Heading into his junior season, Shay Fields decided to switch his jersey number. The Colorado receiver is wearing No. 1 after two seasons of sporting No. 5.
The uniform change isn’t the only difference in Fields this fall. The speedy receiver has put on some muscle, too.
“I feel bigger,” he said. “I was probably about 170-175 (last year) and now I’m about 183. I feel like my legs have gotten bigger. A little bit in the arms I can see it also.”
Fields and the Buffs are hoping he also produces bigger numbers this season. He has 92 catches for 1,084 yards in his career to this point, but would love to hit those numbers in one season.
So far, it’s been a solid start to camp for Fields. He had a minor tweak of his ankle on Saturday, but has been back on the field this week.
“I feel the start of camp has been going smooth,” he said. “I had a little bit of ups and downs the first two or three practices, but we’re starting to pick it up and I feel I’m trying to become that leader. I’m just trying to pick the receivers up as much as I can.”
Junior Juwann Winfree, a transfer from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, has also been impressive, while Devin Ross picked up where he left off in the spring. The depth of the receiver group is as good as it’s been at CU in a long time.
“To me, since I’ve been here it’s probably the most talented wide receiver corps I’ve been a part of,” Fields said. “Everybody has different skill sets, different talents. That just all works together.
“There’s going to be competition everywhere. It’s just a matter of helping the team to do what needs to be done, as long as we get the win.”
Wednesday was CU’s first set of two-a-day practices. The Buffs practiced in the morning and then had a lighter practice in the evening. It was the first of four two-a-days the Buffs will have over the next week.
“We work a lot of heavy special teams in our second practice and a lot of situations more in our second practice,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “Our first practice is more of an overall, regular practice.”
Prior to Wednesday, CU had not spent a lot of time working on the return game and identifying potential return specialists, but MacIntyre said that could sort itself out during the two-a-day sessions.
“Through all these two-a-day times, we’ll dive into it more,” he said. “Everyday we’ve done basically a different phase (of special teams) and parts of phases, a lot of drill work. Now we’ll put it together as a whole kickoff unit, whole kickoff return unit and that type of thing.”
CU will have one more practice open to the public, on Saturday. The session is scheduled from 9:05 to 11:45 a.m. … Junior Donovan Lee continues to get more comfortable as he concentrates solely on tailback (he played receiver and tailback last year). “He’s a really good tailback and he’s going to play a lot for us at tailback this year,” MacIntyre said.
Brian Howell: email@example.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.