August 16, 2006

Walters anxious to return

BOULDER, Colo. - Ryan Walters has earned the reputation of being one of the tougher players on the team, so when he misses practice, you know he is hurting.

The sophomore free safety originally injured his hamstring during summer conditioning and he re-injured it again last week.

"Right now I am just day to day," explained Walters, who has not been able to practice since last Thursday. "It is kind of sore but it is getting better and I'm confident that I'll be ready here [to begin practicing again] in a couple days.

"It is very frustrating, but I just have to keep my head up and rally behind these guys and try to coach them up while I'm not in there and continue to work with the trainers and try to pull through this."

In Walters' absence, sophomore Ben Burney has been practicing with the first team defense at free safety. "Ben is a smart, athletic kid and he has been doing a great job," Walters said. "We are fortunate to have good depth on our defense. I don't think we really miss a beat with him in there."

Walters played in nine games last season, recording 16 tackles in 163 plays. His strong performance during spring practices catapulted him to the top of the depth chart.

Wednesday Practice Notes:

*** Cornerback Terrence Wheatley continues to stand out. The junior cornerback, who missed all of the 2005 season with a severe wrist injury, picked off three passes during Wednesday's practice. His last pick came against James Cox during 11-on-11's. Wheatley raced down the west sideline and somersaulted into the end zone.

*** Offensive lineman Edwin Harrison and defensive tackle George Hypolite, both of whom project as starters for this season, missed Wednesday's practice and are day-to-day.

*** True freshman linebacker Michael Sipili continues to work his way up the depth chart. He is now second at the Mike linebacker position behind established veteran Thaddaeus Washington.

*** The Buffs will not practice this afternoon. They will instead take a team trip to Water World.

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