Kabion Ento has waited a long time to get back on the field for the Colorado football team.
A junior college transfer in 2016, Ento played in every game that year, finishing with eight catches for 174 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Last year, he would have been a senior, but with three veteran seniors ahead of him, he agreed to use his redshirt in hopes of a more prominent role this year.
Now a fifth-year senior, he's ready for a prominent role.
"I'm still getting there. I'm working every day," he said. "Of course, I haven't played an actual, real down in (more than) a year, so it's going to be exciting to get back to that."
Ento is part of an extremely talented group of receivers that includes fellow seniors Jay MacIntyre and Juwann Winfree. All three seniors are team captains. Junior Tony Brown and sophomores KD Nixon and Laviska Shenault are among the others expected to make an impact.
At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Ento has put on about 10 pounds of muscle since he first arrived at CU. He's still got his speed and exceptional leaping ability, though.
Ento is hoping all the work he's put in over the past year will pay off with victories this fall.
"I'm really excited ... just seeing what this team is capable of, and what we really can do, and just trying to put on a show for everybody and win games," he said. "That's all that matters. It should be fun."
The Denver Post reported Thursday that CU and Colorado State have signed an agreement to play a home-and-home series in 2023 and 2024. It's an agreement that BuffZone has reported in the past as a handshake deal, but it has recently become official.
Under the current agreement, the Rocky Mountain Showdown will expire after the Sept. 5, 2020, meeting in Fort Collins. The teams will not play in 2021 or 2022, and the new agreement adds games Sept. 16, 2023, in Boulder, and Sept. 14, 2024, in Fort Collins.
"We've been talking about it for a couple of years," CU athletic director Rick George said. "We think it's great for the Front Range. It's good to bring it back on our campuses."
In most years recently, the Buffs have opened their season against the Rams. The 2023 and 2024 games will be in Week 3, which George said is better for the Buffs.
In the next several years, the Buffs have some loaded non-conference schedules that include not only games against the Rams, but several against Power 5 teams. From 2021-23, the Buffs will have two Power 5 opponents each season in their non-conference schedules.
"We do have some good schedules, but if you look back at when we were (competing for) national championships, we were playing Washington, Stanford, Illinois, Texas," George said. "I think it's going to be good for us. I think our team is up for the challenge and to be the best you have to play the best; that's kind of our philosophy."
CU held its annual Boulder Chamber kickoff luncheon on Friday at Balch Fieldhouse.
Head coach Mike MacIntyre brought the entire team to the front of the room, talking about each position group and what they've done to get better.
The crowd applauded when MacIntyre highlighted defensive linemen Lyle Tuiloma and Javier Edwards for their hard work this offeason, pointing out Tuiloma's 30 pounds in weight loss and Edwards' 62-pound loss.
MacIntyre, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot and co-offensive coordinators Klayton Adams and Darrin Chiaverini spoke to the crowd during the event.
MacIntyre also said that with this year's camp schedule he feels the team is fresher at this point than in any other year he's been at CU.
A week before the start of the season, CU is behind last year's pace with season ticket sales, but still in good shape compared to recent years.
As of Friday morning, CU had sold 18,484 season tickets to the public. That puts CU behind 2017 (20,808 sold), but already ahead of the previous three seasons (2014-16).
CU had also sold 7,312 student passes as of Friday, roughly the same pace as last year, when all 11,500 were sold. CU typically sees a spike in student pass purchases after classes begin. Monday is the first day of the fall semester.
Not counting students, the Buffs have sold 22,163 tickets to the Aug. 31 opener against Colorado State, to be played at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver.