Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre does not allow true freshmen and newcomers who joined the program in the summer to talk to the media until after the first game of the season.

MacIntyre and his assistants also won't talk about freshmen until after the Buffs take on Colorado State on Aug. 29 in the season opener.

With that in mind, we take a look at five true freshmen who have made an impression in the first nine practices and who appear to be working themselves into position to play this season.

WR Shay Fields — This is probably a no-brainer. Fields was the highest rated player in the Buffs' 2014 recruiting class and he looks the part so far this month. It helps that Fields is also one of the fastest players on the team, maybe the fastest, and the offense really needs that speed in its arsenal. He still has a long way to go in terms of doing all the little things right in the mold of Nelson Spruce.

CU’s Lee Walker makes a difficult catch during the Buffs’ spring game in April.
CU's Lee Walker makes a difficult catch during the Buffs' spring game in April. (Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera)

DE Jase Franke — Defensive end already was a thin position before the first practice when two more players there went down with injuries. It's tough to say if Franke would be in the mix for playing if Tyler Henington hadn't turned his ankle and Markeis Reed didn't have a sports hernia. But Franke seems to be making the most of his opportunity.

WR Lee Walker — He doesn't have the same speed that fellow freshman Shay Fields and Donovan Lee bring to the table, but he has been in the program since January and is a few steps ahead in terms of knowing what to do and how to do it. He can help on special teams and work his way into more opportunities on offense.


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DE Michael Mathewes — He's in the same boat as Franke. Both surely would have had opportunities to prove themselves this month even if all of their veteran teammates were healthy, but they're getting a lot more chances as well as attention from coaches. The good thing about these guys is they have bodies ready for the college game with Franke listed at 270 pounds and Mathewes at 250.

S Evan White — Ideally, coaches would be able to redshirt this 6-foot-3, 195-pound safety from Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora. That still could happen if some of his older teammates can stay healthy. But White has already received plenty of opportunities with senior Jered Bell out much of the first week with an injured elbow. White could also be an asset on special teams. We wouldn't be surprised to see him on the field this season.

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @kyleringo.