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April 8, 2009
Great Scott: Things looking up for slimmed-down RB
BOULDER, Colo. - Darrell Scott's first semester on campus at Colorado was a humbling experience.
The former five-star running back prospect and preseason pick to be the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2008 first battled conditioning issues and then a rash of injuries began hindering him.
Scott suffered a thumb injury, groin injury, hyperextended knee and a sprained ankle. His head was also swimming as he tried to learn the Buffaloes' playbook and use proper technique.
"In high school, all I did was get the ball and make plays. It was simple," Scott said. "But when I got here, there was a scheme to it and I had to follow everything and hit the right gap and have the correct footwork and all that stuff. It was a lot different."
Scott finished his true freshman season with a disappointing 343 yards and one touchdown on 87 carries.
"Everything happens for a reason, so I'm not upset with last season," said Scott, who now stands 6 feet 1 and 200 pounds. "I learned a lot and I am ready to show my stuff this year.
"Over the offseason, [running backs] coach Darian Hagan and I got together and we went over everything. And thanks to [strength and conditioning] coach [Jeff] Pitman and our 5 a.m. runs, I am down 30 pounds since I got here. I am a lot quicker, faster. ... I'm ready."
Hagan has been impressed with Scott's offseason work.
"It just comes down to trust, and he has been coming in and going above and beyond the call of duty," Hagan said. "Last year he was pretty much not running at full speed because he was banged up and he was out there guessing too much. He couldn't really let it go."
Scott has three goals this coming season: run for "at least" 1,000 yards, help the Buffaloes win 10 games and show off his left leg on special teams.
"I'm second-string punter right now, but I'm coming up the ranks," Scott said, laughing. "I am about to take over the No. 1 spot, I'm telling you."