Practice Report — August 8

On Monday, the Buffs practiced in full pads for the first time this fall camp. Inside, notes from the practice, plus BSN's first interview with freshman tailback Kevin Moyd.

Colorado went in full pads Monday afternoon. They were allowed to tackle in the late practice goal line scrimmage situation. The scrum proved spirited, and it even got the coaches' blood going. Offensive and defensive coaches were lobbying designated referee Greg Finnegan hard on more than one call he made.

Patrick Williams made a nice grab in the end zone on one play, near the end of the scrimmage.

Head coach Gary Barnett said the Buffs will conduct situational scrimmages most days in practice this month as they prepare for their Sept. 3 date with Colorado State. However, Barnett is not yet sure if the team will have a full scrimmage.

While a scrimmage is scheduled for Aug. 20, Barnett said Monday he still hasn't decided whether or not he wants the team to scrimmage that day. Barnett has already said the team is a veteran squad who can get a lot out of practicing without tackling. Reducing scrimmages presumably reduces the risk of injuries.

The Buffs can ill afford an injury at a number of positions, particularly offensive line, defensive line, running back, or another at wide receiver, after Blake Mackey was lost for the season Sunday with a torn ACL.

More on Mackey
The junior tore the ACL in an 11-on-11 drill. Surgery was not yet scheduled as of Monday afternoon. Trainer Steve Willard expects Mackey to make a full recovery and be ready for spring ball.

Regarding Mackey's absence, Barnett said, "It takes away a guy that can go deep, it takes away a guy with experience, it takes away one of the five guys we were counting on. It means that we've now got to push (Tim) Lemon into duty, before maybe he's ready. We've got to get another guy ready. Reggie Joseph, Lemon, somebody like that."

Barnett said Mackey will not be able to apply for a medical redshirt year because the medical is reserved for players who miss two years because of injury. In other words, if a player redshirts completely because of an injury, he can apply for a medical in a later year if he suffers another season ending injury before the completion of his third game that season.

Mackey redshirted his true freshman year, but not because of an injury.

Dizon wears the orange
Jordon Dizon was out of practice with a shoulder tweak. Barnett indicated he didn't think it was serious, and the slight injury was similar to one Dizon sustained last August camp.

Bloom in the house
Jeremy Bloom flew to Colorado Sunday from California where he's been training for the Olympics with former CU strength coach Doc Kreis, who's at UCLA. Bloom was at the Dal Ward Center saying hello to former teammates, and took in some of Monday's practice.

Moyd Growing More Comfortable, But Still Riding Learning Curve
True freshman running back Kevin Moyd's learning was thrust into overdrive when junior Brandon Caesar was lost for the season with a knee injury in July. Moyd, from Miami Northwestern High, needs to be ready to play at the No. 3 tailback spot behind Hugh Charles and Byron Ellis.

Running Backs coach Shawn Simms said Monday that the biggest transition for most running backs coming from high school in their first year of college ball is learning everything except how to run the football.

"They know their assignments when they get the ball," Simms said. "It's the other things, pass protections, the routes, that's totally different for (Moyd), because in high school he didn't have to do all that."

Charles, Ellis and senior V-back Lawrence Vickers are taking some of the teaching load, as well, cajoling the young Moyd in drills when he messes up, and encouraging him to learn his assignments. Monday, Vickers stayed after practice and led Moyd and to other young running backs through some extra work.

Slowly, Moyd is feeling more and more comfortable each day, and it's beginning to show up. Monday he made a couple of nice runs in scrimmage situations, bouncing the ball to the outside and running for good gains.

Here's is a conversation with the 5-7, 185-pound running back.

Q: How is Coach Vickers treating you?
Kevin Moyd:
(laughs) He's just doing his thing, trying to make me step up and be a better player. I appreciate it. I'll do whatever he tells me to do.

Q: What's that been like, being around he and Hugh and Byron?
KM:
Well, I'm just learning right now. Really not knowing a lot of things about the running back position, I was just going out there and running. But now, I'm understanding defenses and understanding how to play the game.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for you in making the transition to college ball? Is it picking up blockers and that kind of thing?
KM:
Yeah, you've got to know what the defense is doing at all times. If you know what the defense is doing it makes your blocking and running a lot easier. So right now I'm learning how to do that.

Q: Every practice you seem to be getting a little more comfortable. Is it feeling that way?
KM:
Yeah. Like today, I had a couple of good runs. I'm feeling better about myself. I know what I'm looking for. It's just a matter of time. Give me a few more days and I'll be ready.

Q: Have they told you that they need you to be the No. 3 guy?
KM:
Yeah, (Coach Simms) told me I need to be the No. 3 guy. He told me I've got to step up.

Q: How much to you weigh?
KM:
About 185.

Q: Is that what you want to play at?
KM:
Right now, yeah. Because I want to stay quick and stay fast. Later on I'll develop into a bigger player. But right now I'm satisfied where I'm at.

Q: When did you get here? In early July?
KM:
I came here June 30th with my parents. They stayed here until school started on July 5th.

Q: How's Boulder been for you?
KM:
Boulder's beautiful, man. I'm from Miami. We don't get to see this. It's a nice city. People are nice here. I'm happy. And it was really hot here. I thought it was always cold.

Q: What was it about Colorado that made you want to come here?
KM:
It was the best Division I school that was looking at me. And I looked at the depth chart at my position, and I said, ‘That's where I want to be.'

Q: I watched that movie, "Year of the Bull." (A documentary that followed Taurean Charles during his senior football season at Miami Northwestern High School, Moyd's high school). Were you in that movie?
KM:
No, that was my ninth grade year.

Q: How real was that? (The movie was controversial because it portrayed Northwestern coaches really getting after some of their players, and one scene in which a player and coach got into a physical fight).
KM:
Very real. But it kind of made our school look like they mistreated the kids. But they were just being football coaches. Football coaches are gonna get on top of you. Maybe not at collegiate or pro level because they got so many people watching you from the outside. But in high school, almost all coaches do that. It made people say, ‘Oh we can't send our kids to that school.' But it's not that bad at all.

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