It's been only three months since Kenneth Crawley graduated from high school, but on Saturday he will line up with Colorado's starting defense.
Crawley, from Washington, D.C., earned the starting job at left cornerback and will get his introduction to college football on Saturday against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"He plays with confidence, but he's a freshman and I'm sure there's going to be a bulls eye on his jersey," CU defensive coordinator Greg Brown said.
Crawley doesn't have to look far for advice. CU's starting right cornerback is Greg Henderson. A year ago, Henderson started as a true freshman and set a CU freshman record by playing on 823 snaps.
"(Crawley) is a gifted kid and it's just a matter of him going out there and now seeing it from another team," Brown said. "It's a step up no question. Greg Henderson went through the same learning curve last year and survived and Greg's well on his way right now."
Brown said it's a bonus for Crawley to learn from Henderson's experience.
"It does (help)," Brown said. "Greg's a good teammate, a good teacher, a good leader and he does a great job with the rest of the corners."
Henderson said Crawley has come to him for advice, but that he sees great potential in his new teammate.
"He's coming along real well," Henderson said. "The challenge is that there are a lot of great receivers in this league, so he's just got to be on his A game and just be confident in himself and he'll be all right.
"The first couple of games you're going to be nervous and you get the goose bumps and all of that. But, you're going to settle in and you'll be good. He's a great player and he has great athletic ability, so I have nothing to worry about with him."
Junior linebacker Paul Vigo has also been impressed with Crawley during fall camp.
"I think he's a confident kid," Vigo said. "He knows he has the talent and ability to cover guys and run with them, and the coaches have a lot of confidence in him. I think his thing will be to perform and I have no doubt he won't have any trouble performing."
CU's other standout true freshman cornerback, Yuri Wright, is progressing, too. Wright is listed behind Henderson at right cornerback.
"He's just got to learn the playbook and he'll be much better," Henderson said. "It's just knowing the plays so you can play faster."
Preparing for the Rams
Head coach Jon Embree said the Buffs players are pleased to be in game week after several weeks of practice.
"Camp takes forever," Embree said.
Game week is also a nice bit of relief for the coaches, who are eager to see their players against the competition.
"(During camp), you're doing so much with installs and making sure you're getting situational stuff in and all of that," he said. "Now it feels a little more normal, I guess, than what you're used to as a coach being in game-week mode."
Embree said he will name captains on a game-by-game basis this year, depending on "who has earned it." He said he would likely name captains for this week's game on Thursday. ... All of the freshmen did well in summer school, Embree said. He reported that none of them received a grade "below a C or C-minus." ... Starting left guard Alex Lewis has been in a walking boot the past few days after an ankle sprain, but took it off for practice on Monday. Embree said Lewis would be re-evaluated today, but joked, "The good news is he's a lineman, so I don't think his 5.2 40 will be affected too much." ... Former Buff Anthony Perkins, a rookie safety, was waived by the Denver Broncos on Monday. ... Embree's son, Taylor Embree, was waived by the San Diego Chargers on Monday. Taylor, who is from UCLA, is a rookie receiver.
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