Aug. 21 Morning Practice Notes

Inside, notes from Tuesday morning's Colorado football practice.

• Head coach Dan Hawkins said Tuesday morning's session was "sluggish." The team has officially begun implementing the game plan for the Sept. 1 CSU game. Hawkins said a sluggish practice is typical when lots of new things are thrown at a youngish team. He expects the tempo to improve beginning with this evening's practice, which is scheduled for 8 p.m.

• Freshman wide receiver Josh Smith is expected to be released from Boulder Community Hospital Tuesday after being held there since he bruised a kidney during Saturday morning's scrimmage. Hawkins said it's still unknown how long Smith will be out of practice because of the injury.

• No decisions have been made in terms of awarding available scholarships to walkons. Hawkins indicated at least four players as being up for a scholarship, including PK Tyler Cope, WR Cody Crawford, S D.J. Dykes and WR Scott McKnight. McKnight, Dykes and Cope (as kickoff man) have a chance to be in the starting lineup vs. CSU.

Asked specifically about McKnight, the redshirt freshman who sat out last year with a broken ankle, Hawkins said, "He's a baller. The guy makes plays. The guy knows how to get open and the guy knows how to use his body and make plays."

• Hawkins Quote of the Day: When asked if he was surprised how quickly McKnight returned to top shape after breaking his ankle a year ago, Hawkins said: "I think a lot of those guys that have a healthy ambience, that have a cheerful countenance, that are optimistic guys — those guys, for whatever reason, either tend to not get hurt, or when they get hurt their downtime is minimal. He's one of those guys. I think from the day that he did get hurt, he sort of rejected the notion that he was hurt, and forced himself to be healthy and worked through all the rehab and pain of getting himself back. It doesn't surprise me at all."

• Several players held out of Saturday's scrimmage with minor injuries practiced Tuesday, including d-linemen George Hypolite, Maurice Lucas and Jason Brace.

Colorado State running back Kyle Bell is reportedly having a good camp in Fort Collins. Bell had a terrific year in 2005, then suffered a season-ending injury prior to CSU's opener with Colorado in 2006. A healthy Bell is expected to revitalize CSU's run game, which was mediocre or worse last season.

Asked about Bell, Hawkins said, "He's a great football player. When you have a guy like that on your football team, that means a lot. Not only from a production standpoint, but from a psychological standpoint. When you have those type of proven players on your club, it gives you a bunch of confidence."

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