Terrance Lang may one day be a star on the Colorado defensive line.

He's got some work to do to get on the field, however.

On Thursday, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said the true freshman is likely to redshirt this season, "Unless we have a rash of injuries in the middle of the season and if he's gained about 20 pounds."

Lang, from Maranatha High School in Pomona, Calif., was a highly recruited defensive end. He originally committed to Southern California before flipping to CU.

Unlike most freshmen, Lang did not arrive until the end of the summer, and he came in nearly 35 pounds lighter than the Buffs expected.

"When he came on an official visit he weighed 282 and he walked back in here at 248," MacIntyre said. "He's got to gain some weight. Physically he's not ready to play this year."

Lang has already gained about 5 pounds, however, and MacIntyre showed no concerns about Lang's ability to gain more.

"He can gain it. He'll get it back," MacIntyre said. "With our training table and our weight room and all that we do, I think he's going to be an excellent, excellent player. He's just not big enough right now to play defensive end in the Pac-12. He's getting better and better. He's going to be really good."

MacIntyre said he's been impressed with Lang's athleticism and that Lang is everything they expected, except for his weight.

Even if Lang isn't ready to play, the Buffs have depth at defensive end, with at least eight other players who could battle for time there.

Disadvantage for CU?


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In March, when Colorado State moved its season opener to Aug. 26 against Oregon State — six days before the Rams and Buffs play in Denver — MacIntyre said he didn't feel it would have much an impact on his team.

"It won't change, to me, anything on the situation," he said in March.

MacIntyre has changed his tune, however, as the Buffs won't have a game in hand before facing the Rams. He even said that he wishes he would have known about the change earlier so that CU could have scheduled a game in "zero week" to get ready for the Rams.

"I think that gives them a big advantage, at least at the beginning of the game," he said. "We're going to have to find a way to get the tempo of the game. We'll probably scrimmage a little more than we would have in the past to try to get that there. Hopefully we'll be able to come out of the gates fast, but that gives them a huge advantage, to me."

Putting on the heat

Several days of camp so far have featured cooler weather and even some rain. MacIntyre was pleased that Thursday was a hot morning.

"You need (the heat) because Sept. 1 (when the Buffs play CSU), it's been hot the last few years," he said. "And then we play the next two games at 12 noon, and then we go to UCLA and the last time we went there it was really hot in the Rose Bowl.

"We're in great shape. To me it's the mental side of (practicing in the heat)."

Facing the best

CU has a top-notch cornerback in junior Isaiah Oliver, but continues to try to find good corners to go with him. Redshirt freshmen Ronnie Blackmon, Derrion Rakestraw and Trey Udoffia and junior college transfers Kevin George and Dante Wigley are among the contenders for playing time.

"Some days I like it and sometimes I don't, but that's all part of the process," MacIntyre said of watching those corners in practice. "They have the length, they have the athleticism. They just have to keep playing."

MacIntyre believes it will help his corners to face CU's talented receivers every day.

"The timing and athletic ability they're going against will pay dividends as our season goes along," he said.

Notable

Outside linebacker Terran Hasselbach, who had missed several days with a concussion, returned to practice Thursday. ... MacIntyre once again praised his kickers, saying they looked "excellent" on Thursday. ... The Buffs are scheduled to practice Friday morning and then scrimmage on Saturday. The scrimmage is closed to the public and media.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.