Colorado Practice Report

The Buffs practiced for two hours beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. The reason for the early start was because Saturday also marked the first day of final exams at the university, and several players were scheduled to take finals later in the day. Inside, notes from the practice.

One player who does not have any finals this week is Edwin Harrison. The fifth-year senior had a term paper due recently, and now he's completely done with his studies. He will graduate Dec. 21 with dual degrees in communications and economics.

"Time has flown by," Harrison said. "When you get through, though, it feels really good."

Harrison said he and many of his teammates have been watching film of Alabama, the Buffs' opponent in the Dec. 30 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Maybe more than CU coaches have been able to watch, as coaches been racking up lots of frequent flier miles the past couple weeks on the road recruiting.

The team is sprinkling in game plan for the bowl, but has yet to really focus in on what they'll have ready for the Crimson Tide.

"If you start too soon, the game plan loses its luster a little bit," head coach Dan Hawkins said.

He's seen enough of Alabama, though, to know they're typical of an SEC team, in terms of talent.

"They're fast. Very athletic," Hawkins said. "The good thing about our schedule is we've played some of those (fast) teams. We've seen that."

• With snow and cold weather in Boulder, Colorado has conducted all of its bowl practices so far inside the practice bubble, which was erected in October.

"They did a good job with it," Harrison said. "This place really is awesome. We're able to get the camera (for taping and reviewing) in here. We split the field in half — offense on one side, defense on the other. We get the same thing accomplished that we would outside."

• There are at least six prospects in town this weekend on official visits. They are OT Bryce Givens, QB Tyler Hansen (CU commit), DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, LB Doug Rippy, DE Josh Williams and S E.J. Woods.

In addition, Colorado invited what appeared to be a couple dozen underclassmen prospects, who were also on hand at the morning practice.

The Colorado staff has secured verbal commitments from what, on paper, appears to be a higher caliber of recruit this cycle than in recent years. Asked if getting some high profile commits has a domino effect in recruiting, Hawkins said: "Good players want to play on good teams, good players want to play with good players. That's just the natural order of things. It's definitely part of it."

• It appears linebacker R.J. Brown's career is done. The junior was advised by team doctors this week they don't think it's safe for him to play now, or next year, according to a report in the Daily Camera. Brown has suffered a series of concussions during his playing days, the most recent one coming this season. He hasn't played since the most recent one occurred.

• Bowl practices and games typically give younger players time to grow and get better. But winning a bowl game always pays off.

"You never like to go out on a losing note," Hawkins said.

Plus, history has shown winning a bowl game pays dividends the following season — at least for Colorado. The Buffs are 9-2-1 in season openers following a bowl victory. They are 6-8-1 in openers following a bowl loss.

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