As part of a receiver group that continues to add talent each season, Shay Fields is taking nothing for granted.
Preparing for his senior season at Colorado, Fields has already put together three good seasons for the Buffaloes, and he's climbing up the program's career charts.
Four practices into his final spring at CU, Fields has reportedly continued making big plays in the passing game.
"Spring drills are going fine," Fields said. "We've made some strides, but tempo is key and we haven't done that so far. Later in spring, we'll get it going."
While the offense, as a group, may take some time to get going, Fields has wasted no time this offseason.
Like he did last year, Fields has added some more muscle and said he's tipping the scales at about 186 pounds. That's about five pounds heavier than he was last season and 10-15 pounds heavier than he was during the 2015 season.
"It kind of feels like I'm pulling more weight, but it should help me in the long run," he said. "My sophomore year I wasn't that big and then junior year, I came in a little bit bigger and I could tell. It helped me here and there, and I feel it'll help me way more this season also."
Fields had career highs in receptions (52), yards (845) and touchdowns (nine) last season.
For his career, Fields already ranks sixth in CU history with 144 catches, 10th with 1,929 receiving yards and tied for seventh with 17 touchdown catches. With another strong season, he could finish his career in the top three in all three categories.
While Fields can tell he's a bit heavier than in the past, he's still confident he's one of the fastest players on the team.
"Yeah, of course," he said with a smile.
Battle at center
With three-year starter Alex Kelley having graduated, the Buffs will be looking for a new center this season.
So far, sophomore Tim Lynott and senior Jonathan Huckins have been filling that role.
Lynott started all 14 games last season at right guard, but the Buffs have been grooming him at center for a while.
Lynott is working at guard and center this spring. Head coach Mike MacIntyre said Lynott is most comfortable at guard because he played there all last season, but added, "He can play center and he can be very good at it.
"I think he's more comfortable at center than he was this time last spring or last fall. Now he's doing a lot more and understands it. I think he understands all the calls and has a feel for it."
Sophomore Brett Tonz has moved over to offense after spending the past two years on the defensive line. Quarterback Steven Montez said he believes the plan is for Tonz to eventually move to center and give the Buffs depth at that position.
"He's very athletic and very strong," Montez said. "He can move for a center."
MacIntyre said the transition to new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot has gone well to this point. The toughest adjustment for Eliot, MacIntyre said, has been getting to know the players and learning the tempo of practice, but said the Buffs "haven't missed a beat" with terminology and understanding the scheme. ... Defensive end Sam Bennion is in his second spring after joining the Buffs a year ago, and MacIntyre said, "He doesn't look as lost out there as he did last spring, which is understandable. I'm pleased with what he's done so far this spring." ... CU added three junior college transfers on the defensive line - Javier Edwards, Chris Mulumba and Shamar Hamilton. MacIntyre said the group is swimming a bit as they learn the scheme, but they've all shown great athletic ability. "(When) we start back in fall camp is when I should see them make a big jump," he said.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.