CU Camp Countdown: Question 9

Colorado opens its 2008 August camp on Monday. BSN is counting down the days with the 10 biggest questions going into August practices. Inside, Question No. 9.

9) Can Michael Sipili push Jeff Smart for a starting position?

Sipili is the most feared hitter on the CU team. At least according to the players on the Colorado offense.

Senior receiver Patrick Williams puts it this way: "If you have a chance to get away from (Sipili), that would be your best move. I don't give it up to too many people. I feel like I could take most of our DBs and most of our linebackers. But Mike, he's just so big."

Thing is, most of the offensive players in the Big 12 have probably never heard of Sipili. He was in on 153 plays as a true freshman in 2006, and was set to build his own House of Pain and invite opponents over for supper on Saturdays last fall. But he sat out the season because of off-field problems.

Then, Sipili missed several practices in the spring because of getting behind in some studies. And when he was practicing, the fact he was behind in the "where to be/how to get there" aspect of the game was apparent.

Meanwhile, junior Jeff Smart had a heckuva season in 2007 at mike linebacker, the same position Sipili plays. Smart is undersized at 210 pounds, but he's quick and is probably the team's best linebacker at knowing where to be/how to get there. He's a playmaker who doesn't plan on sitting the pine this fall.

In the end, having Smart and Sipili push each other this August isn't a bad situation for linebackers coach Brian Cabral to have on his hands.

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