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Buffs Hold Last Practice of the Spring

Apr 13, 2006

BOULDER - The University of Colorado football team concluded spring practices Thursday evening as Head Coach Dan Hawkins and the rest of the Buffs set their sights toward the annual spring game on Saturday.


            "I think we have really made some huge strides this last week," Hawkins said. "I like (the team's) attitude, I like where we are going and I like their buy-in. All of that is just awesome. When you get to this point your senior leaders have to do a great job of making sure the team (carries over and) has a great summer."


            The spring game, to be held on Folsom Field at 1:00 on Saturday, will feature an informal offense vs. defense format. The total length will span roughly 80 plays, with a brief intermission in the middle and special teams work mixed in throughout.


            Hawkins is excited about leading his team into Folsom Field for the first time, but instead of looking to demolish an opponent, he will be evaluating players who may help him accomplish that come fall.


            "I love to see guys come out and make plays," Hawkins said. "Hopefully some people will come out (to watch) and we will have a decent turnout with people in the stands to raise the anxiety level a little bit. There are some guys where the lights go on and they go on. There are other guys where the lights go on and they go off. You never know exactly how that wiring takes place, but you need to see guys step up in those instances and make those plays."


            The spring game will feature the third annual "Healthy Kids Day" beforehand, a chance for children to interact with the team and learn how sports can help facilitate a healthy and fit lifestyle. Specifically for the Buffs, the game will bring closure to the first early chapter of the Hawkins Era, one that has impressed the new coach tremendously.   


            "Their acceptance and their attitudes have exceeded my expectations," Hawkins said of his team. "These guys have just jumped in and said ?you're our coach, let's go.' They have been that way to our whole staff."


Practice Notes: The session ended with another quirky drill that pitted offensive players vs. defensive players in a chipping contest. No, chipping is not a technical football term that the team employs during drills. Hawkins brought a couple of golf clubs and had players alternating to try and chip the closest to a player wearing an orange jersey about 40 yards away. Junior linebacker Joe Sanders won the tie-breaker for the defense, although his swing?like most of the others?was not exactly PGA worthy. "I want them to have fun and I want them to enjoy it out here," Hawkins said. "I don't want it to be such a grind?I want them to come out with a sense of wonderment of what might happen today. I love just throwing them a little curveball and making it fun and exciting."....The Buffs hosted eight or nine recruits on Thursday, according to Hawkins. The recruits, both in-state and out-of-state, toured the facilities, sat in on position meetings and observed practice....Workers have completed a nice finishing touch on the east Folsom Field addition. Large letters spelling out ?University of Colorado' grace the upper fa?ade, flanked by two Ralphie logos on the outside. On the lower level, the face holds the phrase ?1990 National Champions.'   


Spring Game Reminder: The festivities will kick of with ?Healthy Kids Day,' from 10:30-noon; the scrimmage will start at 1:00. The action will be broadcast live by 850 KOA Radio, with Mark Johnson and Larry Zimmer calling the action. Fox Sports Net will also broadcast the scrimmage in a condensed version to be aired at a later date. The FSN broadcasters will be Tim Neveritt and graduated Buff quarterback Joel Klatt. A live stream of the action will also be available on to Premium subscribers. Free parking is available to the public in lot 436 (Colorado & Regent) and lot 169, just north and down the hill from the stadium. Due to the Rocky Mountain Percussion concert that will be occurring at the Coors Events Center, parking will be limited.