In last weekend’s NFL Draft the Denver Broncos selected two different running backs, but the most intriguing new backfield prospect on the roster may actually be Phillip Lindsay. A Denver native and four-year workhorse for the University of Colorado, Lindsay signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent and has been outplaying expectations since his prep days at Denver South High School.
After tearing his ACL during his senior year at South, Lindsay did not receive much love around the country from college recruiters. Not even listed as a top-500 recruit nationally by 247Sports, Lindsay arrived in Boulder with a massive chip on his shoulders.
Recruited by former CU head coach John Embree, Lindsay ultimately played all four years under Mike Macintyre, where he played a crucial role in helping put Colorado football back on the map.
Lindsay was an absolute stud for CU, playing in all 51 games during his collegiate career (2014-17). A second-team All-PAC selection in both his junior and senior seasons, Lindsay’s versatility allowed him to make an impact in a variety of ways.
Out of the backfield, Lindsay runs the football with excellent vision and body control. A shifty runner with good open field speed, Lindsay does a good job at using his blocks and exploding through space.
Playing with former Buffs quarterback Sefo Liufau in 2016, Lindsay was not only a factor in the ground game with 1,252 yards and 16 touchdowns, but was also a huge threat to opposing defenses in the pass attack with 53 receptions for 493 yards.
By the time Lindsay hung up his cleats at Folsom Field, his name was forever etched in history, as the school’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards (5,760) and yards from scrimmage (4,683). He is CU’s second all-time leading rusher (3,707 yards) and was the first player in program history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
More impressive than the stats as a whole, as a 5’8″, 190 pound running back, Lindsay earned every yard he ever gained with sheer determination. Lindsay is not the type of running back that is going to torch a defense with extraordinary speed or completely dominate them with size, but he is athletic and crafty enough to make an impact at the next level.
As a competent pass catcher and pass blocker, along with the potential to play on special teams and line up in the backfield, Lindsay will have multiple ways to prove his value to head coach Vance Joseph this summer.
Nicknamed the “Tasmanian Devil” for his relentless energy on the field, do not be surprised if Lindsay works his way onto the 53 man roster in 2018. Potentially, even at the expense of one the team’s 2018 selections, Royce Freeman or David Williams.
The son of a former Colorado State fullback and a local star at CU, Mile High football is in Lindsay’s DNA. People have doubted this guy throughout every step of his football career but the critics have yet to be accurate.
After not getting an invitation to the NFL Combine or hearing his name called in the draft, Lindsay only has more fuel for his fire.