Injuries impacted Jack Lamb’s three seasons at Notre Dame. His latest injury has now shortened his time with the Colorado Buffaloes.
This spring, Lamb, a junior inside linebacker, has elected to medically retire from college football after a shoulder injury that ended his 2021 season early.
“He’s had an injury past, even prior to being here at Colorado,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I think his frustration was he didn’t see that he could play a high level of football, at least at the expectation level that meets his thoughts to help our team be as good as it can be. He was very frustrated by it. He was trying to work through it.”
Lamb, who transferred to CU last summer, played 168 snaps on defense in 2021, recording 21 tackles. He had one of the best plays of the year for CU, scooping up a Washington fumble on Nov. 20 and racing 88 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Buffs a 10-0 lead in what would become a 20-17 victory.
Later in that game, however, Lamb injured his shoulder and he missed the finale at Utah the next week. Highly regarded out of Great Oak (Calif.) High School, Lamb dealt with several injuries during his three seasons at Notre Dame.
Dorrell said Lamb could have tried to recover and play again next season, but “since his situation has such uncertainty, he didn’t want to put the team in a bad situation about counting on him to be a contributing factor.”
Lamb has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
With Lamb retiring and Nate Landman graduating, the Buffs have lost two of their top four inside linebackers from last season. Seniors Robert Barnes and Quinn Perry go into spring with the most experience, while sophomore Marvin Ham II has played a sparingly.
True freshman Eoghan Kerry, signed as an outside linebacker, is now listed as an inside linebacker.
Another scholarship opened up this spring when junior offensive lineman Josh Jynes elected to end his playing career and become a student coach.
Jynes played four seasons with the Buffs. He played 115 snaps on offense, including eight last year. He is set to graduate in May.
“He has an interest in coaching so we kind of tied him into working with our offensive staff,” Dorrell said. “He’s been enjoying every bit of it. He’s trying to help us as a program and also he’s getting his degree and trying to get himself situated.”
With Lamb and Jynes moving on from the Buffs, CU has 84 projected scholarship players for the fall, with 66 of them on campus this spring.
Back in the mix
Junior quarterback JT Shrout will not be a full participant during spring, but he will return to the practice field for the first time since injuring his knee in August.
“JT is ahead of schedule,” Dorrell said. “You saw him at the pro day (on March 16) taking drops and throwing and things like that. He looks like he’s in pretty good health. We definitely feel he’s ahead of the curve right now, but we want to be cautious as to how much work we give him this spring.”
Shrout, who transferred from Tennessee last year, was in the mix to start before his injury and should be a part of the competition this year, as well.
“We want to make sure he comes out of spring feeling that he’s made some great progress not only from an offensive standpoint but physically that he feels that he’s on the right track to being a full fledge competitive player,” Dorrell said.
Dorrell said Shrout will do individual work and throw with receivers, but won’t be cleared for live scrimmages.
In addition to Shrout, several other players are coming off of injuries. That list includes receivers Maurice Bell and Jaylon Jackson and cornerbacks Nigel Bethel Jr. and Jaylen Striker. Dorrell said several players “will be limited and may gain full participation by the end of spring, but we’ll have to cross those bridges when we get to them. A lot of them are really, really close.” Dorrell said CU wants to bring those players along safely to make sure they are ready for fall. … CU will have two practices open to the public: April 9 and the spring game on April 23. … In addition to 66 scholarship players, CU has 26 walk-ons on the roster this spring. … Walk-on kicker Mac Willis has converted to cornerback. He was the Buffs’ kickoff specialist for four games in 2020.