Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
There were moments during Colorado’s spring game on Saturday where running back Michael Adkins II looked like his old self.
The senior, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, darted through the defense for a pair of 10-yard runs that resulted in first downs on a touchdown drive, and he finished the day with a team-best 53 yards on 10 carries.
It was exactly what the Buffaloes wanted to see from Adkins.
“Michael’s done well this spring,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “It’s the first time he’s gone that many practices in a row and not gotten injured and kept pushing. That’s the key: if Michael stays healthy, Michael is really good. We just have to hope he stays healthy.”
Health has been a major issue at running back this spring. Kyle Evans dislocated his hip and Donovan Lee suffered a fractured fibula earlier this week. Both will be out for several weeks, if not months.
Given the injuries at the position, the Buffs limited senior starter Phillip Lindsay to a handful of plays and he didn’t touch the ball.
That left the bulk of the tailback duties to Adkins and sophomore Beau Bisharat, who both looked good at times. Bisharat finished with 21 yards on six carries and also caught two passes for six yards.
“He’s a physical runner,” MacIntyre said of Bisharat. “He’s going to be a good running back for us. He got his feet wet last year on special teams and did really well. We’re looking forward to Beau being able to carry some load for us this year.”
On Thursday night, the Buffs named six captains for the upcoming season, including three who were captains last year.
Tight end/defensive end George Frazier, tackle Jeromy Irwin and tailback Phillip Lindsay, all seniors, will be captains for the second year in a row.
Senior outside linebacker Derek McCartney, who was a part of CU’s 12-man leadership group in 2015, is also a captain. First-year captains are senior safety Afolabi Laguda and junior linebacker Rick Gamboa.
Lindsay is the third player in program history to be named a captain three times, joining Pat Carney (1891-93) and Sefo Liufau (2014-16).
CU held its annual spring awards breakfast on Saturday, with several players being honored for their performance throughout the spring.
Gamboa and Lindsay shared the Eddie Crowder Award for outstanding leadership. Other award winners:
Fred Casotti Award (most improved offensive back): Receiver Kabion Ento
Joe Romig Award (most improved offensive lineman): Guard/tackle Josh Kaiser
Hale Irwin Award (most improved defensive back): Cornerback Trey Udoffia
Greg Biekert Award (most improved linebacker): Inside backer Drew Lewis
Dan Stavely Award (most improved defensive lineman): Tackles Lyle Tuiloma and Frank Umu
Bill McCartney Award (most improved special teams player): Kicker Chris Graham and receiver Lee Walker
John Wooten Award (outstanding work ethic): Quarterback Steven Montez and cornerback Isaiah Oliver
Dick Anderson Award (outstanding toughness): Irwin
Jim Hansen Award (outstanding academics): Frazier
Senior Chris Graham got the bulk of the work on field goals, but made just four of six attempts.
Graham hit a 35-yarder, and then the Buffs closed the day with Graham attempting five in a row from 32 yards out. He made three of those five.
Nick Porter was the only other kicker to attempt a field goal, hitting from 27 yards out. Graham and Porter were both 1-for-1 on extra points, while Davis Price was 3-for-3.
Shay Fields had a team-best 46 receiving yards on three catches. All three of his catches went for either a touchdown or first down. … Although the Buffs didn’t allow quarterbacks to be tackled, four players were credited with sacks: Trent Headley, Shamar Hamilton, Michael Mathewes and George Frazier. … Walk-on defensive back Lucas Cooper led the team with six tackles. … Overall, the Buffs gained 331 yards on 73 plays.