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Colorado's Phillip Lindsay is an 'old soul' on and off the field

Colorado junior running back Phillip Lindsay has rushed for 745 yards and nine touchdowns through eight games this season. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay is usually the one in the Buffs' locker room who opposes his teammates' choices in music. It has been an ongoing battle over the past few seasons as Drake, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa blare through the locker room and Lindsay is left to his own arguments about why his teammates should be listening to Rick James, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

He begs his teammates to play the "good stuff" from the "good years." But they're not having it.

"The music back then -- the stuff that got you moving -- those were the fun days," Lindsay said. "Sometimes I wish I were in that era."

Lindsay is the Buffs' lovable old man in the locker room telling his teammates to get off his lawn. And he's not ashamed of it.

On an off day when he's back home, you might find him in his true grandfather form -- playing dominoes or spades while listening to his records and wearing his moccasin slippers. He says he enjoys going on walks or riding his bike.

"He's definitely an old soul," Colorado running back coach Darian Hagan added.

But Hagan likes that Lindsay sees himself as more of a 70s- or 80s-era guy.

Because while Lindsay's persona off the field exudes old school, his on-field persona is an embodiment of that same era -- a throwback, physical running style that Hagan thinks has been missing at the college level of late.

"In this day and age with offenses being so wide open and spread out, you don't really have to be physical to get a lot of yardage," Hagan said. "Whereas Phil, he'll go in and take on a guy just because that's how he was brought up in football. Instead of trying to avoid a person, he tries to run a guy over."

Lindsay is the Pac-12's fourth-leading running back (745) and he boasts the highest third-down conversion rate of any Pac-12 running back with at least 40 carries (87.5 percent). Likewise, only 9.2 percent of his rushes have been for no gain -- the highest percentage of any top-10 Pac-12 running back.

Thanks to Lindsay's physicality, he's one of just two top-10 conference backs who've accounted for more yards after contact than before (401 of his 745 yards have come after contact).

Lindsay's emergence has helped keep a Colorado offense -- which has dealt with quarterback injuries -- balanced and effective, and most importantly, atop the Pac-12 South. It reminds Hagan of his own playing days, when Colorado just pounded the ball right up the middle.

"You knew where we were going but you had to stop us because we were going to be physical and try to dominate you," Hagan said.

This season, that physical and dominant running back for the Buffs has been Lindsay. He's on track to be the first 1,000-yard Colorado rusher since Rodney Stewart (2008-11), bringing the Buffs back to the old school days both on and off the field.

Lindsay, between his music records and what could be a record-breaking season, just doesn't know any different.

"I'm old school," Lindsay said. "It's just a way of looking at things. A lot of times we sit here and everybody thinks that new things are always the way to go, but sometimes you've got to look back and enjoy the old school."

That's certainly true for Colorado right now as it looks to get back to its own glory days.