• The Buffs went through a 2-plus-hour practice Monday morning, the first of the season. The morning session was geared toward the newcomers. Veterans will practice Monday afternoon. However, there were a handful of veterans participating in the Monday morning session, including Ben Carpenter, Marcus Burton, Jarrell Yates, Maurice Cantrell, Marcus Jones, Gardner McKay, Jeremy Hauck and Jack Tipton.
“We always love to mix in a few (veterans) so that we have enough to do something,” head coach Dan Hawkins said.
Also, a few freshmen were not present at the practice. Justin Drescher, Eric Lawson and Steven Fendry had morning class.
• DE Marquez Herrod spent the summer in California and just got into town Saturday. He said, logistically, spending the summer with his mother and taking care of some things was the best choice. He could not participate fully in practice Monday becaue he’s still awaiting results of a routine sickle-cell anemia test. It something all the players have to take, and he expects there to be no problem.
• The team has several new walk-ons. Here’s the list: G Ian Assael, LB Jake Duren, WR Cameron Ham, FB Quinn Hendel, WR Michael Lambesis (who was also working some as a longsnapper, and was proficient there), WR Scott McKnight, TB Cory Nabors, G Keenan Stevens and O.B. Blake Whitcomb.
• With four incoming freshman not qualifying, four scholarships were opened. They went to (former walkons) LB R.J. Brown, TE Dan Goettsch, RB Mell Holliday and FB Samson Jagoras.
• Sherman Lang was missing a core class and did not qualify. He’ll go to Butler CC in Kansas, and Hawkins said the team “definitely wants to get him back” to CU in the future.
• On Thomas Perez. The transfer tailback from Compton CC was at the practice in street clothes. Hawkins said the school is still waiting on final paperwork. “But we don’t anticipate any problems,” he said.
• Cody Hawkins is the only quarterback running with the four morning newcomer practices this week. Hopefully, his arm doesn’t fall off by Thursday, as he’s getting a ton of reps. He said the ESPN “Summer House” — a reality TV show where he and four other incoming freshmen football players from around the country spent a week in a house in Chicago together, competing in various events — was fun, but being on TV like that “has its ups and downs.” He’s been the target of some ribbing from teammates.
• Hawkins has put grown to a legit 5-foot-11, he said, and put on 15 pounds since his senior football season. He weighed 194 pounds this morning, and he attributes the weight gain to being in a weightlifting program for the first time in his life.
“I’ve gotten faster, and I’ve gotten stronger,” he said. “Especially with Coach Pitman and his program – it’s not just me, everybody is getting a lot stronger, putting on a lot of muscle mass. Everyone was really committed to the program. Very few people missed any workouts.”
• One TV reporter asked father and son Hawkins how it was going to be for each other, being part of the same team. Dan Hawkins met with the quarterbacks recently to address the issue: “I told all the quarterbacks: Guys, this is too big a deal. Nobody’s gonna play because they’re somebody’s kid or whatever. We’re going to sit down and figure out who the best guy is.”
Cody had this to say about it: “I’m out here to win; he’s out here to win. If I’m not the best guy for the job, there’s no way in the world I’m going to play.”
• As for competing for a starting spot this season, Cody Hawkins is realistic about it. “I’m going to try and compete, but unless all those three guys are in one giant car wreck, I’m pretty sure I’ll be redshirting this year. Every single one of those guys are excellent quarterbacks, and I think the team’s going to be happy with whoever (the coaches) pick, and so will the fans,” he said.
• Nate Solder really stands out, both because he’s so tall, and because he moves very well and has pretty good hands.
• The newcomers ran two 40-yard dashes after the session, and are supposed to run a 300 tomorrow.
• Former coach and AD Eddie Crowder was at the practice.