At 6-foot-7 and 275 pounds, Terrance Lang certainly has the size to be a dominant force on the defensive line for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Entering his redshirt freshman year, Lang is starting to show he can be a play-maker for the Buffs in the trenches.
"His consistency has improved," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said Thursday. "He is understanding it better and better; a lot better than he was the first part of spring. I've seen a change in him, just in maturity level, which is really good."
Lang, from Pomona, Calif., came to CU last year as a highly touted recruit, but spent most of his redshirt putting on weight and building muscle.
This fall, he has had ups and downs in practice, but has routinely made plays.
"The good thing is he flashed quite often," MacIntyre said. "It's not just every once in a while. Hopefully he'll be able to do that on Saturdays. His athletic ability is what helps him flash. He's still a little bit raw on different techniques, but he's so strong and powerful that he kind of makes up for it sometimes."
Lang is one of several young defensive linemen the Buffs are excited about, along with true freshmen Israel Antwine, Tava Finau and Jalen Sami (who is out for the year with a knee injury).
"Our youth on the D-line is going to be excellent," MacIntyre said.
The Buffs are still two weeks away from their season opener, on Aug. 31 against Colorado State, but they've done quite a bit of work to prepare for the Rams.
CSU plays Hawaii on Aug. 25, so the Buffs will do some tweaking to their game plan a bit after watching that game.
"We'll have a game plan set and then we'll look at their first game some," MacIntyre said. "They've got a new defensive coordinator and different things they do, so we'll have to get a feel for that."
MacIntyre has often said that CSU playing an earlier game is an advantage for the Rams, but CU having a game to study could help too, especially with the Rams having an entirely new coaching staff on defense and new weapons on offense.
"Offensively, I think they'll be similar (to the past)," MacIntyre said. "They'll have new weapons and they'll use those weapons differently, but it'll be a similar scheme.
"Defensively, they've got a new defense and everything they're doing. We'll at least get a little idea of what they're doing."
Kicker James Stefanou had a very good freshman season in 2017, hitting 17-of-22 field goals and all 35 extra points.
This fall, MacIntyre said Stefanou is "about 20 percent better at this time than he was last year."
Asked about Stefanou's range, MacIntyre said, "He made one from 50-somethingthe other day and it sailed out of there pretty good. It wasn't a line drive; it got up quick."
Follow the leader
Senior receiver Juwann Winfree was voted as a team captain this summer, which was no surprise to sophomore safety Aaron Maddox, a junior college transfer.
"Juwann has always been open arms as a friend," said Maddox, who came to CU in January. "And, he's given some advice on some of my game that he's seen in the film room lately. Juwann is that guy that has the talent, the hard work and the technique. And he's coachable and he's a leader. Juwann is one of the players I look up to."
The Buffs did a lot of special teams situational work on Thursday. MacIntyre said they went over a lot of things that don't often happen in a game, but he wants the players to be prepared for anything. "We got a lot accomplished," he said. ... The Buffs will have a closed scrimmage Friday night at Folsom Field and then a practice on Saturday before taking a break on Sunday.