Label me shocked. Junior WR Markques Simas, who was suspended in February following his DUI arrest, took part in spring practice today for the Colorado Buffaloes, according to Patrick Ridgell of the Longmont Times. Simas was held out of the Buffs' first three practices this spring.
Simas played in 10 games a year ago, recording 43 receptions for 585 yards and three scores. Towards the end of last year, though, Simas emerged as one of the most productive receivers in the country and the threat many Buff fans have heard about.
Just in the month of November '09, Markques Simas had 25 receptions and 355 yards. If he kept that production up over a full season, he would total 100 receptions, 1,412 yards and 8 touchdowns. Simas ranked 10th in the nation for yards/game in the month of November among all receivers in the nation.
The University of Colorado is still considering a punishment for Simas in the fall so missing a couple games at the beginning of the season may be possible but for now, it looks like the talented receiver won't be kicked off the team, something that many feared immediately after the news broke of Simas' most recent incident. Simas redshirted his freshman year at CU, was ineligible for his entire redshirt freshman year, missed two games his sophomore season after violating team rules and most recently, the DUI infraction this spring.
Initially, I certainly thought Hawkins and Co. would hold Simas out for all of spring and most of the season, if not kick him off the team. When I saw Markques in a jersey out watching his teammates' practice this Saturday, I thought it was a good sign and that he may be back sometime this year. I still feel their will be some missed games when the regular season rolls around but all signs point to Simas being fully reinstated.
It's still up to Markques Simas to keep himself eligible, out of trouble, in the film room to become the dominant receiver he can be. The player who should be smiling most from this news is WR Toney Clemons. With Clemons, Simas and McKnight out there, no one is an easy cover. No question, this team is better with Markques on the field. Hopefully, Simas has finally learned.