Freddie Ladapo has penned his first professional contract with Colchester until the end of next season.
The promising teenage striker marked the occasion on Wednesday by bagging a brace to see off West Ham 2-0 in a reserve-team clash at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
U's manager John Ward told the club's official website: "He's quick, bright, strong and has pace. He has got that greedy instinct of a striker and you don't want to knock that out of him."
Ward added: "He is at the very early stages of his development but he could have a bright future."
Fit-again duo Ashley Vincent and Jordan Sanderson both came through 90 minutes for the reserves against West Ham as they continue their respective recoveries.