I crossed paths with CU wide receiver Markques Simas this week in the Dal Ward Center. He’s not exactly the easy-going, fun-loving guy these days that he was at the end of last season after being arrested for DUI last month and suspended from the team indefinitely.
He obviously has a lot on his mind, but it was good to see him doing his best to deal with the situation and not just completely bailing out.
I asked athletic director Mike Bohn whether Simas would be reinstated to the team in the future and he said, “That’s up to him.” Bohn said coach Dan Hawkins will ultimately make that decision, but apparently, there is some scenario in which Simas will be allowed to return.
I would have asked Hawkins about this, but he turned down my interview request last week, saying he was too busy and won’t be available until the first day of spring ball on Saturday.
Simas won’t participate in spring ball, but he clearly still has a chance to earn his way back into good standing after the third strike of his career. He was suspended for the first two games last season for an undisclosed violation of team rules and he missed the entire 2008 campaign being academically ineligible.
“He was going to be a big time player for us and things didn’t really work out,” quarterback Tyler Hansen said. “It’s real disappointing what he did. Hopefully he will learn his lesson and grow from it and be a better man, but it’s a real big loss for our team offensively. We just need some new guy to step up. We need Jarrod Darden to step up, Will Jefferson to step up, one of those guys to step up and take his role and hopefully we can overcome it.”
Simas finished last season with 43 catches for 585 yards and three touchdowns. He caught 31 balls for 463 yards in the final four games. Losing that kind of production is obviously a big problem for the CU offense and a big reason why his teammates want him back.
Wide receiver Toney Clemons is more than capable of replacing Simas. Clemons might already be the best receiver on the team, but having them both as well as senior Scotty McKnight, would make the Buffs hard to handle.
Clemons said Simas is attending team meetings and seven-on-seven work leading up to spring practices and the team does what it can to keep Simas up to speed when he does miss something.
“It’s a big loss in the fact that we’re trying to get better and we can’t have setbacks,” Clemons said. “We’re not good enough to not be at full strength and him not being there kind of hurts us. At the same time, it’s spring ball and everybody knows how spring ball goes.
“We’ve got younger guys who have got to step up and play. This is how the game goes. Every play you’ve got to be on alert. This gives some young guys an opportunity to step up and show what they can do and learn the system and adapt to the game speed. Hopefully he’ll be back. If he can get back, we’d love to have him. We’d be tough to stop, like five-deep, six-deep out there running routes and stuff. We’re pulling for him. We want him here. Minus all the negativity, we want him here.”