He came to Colorado as one of the most highly recruited cornerbacks in the country.
Two years later, Yuri Wright is trying to work his way back onto the field for the Buffaloes.
"I'm just learning and getting better everyday," Wright said.
After playing in eight games, starting six, as a true freshman in 2012, Wright had hoped for a better 2013. Instead, new head coach Mike MacIntyre decided the young corner needed to redshirt.
"At first it was definitely hard, because I obviously wanted to play coming off of playing the year before," Wright said. "But, after talking with coach, it was a better situation for me. I just went with whatever he did; I just stuck with it."
Now back in the mix for playing time, Wright said he's glad he redshirted a year ago.
"It's something that I definitely needed," he said. "My freshman year I had a little bit of growing up to do. With the year off, I definitely did that."
Wright said he matured a great deal off the field, while also learning a lot on the field. He feels better prepared to compete for playing time, despite battling against talented teammates Chidobe Awuzie, Kenneth Crawley, Greg Henderson and Ahkello Witherspoon.
"I'm always going to believe in myself no matter what," he said.
With the start of the season around the corner, MacIntyre is liking what he's seeing from Wright.
"Yuri has improved," MacIntyre said. "He's starting to understand the coverages a little bit better and understand the feel of where to be on the field. I have seen a jump in Yuri the last few days. I really have."
For the first time in four years, the Buffs have a new long snapper. Junior Tucker Smith, a transfer from Mississippi Gulfport Community College, is taking over the job this season. He replaces Ryan Iverson, who was the only snapper that Buffs punter and holder Darragh O'Neill had worked with to this point.
"He's come in and been consistent; he's been really consistent," O'Neill said of Smith. "He's been ripping the ball really quick and our operation times have been good. Now he has to keep that."
O'Neill said that while he's adjusted well to Smith so far, he's curious to see how they connect on game day.
"I've seen a lot of snappers that they snap one way in practice and then maybe they pull back a little bit in a game, they take off a little bit of pace," O'Neill said. "We'll see how (Smith) snaps it in the games. Iverson was always a little bit different in games than he was in practice, too, so I knew exactly what was coming in the games."
There may be an adjustment period early on, but O'Neill said, "I'm excited to watch him."
Ryan Moeller, a redshirt freshman walk-on safety, has been active in practice, both on defense and in special teams.
"He's doing really well on special teams," MacIntyre said. "In the secondary right now he's doing good, but he's really doing well on special teams. He'll be traveling and playing some this year for sure, which is good for a redshirt freshman walk-on. He's a good athlete."
Moeller was a running back and defensive back at Rifle High School.
Several players wore Uncommon jerseys Tuesday, something that has become a daily tradition. Asked if the use of the jerseys will become less significant over time, MacIntyre said, "No, I hope not. They like getting them and they get a Mr. Goodbar every time they get one. So they like that." ... After a sluggish start to Tuesday's practice, the defense had to run. That caused defense end Juda Parker to show some emotion in firing up his teammates. "It's one of the things team captains have to do every once in awhile," MacIntyre said.