There are times on the basketball court when Colorado's Chidobe Awuzie watches in awe as Kabion Ento goes up for a dunk.
"He's doing the craziest dunks that I don't even see people in the NBA doing," Awuzie said. "He's just incredibly athletic."
What the Buffaloes really want, however, is for Ento to display his athleticism on the football field. A transfer from East Central (Miss.) Community College, Ento is one of several talented receivers hoping to make their mark for the Buffs this fall.
"I have to make sure I keep working hard, that I don't get complacent," Ento said. "With all this talent we've got, I have to make sure I'm part of this talent. I never want my name left out. Anything I can do — blocking, catching the simplest ball — anything you can do to get in the rotation. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be something that's worthwhile."
After starring on offense and defense at Dollarway High School in Pine Bluff, Ark., Ento enrolled at ECCC and in two seasons caught 59 passes for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Ento enrolled at CU in the spring and immediately began getting his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame ready for Division I football. It hasn't been an easy transition.
"I think he was in my office every day asking me what he could do extra, and it showed, because when he came in, we told him, 'You're weak. You're weak in a lot of areas,'" CU strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson said. "The kid has made great gains in his strength. He's a long kid, he's a fast kid, an athletic kid. He's added strength to that now, so he's going to be a force to be reckoned with."
It's a testament to Ento that he recognized the improvement he needed to make in order to be a factor for the Buffs.
"I know I still need to get a lot stronger," he said. "I am getting strong, and I know other people are too. I've been trying to do that the best I can and get in the weight room and get better technique. I'm just trying to gain any way I can."
Although CU lost all-time leading receiver Nelson Spruce to graduation, it may have the best group of receivers it's had in years.
Juniors Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields and Devin Ross are all back after making contributions last year, and sophomores Jay MacIntyre and Lee Walker both caught passes a year ago, too.
Senior Jaleel Awini, a converted quarterback and linebacker, is hoping to catch some passes, and redshirt freshman Justin Jan wants to get into the mix, too.
Meanwhile, Ento is one of five newcomers expected to make this group even better. Fellow junior Juwann Winfree — a transfer from Coffeyville Community College — might be the best receiver on the entire team, while true freshmen Johnny Huntley III, Tony Julmisse and Derrion Rakestraw will fight for playing time.
Buffs co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said Ento has great athleticism, ball skills and leaping ability, but still has work to do to get into the Buffs' rotation.
"He has a long way to go in the refining of his craft, but he's willing to work at it," Chiaverini said. "He's still learning how to run routes at an elite level.
"I think he has a huge ceiling, but he's got to continue to work his game and continue to work the fundamentals of his position. He made some strides in the spring, and I think he's going to make some more strides in fall camp."
Awuzie, who has spent his career covering a lot of good receivers at CU and around the Pac-12, said he sees great potential in Ento.
"If he just keeps pushing and keeps grinding, like I know he is, he's going to be an exciting player to watch," Awuzie said.
Asked about his dunking skills, Ento laughed and said he loves doing a "windmill" dunk more than any other. He then quickly pointed out how that leaping ability will help him as a receiver.
"That just allows me to high point balls and go up and get balls that other people can't get," he said. "If I can go up like I'm going up for a dunk and bring het ball down and complete a ball, it'll be a big help to the team."
Helping the team is all Ento wants to do.
"I probably never thought I'd be at Colorado, but ... just to be here, it's a blessing and I'm going to try to take every opportunity I've got," he said.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.