Former greats getting reengaged with the Buffs

[HAIL KORDELLww]Colorado's Michael Westbrook (81) reaches over Michigan's Ty Law (22) to make the game-winning catch with no time left in Colorado's win in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday, Sept. 24, 1994. The Hail Mary of all Hail Marys? The pass of the century? The miracle of Michigan Stadium? None of the above, says Kordell Stewart, whose 64-yard touchdown pass, and the ball actually traveled well over 70 yards, gave Colorado a 27-26 victory over in one of college football's greatest games.(AP Photo/The Michigan Daily, Douglas Kanter)

Looking for more positive signs about the direction of the CU football program, beyond the team’s flashy new uniform combinations, the Buffs glistening new training facilities, a commitment from a four-star recruit out of a prep football hotbed like Florida and a nice 3-1 start? The University of Colorado is starting to see some excitement from past greats, as players who know what a winning team looks like are starting to buy into this year’s Buffaloes.

On Saturday, this was repeatedly evident on Twitter, as Colorado’s 48-0 trouncing of Nicholls State at Folsom Field was heralded by some of the program’s most-prominent ex-players, including former quarterback Joel Klatt, who is now one of the top college football analysts for Fox Sports. But that wasn’t the only interaction; after the game, a current player received an unexpected text message that showed just how far the CU program has come the past few weeks.

In Saturday’s win, wide receiver Nelson Spruce set the all-time record for receiving yards by a Buff, passing Scotty McKnight, Rae Carruth and Michael Westbrook to move from fourth to first on that star-studded list. Becoming the most-accompished wideout in CU history, given that he’s also the school’s all-time leader in receptions, earned him a flurry of congratulatory messages. But one stood out; the man that he passed on the list, a player who landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated after making “The Catch,” sent him a postgame text.

“Any time those legends of the program reach out to you, it’s really special,” Spruce told about receiving a message from Michael Westbrook. “I’m glad he took the time to do that.”

Buffs fans should be happy to. The gesture from Westbrook is a positive sign for a lot of reasons. It’s evidence that the program now has players talented enough to pass some of the all-time greats in the record books. And it’s proof that the Buffs are once again relevant enough for former players to turn their eyes toward Boulder once again.

Just think what a win on Saturday night against Oregon would do. Cellphones all over Boulder would be blowing up with well wishes!