Phillip Lindsay (23) of the Colorado Buffaloes carries the ball against the Washington Huskies at Folsom Field on Sept. 23, 2017 in Boulder.
The NFL draft completed Saturday without Colorado Buffaloes tailback Phillip Lindsay among the 256 college football players selected. He called it “frustrating.” Yet, not long after the final pick, something strange happened.
Lindsay, a 5-foot-8 firecracker passed over by all 32 NFL teams despite a record-breaking CU career, was suddenly a hot commodity on the free-agent market. How many pro teams contacted the former Denver South star?
“I wanna say maybe 14,” Lindsay said. “It was bizarre because it was coming one at a time and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.”
Those who know Lindsay best weren’t surprised to learn the proud Colorado native signed with the Denver Broncos in a feel-good story almost too good to believe. Lindsay described it as a “dream come true,” but he’s also adamant it was a football decision.
“Honestly, the best fit was Denver,” Lindsay said. “It’s funny how it turned out that way.”
Lindsay is now the fifth member of the Broncos’ running back room as Denver needs a new starter in the aftermath of C.J. Anderson’s release. Devontae Booker and De’Angelo Henderson return to OTAs as frontrunners while 2018 draft picks Royce Freeman (third round) and David Williams (seventh) face the same rookie transition as Lindsay. If he can’t crack a spot in the RB rotation at first, Linsday won’t panic, either. The reason he chose the Broncos was an opportunity to showcase versatility — just as he did in Boulder.
Lindsay stands as the Buffaloes’ career leader in all-purpose yardage (5,760). He’s the only running back in CU history with multiple 100-yard receiving games. In total, he set 24 school records.
“I can do every single special team, starting with punt return and kick return. I can be a gunner and I can tackle,” Lindsay said. “On offense, I can catch. I can run inside, outside and I’m fast. I’m good on goal line, I’m durable and I’m not going to fumble the ball a lot. I’m going to handle myself as a pro.”
Lindsay’s willingness to do it all only increases his chances to land a roster spot. It’s why so many teams were after his services following the draft. Lindsay is thankful his football journey has taken another storybook turn.
“Overall, it’s a surreal moment,” Lindsay said. “I’m doing something I love to do, I get an opportunity to play in the NFL, and I’m going to take advantage of that starting in rookie mini-camp. I’m just going cherish every second, because you never know when it’s going to be your last time to play football or live another day.”
Phillip Lindsay, RB, CU Jeff Holland, OLB, Auburn Trey Marshall, S, Florida State Jimmy Williams, WR, East Carolina Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah Austin Schlottman, OL, TCU Leon Johnson, OL, Temple
Area college free agent deals
Jeromy Irwin, OL, CU: Saints Devin Ross, WR, CU: Titans Afolabi Laguda, S, CU: Rams Trent Sieg, LS, CSU: Baltimore Shay Fields, WR, CU: Redskins Detrich Clark, WR, CSU: Falcons Zack Golditch, OL, CSU: Chargers Dalyn Dawkins, RB, CSU: Titans Rico Gafford, DB, Wyoming: Titans
Area college rookie minicamp invitations
Nick Stevens, QB, CSU: Redskins Trae Moxley, OL, CSU: Cardinals Evan Colorito, LB, CSU: Saints Jake Bennett, C, CSU: Buccaneers Nick Callender, OL, CSU: Seahawks Drew VanMaanen, FB, Wyoming: Texans Ryan Cummings, OL, Wyoming: Texans Frank Stephens, WR, Northern Colorado: 49ers