Making a move

Pens moved a little faster and reporters' eyebrows perked up when Colorado coach Dan Hawkins answered a question after Wednesday's practice about Eugene Goree and his move this week from defense to offense.

Coaches desperate for more physical play from their guards moved Eugene Goree from defensive tackle to guard just to see what he might be able to offer.

One day after the switch, Hawkins was already talking about the possibility of putting Goree into the fray as early as this Saturday on the road against No. 16 Kansas.

Goree said the only experience on offense he has had since before high school was practicing occasionally in high school as a backup center.

Coaches want to redshirt true freshmen Bryce Givens and Ryan Dannewitz, but there are at least six other offensive linemen who can play guard, including current starters Devin Head and Blake Behrens.

So why move Goree? When asked why he would consider playing Goree over players such as Head, Behrens, Shawn Daniels, Ethan Adkins, Keenan Stevens and David Clark, Hawkins left little doubt who he thinks the best option is.

"We're just trying to get some help in there," Hawkins said. "We are. We're trying to play the best people in there and trying to get some fortification going on."

Goree, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound redshirt freshman from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was just starting to get a feel for playing and contributing in his few opportunities on defense this season. The defensive line features three seniors in George Hypolite, Brandon Nicolas and Maurice Lucas, who eat up most of the playing time.

Goree said he's happy about the move because it gives him a chance to contribute and he has been told the door will be left open for a possible move back to defense in the offseason.

"We're just rolling with what I've got right now and seeing how I take to it," Goree said.

Coaches like that Goree brings badly needed power and athleticism to the position, something the current group of guards lack in one complete package. They are apparently willing to trade inexperience for desire and the ability to hold ground.

The Buffs are struggling on offense right now and haven't been able to run or pass consistently all season. CU is looking for better pass protection for quarterback Cody Hawkins and bigger holes for running backs to run through.

Fans shouldn't be surprised to see Goree in the game soon. If not this week, then likely Oct. 18 at home against Kansas State. He has been receiving repetitions already with the first-team offense.

"He is picking it up probably about as well as a guy could," Hawkins said. "He's very gifted in there now. He's got a punch. He's athletic in there and he's a big dude. He's 300 pounds plus. If he continues to figure things out, he'll be a nice player in there.


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