During the Colorado Buffaloes’ Spring Showcase on Saturday, young members of the team caught the eyes of many, including redshirt freshman Jacob Moretti.

The offensive lineman from Pomona High School seriously injured his knee prior to the 2016 season, which he was forced to take off in order to heal. Coach Mike MacIntyre did not give up on Moretti, and eventually Moretti enrolled at CU in the spring of 2017; making it his goal to be in the weight room as often as he could, because although he was unable to practice with the team on the field, he was still able to lift and regain strength.

“I didn’t want that to be the way football ended for me. That was my motivation. The weight room was a getaway for me at the same time, which was nice. I was able to put work in toward my goal and it was a place to clear my mind and forget about everything going on,” Moretti told the Buffaloes’ website on Tuesday.

Although Moretti was also forced to miss the 2017 season due to his knee injury, he still attended every film session and kept in constant communication with the coaching staff.

“It was very difficult, but at the same time I was very lucky,” Moretti told CUBuffs.com. “I was still able to graduate early and come to CU. I wasn’t able to practice and play, but I was still in the team environment. I was still with the team every day, still with the coaches, still learning — and in that way, I was still part of the game. I was very fortunate in that way.”

All of his patience finally paid off when he trotted onto the field in Saturday’s Spring Showcase and played 20 snaps at left tackle.

“It’s exciting to see it, not only as a coach, but I’m really more excited just for the kid, for all he’s been through,” MacIntyre said. “His dad came to practice the other day, his high school coach — you could just see the glow in their eyes that he’s having a chance to play. It’s exciting.”

Not only did Moretti make a showing this past weekend, but other newcomers stood out. William Sherman and Colby Pursell also impressed across the front line; Sherman playing guard and tackle, Pursell at center.

Quarterback Steven Montez threw two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions and was flagged for excessive celebration after he dunked the ball over the goalpost after a 44-yard touchdown run.

Despite some bumps in the road, the Buffs’ overall had a successful scrimmage, and the team is excited for what the young players will bring in future seasons.