Head Coach Dan Hawkins
ON TRAINING CAMP-"We'll certainly know more here in the coming days, when we get the pads on; we can play a little more physically that way and get some things going up front at the line of scrimmage. We'll see if we can run the ball and stop the run and those kinds of things, but it's good to have a bunch of guys out there who have been through it. They're certainly in very good shape, and their leadership has been good and their attitude is good, and I think our tempo has been good as well. We are always trying to clean a few things up, and we have certainly got a long way to go, but I like our guys right now."
ON RUNNING THE BALL AND STOPPING THE RUN-"Those are always two things that I think are critical in football; being able to run it and being able to stop it. That obviously starts up front, and you've got to have some shoulder pads on and some full pads to kind of get some things done there."
ON OFFENSIVE LINE DEPTH-"We've kind of been running with about four full offensive lines, which is nice. There's a ton of competition and a ton of guys who have played and know the system. It's nice when they can play center and guard, or guard and tackle, and be able to swing that way as well. We've got some good talent in there and some good competition, and we are still trying to sort some things out. Certainly, there are several guys in there who can play."
ON ADDED EMPHASIS ON THE RUNNING GAME-"I don't know if there is more, there always is, and it is kind of dictated by what you've got up front and who you are handing the ball to what you can do there, but that's always part of the equation."
ON MORNING PRACTICES-"The biggest thing is academics; having many more class offerings in the afternoon than there are earlier in the morning. That's a huge part of it. The other part of it is getting some more daylight, where in the evening we don't have as many hours, particularly when the time changes. Our academic people are fired up about it too, because everyone is up and awake, and they're here, and they're going. They're going to practice and get to class and get their school work done and get back into bed."
ON THE ADDITION OF TWO NEW RECEIVERS-"They're both new, and of course, Travon (Patterson) has not practiced yet. Paul (Richardson) has only gone through a couple of practices too, so it is kind of hard. Obviously, what Paul has done here has shown that he can run, that he is talented, and that he has got some hands, but he's got to learn the system. That being said, we have many more guys that have played. We have many more guys who have caught balls and know what they are doing, and that's very beneficial. Of course, Scotty (McKnight) is kind of a mainstay there, but there are other guys in the mix that are going to play and contribute."
ON RODNEY STEWART'S PROGRESSION-"Unfortunately he missed part of his freshman year when he broke his leg, and that inhibited his development there at the end of the year. He is one of the most powerful guys on our football team, and he is also one of those guys that has a huge chip on his shoulder and plays with a tremendous amount of desire to do things. I think, again, that he has just had a few more snaps and a few more plays; he has a better idea of what it is we are trying to do. There were many times early on where we would hand him the ball and he might go the exact opposite way of where he was supposed to go; because of his talent, there were some times where he would get yards there. I think with our offensive line and their development, when we start getting him in a rhythm, we expect him to be pretty good."
ON RECRUITING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY-"The whole world is smaller, whether its travel or internet or text messaging or emailing or Skype, or whatever it is. I think it's a much more accessible world out there, and that's what always happens in recruiting. We have guys from all over the place, including a guy from Canada. I think it's just the nature of recruiting in this day and age, and you just have to find kids who are open to that. Sometimes, even in Colorado, you will find a guy that just wants to stay home; some guys just want to get out of Dodge. What we always try to do is find that right fit, and sometimes you have a kid who is looking to travel and wants to see something else, and sometimes it's a fit both socially and academically for them."
ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE-"I think our offensive line would tell you even before we got pads on here that the D-line is formidable. It will be interesting to see when we go full pads how they will be, but clearly they are much bigger, faster, and stronger. It will be nice; I think there will be plenty of guys to roll in there and get some snaps and stay fresh. Certainly the size and weight and experience portion of it is matching up well."
ON SENIOR LEADERSHIP-"The leadership from our senior group has been great, so I think they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Because they are, I think they have a full grasp of things, and I think the guys on the team respect them. They're hard workers and they know what's going on. I don't think there's anything that they are not doing, because in terms of the leadership portion of it-and even with our seniors-we are much more advanced than where we have been there. At position meetings, and even at practice this morning when we had some of the younger guys out there with the older guys, it's a whole different level of mentorship."
