It doesn't seem too long ago that Tim Lynott Jr., was a promising, young player who could be the anchor of the Colorado offensive line for years to come.

Now, he's a fifth-year senior preparing for his final go-round with the Buffaloes.

"It's different," Lynott said Monday after the Buffs' fourth practice of spring. "It's kind of weird to me that I'm the older guy. It's taking on a new role, basically, and I still feel like I'm one of those sophomores or juniors. It's a different role and I actually like it."

The lone healthy senior on the offensive line (fellow senior Brett Tonz is limited this spring because of an offseason injury), Lynott is the most experienced player up front and one that new line coach Chris Kapilovic is relying on this spring.

"Tim Lynott has shown that he's a veteran, which has been good," Kapilovic said.

Lynott has 33 career starts under his belt — more than any player on the roster and more than the rest of the offensive linemen combined (31). But, with head coach Mel Tucker and Kapilovic being new to the Buffs, positions are wide open, so exactly where Lynott plays has yet to be determined.

"I definitely think he's going to play at center and guard," Kapilovic said. "You can never have enough centers, so he's going to get some reps there this spring. We'll see. Are we better with Tim at center and moving some guys around, or with Colby (Pursell) at center? That's the things we have to see."


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Pursell, a redshirt sophomore, started all 12 games at center last season, but Lynott wants a shot at that starting job. Although 29 of his starts have come at right guard, Lynott started at center four times in 2017.

On Monday, Lynott lined up at center for the first time this spring, with Pursell at guard.

"We switched it up a little bit to see how it was and see what we can do with that; see what's the best for our O-line and what's the best competition we can get," Lynott said. "Playing in a couple games (at center in 2017), I feel more confident.

"I had a couple bad (snaps) out there today because I'm a little rusty from a couple years ago. I'm just trying to get back and it feels good."

Lynott feels good physically, too, and that could make a difference in his final season.

During the 10th game of the 2017 season, he ruptured his right Achilles' tendon. He returned last fall, but wasn't himself early in the season. Compensating for the injury to his right leg caused issues in his left foot, he said.

"I had some things in my foot that were going on from the injury," he said. "There were other things that happened besides the Achilles, other little mechanics I had to fix. I felt that in the Nebraska game (on Sept. 8) quite a bit in my left foot.

"It was difficult coming back and I noticed that at Nebraska. I was like 'Ok, I need to figure this out and hopefully try to get in the pools as much as I can and try to get healthier.' I think it impacted me for a couple games after that."

Two weeks after the Nebraska game, Lynott lost his starting job and came off the bench for the first time in his career. After three games as a reserve, he regained the starting job and played every offensive snap over the last five weeks.

"I finally got that strength back and I was kind of used to that Achilles and getting the confidence back in it and started feeling better," he said.

This spring, Lynott is healthy and re-energized.

"I'm very confident," he said. "It's feeling great and no pain or anything. A couple months ago I'd be feeling pain sometimes at night just randomly sitting there. Now I don't have that anymore and it feels completely healthy. My strength is back and I'm feeling good."

He's also enjoying working with Kapilovic, a veteran line coach who spent the past seven years at North Carolina.

"Love him," Lynott said. "He's a great coach, he knows what he's talking about. He's helping us technically and he's just trying to make us better physically, as well. He's teaching us the best things we can learn from a coach and he's just helping us in every way possible, which is great."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.