BOULDER – Coach Mike MacIntyre has decided to carry a tradition over to Colorado from his time at San Jose State. He and the team will hand out a weekly Sledgehammer Award to the player who dishes out the biggest clean hit on an opposing player – and the big-hit winner from the season-opener is Parker Orms.
“The sledgehammer is a thing the kids vote on every week for a big hit,” MacIntyre said. “It has to be a big clean hit. We nominate and show it and the kids vote and the guy gets to carry the hammer around. This week, Parker Orms won it so he’ll get to carry it around all week and carries it out on the field.”
Orms, a senior strong safety, was lugging the 20-pound instrument around with him when spoke on Wednesday about the excitement surrounding his winning the award.
“It feels good,” said Orms. “It was voted on by the team, so I’m happy my teammates respect me for that. It’s pretty cool.”
The hit that merited the award came in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 41-27 win over rival Colorado State. The Rams were trailing by nine and had driven deep into Colorado territory. They faced a third down at the Colorado 13 when quarterback Garrett Grayson fired the ball over the middle to tight end Kiv Cartwright. The pass was high and as Cartwright went up to snag it, Orms hit him in the legs, sending him crashing back down to the turf, thus forcing the Rams to settle for a field goal at a crucial time in the game.
MacIntyre has also decided to continue his tradition of having every one of his players write a down an individual goal for each game and place all of them into a “Commitment Toolbox” at the team’s Thursday evening meeting. He also had that ritual at his previous post.
“The toolbox is a commitment box that we make where each kid stands up and commits something that he is going to do in the game for the team,” said MacIntyre. “Usually it’s something specific that they’ve worked on that could happen during the game then they put it in the box and we carry the box out (onto the field on game day).”
NOTABLE: In preparation for Saturday’s matchup, MacIntyre spoke passionately about Central Arkansas’ two starting defensive ends after practice on Wednesday and commented that he believed his two tackles, Stephane Nembot and Jack Harris, would face a big test this week. The two players – 6-6, 271-pound sophomore Johanthan Woodard and 6-0, 265-pound senior Markeith Gaines – combined for 11 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss last season . . . . MacIntyre announced that senior wide receiver Alex Turbow has been placed on scholarship for his final semester of college . . . . The team practiced Wednesday morning for the second time this week in preparation for Saturday’s home opener against Central Arkansas (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network). Practice will resume Thursday from 8:30-11 a.m.