Freshman running back to carry load against Oklahoma State

Friday, October 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Colorado freshman running back Bobby Purify is expected to carry the load for the Buffaloes' ailing offense this Saturday against Oklahoma State.

Marquee tailback Marcus Houston is still out with a torn hip flexor ligament and junior Cortlen Johnson is doubtful because of a sore shoulder, leaving Purify and redshirt freshman Marcus Moore.

Sophomore Vince Reed, however, has recovered enough from a back sprain to possibly play.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Purify, a recruit out of Palmer High School, suffered a stress fracture in his foot on the opening day of spring practice and didn't play until last Saturday at Kansas.

But Colorado head coach Gary Barnett was impressed with Purify after he carried three times for 19 yards, although Purify saw his overall number of snaps reduced because of a limited knowledge of the offense.

``His three carries were all impressive, plus his blocking was impressive,'' Barnett said. ``He's a real silky runner _ all of a sudden he glides through there.''

CU contacted Purify, who led Colorado's 5A schools in rushing last season with 1,865 yards and 23 touchdowns, when he was a sophomore at Palmer but didn't follow through. Purify was recruited after Barnett saw a tape of Purify.

``I saw eight or nine plays, said he looks terrific,'' Barnett said. ``He was the first guy I wrote a letter to'' after taking the job at Colorado.