Inexperienced freshmen and sophomores make up a large chunk of the Colorado football roster this season.
On the offensive line, however, the Buffaloes actually have some experience, as well as talent, and that has shown throughout camp.
"We're shuffling around a lot, but I think we're mending together well this year," senior captain Daniel Munyer said. "We've got a lot of guys moving around and playing different positions. But I feel like we're playing really well together."
Munyer is one of three returning starters on the line. He started all 12 games last season at right guard, while fellow senior Kaiwi Crabb started all 12 at left guard and junior Stephane Nembot all 12 at right tackle. Together, they have 58 career starts at CU.
Projected left tackle Jeromy Irwin has yet to start a game, but the sophomore has appeared in 10 games, while Alex Kelley, who may land the starting job at center, has appeared in nine games.
Beyond that group, the Buffs have junior Sully Wiefels, who started for two years at American River College before transferring to CU; Marc Mustoe, who has appeared in 13 games as a Buff; Brad Cotner, who has appeared in 15 games; and Shane Callahan, who saw brief action while playing at Auburn last year.
The Buffs also like their talented group of youngsters, including Jonathan Huckins, Gerrad Kough and Sam Kronshage.
"This year we have way more depth," Munyer said. "We have 20 O-lineman, which is incredible, especially for the practices we're doing here. It's nothing but good things from that perspective."
The depth and talent among that group has led to spirited competition among the linemen. That's only made them better, Munyer said.
"I thought last year we played well together and I think this year we're taking an even bigger step in the right direction," he said.
To this point, Munyer points to communication and the ability to pick up movement on the defensive line as the strengths of the group. The weakness, he said, is simply that they haven't played as a unit in an actual game yet.
Overall, though, Munyer is pleased with the progress and believes the offensive line will be a strength this season.
"You'll make mistakes here and there, but one thing you can't do is coach your effort and I feel like we're giving great effort and energy out there," he said. "We're just fixing those little things, technique-wise, and we're going to be hitting the ground running come the first game."
Kelley figures to start the season at center, but Munyer, Wiefels and Huckins have all had plenty of reps at center in camp. Head coach Mike MacIntyre said the Buffs can't have enough players knowing how to snap the ball.
"We use a bunch of different centers," MacIntyre said. "If one of them goes down and you have five or six bad snaps, the whole game is destroyed. So, we try to get as many guys as we can doing it, getting used to the rhythm, getting used to the snap. Plus, you never know in the season who is going to travel and who's going to be hurt, so you've got to do it now to be ready."
The Buffs will hold a public scrimmage Saturday at 10 a.m. at Folsom Field. MacIntyre said the Buffs will be looking to evaluate not only players, but the scheme.
As for player participation in the scrimmage, MacIntyre said: "You do it kind of like a preseason game (in the NFL). You want to get some of the guys a few reps and you want to get some of the guys a lot of reps."
MacIntyre said Friday was the best morning practice of their four two-a-day sessions this week. ... Freshmen receiver Elijah Dunston missed Friday's practice after tweaking his knee, but MacIntyre said he believes Dunston will be fine. ... Sophomore Travis Talianko has moved from safety to linebacker. ... Sophomore De'Jon Wilson is practicing at defensive tackle and defensive end, because MacIntyre likes his flexibility to play both positions. ... Receiver Cheldon West has left the team for personal reasons, but MacIntyre expects West to return when classes start later this month.