ON SPECIAL TEAMS DEVELOPMENT-"We haven't done a bunch with the return game, yet. In terms of what guys are doing as far as kicking, that's been pleasing. I think it helps to have a few more bodies to have a little more competition in there. Even this morning, we kicked three at the end, and they were all right down the middle. That's great. Zach has been punting the ball really well too, so that seems like it's heading in the right direction."
ON NATE SOLDER'S PROGRESSION-"Nate is one of those really unique guys. He is a very genetically gifted young man, and he combines that with all the intangibles and his athletic ability. What we tried to do was put some strength and some weight on him that he didn't have before. We've worked on his technique. Playing offensive line was new to him; he was a tight end before. He is still pretty raw in that development stage as well. He is such a great kid; he's very humble and very coachable and willing to learn. He really gets the big picture. He wants to go to veterinary school, and if things progress the way they are he will make a lot of money as a left tackle; but that won't be the only thing that Nate Solder is, because he will go on to be a great whatever it is that he wants to be."
ON MAX TUIOTI-MARINER-"I would like to see him get going. The guy played as a true freshman for us and was really dynamic, and he went through a couple of knee injuries. Hopefully we get him through there, because when he is at his best athletically, he's pretty darn good."
ON EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS SEASON-"My expectations are always extremely high. That's why, even in practice, I think I am always complimentary. Again, we are always searching for that realm of excellence, whether it is in sacks or penalties or turnovers. Right now, particularly when it comes to turnovers, you never win. You are happy for the defense, but you want the offense to be better. I think in terms of where they are, their attitude and effort and tempo has been great. I'm not disappointed in that at all, but like I said, my ceiling is always pretty high, so every time I walk off the practice field, I think there is more to be done. "
ON JIMMY SMITH'S PROGESSION-"The special thing about Jimmy, for me, has been his maturation over the years; both as a player and as a person. He probably could have gone out early after last year, and he probably would have made somebody's club because he's that gifted athletically, but I think he also knew that there were elements of the total package that he wanted to pull together. It's very heartwarming for me to see him carrying himself and acting like a man. That to me is real pleasing. He's practicing that way, he's acting that way, and he looks that way. That's an impressive thing because he's fast and he's tall and he's got all that athletic ability, but you're starting to see that other stuff come into the realm of where he's becoming an extremely consistent human being."
ON THE PROGRESSION OF TYLER HANSEN AND CODY HAWKINS-"It's shown up a bit here early on, I think any time you get consistency-first of all up front-that you're able to get a consistent running game and you are able to implement that phase of an offensive plan. If you've got guys running the right routes and getting open and catching the ball when you throw it to them, it allows the quarterbacks to get in the flow. I think it's very hard when you've got fluctuation in the other ten spots. I think with all those guys being a little bit more efficient, a little more experienced, that allows them to come in and make the reads and limit turnovers and make throws. I think both of those guys are benefitting from all the people around them."
ON THINGS COMING TOGETHER THIS YEAR-"Hopefully we can stay healthy. Hopefully we can garner a little momentum. It's amazing that some of the veteran guys asked me about this morning's practice. They asked me, 'How did it go?' I told them it was hard to describe the gap between the veterans and the young guys. It is amazing to have that many people that have played and know what's going on. You're always starting at point A; you're never neglecting that, but you can move through the alphabet a little bit faster. That is awesome. That being said, hopefully we can take care of a few details and garner a little momentum and stay healthy and get some things going that way. All of that bodes well for sure."
QB Tyler Hansen
ON POSSIBLY USING THE POWER RUNNING GAME-"We'll mix in a little of that. With the guys we got, I think we're going to spread some teams out and use our athletes to our advantage."
ON WHAT TO PROVE-"I think we have the guys to do something special this year. I know every team says that at the beginning of the year, but I honestly think we have some guys that can do something good. The last two years have been disappointments to us and I think we have to go out there and prove to people who we are; we are a strong team."
ON THE QB SITUATION-"You want to go out there and win your job. I think it is good for the team that we have to go out there and earn it."
