COLORADO SPRINGS — Just a couple weeks away from the start of preseason camp, Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre is champing at the bit to get his team on the field.
Following the program's best season in 15 years, MacIntyre and the Buffaloes (10-4, 8-1 Pac-12 South last season) will report to camp July 28, with their first practiced slated for July 29.
It's just the third time in program history that preseason camp begins before August. With the NCAA eliminating two-a-day practices, the schedule has been extended, and that suits MacIntyre just fine.
"Personally, I've been pushing for this type of format since I've been a head coach because I liked what basketball did," MacIntyre said Wednesday at the annual Sports Corp College Football Kickoff Luncheon at Hotel Elegante.
Several years ago, college basketball went to an earlier start date for preseason practices, allowing for more rest days in camp. MacIntyre said the new schedule will benefit the players.
"Finally for the wellness of the athlete they realized it's a smart thing to do," he said. "Some coaches I don't think like it as much because it's kind of messed up their old routine, but I do like it."
With two-a-days, the Buffs often had as many as nine practices in a week, but will now have no more than six.
"This way, you can spread it out and you don't wear your guys out as much and you'll be able to get the same amount of repetitions," he said.
CU opens the season Sept. 1 against in-state rival Colorado State. The Rams open their season six days earlier, on Aug. 26, against Oregon State. With an earlier opener, CSU reports to camp on July 23.
MacIntyre was one of five in-state head coaches on hand for the annual luncheon. He was joined by CSU's Mike Bobo, Air Force's Troy Calhoun, CSU-Pueblo's John Wristen and Northern Colorado's Earnest Collins, Jr.
"Our fraternity of coaching is a really close-knit fraternity," MacIntyre said. "I'm proud to say all these guys are very, very respected in our business. That's not always been the case everywhere I've ever coached. We are honored and blessed in Colorado to have men of this character and also guys that know how to coach football and have been very, very successful."
Finalizing the roster
This summer, the Buffs have had all but four of their newcomers on campus. Two more are set to arrive soon. Defensive end/tight end Sebastian Olver and defensive lineman Terrance Lang are both expected to report for camp on July 28, MacIntyre said.
Offensive lineman Casey Roddick and defensive tackle Jalen Sami are both expected to grayshirt, which means they will delay their arrival until January.
With Roddick and Sami set to grayshirt, the Buffs are slated to be right at the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarships. Last year, the Buffs came into camp with 81 scholarship players and awarded three walk-ons with scholarships. Unless there is some unexpected attrition in the next couple of weeks, the Buffs won't have any extra scholarships to give.
Junior running back Kyle Evans, who dislocated his hip during spring practice, is on the mend, but won't be ready when camp opens.
"He won't be released to go full speed when we start, but he is doing great," MacIntyre said. "He's doing phenomenal, so hopefully we'll be able to get him back playing sometime early in the season."
MacIntyre said he doesn't expect Evans to be ready for the CSU game, but didn't rule it out.
"We're going to make sure he's got hit a few times and cut a few times at full speed before we put him out there in a game," he said.
He added the Buffs will be cautious with Evans' recovery, but said, "He's way ahead of where everybody thought he would be."
Running back Donovan Lee (leg), linebacker Derek McCartney (knee) and offensive linemen Gerrad Kough (ankle) and Isaac Miller (knee) are all expected to full-go when the Buffs open camp.
Last month, CU regents approved MacIntyre's three-year contract extension, through the 2021 season, by an 8-0 vote, and MacIntyre said he was pleased to have that completed.
"It was really neat having a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents because we want to be here at Colorado and would like to be here a long time and definitely believe we've built a program that is sustainable is going to do well," he said. "It's exciting for our future."
Brian Howell: email@example.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.