BOULDER - Colorado opened its 2010 fall camp Thursday afternoon with touted transfer Travon Patterson in a spectator's role.
Coach Dan Hawkins blamed the former Southern California player's absence from CU's 2-plus hour opening session on "paperwork." Hawkins said he was uncertain when Patterson might be cleared to begin practice.
"We're working through a paperwork deal on him, so we're just waiting on other folks to get to all that stuff," Hawkins said.
Asked if the process appeared to be a formality, he answered, ''Yeah, yeah . . . it seems like there's always some of that" to deal with at this time of year.
Patterson, a 5-9, 175-pound senior from Long Beach, Calif., is expected to immediately impact CU's receiving corps, which also should benefit from the presence of Michigan transfer Toney Clemons.
Patterson chose CU over Cincinnati when he decided to transfer from USC, where he made only seven receptions for 33 yards over the past three seasons.
Patterson appears as No. 2 on the Buffs' training camp roster, but he watched CU's practice Thursday in shorts and a T-shirt.
BONSU UP TO SPEED: Defensive tackle Nate Bonsu, who played last season as a true freshman, said he is "full go" after undergoing off-season surgery on his left knee.
"I'm wearing this big old bulky brace, but really it's not that bad. I've gotten used to it," said Bonsu, adding he returned to the team's voluntary summer conditioning drills in the second week of June.
Bonsu, a 6-1, 290-pounder from Allen, Texas, said he is practicing under no restrictions.
EARN YOUR BUFF: CU's gold helmets were naked - no traditional Buffs logos - on Day 1 of fall camp. Their absence was by design.
"You've got to earn your Buff," Hawkins said. "I respect the heck out of this tradition and our guys do, too. So I just want them to earn it."
Hawkins said that initiative "was my deal," as well as the move toward the players going without their names on the backs of their jerseys.
GOODMAN KICKING: Senior Aric Goodman was the first placement specialist called on during field goal drills Thursday. Goodman underwent hip surgery earlier this summer but said his recovery has been "ahead of schedule."
True freshman Justin Castor also received work during the field goal drills, while redshirt freshman Zach Grossnickle handled most of the punting.
GET IT, KEEP IT: In addition to better tackling, the Buffs defense is emphasizing creating more turnovers in this camp. The defense's daily goal: three turnovers a practice, including two interceptions. The offense's daily goal: give up just one turnover per practice.
CU's defense has come up with just nine interceptions in each of the past two seasons. Hawkins wants to see the theft total increase.
For every dropped reception or muffed potential interception in practice, players must spend time after practice catching balls from the "jugs" machine.
BUFF BITS: Junior quarterback Tyler Hansen took most of the snaps with the No. 1 offense, but senior Cody Hawkins also got "reps" with the first unit . . . . Redshirt freshman tight end Clark Evans and senior receiver Andre Simmons didn't practice for academic reasons, Hawkins said. The second summer semester ends Friday . . . . Redshirt freshman Terdema Ussery called the shot on his move from receiver to safety. Whether it's profitable for him or the defense won't be determined until contact work begins, Hawkins said, adding, "Sometimes (players) feel like that's their calling." . . . . Sophomore defensive end Forrest West, who recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, likely won't practice for another couple of weeks, Hawkins said . . . . Hawkins called returning to the field "great . . . I love my job, I love coaching these guys, I love mentoring young people. It's the best part of your job."