Defensive end Markeis Reed was hoping to have a big redshirt freshman season for the Colorado defense.
He still can make that happen but it will be an abbreviated season.
Reed will undergo surgery Tuesday to fix a sports hernia he has been fighting since spring ball. He said he's been receiving platelet-rich plasma injections hoping to avoid surgery since first injuring himself in the spring, but he felt a pop coming off the line of scrimmage in the first practice of fall camp and now isn't expected to be able to play until the second or third game of the season.
"I'm trying to come back as fast as possible," Reed said after watching another practice from the sidelines Monday. "I'm going to do my rehab to the best of my ability and be ready to come back hopefully by the Massachusetts game and the home opener here at Folsom against ASU."
Reed and fellow redshirt freshman Derek McCartney along with sophomore Jimmie Gilbert and junior Tyler Henington figure to provide the bulk of the Buffs' pass rushing efforts this season. But Reed and Henington (ankle) need to get back on the field before they can start to make that a reality.
In the meantime, Reed said he takes mental reps throughout practices trying to envision himself running each play seeing what he might do against tackles, guards, tight ends and running backs.
"I try to look at the Buff position and mentally see it in my mind whether it's coverages or if it's a blitz or a pass rush move," he said. "Whatever it is I try to take as many mental reps as I possibly can and learn all the new defenses we're implementing every day."
Who are these guys?
CU coach Mike MacIntyre called this week of practice identity week for the Buffs on Monday when asked if he was starting to discover more answers about his team.
"This is the week you kind of make yourselves," he said. "We're going to have nine practices in six days and couple type scrimmages. This is the week we'll see who pushes through and we'll see who comes through at the other end of this. Hopefully we can get all the right guys in the right place and we'll stay healthy."
Former CU coach Gary Barnett attended Monday's morning session and spoke to the team briefly. Barnett, now an analyst for Sports USA Radio, will be watching games from press boxes around the country again this fall.
MacIntyre credited Barnett for being there to answer questions and help him through the transition from San Jose State to Colorado. He said Barnett has become a trusted friend.
MacIntyre has made it a point to not talk about true freshmen and newcomers to his program during fall camp and has directed his assistant coaches to do the same.
But the head coach broke his rule Monday when talking about quarterback play. He said he has been impressed by freshman signal-caller Cade Apsay, a product of Canyon Country, California.
"He's very accurate is what I've noticed with Cade," MacIntyre said. "That's what we thought. That's what we saw, but you don't know until everything is happening. He's been real accurate."