When Colorado football players are hurt and limited in practice, they often wear a blue, non-contact jersey.

Wearing that jersey means a player can't hit, or get hit, during practice.

During the past two years, linebacker Addison Gillam has worn blue a lot, so it's been noticeable that during the first eight days of camp, he's been in white — just like his healthy defensive teammates.

"It's awesome," the junior said. "I've been waiting to get out there and everything. Getting out there and hitting, that's the best part. I've been waiting a long time to get out there."

While the Buffaloes will be cautious with Gillam, who has had two consecutive injury-plagued years and hasn't played since injuring his knee in the second game of the 2015 season, he's looked good in camp to this point.

"When we've thrown him out with the things he's done, he hasn't really looked rusty," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "He just has that instinct."

Gillam, who led the team in tackles as a true freshman in 2013, is up to 230 pounds and said he's been gaining weight in camp so far. He also said he hasn't had pain in his knee and has had an easier transition than he imagined.

"I thought it was going to be a lot worse," he said. "I actually had some anxiety going out there the first time, but the first time I was out there it felt really good and felt like it was back to normal."

Saturday is a scheduled day off for Gillam, MacIntyre said.

Open scrimmage


The Buffs will conduct a scrimmage on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. at Folsom Field. It's the final opportunity for fans to watch the Buffs prior to the Sept. 2 opener against Colorado State.

On Friday, MacIntyre said he's hoping for good execution on both sides of the ball during the scrimmage, but will treat it much like the first game of an NFL preseason schedule, where young, inexperienced players will get the bulk of the reps.

"We have a few guys we would like to look at, kind of in the heat of the battle," MacIntyre said. "Some of our guys that have played a lot of football, we'll give them some reps, kind of like you do in a preseason game, and then get them out. We'll be looking at some of the younger guys that are going to play some key roles."

Pac-12 officials will be on hand during the scrimmage to give the Buffs a chance to play with officials on the field.

Turning heads

Ask players and coaches to name a newcomer that has impressed so far, and Juwann Winfree's name is sure to come up quickly, if not first.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Winfree is a transfer from Coffeyville Community College. A junior, he played his true freshman year at Maryland in 2014.

All offseason, coaches talked about Winfree being a potential star as an outside receiver, and he's done nothing to change that opinion.

"He's a big kid that has some suddenness to him," co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. "He competes out there every day and he can go up and get it. We've been really impressed with him."

Co-coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and senior quarterback Sefo Liufau both mentioned Winfree's strong work ethic. Winfree is projected to start as a wide receiver, along with Shay Fields.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.