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SPORTS DIGEST

CLOSE-UP : Freedom Means Finishing a Bowl

December 28, 1985|JERRY CROWE

Come Tuesday, Lyle Pickens may finally get some time to rest.

Pickens, it seems, hasn't had time for a breather in several months. A former all-state defensive back at Valley College, the 5-10, 165-pound cornerback led the University of Colorado football team this season with three interceptions, including one with 1:03 left to preserve a 14-13 victory over Arizona.

Then, on Dec. 7, he married the former Jill Stoltzfus.

And now, he and his teammates are encamped in Orange County, preparing to meet Washington in the Freedom Bowl on Monday night at Anaheim Stadium.

Pickens, a former state 400-meter champion at Birmingham High, is the second-fastest player on the Buffalo squad, but even he has had a hard time keeping up.

The last few months, he said, have been "like a dream." Despite his hectic schedule, the senior communications major found time to maintain a B- grade-point average and win the team's Jacob Van Ek Award for academic and athletic excellence.

And, Pickens said, "I can't wait until Monday night."

He'll probably sleep late.

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