Jarrod Darden a wide receiver from Central High School in Keller, Texas, suffered a fractured fibula and a torn ankle tendon in practices prior to his senior year and missed the entire season.
He underwent surgery and was told it could take a year to fully recover. Darden vowed last summer to come back sooner and he is a man of his word.
The first player to commit to Colorado in the 2009 recruiting cycle said he started running last week and is already able to make cuts well with no pain. He anticipates being in good shape ready to compete for playing time in June when he arrives on campus.
"I think I have a ways to go as far as being all the way back," Darden said. "But as far as having most of it, I'm back.
"I'm not as explosive as I used to be, and I've lost a step or two as far as my speed and overall strength, but I can gain that back within a month or two."
Darden said he has no worries with school at this point. He said his primary focus for the next few months is enjoying the ride and working out.
At 6-foot-5, 210-pounds, some have speculated Darden could eventually be headed for a move to tight end. Darden said he believes that speculation is natural because of his height and frame, but he said CU coaches never have talked to him about playing tight end.
Darden said coaches have discussed their desire for bigger and more athletic playmakers and wide receiver and he believes he can fill that role in the program.
"I think that is the reason they recruited me, not to play tight end, but to play receiver because they want height at the receiving position," Darden said. "It's not something they have a lot of."
Darden said he doesn't know Terdema Ussery, another wide receiver prospect considering the Buffs from the Dallas area, but he has heard Ussery is close to choosing Colorado.
"I was talking to coach Kiesau and he was saying he was thinks (Ussery) is really leaning toward Colorado," Darden said.