Buffs Wrap Up First Week of Spring Practices
BOULDER-The University of Colorado football team wrapped up its first week of spring practices Thursday. Although the weather has improved, the team practiced in the bubble for all three of the week's practices.
"We're always trying to evolve as a team," head coach Dan Hawkins said. "So it's good to put some new wrinkles in there and that's what we've been doing in our practices."
The Buffs have been evolving on both sides of the ball, but the offense should be noticeably different next year.
"The first week has been pretty good," redshirt freshman wide receiver Markques Simas said. "I wasn't real sure how things were going to go with the new offense but things are going well. It's been nice to get out here and back into the swing of things, even if we aren't in pads yet."
The Buffs are scheduled to have their first padded practice when they resume team practices on April 1. The first week of practices has ended and the tempo has been fast and aggressive, especially on the defensive end.
"The defense as been very aggressive all week, I wasn't here last spring but I was here last summer and they weren't as physical," Simas said. "This year they are getting up in our face during the drills and it's great for us. I love them for working us so hard; it's really going to help all of us get better."
With all of the new wrinkles being added into the Buffs' playbooks, the coaches are making sure the players aren't moving too fast as they are still making it a point to focus on the basics.
"It's been pretty good; we've been going over the basics again which is important for us to do," redshirt freshman defensive end Conrad Obi said. "The seniors have been helping us out, which is good because their knowledge and experience can really help us younger guys out. We've also been working on getting our new calls and plays down. It feels good to be out here with everyone again. It's great to be getting back into football."
The players have one more day of classes before their spring break officially begins but the players already have plans made for how they're going to spend their time away from school and football.
"I'm going to Arizona to visit my auntie and my mom is going to meet me there," Simas said. "Then my mom and I will drive back home?I can't wait to get back to San Diego. I've been calling every day to check on the weather out there and it's been great. I can't wait to get back there, wear shorts, see the ocean and go to the beach."
While some of the players have big plans over break, others are just as excited to get some much needed rest and relaxation.
"I'm going to be hanging out in Boulder over break," Obi explained. "I might try to go fishing or something like that, but really I'm just looking forward to being able to relax. I need a little break before getting back into the last month of the semester. Like Coach Hawk always says you have to keep that balance in your life and that's what I'm trying to do."
The first week of practices came to an exciting end, as the coaching staff was hand picking lineman (offensive and defensive) to catch kickoffs. The deal was if the player failed to successfully catch the kick, their side of the ball had to run, and if they did catch it, conditioning and practice was over. After a few players missed their opportunity to end conditioning, Obi stepped onto the field and jumped in the air and fell backwards as he extended his arms to make the amazing catch which was greeted by the cheers of his teammates and coaches, as well as a defensive dog-pile on Obi.
"I told everyone I could catch and no one believed me, but I proved it today," Obi said. "All the guys were telling me how good of a catch I made, and they were obviously excited about it because it ended our conditioning."