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Colorado Daily

 

January 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU makes it official: Ashley Ambrose hired as an assistant coach

From CUBuffs.com … Ashley Ambrose, a former All-Pro who played 13 years in the NFL and was a former assistant coach at the University of Colorado from 2008-10, has been hired to coach the cornerbacks for the Buffaloes, head coach Mike MacIntyre announced Thursday.

Ambrose, the 1996 AFC Defensive Back of the Year, spent the past two seasons at Boise State serving as its defensive backs coach and in his nine years coaching in college has mentored 10 defensive backs that have earned all-conference honors.

“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”

Among the DBs that he has guided to all-conference honors were CU’s Jimmy Smith, a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2010, and Jalil Brown, 2010 All-Big 12 honorable mention. Smith was taken 27th overall in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Draft while Brown was selected in the fourth round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It’s really a blessing for us and I’m excited about the opportunity,” Ambrose said of making his return to Colorado. “I know we are going to win a lot of football games and I am excited to be a part of it.

“The staff seemed very energetic, great guys to work with. I got a chance to talk to those guys and I’m looking forward to working with them. I’m excited about the young corners that they have there and to work with them to try to help them become better football players and young men.”

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January 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Report: Ashley Ambrose returning to Colorado to coach defensive backs

From ESPN … SOURCES: Colorado is hiring Boise State cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose to the staff. Ambrose is expected to coach Colorado’s defensive backs alongside ShaDon Brown. The former NFL All-Pro will begin his second stint with Colorado after coaching there from 2008 to 2010.

From the Idaho Statesman … Boise State cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose is leaving to take a position on the staff at Colorado, a source told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday.

Ambrose was on the Broncos’ staff the past two seasons. He spent three seasons at Colorado from 2008 to 2010, the last of which was as the Buffaloes’ secondary coach.

In Boulder, he likely will serve in a similar role to his job at Boise State alongside secondary coach ShaDon Brown. Colorado has five defensive backs on NFL rosters, and cornerback Isaiah Oliver likely will be a high draft pick in April.

Ambrose helped the Broncos finish in the top 50 nationally both seasons in pass defense and has helped develop junior Tyler Horton into a first-team All-Mountain West selection. Horton and sophomore-to-be Avery Williams started a majority of the 2017 season for Boise State and are expected to return.

Ambrose’s coaching history … Ambrose was hired in 2008 as a defensive technical intern for Colorado by then head coach Dan Hawkins. In May 2009, it was announced that Ambrose would take over as the wide receivers coach, but after the departure of Greg Brown, Ambrose took over the defensive backs. When Dan Hawkins was fired after the 2010 season, Ambrose moved on to Cal, where was the secondary coach at Cal (2011-12).

In 2013, Ambrose spent the season with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL as an intern. In 2014, he coached cornerbacks at Idaho and moved on to Texas State in 2015 before being hired by Boise State in January 2016. Ambrose spent the last two seasons as the defensive backs coach for the Broncos.

Ambrose in the NFL (went to college at Mississippi Valley State) … Ambrose played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Colts, Bengals, Falcons and Saints and was the AFC Defensive back of the Year in 1996 after recording a career-high eight interceptions with Cincinnati. He had 42 career interceptions, including three that he took back for touchdowns.

Three Buffs playing in East/West Shrine game … Folsom Field: No. 2 in the nation

Press release from CUBuffs.com …  This edition of the Colorado football notebook takes a look at three Buffs playing in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game, yet more recognition for Folsom Field and all of its beauty and some recognition from the Pac-12 Conference office.

• Colorado wide receiver Bryce Bobo, running back Phillip Lindsay and safety Afolabi Laguda are down in St. Petersburg, Fla., participating in the East-West Shrine Game. The all-star event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 20, and will be televised on the NFL Network (1 p.m. MT kickoff).

With the trio set to play for the West team, Colorado has now produced 77 players that have played in the all-star game, this year’s edition being the 93rd annual.

The five Buffs who played in last year’s game – Jimmie GilbertKenneth OlugbodeTedric ThompsonJosh Tupou and Ahkello Witherspoon – all were in training camps with NFL teams last fall.

Stadium Journey … a magazine with a quarterly publication, publishes reviews and information about sports stadiums from around the world. They have now reviewed more than 2,600 venues in 61 countries. Its most recent rankings came out Wednesday morning and Colorado’s Folsom Field came in at No. 11 on its list of best stadium experiences in the United States and Canada, No. 2 in all of college football.

Its brief synopsis of Folsom Field:

“Among Folsom Field’s timeless attributes are its location and setting. It sits more than a mile above sea level at 5,360 feet at the base of the Rocky Mountains Flatirons rock formations sit just beyond the stadium’s west-side seats and give Folsom Field a unique and breathtaking feel. Perhaps most impressively, the Buffaloes take the field at the start of each half by running behind their live buffalo mascot, Ralphie. This is one of college football’s great traditions and it highlights the Folsom Field experience.”

See the its top 100 stadium experience rankings at this site: https://stadiumjourney.com/news/top-100-stadium-experiences-of-2017/

CBS NFL Draft watch: CU cornerback Isaiah Oliver a first round pick

From CBS Sports … 2018 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings:

From the Pac-12 … 

14. Vita Vea, Defensive tackle, Washington

15. Colton Miller, offensive tackle, UCLA

17. Josh Rosen, quarterback, UCLA

21. Sam Darnold, quarterback, USC

25. Ronald Jones II, running back, USC

27. Isaiah Oliver, cornerback, Colorado  Oliver has No. 1 cornerback physical traits, especially his ability to run and change direction. After breaking up 13 passes in his first two seasons with the Buffaloes, he knocked away 12 passes this season.

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January 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

2018 Signing Day Celebration set for Thursday, February 8th

From CUBuffs.com … The 2018 Colorado Football Signing Day Celebration has been scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

This event will feature an in-depth look at the full 2018 football signing class, interviews with the signees who inked with the Buffaloes back in December, as well as the coaching staff talking about the latest recruits from the Feb. 7 signing day. The event will be hosted by Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson.

Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre will give an insider’s view on how the class was assembled as well as a preview to the upcoming spring football season.

“I always say it’s like Christmas,” MacIntyre said of signing day. “The fun thing about it is you recruit young men and when you see them sign and start on their dream, it’s always excellent. We have kids from all different kinds of home lives and it’s really cool to see them make it.”

Tickets for the event are $60 for individuals, $550 for a reserved table of 10 and $800 for a corporate table (preferred seating, program recognition, table sign and VIP guest option). Registration is available at www.cubuffs.com/events or by calling 303-492-5497.

Doors will open at 11 a.m. and the program and lunch will begin at noon. The Sheraton Denver Downtown hotel is located at 1550 Court Place.

Senior lacrosse player Julia Sarcona dies in car accident

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado student-athlete Julia Sarcona, a senior attacker on the women’s lacrosse team, died Saturday (January 13) after her Subaru Forester crashed into a tree on Colorado Highway 119 west of Boulder. She was 21.

A three-year letterwinner, the Northport, N.Y. native helped to build the Buffs’ program into a nationally recognized team.

“On behalf of all of us in the CU Athletic Department we are heartbroken at the loss of Julia,” CU Athletic Director Rick George said. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the Sarcona family, Julia’s friends and teammates. This is a very difficult loss for the Buff family and we are extremely saddened. Please keep Julia’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

“The loss of Julia Sarcona is heartbreaking for our team and lacrosse family,” head coach Ann Elliott said. “Our thoughts and all our love is with her family as I cannot even imagine what they are going through. Her family has become our family over the years and we will look to support them in every way we can.

“Julia had an incredible heart, she was funny and caring, she could always make you laugh and smile, she was an integral part of this program and has impacted each of our lives in so many ways. There really aren’t words and there is no answer for how one deals with such a loss. As a team, we will go one step at a time as we try to find our way together and make sure everyone has all the resources and support they need. Again, our love and thoughts go out to Julia’s family. Her impact on our program and lives will never be forgotten.”

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January 15th

... CU in a few minutes … 

CU quarterback signee Blake Stenstrom shines in Blue-Grey All-American Bowl

From Bleacher Report … While the Jacksonville Jaguars were clinching a trip to the AFC Championship Game, a group of prep stars took the field for the 2018 Blue-Grey All American Bowl.

… Blue spent most of the game in the lead thanks to a stellar Blake Stenstrom-Andre Ross connection. Stenstrom, who is signed to play quarterback at Colorado, found Ross for a pair of touchdowns and was consistently Blue’s best offensive player. He found Ross from 46 yards out in the second quarter to help tie the game at 7-7 and then again from 20 yards out to give Blue their final score of the game with 12 minutes remaining in the fourth.

“Blake has all the tools you’re looking for in a quarterback,” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said, per Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. “He can make all the throws and he’s an extremely bright young man.”

Stenstrom was 247Sports’ top-rated quarterback in Colorado despite not having the full-time starter job in high school. Based on his performance Sunday, it’s apparent his 3-star distinction undersold his talent level.

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January 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU signs former four-offensive lineman Kanan Ray

Rivals bio247 Sports bio … Four-star recruit from the Class of 2017 … Committed to UCLA but never enrolled. Ray sat out the 2017 season as a gray-shirt year due to a shoulder injury, and was released by new coach Chip Kelly from his commitment … Ray was rated as the No. 27 offensive lineman in the nation last recruiting cycle, and the No. 34 overall player out of California … Had offers from eight Pac-12 schools, including Colorado, both Oregon schools, Utah, both Arizona schools and Washington State … Had other offers from schools like Louisville, Texas A&M, TCU and Tennessee …

From CUBuffs.com … Kanan Ray, an offensive lineman from Chatsworth, Calif., has signed a financial aid agreement with the Colorado football program and will enroll in school for the spring 2018 semester, head coach Mike MacIntyre announced Friday afternoon.

A transfer from UCLA, Ray will have four years of eligibility with the Buffaloes and will begin practicing this spring.

“We’re really excited about Kanan and his ability on the offensive line,” MacIntyre said. “He can play guard and tackle and he brings a lot to the table. He was a young man we recruited before and we finally got him here, so we are excited about having him at CU and his future is very bright.”

Ray, listed at 6-4, 280-pounds, was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and ESPN coming out of Sierra Canyon High School where he led his team to two-straight state championships as a junior and a senior in 2015 and 2016.

He was a two-time All-State, All-Area and All-League selection and was named the most valuable player of his league as a junior and senior.

MaxPreps.com named him a high school All-American and he was invited to play in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl game following his senior year.

In helping lead the Trailblazers to a perfect 16-0 record his senior year, Ray and his fellow offensive linemen helped Sierra Canyon rush for 238.8 yards per game, pass for 155.5 while scoring 82 total touchdowns and averaging 36.1 points per game. He also recorded 11 tackles and two sacks playing on defense.

The spring semester at CU begins on Jan. 16 and the Buffalo football team is scheduled to begin spring practices on Feb. 16.

Here is a link to Ray’s Hudl.com high school highlights

Despite having 87 scholarship players (limit of 85), CU still in the market for a few more recruits

From the Daily Camera … Last month, the Buffs took advantage of the new early signing period to ink 20 new players to national letters of intent, but they may not be done putting together their 2018 recruiting class.

The Buffs don’t have room to add too many more players, but certainly could sign two or three when the regular signing period begins Feb. 7.

“We don’t have a target number right now, because we feel like we’re sitting pretty good, but attrition happens every once in a while,” said MacIntyre, who cannot talk about unsigned players. “We are recruiting young men and looking at some young men. I don’t know exactly what that’ll look like on Feb. 7.”

Most notably, the Buffs are looking to bolster their offensive line.

According to 247Sports.com, offensive lineman Kanan Ray, from Chatsworth, Calif., is visiting CU this weekend. A four-star recruit out of high school, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Ray signed with UCLA in the class of 2017 and grayshirted this year, but is now looking at other options. He still has five years to play four seasons.

The Buffs are also looking at graduate transfer linemen Dwayne Wallace, who played at California, and Casey Tucker, who played at Stanford.

In addition, former Texas A&M running back Rakeem Boyd (currently at Independence Community College) and De Anza College pass rusher Alex Tchangam are on the Buffs’ radar.

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CU “RAPID” Annual Report released 

Related … “CU RAPID (Respect/Accountability/Passion/Integrity/Dedication) Annual Report

Intro from CU athletic director Rick George:

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado Athletic Department has released its first “RAPID” report, a comprehensive overview of the department’s goals, initiatives and accomplishments.

The report, which the department plans to issue on an annual basis, is a comprehensive view of CU Athletics that reaches far beyond wins and losses.

Much like an annual review from a Fortune 500 company, the report includes a look at financials, programming and initiatives; a report card on the department’s strategic plan; as well as academic and athletic achievements by CU’s student-athletes. Also included are detailed explanations of where support funds are directed in assisting student-athletes, including health and wellness, academic support, facilities and scholarship expenses.

“It really is intended to be an annual report,” Athletic Director Rick George said. “I think it gives our donors and our alumni — our constituents — an opportunity to see what we’re doing,  how we’re doing it and why we’re doing it. It gives them confidence that their investment is having a real impact on our student-athletes’ experience at CU.”

The report covers a wide range of topics and programs all geared toward attaining the vision set forth in CU’s first three-year strategic plan implemented by George in 2014: “To be nationally recognized as a premier athletics department by providing a world-class and holistic student-athlete experience, operating in a fiscally responsible manner and consistently competing for and winning championships.”

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January 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat will not return for 2018 season

From the Daily Camera … Spring football is just about five weeks away for Colorado, but a top priority for the Buffaloes at this point is filling two vacancies on their coaching staff.

On Tuesday, CU and all Football Bowl Subdivision teams were allowed to begin hiring a 10th assistant coach. Meanwhile, a source has confirmed to BuffZone.com that defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat will not remain with the staff for the upcoming season.

Jeffcoat, 56, has been with the Buffs for the past five seasons and with MacIntyre for the past seven years.

MacIntyre originally hired Jeffcoat to coach the defensive line at San Jose State in 2011 and they were together with the Spartans for two seasons before coming to Boulder in 2013.

CU’s defensive line struggled this past season, as the Buffs slipped to 5-7 (2-7 Pac-12) and last in the South division.

Recruiting and player development on the defensive line has been as issue, as well.

 

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January 9th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Junior college running back Rakeem Boyd still looking at CU

From the Daily Camera … There aren’t many Colorado football players that have taken pride in their home state quite like Phillip Lindsay.

A Denver native who recently completed his CU career, Lindsay is never shy in expressing his love for Colorado.

“He made me love it when I was talking to him,” former Texas A&M running back Rakeem Boyd said.

Lindsay, who finished second on CU’s career rushing list, is now preparing for the NFL, while the Buffaloes are trying to replace him.

Boyd could wind up being the man for the job.

Currently at Independence (Kan.) Community College, Boyd is going through the recruiting process as he seeks a new team for this fall and for the final three seasons of college career. He’s planning to sign with a new school when the signing period opens Feb. 7.

“At this point I’m really just kind of letting everything fall in place,” Boyd said. “Colorado is a great school.”

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It’s official – former Buff Eric Bieniemy the new offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs

From the Kansas City Chiefs … The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Tuesday that Head Coach Andy Reid has named Eric Bieniemy the club’s Offensive Coordinator. Bieniemy is being promoted after serving five seasons under Reid as the Chiefs Running Backs Coach.

“I’ve known Eric a long time, both as a player and a coach,” Reid said. “He’s done a phenomenal job with our running backs and has been involved in every aspect of our offense over the last five years. He’s a great teacher and has earned this opportunity. I know he will do a good job.”

Bieniemy will enter his 11th season as a coach in the National Football League in 2018 and his sixth season with the Chiefs. Including his time as a player, Bieniemy has been associated with the NFL for two decades.

Prior to returning to the NFL coaching ranks in 2013, Bieniemy spent two seasons (2011-12) at his alma mater, Colorado, as the school’s offensive coordinator after coaching the running backs for five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings (2006-10). While with the Vikings, he oversaw one of the most productive rushing units in the NFL. In those five seasons, the Vikings produced a 1,000-yard rusher each year while his stable of running backs broke the 100-yard mark 31 times in 80 regular season games. While in Minnesota he mentored Adrian Peterson who totaled 5,782 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns in four seasons under Bieniemy’s guidance.

Bieniemy made the move to the professional ranks after three seasons as the running backs coach at UCLA (2003-05). He returned to Colorado in 2000 after his nine-year NFL career and got his first taste of coaching as an assistant at Thomas Jefferson High in Denver that fall.

He was a second-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in the 1991 NFL Draft (39th overall). He enjoyed a nine-year pro career with three teams: San Diego (1991-94), Cincinnati (1995-98) and Philadelphia (1999), where he played for Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid. In 142 career NFL games, he rushed for 1,589 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 146 passes for 1,223 yards. His final year with the Chargers, he played in Super Bowl XXIX.

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January 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Former Buff Eric Bieniemy in line to become offensive coordinator for Kansas City Chiefs

From NBCSports.com … Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy has the “inside track” to replace Matt Nagy as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, Ian Rapoport reports.

The Bears hired Nagy as their head coach Monday, creating the vacancy in Kansas City.

Chiefs assistant head coach Brad Childress is planning to retire, putting him out of the running to become the team’s offensive coordinator.

Bieniemy, 48, began his NFL coaching career in 2006 as the Vikings’ running backs coach. Kansas City hired him as its running backs coach in 2013 after he spent two seasons as the University of Colorado’s offensive coordinator.

He played running back for 10 seasons in the NFL for the Chargers, Bengals and Eagles.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise if head coach Andy Reid, who gave up play-calling duties to Nagy during the 2017 season, returned to calling the plays in 2018.

Whoever calls the plays might have a new quarterback to call them for, as the Chiefs could move on from Alex Smith with first-rounder Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings.

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January 7th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Report: ShaDon Brown promoted to pass game coordinator

A tweet from Adam Rittenberg at ESPN … Colorado defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown has added defensive pass game coordinator to his title, according to a source. Brown just completed his first season on the CU staff.

Brown’s (current) CUBuffs.com bio … ShaDon Brown is in his first season as an assistant coach on Mike MacIntyre’s staff, as he was hired on January 30, 2017 to coach the entire secondary.

Brown, 37, came to CU after spending the 2016 season coaching the cornerbacks at Army, where the Black Knights’ secondary was one of the top units in the nation.  Army ranked sixth in the nation in passing defense allowing just 170.2 yards per game, as well as being 11th in interceptions (17) and 17th in a pass efficiency defense (115.12 rating).

Army, which ran a 3-4 defensive scheme (like CU), ranked fourth in the nation in total defense by allowing just 291.5 yards per game during an 8-5 season that saw the Black Knights win the 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl in overtime over North Texas, 38-31.  That was Army’s first bowl appearance and winning season since 2010, and perhaps even bigger, his corners help limit Navy to 89 passing yards and 201 overall in a 21-17 win over the Midshipmen, Army’s first win over its archrival since 2001.

Continue reading bio here

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Sefo Liufau announces his retirement from football

From ProFootballSpot.com … One of the greatest Colorado Buffaloes of all-time, the school’s career leading passer Sefo Liufau has decided to hang up his cleats.

“I don’t even know where to begin,” Liufau announced in an Instagram post Friday. “I’ve been playing this game for so long and I’ve never thought about how my life would be without it.” Including the 2016 Alamo Bowl, Liufau (2013-’16) played in 42 games in his four years at Colorado and his 40 starts are the most ever by a CU quarterback. The Tacoma, Washington product finished his career with 84 outright school records including most passing yards (9,746) and completions (887). In his final year at CU, Liufau threw for 2,366 yards and rushed for 494 in route to leading the Buffs to a 10-4 record and their first bowl game since 2007.

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January 4th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Kurt Roper: Mental toughness the most important quality in a quarterback

Related … “Buffs quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper excited for change” … from the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.com …  Kurt Roper believes there is one attribute quarterbacks can’t live without — and it has nothing to do with arm strength, foot speed or the ability to read defenses.

Rather, it is the intangible that often separates the good from the great, a quality that all quarterbacks must possess if they plan on surviving in the spotlight that accompanies the most important position on a football field.

“What I tell quarterbacks to begin with is that the most important attribute they have is mental toughness,” Colorado’s new quarterbacks coach said. “It’s the most important thing, because it’s a position that can beat you down. There’s a lot of critique that goes along with it. If you’re not mentally tough, it’s going to be hard for you to make it.”

Roper, named to the CU staff by head coach Mike MacIntyre earlier this week, knows a thing or two about coaching the position. Among the quarterbacks he has tutored over the years are All-American Eli Manning at Ole Miss (the 2003 SEC Player of the Year, No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft and two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants) and Duke’s Thaddeus Lewis, who rewrote the Blue Devils’ record book before a six-year NFL career.

Those quarterback, Roper said, had the mental toughness — along with all the other requisite skills — the position requires.

“You have to help quarterbacks be mentally tough and the way you help them be mentally tough is you teach them how to make decisions and then you back them up when they make those decisions,” Roper said. “You have to help them grow as a quarterback and a leader. What I tell quarterbacks all the time is that when you choose to play this position, you haven’t chosen a position — you’ve chosen a lifestyle. You have to live the right way.”

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Darrin Chiaverini on Roper: “We are extremely excited to have a coach of his caliber on our staff” 

From the Daily Camera … It didn’t take Darrin Chiaverini long to realize that Kurt Roper was going to be a good fit with the Colorado football team’s offensive coaching staff.

As the Buffaloes were searching for a new quarterbacks coach, they brought in Roper for an interview and Chiaverini knew he could work with him.

“I can tell right away we’ll mesh well together,” said Chiaverini, the Buffs’ co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach. “I told (head coach Mike MacIntyre) that during the interview process.

“I really like his personality. I think it meshes well with our room. You can tell he’s a good guy and I’m excited about that. In this business you work a lot of long days, a lot of long hours and you want to be around good people and you can tell he’s a good guy.”

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January 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU Press release: Kurt Roper hired as Quarterbacks coach

From CUBuffs.com … Kurt Roper, a 22-year veteran in the coaching ranks, has been hired as quarterbacks coach at the University of Colorado, head coach Mike MacIntyre announced Wednesday.

“Kurt brings a tremendous amount of quarterback coaching experience and has tutored some of the great ones like Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Thaddeus Lewis at Duke,” MacIntyre said. “He has great offensive knowledge and we are extremely excited to have a coach of his caliber on our staff to work with our quarterbacks.”

Roper, 45, was previously an offensive coordinator for two SEC programs and another in the ACC. He most recently was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at South Carolina for the past two seasons and earlier in his career had worked with MacIntyre for six years when the two were coaching together at Mississippi (1999-02) and Duke (2008-09).

“My family and I are excited about coming to the University of Colorado,” said Roper, who spent 15 of his first 22 years of coaching in the SEC and has helped his teams appear in 14 bowl games. “We are excited about the opportunity to compete for championships with the Buffaloes. Getting back with coach MacIntyre is obviously really appealing, we have a great relationship, have spent a lot of time together and I know how talented and how hard he works at putting together great teams. I am really looking forward to being a part of this group.”

Roper tutored All-America signal-caller Eli Manning, the 2003 SEC Player of the Year and No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, during his six-years as the quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss (1999-04). After winning the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards in 2003, Manning has gone on to win two Super Bowls, was twice named the Super Bowl MVP and is a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Another one of his quarterbacks, Thaddeus Lewis at Duke, spent six years in the NFL after a record-breaking career in Roper’s offense at Duke where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-13.

Lewis finished his career as Duke’s all-time leader in pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He joined Phillip Rivers as just the second player in ACC history to throw for over 10,000 yards.

In Roper’s last year at Duke, the Blue Devils enjoyed a record-setting campaign as they won a program-best 10 games en route to capturing the ACC’s Coastal Division championship. His offense set the school record for total touchdowns (60), while becoming the first squad in Blue Devil history to post 20+ rushing and 20+ passing TDs in the same season.

Under Roper’s guidance, Anthony Boone finished his career as the winningest quarterback in Duke history with 19 victories, Brandon Connette became Duke’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, while wide receiver Jamison Crowder established school single-season records for receptions (108) and receiving yards (1,301).

Quarterback Sean Renfree was selected to the prestigious AFCA Good Works Team before going on to be a seventh round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2013.

After leaving Duke, he was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the University of Florida in 2014 and had a year-long stint with the Cleveland Browns as a senior offensive assistant coach prior to going to South Carolina in 2016. He helped lead the Gamecocks to the Birmingham Bowl in his first year in Columbia, S.C. and a eight-win regular season this past fall.

Roper got his start in coaching at Tennessee as a graduate assistant from 1996-98, working with the defensive and special teams’ units.

After his six years in Oxford, Miss. with the Rebels, he went to Kentucky for the 2005 season as quarterback coach of Andre’ Woodson, who went on to be a sixth round draft pick of the New York Giants.

From 2006-07 he was at Tennessee, where he coached the running backs. During that span, the Vols won 19 games, earned a pair of Outback Bowl berths and captured the SEC Eastern Division championship. In 2007, Tennessee’s rushing attack was led by Arian Foster, who gained 1,193 yards on 245 carries, while scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground. Foster went on to lead the NFL in rushing yards in 2010 and rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 2012. Another one of his running backs at UT, Montario Hardesty, went on to be a second round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns.

A native of Ames, Iowa, Roper was a three-year letterman as a quarterback and defensive back at Rice from 1992-94. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice in 1995 and a master’s degree from Tennessee in 1998.

Roper and his wife, Britt, have one daughter, Reese, and one son, Luke. His brother, Zac, is the associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Duke.

Kurt Roper‘s Coaching History
2016-17 – South Carolina – Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2015 – Cleveland Browns – Senior Offensive assistant
2014 – Florida – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2008-13 – Duke – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2006-07 – Tennessee – Running Backs
2005 – Kentucky – Quarterbacks
1999-2004 – Ole Miss – Quarterbacks
1996-98 – Tennessee – Graduate Assistant

Kurt Roper‘s Bowl Experience
2017 Outback
2016 Birmingham
2014 Birmingham
2013 Chick-fil-A
2012 Belk
2008 Outback
2007 Outback
2004 Cotton
2002 Independence
2000 Music City
1999 Independence
1999 Fiesta
1998 Orange
1997 Citrus

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January 2nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

A number of assistant coaches could be receiving multi-year contracts

From the Daily Camera … Nearly five months after new state legislation went into effect to allow the University of Colorado athletic department to offer more multi-year contracts to coaches, the Buffaloes are still finalizing those contracts.

Contracts for football assistants and coaches in other sports could be presented to the Board of Regents for approval at their meeting in Denver on Feb. 8-9.

“We’re talking to the coaches now about the contracts,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “(The February regents meeting) is when we would bring contracts forward at that time, which is perfect timing because it’s right after signing day.”

With men’s and women’s basketball being in season, the contracts for those coaches are likely to be handled at a later date, but coaches in most other sports could be in line for contracts in February.

Not every coach will get a contract, but the new legislation will allow the Buffs to give security to several long-time head coaches, such as cross country/track coach Mark Wetmore, skiing coach Richard Rokos, golf coaches Anne Kelly and Roy Edwards and soccer coach Danny Sanchez.

“It’ll kind of set the base and the standard and we’ll figure it out from there, but I feel pretty good about the direction we’re going and what we’re doing and being able to take care of some coaches,” George said. “It’s basically us saying we’re committed to you and I think that’s a good statement.”

Prior to the legislation that was passed last year, only six multi-year contracts could be used among the entire CU campus staff.

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January 1st – Happy New Year!

… CU in a few minutes … 

Report: CU may have found its new quarterbacks coach

RelatedKurt Roper’s bio from the South Carolina preseason media guide (scroll down to page ten)

Related … “Kurt Roper officially out as South Carolina offensive coordinator” … from TheState.com

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado football program is about to add some significant experience to its offensive coaching staff.

Buffzone.com has learned through a source at CU that the Buffaloes are closing in on a deal to hire former Duke, Florida and South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper as their new quarterbacks coach.

An official announcement from CU is expected this week, according to the source.

Roper would replace Brian Lindgren, who was the Buffs’ offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the past five years, but left CU for a similar position at Oregon State last month.

In his 21 years of coaching, Roper, 45, has worked primarily with quarterbacks. Most notably, in his first full-time job in coaching, he worked with the quarterbacks at Ole Miss (1999-2004), where he mentored Eli Manning, now with the NFL’s New York Giants, and helped him become the No. 1 overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Continue reading story here

Drew Lewis: “We can see where we need to improve”

From the Daily Camera … Like just about everyone else on the Colorado defense this season, Drew Lewis had some great moments, and he had some struggles.

Coming off his first season as a starter at the Division I level, Lewis will take the good and the bad into the offseason as he aims to get better.

“I can say I learned a whole lot, having a lot of ups and downs and I had a lot of fun learning from some other players,” Lewis said. “It didn’t end out how we wanted, obviously, but we can see where we need to improve.”

Lewis and the Buffs (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12) fell one win short of a second consecutive bowl game, with some late season struggles by the defense costing them down the stretch.

“I think the biggest thing for us is being able to finish,” Lewis said. “Coming down to the fourth quarter, we let up a lot of points. We have to work on finishing strong, doing extra reps or whatever it takes to be able to finish.”

Continue reading story here

Alex Kinney quietly put together a good season in 2017

From the Daily Camera … Colorado punter Alex Kinney didn’t get much attention with postseason awards, but the junior wound up having a very good season for the Buffaloes.

Coming off a disappointing 2016 season, he and the Buffs’ coaches said throughout fall camp that Kinney was as good as ever, and he backed up that up during the season.

Kinney, who has been CU’s punter the past three years, had career highs on gross average (43.8 yards per kick) and net average (41.7). He also set a CU record with 28 of his punts landing inside the 20. Overall, Kinney landed 50 percent of his 56 punts inside the 20. Prior to this year, the best percentage in CU history was 41.5 percent, by Darragh O’Neill in 2014.

Kinney’s net average was significantly better from 2015 (38.1) and 2016 (35.4).

“He started out really well in fall camp,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “(Kinney and I) were talking about some of the things we can do to help him scheme-wise, too. The protection was good for him and he felt confident. That’s a big part for a punter. Our snaps were better late in the year, too.”

The Buffs did have two punts blocked, and those were both costly, but aside from that, Kinney had solid protection most of the year.

About the only postseason honor for Kinney was being named to the Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team.

Continue reading story here

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December 26th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

N.J. Falo confident he will be in uniform for CU in 2018

From the Daily Camera … Sitting on an airplane, on a flight he didn’t want to take, NJ Falo got a wake-up call.

Loaded with talent – and an impressive head of long, black hair flowing out the back of his helmet – Falo had given glimpses of his potential with the Colorado football team in 2015 and 2016.

The 2017 season was going to be Falo’s best shot to shine, but he never made it to the stage. Before the season even began, football was gone.

A positive drug test late in the summer was the final strike against Falo, and in July, CU dismissed the talented outside linebacker from the program.

Falo flew home to Sacramento, where he has spent the past five months.

… CU won’t confirm that Falo will return, but Falo said he is signing up for classes and plans to be in Boulder next month.

“Originally it was supposed to be a whole year suspension, but after talking with (head coach Mike MacIntyre) before I left, he cut it down to six months, because I know he believes in me and puts a lot of trust in me,” Falo said. “I didn’t want to let him down. I needed to stay focused and come back and prove to him I can be the guy he needs me to be and contribute to the team and bring Colorado back to where we belong.”

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Klayton Adams optimistic about offensive line

From the Daily Camera … Given a promotion to co-offensive coordinator earlier this month, Colorado’s Klayton Adams is looking forward to working with Darrin Chiaverini to get the Buffaloes rolling on offense.

For Adams, that starts with his group up front.

In addition to sharing the co-coordinator role with Chiaverini, Adams is entering his third season as the offensive line coach, and he’s got a big task this offseason. The line struggled this season for the Buffaloes (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12), ranking 123rd nationally in sacks allowed (39) and 102nd in rushing yards per carry (3.78).

Continuity was an issue, as injuries to several players and a two-game suspension early in the season to left tackle Jeromy Irwin led to constant shuffling of the lineup.

Along with that, leadership wasn’t as strong as it needed to be, Adams said.

“I think we’ve got to do a better job within that group of having our version of leadership,” he said. “Really that position is like its own team. The people that are the leaders in that group need to be the hardest workers, they need to be the model citizens, the best players, and all those different

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December 25th – Merry Christmas!

… CU in a few minutes …

CU-Boulder at Christmas

From YouTube, courtesy of CU at the Gamer ep:

Buff coaches not worried about lineup at cornerback for 2018 season

From the Daily Camera … In recent years, the Colorado football program has become quite adept at producing top-notch talent at cornerback.

Three players who have started at cornerback for the Buffaloes over the past three years — Chidobe Awuzie, Ken Crawley and Ahkello Witherspoon — are currently in the NFL, and Isaiah Oliver is on his way after recently announcing he will skip his senior year to enter the 2018 draft.

That’s a lot of talent to lose, but the Buffs are confident in their corner crew going into 2018.

It’s a group that could be led by junior Dante Wigley, who started half the season — his first in Boulder. A transfer from Holmes Community College, Wigley got burned at times, but also played well at times. He finished with 28 tackles and six pass breakups.

“For Dante just getting here in the spring and learning the defense and halfway through the season being a starter, I think he made some huge strides and I’m excited to see how he’ll play next year,” CU defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said.

Continue reading story here

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December 23rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Defensive line picks up three recruits 

From the Daily Camera … There’s no question that Colorado’s defensive line struggled this season, but give credit to head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff.

They’ve taken the first steps in fixing the problem.

Colorado (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12 this season) signed 20 players to national letters of intent this week, including three defensive linemen to add depth and talent to that position group.

“We were able to find some guys that we thought could really help us,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “We definitely think that’s an area that we can keep improving in.”

… The Buffs are hoping for good things out of their new linemen, as well, with five players being added to the mix.

“We had some guys that played last year that were young in their time and we feel like adding these guys to it, we’ll be able to rotate guys in and be more stout on the defensive line and be able to affect the run game and affect the passing game better,” MacIntyre said. “I’m excited about these guys.”

Mustafa Johnson is the latest JUCO transfer up front, and the Buffs believe he can fight for a starting role immediately.

Continue reading story here

Mike MacIntyre on quarterback Steven Montez: “He’ll get better”

From the Daily Camera … Going into this past season, Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre knew that sophomore quarterback Steven Montez wouldn’t look like a polished veteran.

MacIntyre wanted to see the first-year starter be a better player at the end of the year than he was at the start, however. In that regard, it was a successful season for Montez.

“Steven had some excellent moments — some ‘wow’ moments — and he had some other moments that were tough,” MacIntyre said. “That’s what I kept saying at the beginning of the year: can he handle the grind of everything? I thought when it was all said and done that he did. He improved as the year went along.”

Montez got a taste of the starting role in 2016, subbing for injured senior Sefo Liufau for three games. In all, Montez played in 10 games that year, throwing for 1,017 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

This season, Montez started all 12 games — the first CU quarterback to start every game of the season since Cody Hawkins in 2007 — and completed 228 of 377 passes (60.5 percent) for 2,975 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was also CU’s second-leading rusher, with 338 yards and three touchdowns.

Along the way, Montez got a feel for many of the good and bad parts of being the starting quarterback.

Continue reading story here

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December 22nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Improved access to junior college players has assisted CU program in recent years

From the Daily Camera … Not long ago, getting junior college transfers into Colorado to play football was a difficult task and it didn’t happen often.

During the past five years, however, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre has leaned on junior college transfers for depth, competition and to provide immediate help to his football team.

On Wednesday, CU signed 19 new players to national letters of intent, with five of them being junior college transfers.

This is the fifth year in a row that MacIntyre has signed at least four JUCO transfers, a considerable change from the past. From 2008-13, CU signed a total of six JUCO transfers.

Continue reading story here

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December 20th

… CU in a few minutes …

Notes from Signing Day

A few notes about the Class of 2018 …

— Rankings … Still fluid, but, as of this moment, CU has the No. 38 Class in the nation (No. 6 in Pac-12) (Rivals) … the No. 43 Class in the nation (No. 7 in the Pac-12 (247 Sports);

— With the 19 new Buffs, combined with the 68 scholarship players returning, CU now has 87 players on scholarship, two more than the 85 allowed by the NCAA. With injuries and attrition, the Buffs should have no problem getting down to 85 by the end of spring semester, when the NCAA does its 2018 head count;

— Two players from 2017 are already gone. Sophomore wide receiver Johnny Huntley has already announced his intention to transfer. Senior wide receiver Lee Walker is graduating, and can play as a fifth year senior anywhere he likes with a major field CU doesn’t offer;

— CU signed five junior college transfers, the same as last year. In each of the previous three seasons, Mike MacIntyre & Co. signed four junior college transfers;

— Players by state … California 6; Texas 4; Colorado 3; Mississippi 2; Louisiana 1; Oklahoma 1; South Carolina 1; Washington 1

— By Position … Offense -10 … Offensive lineman 3; wide receivers 3; running backs 2; quarterback 1; tight end 1 … Defense – 9 … Defensive backs 5; linebackers 3; defensive linemen 3

— And … Two grayshirts: offensive lineman Casey Roddick and defensive tackle Jalen Sami … mid-year transfer: wide receiver Tony Brown

Mike MacIntyre: Class of 2018 “ready to play”

Related … “A look at the high school signees in the CU Buffs’ 2018 recruiting class” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … If you are looking for one overriding characteristic of the latest Colorado recruiting class, one attribute that gives the 2018 group an identity, it might be “ready to play.”

The newest Buffs are no doubt an athletic bunch, boasting speed and size from top to bottom. The class is evenly distributed, with roughly half on offense and half on defense (depending upon the potential of a late addition or two). Mike MacIntyre and his staff recruited with an eye on needs, and they filled those needs.

But perhaps most notable is this: MacIntyre made it clear Wednesday afternoon that he expects a handful of the newest Buffs — perhaps four or five — to step in and play right away.

Make that play at a Pac-12 level.

There is a difference.

MacIntyre is no stranger to playing newcomers. He was forced to do it his first couple of years in Boulder, and the result wasn’t pretty. Forced to thrust not-ready-for-prime-time players into the lineup, the Buffs took their lumps.

The good news was those players developed, and by their fourth year in Boulder, had turned into NFL-caliber players.

But next fall, players who put their names on national letters of intent Wednesday could be on the field on Saturdays — and MacIntyre believes they will be Buffs who will contribute at a high level rather than getting their baptism by fire.

“It’s the most developed class that we’ve signed,” MacIntyre said after announcing his sixth class at Colorado. “The group that we had that had nine guys go to the NFL a year ago (the 2013 class) — they weren’t as developed, but we worked to develop them. …  I think now with these guys, they’ll be able to play a little quicker and be better at a younger age than those guys were at a younger age. Hopefully they’ll be just as good at the end, but they’ll definitely be stronger, more athletic, better be able to perform at a Pac-12 level a little quicker. That’s what we believe.”

… LAST-MINUTE BIDS: Thanks to the first early signing date, MacIntyre said the last-minute push from other schools to “flip” CU commits was much more intense than normal. Colorado had a number of Pac-12, ACC, SEC and Big 12 schools calling Buffs commits as late as Tuesday night, trying to get them to change their minds.

