Practice Report: August 15

Colorado conducted its 8th practice of the preseason late Sunday afternoon in front of roughly 50 onlookers under what turned out to be the hottest conditions of the camp so far. What stood out Sunday was how many new faces were running with the No. 1 team on the defensive side of the ball.

"We shuffled a lot of guys in and out of there today," head coach Gary Barnett said about the new faces lining up at different times with what looks like the first group. "We're just trying to look at a lot of guys. We're trying to find who the best 11 are and build some depth too. Nothing's in stone right now as far as first and second team."

Some of the players seeing time with the first defensive unit during scrimmage situations included S Tom Hubbard, DE Abraham Wright, S Tyrone Henderson, LB Walter Boye-Doe and BLB Joe Sanders.

Other than the TE position where Joe Klopfenstein continues to sit out with a hamstring issue, the only position that had a new face with the first unit on the offense was WR, where Tyler Littlehales looks like he's currently in a battle with Ron Monteilh for the spot.

After an off day Saturday afternoon, the defense picked up its level of play Sunday, especially up front on the first team where the defensive line looked effective in running situations.

"I think it's just a matter of where you usually are at this point in time in camp," Barnett said. "Usually the defense is ahead. Yesterday, the defense got it handed to them. So it's a matter of coming back and being competitive. They're usually competitive. They weren't yesterday, and they were today."

V. Washington banged up, Russell takes reps at CB
Junior corner Vance Washington's shoulder popped out of place Sunday, and he spent much of the practice in a sling. He is expected to miss practice for a week while the team doctors monitor his shoulder, which has a history of problems stemming from a 2003 auto accident.

With the injury, redshirt-freshman Chris Russell took snaps at cornerback, after he had opened camp at strong safety.

"He played there some as a freshman so he's got a little bit of an idea," Barnett said of the 6-2, 205-pound Russell. "We recruited him as a corner. He's a big corner. I thought he looked pretty good."

Russell used his safety skills in run support from the corner spot on one play during a scrimmage drill, running up and meeting RB Daniel Jolly for a big hit and stop near the sidelines.

Most of the players who wore the orange jersey Saturday were back in action Sunday. Those who did not participate due to various ailments included TE Joe Klopfenstein (hammie), DT McKenzie Tilmon (neck) and LB Chris Hollis, who is still recovering from foot surgery.

Freshman defensive lineman Josh Hunt made it to Boulder and was at practice Sunday. He was in uniform with no pads, and didn't participate. He is expected to practice Monday. Hunt has some good size to him, and has the kind of frame that looks like it could definitely carry some more weight. Reminds me of a young Sam Wilder. …LB Jordon Dizon didn't seem to suffer any second-day drop off after being moved from safety to linebacker Saturday. Barnett said, "He was even better today. He's making everybody else work a little harder." …Part of the team went through some kickoff return work near the end of practice. Stephone Robinson, Terrence Wheatley and Bobby Purify were getting the reps as return men.

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