• Freshman wide receiver Kendrick Celestine wasn’t at practice Monday because he had difficulty getting a flight out of his hometown Mamou, La., after returning there from Boulder last week. He is expected in camp Tuesday. Several other players, including OL Erick Faatagi, OL Keenan Stevens and WR Alvin Barnett, missed practice for academic purposes.
• Bernard Jackson was getting a lot of individual attention from coaches during punt return drills. They’re trying to get his technique improved, hoping he earns the return job.
• Scoring off of turnovers is a big emphasis this fall. The team was running a new drill today to that end. A defensive player would run laterally, then pick up a loose ball and head for the end zone. On the way, he had the option of pitching the ball to a teammate who was trailing him.
• OT Ryan Miller practiced for the first time as a Colorado Buffalo Monday afternoon. Miller’s a hard worker, for sure. He was among the first couple of o-linemen to cross the finish line each time during post-practice conditioning sprints.
• While he said there’s always lots of room for improvement in any aspect of a program, Dan Hawkins said the team’s walk-on program is getting closer to where he’d like it to be. As many as 19 new walk-ons are expected on the squad this season. “We’re definitely starting to get guys that are close to scholarship players (as walk ons). I think we’re building a culture where those guys know they’re going to get everything that everybody else gets – the same love, the same respect and the same shot and a chance to play. Really, that’s all those guys want. There’s a lot of guys that are just as good as everybody else, but they’re just an inch slow or a couple pounds short. So I think we’re developing that culture, which is good.”
There’s a chance Hawkins will give a couple scholarships to walk-ons before the season starts. Coaches are waiting to see how things shake out in the next few weeks. Though Hawkins didn’t name names, look for Stevens and WR Cody Crawford to have a shot to earn a full ride.
• WR Cameron Ham had a tough injury Monday afternoon. He cracked his fibula. No word on a prognosis.