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Brooks: Lights, Camera ... Lockridge
Release: August 13, 2009
By: B.G. Brooks, Contributing Editor
Sophomore Brian Lockridge has moves aplenty.
Photo Courtesy: CUBuffs.com
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BOULDER - Sophomore tailback Brian Lockridge is eager to show Colorado fans he's more than just a pretty face.

Back home in California, he's been there, done that - the ''pretty face'' part, that is.

Arguably the most energized player on the Buffaloes roster, Lockridge had to forsake a possible modeling career when he enrolled at CU in 2007. Actually, he chose to forsake it several years earlier to participate in his sport of choice.

As a child growing up in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., he was fairly deep into the acting and modeling scene, attending the prestigious John Robert Powers Acting School before he ultimately had to decide between acting/modeling and football.

The more fashionable path might have resulted in less wear and tear on his body, but he's happy with the down-and-dirty route he took. Buffs fans likely will be, too.

Lockridge now calls a modeling stint that began when he was about nine years old and spanned his early high school years more of a "hobby" than a serious career pursuit, adding he has no current aspirations of trying to make a living from taking his shirt off and smiling.

Not that partially disrobing and pitching a grin ever was difficult for him:

 "Taking your shirt off was easy for me; every poster was about the same for me," he said Wednesday. "It was good, a nice experience, and I liked it. But it was just a fun thing to do.

"I like to consider it another hobby to add to the list - along with piano, guitar, all that. Modeling is just another hobby."

And the well-rounded Lockridge has plenty of those. The most recent additions to his list of spare time endeavors are horseback riding (Estes Park is among his favorite venues) and fly-fishing (the Steamboat Springs area captivates him).

But as for modeling, he might have parlayed it into a lucrative sidelight beyond his high school years had the NCAA approved of such things. Lockridge explored it during his freshman year at CU, but he could not receive clearance (remember Jeremy Bloom?) because it would jeopardize his amateur status.

Still, the feelers have kept coming. Abercrombie & Fitch, according to Lockridge, had eyed him for a photo shoot to pitch its 2010 spring/summer clothing line - but that was planned for this month.

Sorry, he was already spoken for by a regularly scheduled August event called preseason football camp.

And had he even harbored a hint of wanting to pose and get paid, there was the NCAA.

 "You've got to get cleared by them," Lockridge said. "And that's why it (his modeling) slowed down tremendously."

Lockridge went to many screenings as a youngster and subsequently advanced to photo shoots. But he said only "two or three" of his pictures were used - "Things like Sears and JC Penny catalogs when I was little" - and he was paid only for those.

"Other than that, you're not getting paid most of the time," he said. "You're just hoping it gets published, but if it doesn't . . . like I said, it's a hobby; I'm not living off it."

A sophomore who used his redshirt season in 2008 while recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia, Lockridge is competing for playing time with fellow sophomores Darrell Scott and Rodney "Speedy" Stewart and junior Demetrius Sumler.

Position coach Darian Hagan wants to utilize Stewart and Lockridge in what Lockridge terms "a hybrid role," or one that capitalizes on their running and receiving abilities by positioning them in the slot or motioning them out of the backfield.

It might not be a role Lockridge ever prepped for as a kid, but given his speed and shiftiness, it appears a perfect fit.

THE 'N' CROWD:  Or maybe it should be The 'N' Pair. Once full pads were donned and the heavy lifting started in preseason camp, it didn't take long for freshmen defensive linemen Nate Bonsu and Nick Kasa to catch the eyes (and extremities) of O-linemen Ryan Miller  and Mike Iltis.

Miller's take on Bonsu, a 6-foot-2, 295-pound nosetackle from Allen, Texas: "Nate's just got pistons for his lower legs and butt. He gets so low and he's so strong. When you're not ready for that shock he brings with his punch, it really knocks you a 1-2."

Iltis' turn: "'Big Nate' . . . man, he's powerful in his legs. He's like a plug. He's got the potential to be like Eugene (Goree, sophomore nosetackle) in playing that inside spot."

Of Kasa (6-7, 260, Legacy High School), Miller said, "He's got a pretty good outside speed rush. I didn't really notice it because I'm not going up against him that much, but in 'one ons' (one-on-one blocking drills), he definitely brings his speed."

SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Sophomore placekicker Jameson Davis said his surgically mended left knee was "getting better and better," but still is concentrating on overall conditioning and strengthening the knee.

After kicking in the 2008 season-finale at Nebraska, Davis wasn't cleared to begin kicking again until mid-July, so he's still making up ground while junior Aric Goodman gets most of the field goal work in camp.

Davis also said he was battling a slight groin pull, and field goal attempts still produced some pain in his plant (left) leg. But he's hopeful of being able to resume kickoff duties by the Sept. 6 opener against Colorado State.

GETTING A LEG UP: Five years have flown by for punter Matt DiLallo, who's about to enter his senior season and is much the better for the experience.

DiLallo said his confidence is at an all-time high, the result of successful off-season work in his specialty and in the weight room.

"I'm stronger than I've ever been," he said. "I knew strength was important, and now I'm seeing how much."

In punting three to four days a week during the off-season, DiLallo said he worked to refine his drop, focusing on getting more consistent with that aspect of his routine.

His net punting average in 2008 was 34.0 yards, a slight drop from the 35.8 mark posted in 2007. His best season thus far in that department has been 2006, when he averaged 38.5.

WAITING GAME: Junior college transfer Andre Simmons, who has cleared admissions but not eligibility at CU, was not at Wednesday morning's practice but showed up at for the afternoon drills - and once again as a spectator not in uniform. CU still is waiting on Simmons' transcript from Independence (Kan.) Community College.

CAMP QUOTE: "If you keep your eyes on the bigger picture, you get through it and improve. If you think about being out here twice a day in the sun, yeah, it'll get to you." - Center Mike Iltis

Contact: BG.Brooks@Colorado.EDU

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