From the time of his commitment into even his Junior campaign, Phillip Lindsay was met with question marks and doubt from all angles. It started with the usual, he's not fast enough or big enough to play running back, they should move him to defensive back on the message boards. Then it was, well, he's not lead back material and can't be a workhorse. Maybe, Lindsay will be a good third down back and get you 15 touches at best but even then he can't break a big play.
Between the 2015 season and 2016 season, something happened at the University of Colorado, the Buffaloes football team truly believed in The Rise! A phrase new co-Offensive Coordinator, recruiting coordinator and Wide Receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini brought with him on his return to Boulder after last donning the silver, gold and black in 1998 as a player. The Rise didn't become REAL until the seventh game of the season. But, the week before many of the questions on if Lindsay was really the guy were answered with him being the best player for the Buffaloes (with a close second to Bryce Bobo) and helping them nearly will their way to an upset versus the USC Trojans.
Versus Arizona State, every doubt that anyone had regarding Lindsay was ended on the first play of the 2nd half. Lindsay had 68 yards and a score at halftime for CU. It was a night game, the crowd was at over 95% capacity and CU was up 23-10 and looked like they were about to go from laughing stock of college football for far too many years to nearly becoming bowl eligible. Lindsay took a counter to the left side of the line in a nice hole, bent through the arms of two would be tacklers and raced 75 yards for a touchdown showing speed and power as the last Arizona State defender could not bring him down when he caught him. Lindsay would finish with 219 yards, 26 carries and 3 touchdowns. Lindsay would go on to rush for 100+ yards in 3 of the next four contests and help grind the Buffs to their first 10 win season in nearly 15 years and first division championship since 2005.
Despite the disappointment of the 2017 season and sitting at 5-5, the leadership and workhorse mentality of Phillip Lindsay has shined bright for the Buffs in 2017 with Lindsay amassing over 100 yards (actually 140 is the lowest of that group) in half of the games and amassing 19 or more carries every game. Lindsay leads the nation in carries with 263, has the fourth most rushing yards for this season with 1334 and has 12 rushing touchdowns.
Lindsay's acheivements at Colorado are set to fill the record book with these noted as highlights:
-Career Leader in All Purpose Yards
-76 Scrimmage Yards from becoming Career Leader in Scrimmage Yards (Rushing + Receiving)
-21 Yards from becoming 2nd leading rusher and 363 yards from taking the number one spot that Eric Bienemy holds
-First non-quarterback to reach Top 10 in total offense with only 36 more yards from scrimmage.
-2nd Most TDs in school history needing 5 more to match Eric Binemy and is Top 5 in Scoring at 222 points.
-48 yards from becoming first 1,000 yard career receiving as a running back
-Most receptions by a Running Back
If Lindsay can eclipse 1,000 yards receiving he would be the first player in CU history to rush, receive and return for over 1,000 yards.
Lindsay had offers from Utah and Texas A&M before committing to the Buffaloes and a knee injury that ended his senior year campaign at Denver South may have prevented bigger schools from coming into the fold, but before even committing to CU and the knee injury and coaching changes that 2012 year held, Lindsay said to Adam Munsterteiger in January 2012 "I looked at CU and they run a lot so their offense is pretty cool. I am really interested in CU right now. It would be great to stay in my home state for college."
Even before he saw the field and after being named Scout Team Offensive Player of the year during his redshirt year, Lindsay spoke more on the subject with Brian Howell: “I love my state, I love (CU), I love Colorado football, and I want everybody to know that. You're coming from Colorado and everybody is talking down about (the football program) because you have off years. But it's about pride."
The truth of the matter is, while there are other great locals that have played at CU, CSU and at Air Force over the past century, no player has had the on-field performance and ability to sell the state of Colorado football like Phillip Lindsay. He is the ambassador of the state of football in Colorado, no matter how much rival CSU fans don't like to hear it, because he emulates everything you want in a Colorado kid that stays home; hard work, love for the state and respect nationally and being talked about nationally. What other player that is playing now or has played in memory can you put out there to talk Colorado Football from the youth to the college level like Lindsay? A kid that was born here, grew up here and stayed in Colorado and showed what hard work can do and that shows team above self. That impact can already be seen in the Lindsay Afro wigs seen at games and the jubilation so many of CUs young fans have towards Lindsay. Lindsay's buzz will be felt in the decade to come when that local kid plays running back dreaming of being the next Lindsay and maybe ends up at CU or CSU. While Lindsay is far from the most talented and NFL ready player to come out of the local scene, he is easily one of the most recognizable and respected players that have donned a local colleges jersey. Phillip Lindsay is a man you can point to and say, I want my kid to grow up like him whether Lindsay ever touches an NFL field or lives his other dream of protecting Denver as a police officer. Thank you Phillip Lindsay for the pride you have shown for all of Colorado football.