hagan said, Moyd studied hard over the next two days. By Friday, he was primed for the good scrimmage he turned in.

Moyd said the turning point came for him last week.

"I had a bad practice on that Monday (after break)," Moyd said. "I talked to Coach Hagan the next day. He told me I've got to step it up and keep going. I don't have time to drop back. I took what he said and made up my mind I'm not going to go down that road because I've been doing that for at least a year and a half.

"I'm ready to stay focused and get what I came here to get."

Moyd earned some playing time on special teams last season and had some success in kick coverage. But he came to Colorado to play with the ball in his hands.

"My goal for this year is to definitely break into the rotation," he said. "I know once I get on the field some great things can happen."

He's added 15 pounds of muscle to his 5-foot-8 frame since he came to Boulder. The third-year sophomore-to-be has the kind of low-to-the-ground running style that allows him to hide behind linemen. He's shown a knack for finding holes when he's been given carries this spring.

But if Moyd is to see the backfield this fall, he'll need to continue improving his focus. After Monday's fumble, Hagan probably won't be doling out any praise to the youngster anytime soon. He learned that lesson the past few days.

"Once you start giving him praise, he comes out here and he fumbles," Hagan said, shaking his head. "The thing is, I had just told him, ‘You've gotta put two hands on the ball.' Then, next play…

"He's starting to get it. He has lapses that you wish he wouldn't have at certain times. But overall I'm pleased with him. I can't tell him that, because then he'll go in the tank."

Hagan wants to use Moyd this fall, you can tell. Good thing the coach has got two guys he can point to as examples.

"(Moyd) is starting to understand that if he wants to play, he's got two guys he needs to emulate – that's Hugh (Charles) and Byron (Ellis)," Hagan said.

Moyd said he's never second guessed his decision to play college ball 2,000 miles west of his home in Florida. But he's getting hungry. Hungry enough to stay focused and earn playing time? Time will tell.

"I haven't had a carry in a game since I was in high school," he said. "Last year I played special teams and that was kind of cool, but I wasn't satisfied. I'm just trying to get into the rotation now."


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