If Devontae Booker didn’t have the title “rookie” attached to him, no one would know that it was his first year in the league. While many rookies acknowledge, rightfully so, that their first year will be about learning the game and what it’s like to be a pro, Booker is comparing himself only to the other running backs, even though they are veterans.

“I feel good about [competing against three veteran players]. It’s football. I’ve been playing this position all my life; there was nothing really handed to me and I’ve had to compete to get what I want,” Booker said after practice Monday.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Booker seems wise for a rookie, he is 24 years old. Most rookies in the NFL are between 20 to 22 years old when they enter the league, but a five-year college career — three at American River College and two at the University of Utah — slowed his path to the Broncos.

To put Booker’s “old” age into perspective, he and fellow running back Ronnie Hillman are both 24 and the 2016 season will be Hillman’s fifth year in the league. However, Booker doesn’t let this affect his mindset.

“It’s crazy, I’ve been on a long, long journey to be here to where I am at now … I can’t control my age, but I’m just going to continue to push and do what I need to do.”

In May, during the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, Booker said, “I’m not there to carry pads. I’m there to take someone’s job.” While Booker has changed the way that he articulates this attitude, his message is still the same: He wants to take over the Broncos’ running back position.

“To be out here and play and compete with everybody else that we play against and in our division and teams that we play, period. I just want to be out there and help the team win,” said Booker.

So far Booker is having a very impressive debut training camp, taking snaps from all three quarterbacks and getting an opportunity to work with the first-team offense. With more than two weeks of camp remaining, Booker knows there is plenty of time to continue to make his mark.

“I’m just going to come out here each day, competing and doing the right thing, not making mental errors and hopefully it will transition into the season.”

He’s catching the eye of his coaches, who are nearly ready to unleash him fully at practice. Booker was sidelined in November of last year with a knee injury that required surgery. His recovery is ongoing, but his talent is without doubt.

“Obviously he’s very talented,” head coach Gary Kubiak said on Saturday. “He’s to the point physically where he can practice full time, but I think you can see that his football condition is not quite what C.J.’s [Anderson] is. He wears a little bit in practice. That’s understandable. He’s got a lot of football on his plate. He’s trying to go out there and compete. I think he’s doing a good job.”

There is no question that at 5-foot-11, 219-pound tailback has the physical traits to succeed in the NFL, but just like most new NFL players, his progress will depend on his ability to develop the mental side of his game.

“Watching film and preparing myself before I even come out here,” is how Booker explained he can improve that area. “Film study and making sure I’ve got the right assignment and do the right job when I’m out here.”

Although Booker was never the outright starter in either of his two years at Utah, he still complied over 2,700 yards rushing over that time. Booker is confident in his play and isn’t looking for reassurances from the coaching staff.

“Honestly I don’t get into talks with [the coaches] about [where I’m at],” said Booker. “I just let my play do the speaking out here on the field, and we will see where that goes.”

If things continue to go like they have in the first few days of training camp, No. 20 will see a lot of playing time for the Broncos in 2016 and beyond.