“It was a lot more intense this year the last three days and the last weekend — a lot more intense,” MacIntyre said. “I was calling kids all night last night and they were saying, ‘So and so just called and offered me. They don’t want me to sign, told me to wait.’ Kid after kid after kid. It was major universities in our conference, out of our conference, big independent schools. It was interesting. … It also says a lot for the kids that we have.”

Continue reading story here

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December 19th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Phillip Lindsay named state’s Offensive Player of the Year

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior tailback Phillip Lindsay has been named the state’s offensive player of the year by the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

Largely unrecruited after tearing his ACL as a senior at Denver South High School, he proceeded to play in all 51 of CU’s games in his career (including the Alamo Bowl with 30 starts), and in the process became Colorado’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards (5,760) and yards from scrimmage (4,683).  He finished as the Buffs’ second all-time leading rusher with 3,707 yards and is the first player in CU history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons (and just the second to have two).

He also finished fourth on the scoring chart (234 points, second to only Eric Bieniemy by non-kickers), and with 110 receptions for 976 yards, he also set school records for the most in each by a running back; he became the 14th player to join CU’s 500/500 Club (rushing and receiving yards), narrowly missing becoming the first to hit 1,000 in both (which he did counting the bowl game, but CU does not include those numbers—for any player).  Overall, he set 24 records and tied two others in his CU career.

“It’s an honor to be able to win this award, especially coming out of Denver South (High School), the University of Colorado and the state of Colorado,” Lindsay said.  “It’s been a fun ride, and it’s really a privilege to represent the state with this kind of honor – but also coming out of and representing the DPS (Denver Public Schools) is a privilege in itself to receive this recognition.”

As a senior this season, he earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from the Associated Press at the all-purpose position, and honorable mention accolades at running back by the league coaches.  He emerged as one of the top running backs in the nation and was named one of 11 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award while being named CU’s Zack Jordan Award as the team’s most valuable player.  He rushed for 1,474 yards, the fifth-most in a single-season at Colorado, which was the 10th-most in the NCAA for the regular season (fifth in the Pac-12) … His 301 attempts set a school single-season mark and also led the nation.  He led the Buffs in scoring with 90 points on the strength of 15 touchdowns (14 rushing), and earned 93 first downs in averaging 144.3 all-purpose yards per game, which was good for second in the Pac-12 and 11th nationally.

Lindsay is the first Buffalo to win the offensive honor since the award was conceived by the chapter’s board in 2003.  Linebacker Jordan Dizon won the defensive nod in 2007, with Jeremy Bloom(2002) and placekicker Mason Crosby (2004, 2005, 2006) claiming special team player of the year accolades.

Lindsay, along with offensive tackle Jeromy Irwin and cornerback Isaiah Oliver garnered first-team All-Colorado honors, with receiver Bryce Bobo, guard Gerrad Kough, defensive end Leo Jackson, linebackers Rick Gamboa and Drew Lewis and placekicker James Stefanou earning second-team mention.

The defensive player of the year award winner was linebacker Dean Wegner from Colorado Mines; the special teams honor went to receiver/kick returner Virnel Moon from Colorado Mesa; and the coach of the year selection was CSU-Pueblo’s John Wristen for the sixth time in the last seven seasons (Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre snapped that streak in 2016).

All recipients will be recognized at the chapter’s 25th annual scholar-athlete banquet, scheduled for Monday, April 9 in Golden.  The team and specialty awards are voted on by members of the chapter’s board and one representative from each school.

Mike MacIntyre a proponent of the early Signing period 

From CUBuffs.com … It is more a coincidence of the calendar than a planned convergence, but Wednesday will present an early Christmas present to football programs across the nation when they unwrap their newest recruiting classes.

If all goes well, Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff believe their newest group of Buffaloes will be just what they wanted: a class that will address some needs, add athleticism across the board and yield several players who could become immediate contributors.

Of course, that is the aim of every recruiting class every year at every program in America.

But what will stand out most about the newest Buffaloes is that they will be the first class ever to sign national letters of intent in December instead of the traditional February date.

The February signing date will still occur, but with most programs expected to sign the bulk of their classes this week, the February period will not have the impact it once did.

“I like the early signing period, even though it definitely makes things more hectic because you have more visits during the season and you are wrapping up a class in December,” MacIntyre said Tuesday. “There were days when I had three visits in one day. But I think a lot of the kids are ready to sign, ready to get it over with, enjoy Christmas and get back to school in the spring and not have to worry about the process any more.”

Continue reading story here

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CU hoping junior college defensive tackle will choose CU on Wednesday

From the Daily Camera … As the only recruit on an official visit to Colorado this weekend, and with current CU football players busy with finals, Mustafa Johnson was at the center of attention with Buffaloes coaches.

“I definitely got to get to know the coaches a lot better,” he said Sunday after returning to his California home. “I hung out with the coaches a lot.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College, said his visit to Boulder “was excellent,” as he nears his final decision on where to sign a letter of intent on Wednesday.

“It’s down to CU and Kansas, for sure,” he said. “Right now, I’m going to weigh out the pros and cons and see what’s going to be a better fit for me.”

Johnson said as of Sunday afternoon he was pretty sure of his decision, but wanted to discuss it with family first. He plans to inform coaches at both schools either Sunday night or Monday morning, but won’t publicly reveal his choice until sending his letter of intent Wednesday.

Continue reading story here

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December 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU may sign the most JC recruits since 1984

From the Daily Camera … For years, the first Wednesday in February has been almost a national holiday in the college football world.

This year, for the first time, that holiday comes early.

From Wednesday to Friday of this week, the early signing period in college football will make its debut. For many teams, the 2018 recruiting class will be nearly locked up by Wednesday.

As of Monday afternoon, CU had 19 players verbally committed, most of which the Buffs expect will sign this week.

Here’s a preview of how CU’s class is coming together and what to watch for this week.

Loading up with JUCOs

As of Monday afternoon, CU had five junior college players verbally committed and there’s a good chance they’ll wind up with six or seven.

Last year, the Buffs added five junior college players, the most at CU in one recruiting cycle since 2000. Getting six or seven would be the most since Bill McCartney signed seven in 1984.

From 2008-13, CU signed a total of just six JUCO players in those six classes combined. Head coach Mike MacIntyre has signed 17 JUCO players in the last four classes.

It would be tough to top the CU record for one year, though. In 1982, Chuck Fairbanks signed 15 junior college players, although only 11 enrolled, according to CU.

Continue reading story here

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December 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot promises improvement in 2018

From the Daily Camera … Despite a season that felt like a 12-game roller coaster ride on defense, Colorado coordinator D.J. Eliot came away from the campaign confident that the foundation has been set for a better 2018.

