Evan Harrington has a big number to fill. One of the better linebackers in recent memory at Colorado – Thaddaeus Washington – wore the same No. 49 jersey Harrington will wear this year during his first season with the Buffs after transferring from College of the Canyons in California.
Harrington has similar size and mentality to Washington which should get CU fans excited about his future in Boulder.
Harrington is expected to play one of two inside linebacker positions in the Colorado defense and might be tough to keep off the field once he really begins understanding the defense. He said he is already feeling good about the system with camp in its second day.
"I think I've learned the basic stuff," Harrington said. "I'm starting to learn where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing. There is always room to get better. I think I'm just open. I'm ready to learn."
The 5-foot-11, 225-pound junior said veteran players such as Michael Sipili and Jon Major have been very willing to help him through the adjustment and teach subtle tricks as well as his assignments. Harrington said he prefers the Will position, currently manned by Major. It is the spot he played the past two years in junior college.
"My expectation is to come in and help wherever coaches need me," Harrington said. "I just feel like I have to learn the play book, of course, and just establish their trust and make plays. If I make plays, I have no doubt that I will probably be on the field."
One of the most appealing parts of joining the Colorado program for Harrington was the opportunity to learn from linebackers coach Brian Cabral, who has been at CU since 1989 and has coached numerous players to NFL careers. Harrington has three years to play two.
"He just expects full effort and for us to give it our best," Harrington said. "And learn the play book. That's the key. Know what we're doing out there. Don't just be running out there like a chicken with our head cut off."