With spring break out of the way and four weeks of practices on the horizon, Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker is expecting his team to find a new level of intensity.

"All the players know what the expectations are," Tucker said Monday after the Buffaloes' fourth practice of the spring. "They know where to go, they know what to do, so I expect us to practice faster, play faster, have better tempo and really start to get after it."

CU kicked off spring with three practices last month before taking last week off for spring break. The players returned to Boulder over the weekend and there was no easing back into football.

"I thought they did a good job today," Tucker said. "They know what the standard is, what the expectation is for how we want to practice, how we need to work and they came out here and did that today. It was great to see.

"They know what the expectations are, so obviously you have to do something over break to be ready for practice on Monday. I thought we picked up where we left off."

Tucker and his staff are throwing "quite a bit" of the schemes at the players in the early going.

"We're laying a foundation for our schemes on offense, defense and special teams," he said, "so everything we put in this spring will allow us to have a great summer and put in more things in fall camp."

Backs on track


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Tucker was asked about the running backs picking up the offense quickly, and he said it's a combination of the players and coaches.

"I think it's a credit to the players, first and foremost, that they've taken the time to really learn the playbook," Tucker said. "They've invested and know that it's important to know what to do.

"Our coaches have done an outstanding job of installing the plays in our schemes in a progression where the players can learn, step A, step B, step C. That allows the players to pick it up quicker."

Notable

Junior Trey Udoffia, a part-time starter at cornerback during his career at CU, is playing at safety this spring. "That's a good spot for him," Tucker said. "We need some depth there and some players to step up, so there's plenty of opportunities at the safety spot right now." ... Valentin Senn, an offensive lineman from Austria, will be joining the Buffs later this year. Senn was recruited initially by the previous coaching staff, but Tucker said the Buffs will be open to international recruiting. "Wherever the players are, we're going to look for them and try to sign the best players we can, wherever they are," he said.

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