Stewart off to speedy start

Colorado freshman running back Rodney Stewart has been a big surprise this fall, but he still doesn't think he's played a good game. Find out why inside.

Rodney Stewart suddenly knows what it has been like to be Darrell Scott for the past year. The cell phone has been busy.

People he hadn't heard from in months or even years wanted to reconnect with the young man nicknamed "Speedy" after seeing the true freshman rush for 166 yards on ESPN and help the Colorado Buffaloes beat West Virginia just over a week ago.

"People who ain't never texted me before and people I ain't heard from in a long time," Stewart said. "But it's going to be like that. I just want to keep doing great things and hopefully I get more text messages."

While his cell phone was blowing up late on that Thursday night after the Buffs' win, Stewart was long gone. He had grown up dreaming of playing on ESPN and seeing himself on SportsCenter. As family, friends and acquaintances watched the highlights over and over, he was dreaming again.

Carrying the ball 28 times had taken its toll on the 5-foot-6, 175-pound product of Columbus, Ohio. He left Folsom Field, got something to eat and went straight to sleep.

Stewart isn't too broken up about missing the highlights because he believes more are coming. His chance for an encore comes this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., against an imposing Florida State defense in the Buffs' final nonconference game. And Stewart is far from satisfied.

"I made a couple big mistakes," he said of his performance against the Mountaineers. "Well, not really big ones, but some that could have put the game away earlier. I remember one time I was in the backfield and I was supposed to get the fake and do a five-yard stop and I didn't. We got sacked and the quarterback fumbled and we lost a lot of yards."

The highlight Stewart most wants to see is the first time he reaches the end zone. He's done a lot of the grunt work in the Buffs first three games, proving that a diminutive guy can be plenty tough enough to earn the most rugged yards between the tackles. He's a little annoyed that he hasn't scored yet.

His 166 rushing yards against WVU were the third most by a true freshman in CU history, but he's not comfortable saying he has played a good game.

"I still ain't seen the end zone," Stewart said. "When I get to see the end zone and do the same thing I did, then I'll say I had a good game. It's bothering me a lot. I don't know what's keeping me out of the end zone, but I'm going to definitely see it before the season is over."

Stewart was overshadowed in the 2008 CU recruiting class by eight players rated with four stars or better, including fellow freshman running backs Darrell Scott and Ray Polk. In the early going this season, he has been the superior player, though Scott has had his moments and Polk has shown promise.

Stewart said he has enjoyed the way things have worked out. He wouldn't change a thing.

"I rather be high up now than everybody knowing I'm going to come in and do what I'm doing. I think I've made a bigger impression coming out of the blue and everybody's like, ‘Oh, who is this guy?' I like that kind of stuff. It's always been like that. That's good for me."

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