Eighteen scholarship true freshman joined the team this fall, but how many of those 18 will play immediately is still undetermined.
Thursday's scrimmage will provide the coaches one last chance to see them play prior to game prep week, and most importantly will allow the coaches for some rare live punting and kickoff situations. Coach Mark Helfrich says that those are likely to be the situations that might be the difference between wearing a green shirt or a redshirt.
"That's the hard part right now. If you have John Q. linebacker and he can play on three special teams…," he said.
"There's some guys on both sides of the ball that I think we're going to need. All of those linebackers have been really good. The DB's, we've got a lot of depth. I like where we're going there. The offensive situation will probably sort itself out [Thursday]."
Offensive coordinator Scott Frost says he tries to manage the freshman expectations in the recruiting process.
"I usually tell kids to plan on redshirting. So if they don't, they'll be pleasantly surprised," he said. "You never want to trade a kid's average year when he's 18 years old for a year when he's 22 and one of the best players on the team."
Frost was asked specifically about tight end Johnny Mundt.
"He came in as a freshman and earned everybody's respect… He's taken more reps than any freshman I've ever seen."
Frost also said the questions in the receiving corps are with the group's depth, saying that Bralon Addison, Josh Huff, Daryle Hawkins and Keanon Lowe have all seemingly cementer their spots this fall, but that the others are still battling.
"We're kind of waiting for another guy or two to step up and become playmakers.