In Friday’s Daily Camera, I had a story about Phillip Lindsay, the outstanding Colorado Buffaloes running back who is wrapping up his career in Boulder.
If you missed it, you can read that story here .
The hard part about doing a story like that is trying to fit all the good stuff into the article, which of course I couldn’t do. I spent 45 minutes talking with Lindsay for this story, and he gave me a lot of great quotes.
Given that it’s the day after Thanksgiving and all you Buffs fans out there are probably enjoy some leftovers, I figured I’d put together some of the “leftovers” from my conversation with Lindsay (and a few from my chat with his sister, Cheri). Enjoy!
On not worrying about his personal yards and touchdowns: “What I understand and what it came down to is I could get all the yards in the world, I could get touchdowns, I could get all kind of notoriety, I could win the Heisman, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have that bond with your teammates, if you don’t enjoy doing it for your teammates, enjoy doing it for your family, enjoy doing it for whatever makes you go out there, honestly none of that stuff matters. The game is more than just getting yards and stuff. You get yards so you can help your team win. Of course, yeah, you want the accolades and you want to be noticed, but for me, it’s just more like I do this because I love to do it; I didn’t do this because I wanted to get yards and stuff. My intention was to win football games.”
On winning as a team: “Everything falls into place. (Penn State’s) Saquon Barkley, he’s a good running back, but what makes him good? He has a defense that’s doing well, he has a quarterback that’s doing well. Last year, it was fun to see everybody get theirs (at CU), from the defense to the offense. When you win games but you guys are together, everybody gets awards, everybody gets noticed. If I’m doing my job and helping the line out and the line is doing their job, it’s helping them, too, and helping them get looked at. At the end of the day, we’re a unit and it comes back to full circle with each other.”
On showing compassion for others: “I’m always thinking about other people. I’m always asking people, ‘Are you OK, are you ok,’ more than once. That’s just me checking on them. Everybody needs that person to talk to, everybody needs that person to listen to them. There’s not enough people listening. Everybody wants to say something. When people start to listen, you start to understand and you start to get other points of views that you can put with your point of view.”
On how his parents raised him and his siblings: “They were sticklers on our school and they were sticklers on being disciplined, but they gave us enough leeway to be able to learn and to be able to experience stuff, but also was there to shelter us from stuff that in our neighborhood was not good. My dad used to check, just to see how we looked, see if we weren’t doing some stuff we weren’t supposed to be doing. You can always tell if someone was smoking or drinking or something like that.”
On learning to avoid drugs and alcohol: “Doing drugs and alcohol has never done good for anybody. You can look at them and see how they look, how they act. Why do I even want to try or attempt to do that if that’s how you’re going to come up like? That’s how we’ve always lived in our household. You ain’t got to be the one to be the test dummy. You can just look at them, observe, and see how it affects other people and do you really want to be like that? The only thing that has come with drugs and alcohol is death and jail.”
On playing in the NFL: “That’s always in the back of your head. My best friend is in the NFL, Chido (Awuzie). I have cousins that were there. I have friends in the NFL from other teams. I know about it and I know what it takes and I know how the process is. God has his plans for everybody. If it’s the NFL for me, I’m going to be happy. If it’s not, I’m going to be happy regardless. Some things are just not in your hands. I can go through to get ready for the NFL and have a great combine, but at the end of the day, I can’t force anybody to pick me up. As long as I give everything I got out there, 110 percent of me, I’m going to be OK. At least I put everything out there.”
On people saying he’s too small to play in the NFL: “Someone is always going to say something. For me, that’s my fuel. I fuel off that stuff. I don’t fold under pressure. That’s one thing, I never fold under pressure. When the attention is on me, I love it because it makes me thrive even more. For me, it’s about going out there and proving everybody wrong. At the end of the day, there’s nobody in college football that blocks better than me, there’s nobody out there catching the ball and I’m breaking tackles. I’m doing everything that these supposedly first-round draft picks are doing; I’m doing the same thing. I think people are mad that I’m doing this at 5-8, 190 pounds. I think they have a problem with that. We assume you have to be a certain height, a certain weight; you have to look a part to do what you want to do, but I’ve proven it (to be wrong), and I feel like a lot of people don’t like that. There’s nothing you can say I haven’t done. What it’s going to come down to is somebody giving me that shot. All I need is one person. I don’t need 32 teams. It’s about productivity. It’s about consistency. I’ve shown two years in a row that I can stay healthy, I can carry the ball 40 times, that I can catch, that I can run, that I can block, I’m a leader. There’s nothing more I can prove but to just go out there and be Phillip Lindsay again.”
On potentially playing for the Denver Broncos: “It would mean a lot. It means I would never step foot out of Colorado (as a place to live). It would be a unique situation and I’ve been a Denver Bronco fan because I have pride for my state. It would be an honor for them to draft me. I would go and I would just be Phillip Lindsay and I would do what I have to do to help the Denver Broncos win a championship.”
On life after football: “I still want to be a police officer and I wouldn’t mind coaching as well. My family has a lot of background in coaching, and I want to help kids grow and I want to help kids get their full potential, like me. I feel like I’ve brought a lot of hope to a lot of young kids. Football has become so different. Kids don’t want to play because they feel like they can’t play because of how they look. There’ s so many kids out there that are so talented and they’re not going to play because we’ve put a certain height and weight on football.”
QUOTES FROM PHILLIP’S OLDER SISTER, CHERI, WHO IS THE HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH AT BETHANY COLLEGE IN KANSAS
On whether there was any doubt about Phillip succeeding in the Pac-12: “No, honestly. Phil is so tunnel-vision when it comes to football. None of us have ever thought he wasn’t going to come and dominate on everything he does because he puts so much work into it and so much heart into it. From an older sister’s perspective, he has a lot of heart. He cares about his sports, he cares about his family and he cares about everything he puts him mind to.”
On whether there was concern about CU honoring Phillip’s scholarship offer after his knee injury: “Oh yeah. It’s always a scary situation, especially when it’s the recruiting process. He saw me and my older sister go through it. As a college coach, when somebody gets hurt there’s always going to be that doubt in the back of my mind as a coach, ‘Do I want this kid?’ We have the power to take scholarships away. It was probably one of the lowest points he’s ever had being so young and then having that happen and then having coach Mac honor his scholarship, that was the boost.”
On helping Phillip through the recovery process: “From personal experience, it’s not fun. It hurts really bad. There were times we’d sit in the front room and we’d try to force his knee up to his butt or force it down. It was a really tough time and it’s hard for anybody. He did what he had to do and persevered through it. His high school trainer, she couldn’t get him to where he needed to be. A lot of the stuff we did was leftover from what my athletic trainer did with me. He needed to be up at CU getting attention.”
On what impresses you most about Phillip now: “I would just say that his poise. Some people tend to forget how much pressure is really on him. He’s one of the only guys on the team that is really truly representing the state of Colorado. A lot of people watch him for that reason. He feels he has to perform for those people. That puts a lot of stress on a young kid, especially an athlete. He’s just matured a lot, even from when I watch his videos and his interviews (compared to) when he was younger to now, it’s night and day. The fact that he never really talks about himself is something that you don’t see that often in college athletics. It’s always about the team with him. That speaks volumes about him. That would be the most impressive thing I’ve seen growth-wise from him.”
On how Phillip will handle life after football: “The same passionate football player you guys see is also going to be the same passionate police officer and I see him working as hard as he possibly can to get as high as he can in those ranks. I see him always striving to be the best he can be. You always are learning. There’s always doors that need to be open, so I see him opening up every door that he comes up on.”
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.