April 10, 2008
BOULDER, Colo. - The Buffaloes' lack of depth at tight end has been well documented this spring. Patrick Devenny is currently the only scholarshiped player at the position practicing, and he originally came to Boulder as a quarterback.
Standout tight end Riar Geer was arrested in mid-March on suspicion of second-degree assault and harassment. As a result, he has not practiced at all this spring. Geer caught 38 passes for 389 yards and five touchdowns in 2006 and 2007.
"Spring ball has gone really well," said Devenny, who had a 45-yard touchdown reception in last Saturday's scrimmage. "The opportunity through Riar's whole situation is challenging but at the same time it is kind of working itself out. I know Riar is going to be fine.
"The problem I have is just knowing that no matter what play I make, I know Riar can make it. So I just have to keep remembering no matter how good it looks, Riar can do it just as well. I need to stay humble and keep working hard."
Devenny made the position switch from quarterback to tight end as a redshirt freshman in 2006.
"I am just now starting to feel comfortable at tight end," he admitted. "Getting size and just trying to mellow into the position has taken time. The biggest thing is just getting confidence. Now that I am starting to pick it up more mentally, it makes the game a lot easier."
Being on special teams and having the opportunity to catch a three-yard touchdown pass at tight end last fall helped Devenny gain confidence. This year, he is looking to have a bigger role on the team.
"My goal for this season is to contribute," he said. "That has been the biggest frustration for me so far as a member of this team. I feel like I haven't contributed enough. A lot of people point out the position switch, but I don't like to make excuses. I had no problem making the switch. In the past years I have really looked up to Joe Klopfenstein, Tyson DeVree and Riar. Now I want to be like that. This season I want to be able to contribute."
Walk-ons Devin Shanahan and Luke Walters have also benefited from receiving a lot of reps at tight end this spring.
"They are kind of in different stages a little bit," head coach Dan Hawkins said when asked about Shanahan and Walters. "I think they are starting to come around. They have both been through the wars a little bit. Shanny had to go through a year of knee rehab and he is a very hard worker.
"I think Luke is very adept to catching the football. That is his real strength. So we'll see. We'll get those young guys (CU signed three tight ends with the Class of 2008) in here in the fall and see what they can do and play the best guy."
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