Regardless of what the realistic expectations are for Colorado, the optimism surrounding the beginning of preseason camp is palpable. Karl Dorrell was visibly excited on day one as he should be, football is back.
“I was really pleased with our effort,” Dorrell said on Thursday. “I thought our execution was night and day different than where it was when we first started last year in October at first practice.”
A lot of that optimism stemmed from the return of Nate Landman and the glimpse of a few transfers. Landman, who ruptured his achilles in CU’s final regular season contest on Dec. 11, said he took limited reps in some drills on Thursday but expects to be ready for the season opener.
Dorrell dubbed Landman as CU’s “most proven player” and expects big things on the field and in terms of leadership once again.
“Physically I feel great and mentally I’m super excited,” Landman said. “I got blessed with having another year to play here at CU and you can only play college football for a certain amount of years. I’m super lucky to be back.”
In terms of new talent from the transfer portal, Dorrell mentioned a pair of offensive lineman in Ohio State defector Max Wray and former Iowa Hawkeye Noah Fenske. The loss of William Sherman to the NFL will sting, but CU appears to have at least one formidable replacement in order. Notre Dame transfer linebacker Jack Lamb, who suffered a hip injury in 2019, was present and at 100% according to Dorrell.
But for the second consecutive season, the talk of camp will surround a QB competition. Alamo Bowl breakout performer Brendon Lewis is up against Tennessee transfer JT Shrout for the right to receive the first snap against Northern Colorado.
“Both Brendon and JT really performed well today,” Dorrell said. “You can tell they’re smooth in their transition going through progressions. They were authoritative with what their roles are on the offense. I didn’t think they made any mistakes. They might have missed a throw here and there but I would say overall, I thought they showed great command and great presence.”
Dorrell said he hasn’t yet pinpointed a date for when the starter will be named.