ON MEDIA DAY-"I think it is always fun to talk to people. Some people dread it because you have already been talking about football all day, but I think it is fun. Most people don't get the chance to do it so it's fun."
ON FIRST PRACTICES-"We are definitely a lot faster as a team. We have some speed out there; we have some guys out that can run. I feel we are a lot older so the practices are running a lot smoother, guys know what they are doing now, they know the formations, they know the plays, they know the audibles. The practices having been going real good, the execution of it has been going real good.
ON OFFENSIVE LINE DEPTH-"It makes me a lot more comfortable, especially with the whole line coming back. We didn't lose any seniors, everyone has game experience and even the guys two-deep have game experience. Everyone knows what it feels like to play in front of 60,000 fans."
ON TE RYAN DEEHAN-"I think he will have a break out year and will be one of the top tight ends in the country. He's real smart, he knows what to run, and he knows what adjustments on what type of coverage. Everyone thinks that he is a blocking tight end but he can actually catch really well."
ON ANY GAMES HE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO-"CSU of course because they beat us last year on our turf, but the Georgia game is a big game. If we can beat Georgia it can burst us onto the national stage a little bit. The Cal game because of the whole Pac-10 deal and me personally because I'm from California and if we can beat Cal that would be something special. I have a lot of family going to that game. Other than that I think Missouri is a big game on our schedule just because they have gotten to us the last three years pretty bad and obviously Nebraska."
ON WHO'S YOUR GO-TO-GUY ON NCAA FOOTBALL 11 VIDEO GAME-"Scotty McKnight is really good on the game. Deehan is pretty good on the game also and Speedy is pretty fast also."
ON THE EFFECT OF NEGATIVE MEDIA-"You always want positive stuff to come out of the program. You always want to hear positive feedback about you, but sometimes that is not the case. You have to forget about it and just take it one day at a time. It is water under the bridge, it's passed. You just have to take it with a grain of salt and forget about it."
ON WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO IMPROVE-"Just understanding defenses pretty much. Just knowing the soft spots in the zone, knowing when is it man or when is it zone, when they are blitzing. I know our offense well enough to know where to go with the ball. I feel if I can know defenses better I'll be more proficient."
ON TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE-"I think it is a real positive. I think if we can beat some of the top teams in the nation it will burst us onto the national stage. I think whenever you can beat the teams like Georgia or Cal, it gives you a little more confidence."
ON THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTARY WORKOUTS-"It's always good to get work in when the coaches can't be there. It's always good for the leaders to step up and gain some more leadership and for the young guys to learn some new stuff too."
ON MOTIVATION FOR 2010 SEASON-"We are using the CSU loss last year as fuel."
OLB B.J. Beatty
ON HAWAII GAME-"It is going to be fun to play against guys that I played against in high school. Also I think like 20 or so members of my family will be at that game. I played against a lot of them; I was in football camps with a lot of them. We talk over Facebook and talk about how exciting the game is going to be. It's going to be fun."
ON HOW THIS OFFSEASON HAS BEEN DIFFERENT-"Guys are just taking responsibility, guys being at PRP's and runs, and if guys weren't there, we took care of it, 'hey come on you have to be here. The rest of us are here and if you want to be part of this team this is what you have to do.' That's been the biggest difference of guys just being there. We are only two or three days into this camp but we are already getting a little sick of running the same plays because we have been running those plays all summer."
ON HOW TO STAY FOCUSED ON SEASON WITH PRESSURE ON THE TEAM-"We look at it that everyone is pushing us aside. We look at it that we are going to shock the world, we have a lot of good players, I could almost name everyone on our team. We have a lot of guys, a lot of depth so if somebody goes down, another guy can come right in and do the exact same job. Offensively they are stacked; they've been making big plays in practice. Only 11 guys can be on the field at one time and I've seen a lot of guys running around with high motives and that excites me."
ON OFFENSIVE POWER OF THE BIG 12-"Coach (Ron) Collins always tells us that we have never arrived, and that is something that we need to live by as a defense. If we don't play good against CSU, we can't dwell on that. If we play good as a defense we can't be happy for too long because the next team coming up probably has a loaded offense. We can't take a day off."
