Watching sophomore William Sherman breathing heavy during a recent practice, Colorado offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic had to let him hear about it.

"We were joking because he got a little winded a few times in practice and I told him, 'It's going to be a little different going for four quarters when you're 308 pounds than when you were 280-something.' He's getting used to that, but I like him a lot."

There's a lot to like about the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Sherman, who has transformed his body since arriving at CU and, despite his relative youth, is now among the most experienced — and talented — players in the trenches for the Buffaloes.

Since head coach Mel Tucker took over the CU program in December, he has made it clear he wants the Buffs to be bigger and stronger, especially up front. Perhaps nobody has taken that to heart like Sherman, who has spent a lot of time with strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson and associate athletic director for performance nutrition Laura Anderson.

"I've added about 25 pounds (this offseason)," said Sherman, who came to CU in the fall of 2017 at around 250 pounds. "When I first got here, I was really light. It's been a process with Drew and Laura, just getting in the weight room, eating the right foods and now I'm here. I'm just trying to be able to play at this weight, play fast and still be physical."


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It didn't take a coaching change for Sherman to realize he had to improve, however.

As a redshirt freshman last season, Sherman came off the bench early in the year. He then started the last nine games at left tackle, playing every offensive snap. During a Week 2 win at Nebraska, Sherman got pushed around too much, he said.

"Nebraska, you kind of saw it a little bit and then USC (in Week 6)," he said. "I talked to Drew and said, 'If we're going to win big games like USC, Washington and Utah, I'm going to need to get better,' and we have been working on that."

After playing at around 275-280 pounds last season, Sherman has spent the early part of spring practices adjusting to his new body.

"Run blocking is so much easier," he said. "My run blocking has improved, but also putting on weight, you get a little bigger and you get fatigued faster, so I have to be able to push through pass sets and two-minute (drills) and stuff like that."

Kapilovic, who spent the previous seven seasons at North Carolina, has had a good first impression of Sherman.

"I like his intensity; I like his want-to," Kapilovic said. "He's hungry and he wants to be good, he wants to be great, he wants to be coached. He doesn't push back at all, no matter how hard you push him, which I really like."

Kapilovic has no doubt Sherman will fully adjust to the added weight when the season starts on Aug. 30 against Colorado State.

"I think the way we practice and the way we're training, I'm confident he's going to be OK," Kapilovic said. "It'll take a little time, but by the end of this summer and training camp, he'll be fine."

Like all the linemen, Sherman is also working on improving his technique and skills, particularly with his hands.

"He's got a good foundation," Kapilovic said. "That's the world of an offensive linemen. I don't care if you're in the NFL or high school or whatever. It's a day to day battle to get better technically and to do it correctly every day."

Where Sherman lines up next season remains to be seen. This summer, the Buffs will add graduate transfer Arlington Hambright, a part-time starter at left tackle last season at Oklahoma State.

"I want to see where Arlington is when he gets here, and where he plugs in the best and how well he competes," Kapilovic said.

With Sherman's ability and added size, Kapilovic said, he could play right or left tackle, or possibly even move inside to guard.

Sherman said he doesn't care where he plays and that he's excited for Hambright's arrival, despite the fact that they've both been left tackles.

"I just want to win," Sherman said. "If coach sees me winning at right tackle, right guard, center, whatever, I'll be there. Left tackle is where I'm at right now, so I'm trying to execute that right now and be great."

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