Two of the top newcomers to the Colorado football team haven’t practiced this month, but the Buffaloes are expecting them to return soon.
Offensive lineman Tommy Brown, a transfer from Alabama, and receiver RJ Sneed, a transfer from Baylor, have missed each of the first five practices of preseason camp with injuries.
CU head coach Karl Dorrell said both could start practicing next week.
Brown, a graduate transfer, played a backup role at Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide win a national title in 2020. He was playing left guard in the spring before a minor knee injury.
“I got it cleaned up and met with a doctor today actually and we’re ahead of schedule,” Brown said Saturday. “I feel great. If this was the old days when you didn’t have to get cleared by a doctor, I’d be playing right now. But thankfully, it’s not the old days, so I will get healthy and I fully plan on being out there for (the Sept. 2 season opener against) TCU. Right now, that’s what it’s looking like, so I’m excited to finally get to go back out there and play some football.”
Sneed is a graduate transfer who caught 133 passes during his time at Baylor. He was having an impressive spring before injuring his foot during the spring showcase on April 23.
“I’m feeling good right now,” he said Saturday. “We’re just slowly coming back, recovering just to make sure we’re out there and ready for Sept. 2.”
Confidence in receivers
CU’s receiving corps was hit hard by the transfer portal last winter. Starters Brenden Rice (Southern California) and Dimitri Stanley (Iowa State) and three others are now playing at other schools.
Senior Daniel Arias is the top returner, but he has just 28 career catches.
Despite the inexperience, Dorrell is excited about the group.
“I think with the new additions, I feel we’re probably better,” he said. “I hate to say that … No, I don’t hate to say that. We are better. We have the depth. I think the young freshmen that came in are really good players. They are no-names right now. That’s a fun process to see when they’re no-names and they kind of create their own name on their own. That’s what is going to unfold this fall.
“There’ll be some guys you go, ‘Who’s that guy? And where did they get him?’ It’s going to be those kinds of responses when you see some of these guys play. I feel like that position is the best it’s been since I’ve been here.”
Conference realignment is a hot topic in college sports, especially after the late June announcement that USC and UCLA will leave the Pac-12 in 2024. It’s not a hot topic among the Buffs’ football team, however.
“Not really because our schedule is not changing for two years,” Dorrell said. “Whether we have more coming into our conference, or whether we’re leaving the conference, any of those things don’t really matter (this year). We’re just living in the moment we’re living in. What’s going on in front of us right now is our season, getting ready for TCU, understanding the challenges that are set before us right now. That’s where our focus really is as a program.”
Safety Trevor Woods has a “soft tissue injury” that has taken him out of practice the past couple of days, but Dorrell said Woods has looked “very confident” when he’s on the field. … Sophomore receivers Chase Penry and Ty Robinson were limited in the spring because of injuries, but both are back to full speed. … Although there are still 20 practices to go before the opener, Dorrell said he’s been happy with the first week of camp. “We’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m very encouraged,” he said. … CU has five players listed as injured: Offensive linemen Edgar Amaya and Camden Dempsey, tight end Louis Passarello, defensive lineman Allan Baugh, and safety Oakie Salave’a. … The Buffs have the day off Sunday and then will be in full pads for the first time on Monday.