ON THE OFFENSE-"The offense is doing their best and we never expect less and they never give less than their best. If they don't score then we'll do our job until they get it right and eventually they will. That is what is exciting about our offense is that they never quit. The offense pushes us to step it up because they are stepping it up. That is what is going to be great for both sides in that it is going to get to the point where we won't have to worry about the offense because at the end of the day we know they are going to take care of business."
WR Scotty McKnight
ON THE RECEIVING CORPS-"A ton more depth than since I've been here; guys that can really open up the game and make plays. Toney (Clemons) is a freak athlete; big, strong, fast. Travon (Patterson) is probably going to be the fastest guy on the field every time we play a game. He's smooth, he looks good in and out of his breaks, and he catches the ball with his hands. You guys haven't been able to see him, but I've seen him work out a couple times and I've worked out with him back in California a couple of times, so I know he's a guy that is really going to help our offense. We just go so deep, Will Jefferson, Kyle Cefalo's been making plays. We have some tight ends; (Ryan) Deehan and DeVaughn Thornton have been big for us. (DeVaughn) looks athletic; he's almost like a guy that we can spread out and is a big wide receiver. He's also improved his blocking a little bit. We've got a ton of guys. We thought it was going to hurt to lose Markques (Simas), and it turned out that we've added so many people we can look past that."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE OFFENSE'S ABILITY TO SCORE-"Big time, we need to in order to win games. With the amount of points that our conference puts up every year, every team, it's something that we have to do to win football games. We've kind of taken that on our shoulders offensively and as a receiving corps. If our team's going to win, we need to produce, big time."
ON BECOMING MORE CONSISTENT-"That's the biggest thing is consistency. We feel like when we stop beating ourselves, we can beat other teams, no matter who it is. You've seen it, we play Texas tough, and we play Oklahoma tough every time. I feel like those are our cleanest games, but sometimes we'll break down. It comes down to practice habits, it really does. Maybe you're tired and there is a play at the end of practice that you're not really caring about, but you have to give everything you can into that play, or else you're not going to run it right in the game. It's all timing, especially for us and the quarterback. If you're running something half speed, maybe it will look okay in practice, but then you're going full speed and it's completely off. So we have to practice full speed with the quarterbacks to get on the same page."
ON GAMES CIRCLED ON THE SCHEDULE-"I'm looking forward to all of them. I'm a senior; I've got to soak this up. I love everything about going to school here and my time here and I'm looking forward to enjoying my last year here and winning games."
ON IF HE HAS PLAYED AS HIMSELF IN THE NCAA FOOTBALL 11 VIDEO GAME-"They made me sweet in the game. They gave me a little speed, I was loving it. They finally got my race right, too. They had it wrong for like three years. That is kind of sweet, too."
WR Toney Clemons
ON MEDIA DAY-"I like media day it is a chance to talk with a wide range of people that you don't get to talk to usually. The tension is good; it is good to be back in a situation where people want to know what's going on with you."
ON THE UPCOMING SEASON-"I'm excited to put pads on; it's never football until you put pads on and playing real ball."
RB Rodney Stewart
ON THIS YEARS SCHEDULE-"I'm looking forward to every game on the schedule. I will have family at the Kansas game."
ON DARRELL SCOTT'S DEPARTURE-"We need the young guys to step up for leadership."
ON NEW RECIEVERS-"They are talented. The more talent a team has, the better the team is and they can open up a defense."
DE Nick Kasa
ON INJURIES LAST YEAR-"I feel great. I'm better than last year."
ON DE-COMMITING FROM FLORIDA TO COME TO CU-"I was committed to Florida then some coaches started moving around. I am happy with my choice."
ON THIS YEARS DEFENSE-"The defense is going to be ridiculous. We get a lot of guys back on defense which will help me play better and will help the defense in general."
PK Aric Goodman
ON THIS YEARS TEAM-"It's a team game. We have come together as a team in all three phases of the game."
ON CONFIDENCE COMING INTO THIS SEASON-"I can't say hitting the upright seven times is lucky, but I'm confident that I can make kicks. My surgery was just an unfortunate journey."
ON TIME SPENT AT CU-"These were the best years of my life. We have all been through some tough times and we're sick of it."