Scott’s departure could hurt Buffs’ future
BOULDER, Colorado – Darrell Scott’s departure from the University of Colorado will probably be felt more on the recruiting trail than on the football field.Scott’s injury-filled career in Boulder ended Tuesday when the sophomore tailback texted his position coach to tell him he had decided to transfer. The No. 1 prep running back in the nation two years ago, Scott plans to join his uncle, former Buffaloes wide receiver Josh Smith, at UCLA next year.His impact on the field during his 1 seasons in Boulder was limited mostly to kickoff returns, so the Buffs’ special teams will probably miss him more than the offense will.A series of injuries and an inability to quickly adapt to the college game kept Scott from ever living up to the hype in Boulder.His legacy, however, will surely be pointed out by other schools the next time the Buffs try to lure a big-time recruit.It’s also fodder right now for the growing ranks of critics who want coach Dan Hawkins to be the next one to leave town, and fast. Fed-up Buffs fans are planning a protest Saturday when the Buffaloes (2-6, 1-3 Big 12) host Texas A&M (5-3, 2-2).A student launched a Facebook challenge for fans to wear powder-blue to the game instead of their usual yellow and black. Powder blue is the color the football team wore from 1981-84, when they went 10-34 overall during one of the worst stretches in school history, one rivaled by the last 3 seasons during which they are 15-30 under Hawkins.Scott, who packs 215 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame, signed to much fanfare in 2008, the crown jewel of Hawkins’ recruiting efforts. But he showed up out of shape as a freshman after picking Colorado over Texas, Florida State and LSU and was quickly beaten out by Rodney Stewart, a 5-foot-6, 175-pound fellow freshman, who beat him out again this season.Scott was slowed by injuries for much of his time at Colorado, where he started just four games in two seasons. He rushed for 95 yards on 23 carries this season, and most of that came in Week 2, when he gained 85 yards on a dozen carries at Toledo.It was in that game that he banged up a knee that would slow him down and eventually require arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 22. He hadn’t played since but was expected back soon when his decision to bolt Boulder sucker-punched the Buffs.At first, Hawkins decided to stay silent on the matter. But on his weekly radio show, he said: “I like Darrell and he’s a good kid, and any time a kid leaves, I feel bad for a number of reasons. One is I don’t think that quitting is always the answer. … I feel bad when I’m not able to touch a kid or reach a kid and there’s those things that happen.”Now again, I’m not perfect and I’m not going to save everybody. But our kids are great. They understand the nature of it and they practiced great and we wish Darrell nothing but the best and he’s a good kid and you know I want him to go on and be successful in life and football,” Hawkins said.Scott, who ranked second in the Big 12 with 564 kick return yards, said he sends the same wishes to his former teammates.Stewart stands to get most of the carries again Saturday against the Aggies, who can become bowl eligible with a win.”It’s something that obviously is hanging out there, but at the same time we’ll worry about that once that happens, or if that happens,” second-year Aggies coach Mike Sherman said.Although the Aggies have struggled on defense this season, allowing 400 yards and 30 points per game, pass-rusher Von Miller leads the nation with 13 sacks, and the Aggies have blown out Texas Tech and Iowa State the last two weeks.Miller must be licking his chops watching film of the Buffaloes’ 36-17 loss at Missouri last week. Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen was sacked eight times by the Tigers, including once for a safety, while also losing three fumbles and throwing an interception.