Colorado's football season has officially started.
The defending Pac-12 South champion Buffaloes held their first practice of preseason camp Saturday, with nearly a full squad participating in the roughly two-and-a-half hour session.
"I thought for the first day we flew around really well," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "I was pleased with everything. Of course, I'll watch film and get a little mad, but watching the practice on the naked eye, I thought it went real well."
With 105 players at practice, the Buffs worked out in helmets and shorts. They'll be in pads for the first time Thursday.
Heading into year No. 5 with MacIntyre, the Buffs came into camp as prepared as ever.
"Five years ago, it was out here brand-new running at it," MacIntyre said. "We had a long way to go, so we wanted to work to get more depth on our team and get bigger and more physical in our lines, which we've done; get bigger and more athletic at our skill positions, which we've done."
Linemen on both sides of the ball are in better shape than in the past, and MacIntyre said he's been very pleased with what the players did in the offseason with the strength and conditioning staff.
Running back Phillip Lindsay, for example, is squatting 50 or 60 more pounds than before, MacIntyre said.
"That's just an example and it happened throughout the whole team," MacIntyre said. "I'm really pleased with the strength I see out there. We're sturdier. We're not as wobbly out there. We stay on blocks better."
While Saturday was just the first day, it was a day that gave MacIntyre confidence going forward.
"We keep making strides in the right direction," he said.
Four players were not on the field Saturday because of injuries, including a pair of true freshmen — Jake Moretti and Chase Newman — who will be out for a while. MacIntyre said both will be unable to practice during preseason camp.
Moretti, an offensive lineman from Pomona High School who was arguably the top player in CU's 2017 recruiting class, is listed as having an ankle injury. He missed his entire senior year in high school because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Newman, a linebacker from La Mirada, Calif., is still not 100 percent after having surgery on the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee after his senior year.
"Jake and Chase will not be back during this camp, but they'll be going when we start school," MacIntyre said. "They'll most likely have to redshirt, for sure, but they're making great progress."
Junior tight end Dylan Keeney (back) was also out, but MacIntyre said he expects Keeney to return during camp. Running back Kyle Evans is still recovering from a dislocated hip suffered in spring drills, and there's hope he will return in August.
The Buffs were also without cornerback Anthony Julmisse, who was suspended Friday after being arrested earlier this week after an off-the-field incident.
The only other scholarship player not on the field Saturday was cornerback Kevin George. The junior college transfer has some academic obligations to wrap up before he can join the team in August. ... True freshmen Terrance Lang and Sebastian Olver were on the field Saturday. They were not on campus over the summer but are now in the fold. Olver arrived from his native Australia earlier this week. ... In addition to George, the Buffs are expecting six other walk-ons to join the team at some point during camp. ... The Buffs will be back on the field Sunday morning. ... With the exception of a scrimmage on Aug. 5, all practices are closed to the public and media. The Aug. 5 scrimmage will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.