The day a recruit chooses which school to attend always is memorable for that life-changing choice, but the first player to commit to the University of Colorado football team in the 2013 cycle will remember his big day for an additional event.
Denver South running back Phillip Lindsay called Colorado football coaches to tell them he was committing last Thursday and was thrilled by the response he received from coach Jon Embree and offensive coordinator and running backs coach Eric Bieniemy.
A few hours later after being out of the house with his family, Lindsay and his family returned home to find their house had been broken into, many of their most valuable possessions had been stolen and their dog, Rambo, had been beaten with broomsticks.
"My prize possession is my family and I'm happy that none of them got hurt," Lindsay said. "Nobody was at the house when it happened."
Lindsay said the intruders broke in through his bedroom window and when they encountered his dog, a pit bull-German Shepherd mix, they left hamburger scattered around the house trying to distract him. Lindsay said he believes that tactic didn't work so well and Rambo went after the burglars who beat him with broomsticks. Lindsay said his dog will heal.
"They tore our house inside out," Lindsay said. 'The only thing I can think is they were looking for money."
Lindsay said despite the fact that the thieves stole his mother's jewelry and his favorite video game system, he will always remember the day more for the positive. He said he's excited about getting to Boulder and helping turn around the program. Lindsay is cousins with former Oklahoma State quarterback Tony Lindsay and wide receiver Gabe Lindsay. They now serve as teachers and assistant coaches for the football team at Denver South.
Growing up, Lindsay rooted for OSU because of his cousins, but he said he always watched Colorado games on TV and respected the Buffs because they "won a lot of games back then."
Lindsay has visited the CU campus on multiple occasions most recently earlier this month when he was able to watch the Buffs practice prior to spring break. He said he also toured the campus that day and came away knowing he had found the right program and place to continue his education.
"I felt great up there," he said. "I was treated well. I felt at home. That was a real big thumbs up going home."
Lindsay's only scholarship offer to this point is from the Buffs, but it's early in the process. He said he has been in regular communication with coaches from Colorado State, UCLA and Utah and all still could offer despite his commitment to the Buffs. He said he feels good about his decision and he can't imagine anything changing his mind.
"I don't get into worrying about if they bring a lot more running backs in," Lindsay said. "Running backs are going to be everywhere. Anywhere you go, any college you're going to have to compete. That's what I'm there for. If I'm good enough, I'll get the starting spot or I'll get to get on the field for some time. Right now I think that's the best decision for me and for my family to be able to come and see me."
Lindsay said a key factor in him choosing CU was his relationship with Bieniemy. He said Bieniemy sent him messages on Facebook after every one of his games last fall but those messages didn't always focus on football.
"He's a big fanatic about making sure my schooling was right," Lindsay said. "The first thing he did when I called him to tell him I was committing was he said, 'Phil, we're going to make sure you get your degree and you graduate. That's a big part of why you're going to be up here.' I respect him for saying that. I want to make him proud and make him understand that what he's got right here is not going to be a fluke. It's going to be the real thing."
Rivals.com rates Lindsay as a three-star prospect in the early going in the 2013 cycle. Some see Lindsay as undersized for a running back at a program in a Bowl Championship Series Conference. At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Lindsay is at least two inches taller than former Buff Rodney Stewart, the second leading rusher in CU history who completed his career last fall.
CU signed running back Donta Abron from Upland High School in Upland, Calif., in the 2012 class last month. Abron is the same height as Lindsay but about 15 pounds heavier. Lindsay believes he will be able to add weight and still could grow a few inches by the time he arrives in Boulder more than a year from now.
"I can care less what people think," Lindsay said. "When I put on them pads and put on a uniform and strap up, people have to see me themselves before they see a little video. They have to see what goes on. You don't have to be the biggest. You don't have to be the tallest. You don't have to be none of that to be good. You just have to have heart and you have to be willing to do things.
"You're going to get people who love you and you're going to get people who don't like you. That's just how things are."