Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay discusses the Buffs' resurgence and his unlikely favorite college class
Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay has been one of the key players fueling the Buffs' 2016 resurgence, logging 614 yards and nine touchdowns over the first seven games of the season. Lindsay shined last week with a 219-yard, three-touchdown performance in Colorado's 40–16 rout of Arizona State. Lindsay sat down with Campus Rush to talk about the big year in Boulder, his wild hair, and his unlikely favorite class.
Lindsay Schnell: It's been a long climb back to the top for Colorado—what was that win at Oregon like?
Phillip Lindsay: That was a big win, especially playing at Autzen, because that's a tough stadium to play in. But that got the wheels turning. That gave us a lot of confidence. Especially because going into the game, (quarterback) Sefo Liufau couldn't play cause he was hurt, so to have Steven Montez play, that really got us going.
LS: The last couple seasons, when you guys were so close—I think about the UCLA loss in overtime, for example—how did you keep a positive attitude so you could get to this year and play the way you are?
PL: It's a brotherhood here. There are seniors and redshirt juniors who were Coach Mac's first recruiting class. A lot of us have been here for four years, and we've hung in there because we've had the same goal: We wanted to win games, go to a bowl, and we knew it was going to take some time. And you know, we're still rolling. We're still looking for that bowl game.
LS: When Mike MacIntyre got to Boulder, things were a mess. What made you believe he could turn it around and commit to him?
PL: Just the discipline. He had a goal, he had plan and he just needed us to stay on that line and follow it. The kids he recruited, we were hungry. We all had that fire to play, and try to be great. And that's still what we're trying to be—great.
LS: Big game against Stanford this week. What have you learned from the way Stanford has dominated the conference the last few seasons?
PL: Pretty much that you don't don't have to play outside yourself. Stanford plays together. They play as a unit. They're disciplined. They don't do a ton of different blitz packages and showing different schemes, they just play ball—straight up, rough, tough football. They've got a good offense, a great defense. They're mean and they stay steady and consistent.
LS: Running back to running back—what makes Christian McCaffrey so good?
PL: He's patient. Sometimes you have a gift, and we get to see his. He has a great offensive line, great team all around. He's a good running back but he also has great people around him.
LS: Why is your nickname The Tasmanian Devil, and how do you feel about it?
PL: Coach Mac gave me that nickname because I go hard 100% of the time, every second of every play. I have a high motor, and I don't get tired.
LS: What position in football do you think you'd secretly be really good at?
PL: I think I would be good at nickel or safety because I am physical. I'm physical, I've got speed and I played defense in high school. I had a chance to play defense here, when I first came in I was looked at as an athlete, sometimes I look at our defense and they're having so much fun. It makes you want to go out there and hit somebody.
LS: I've heard you're an academic rat, and love to study. What's your favorite class you've taken at Colorado?
PL: Probably Women's Studies. I learned so much. There were probably three other men and the rest were women and you got to hear from them and see their standpoint, what they're going through and it opens your eyes. I enjoyed that class because I made some relationships, learned something and we had fun. School is important, you've gotta go get your degree. I'm so close to getting your degree and that's all my parents ever wanted me to do, so I've gotta finish strong.
LS: I want you to know that is my favorite answer of all time, that you loved Women's Studies.
PL: Women are strong! Everybody has their opinion but it's fun, especially when you get to understand their point of view on things. When you get to know people, you an appreciate them more as a human being. You're not looking down at them or degrading them then.
LS: You're a communications major with a pretty impressive GPA. What do you want to be when you grow up—besides a professional football player, of course?
PL: I want to be a police office or a firefighter. I've been wanting to be that forever. I want to make an impact in the world. I understand that being a police officer right now, it's hectic, it's dangerous. So is being a firefighter. But being able to change somebody's life, being able to be there to save somebody, that gives you a good feeling. We're all placed on this earth to do something positive, to change things. Why can't I change things and help somebody? When you do that, you're helping society, you're helping the world.
LS: You have two younger brothers, Zachary and Marcus … Zachary plays at Northern Colorado and Marcus is still in high school And then you've got two older sisters. Who is the best athlete in the family of the five kids?
PL: So my younger brother Marcus, he's starting to get a lot of offers and he's like me, wild hair, really fun, great motor. But best athlete? Hands down, my sister Sparkle who played basketball at Mesa State, she was a baaaad woman … My other sister, Cheri, who played volleyball (at Prairie View A&M), they called her "the girl that could fly" because she could touch the rim, she could almost dunk a basketball. She had hops. Actually, that's who we got our physicality from, was our sisters—they used to beat us up! They played all kinds of sports and they'd beat us and make us cry. It was messed up.
LS: What IS up with your hair?
PL: I started growing out in high school and my friends liked it, but my mom wasn't too sure about it. You know how that goes, she liked a clean cut, handsome young man. It was a football thing, before games I'd pick it out and make it into an afro because, you know, the afro was gone for awhile but I'm trying to bring it back! It was a great time period. And then my younger brother Marcus, who has better hair than me, he did the same thing and we've just kinda stuck with it.
LS: Who is the best dancer on your team?
PL: Hmm, I would have to say wide receiver Bryce Bobo. Bryce Bobo's got some moves.
LS: Who is the worst dancer on your team?
PL: He's going to be mad but Kyle Evans. You know, the OTHER running back.
LS: I know you love your offensive line very much. After you ran for 219 last week against Arizona State you brought all of them to the press conference. It's almost Halloween … if you guys all dressed up in some sort of group costume, what would you go as?
PL: Oooh, that's a hard one. It's a big group. We could be, um, Jelly Beans. And if I'm a jellybean, I'm going for raspberry.