“We had our ups and downs; some things good, some things bad,” Eliot said. “We got a lot of new players some game experience and reps, and I’m excited about next year.”

The Buffaloes (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12) missed out on a bowl game for the ninth time in the last 10 years, in part because of the struggles on defense.

CU allowed 28.2 points per game (ranking 76th nationally) and 450.6 yards per game (110th). It was a significant drop-off from CU’s 10-4 season in 2016, when the defense allowed just 21.7 points per game (20th nationally) and 342.5 yards per game (19th).

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December 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Best quotes of 2017

From ESPN … So here’s a look at our favorite lines from the 2017 season:

Forget the Heisman speech, this was Baker’s best 2017 line

“You forgot who Daddy is. I’m going to have to spank you today.” — Baker Mayfield’s pregame message to Baylor

What is Clemson’s star DE looking forward to at the Sugar Bowl?
“Them donuts. What are they called? (Beignets.) Yeah, beignets. I’m going to get me some of them.” — Dexter Lawrence

That’s not fair, Akron’s bowl-eligible
“I know last year for their win [against us], it was like the Super Bowl. But for us, this was just like beating Akron.” — Penn State’s James Franklin, after beating Pitt

Leach on weddings, Woodstock

After beating USC: “It’s a good win. There’s a lot of people. It’s like Woodstock, except everybody’s got their clothes on.”

Lane Kiffin on, well…

You know what, just go here.

Continue reading story here

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December 13th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Linebacker Dante Sparaco disappointed in 2017 production; promises improvement in 2018

From the Daily Camera … As one of the first players to commit to Colorado in the 2017 recruiting class, and one of the first to arrive on campus, Dante Sparaco had hoped to be one of the first to make a big impact on the field.

Instead, Sparaco goes into this offseason looking to turn some adversity into a positive as he prepares for next year.

A 6-foot-5, 245-pound outside linebacker, Sparaco played a bit early in the season before being limited to special teams. Then, a hand injury sidelined him for several games. He didn’t play in the last five games.

“It was disappointing, especially coming in here in the spring,” said Sparaco, who played at Cherry Creek High School before transferring to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. “I thought I performed pretty well in the spring and thought I had a pretty good shot to play. That’s just football for you. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Continue reading story here

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December 12th

… CU in a few minutes …

Rashaan Salaam’s Heisman Trophy to be offered in an online auction

From the Daily Camera … The original Heisman Trophy presented to Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam in 1994 will be offered in an online auction, with a portion of the proceeds being donated for CTE research.

SCP Auctions announced Tuesday that the trophy won by the late Salaam will be a part of an exclusive online auction, which opens Jan. 8 and concludes Jan. 20 at www.scpauctions.com.

Salaam, CU’s only Heisman Trophy winner, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Dec. 5, 2016. He was 42 years old.

According to a press release from SCP Auctions, Salaam sold his Heisman Trophy to a sports memorabilia dealer in 2013, who then sold it to its present owner later that year.

The seller of Salaam’s trophy will donate an undisclosed percentage of the proceeds to the National Institutes of Health, to be used to support research on athletes’ medical conditions, including CTE and brain injuries.

Donating those proceeds is being done in honor of the late Salaam, as well as former NFL star Junior Seau, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012.

It is estimated that Salaam’s Heisman will sell for at least $300,000.

Continue reading story here

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December 11th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Kicker James Stefanou named to freshman All-American team

Press release from CUBuffs.com … Freshman Placekicker James Setanou was named to ESPN’s 2017 Freshman All-America team Monday. He joins junior CB Isaiah Oliver as another Buff to earn national postseason honors after Oliver was named a second-team All-American by SB Nation last week.

“It’s a pretty big thing, but I just want to build on it really next year and years after that,” said Stefanou. “It is an honor to be recognized. There is good competition out there as well, there are plenty of freshmen kickers out there that are great. I know I am 30, but it is the first time I’ve really played football so I’m pretty happy with it.”

Stefanou totaled 86 points on the season, connecting on 17-of-22 field goal attempts and all 35 of his extra-point tries.

He started his freshman campaign off by connecting on 10 of his first 11 field goal tries, which was the third best start to a career at Colorado with one miss. Also, during the season he had a streak of nine consecutive field goal makes, tying the second-longest streak in school history.

Against Arizona State, he connected on a career-long 53-yard field goal try as well as 34-yarder and 28-yarder. The 53-yard field goal is the second-longest by a freshman in CU history, falling one yard short of teammate Davis Price‘s freshman-record 54-yard field goal in 2016. After this performance, he was named a Lou Groza Award Star of the Week.

He became the third Buff to be named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, honoring the nation’s best placekicker, and joined Will Oliver (2013 semifinalist) and Mason Crosby, who was a semifinalist (2006) and the runner-up in 2005.

Wide receiver Johnny Huntley to transfer

From the Daily Camera … Colorado receiver Johnny Huntley III has decided to transfer, announcing his decision on Twitter on Monday.

Huntley, from South Plantation (Fla.) High School, recently completed his sophomore season with the Buffaloes.

He posted this statement on Twitter: “Thank you Coach Macintyre and the whole coaching staff for letting me play 2 years at this amazing University but I have decided to put myself in a better situation to be able to get where I want to go. I will be transferring.”

 

… This past season, he played in all 12 games, and was a solid contributor on special teams. He was targeted just once as a receiver and didn’t have any catches.

Continue reading story here

Kahlef Hailassie becomes the third commitment from the Recruiting Class of 2018 to decommit

Kahlef Hailassie joins two other three-star commits to leave the Class, joining running back Max Borghi, who has since committed to Washington State, and offensive tackle Walker Culver, who remains uncommitted.

Hailassie’s tweet: Thank you to CU coaching staff for believing in me but at this time I will be decommitting and reopening my recruitment.

Hailassie is not showing any current offers from any Power Five schools, though he does have offers from schools like Fresno State, Wyoming, and Hawai’i. His bio …

Kahlef Hailassie – WR/CB

Just the facts … Committed July 22nd … Hailassie is a 6’2″, 185-pound wide receiver/cornerback from Elk Grove, California Rivals bio 247 Sports

What others say about Hailassie … Hailassie is considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247 Sports. At 247 Sports, Hailassie is listed as the No. 97 cornerback in the nation, and the No. 109 overall player out of California.

2017 statistics: 13 receptions, 310 yards, 2 touchdowns … 40 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, 1 blocked FG

2016 statistics: 31 receptions, 614 receptions, 7 touchdowns … 64 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 7 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles

While listed by the recruiting services as a wide receiver for much of 2017, reports are that Hailassie will be a defensive back at Colorado.

Hailassie had other offers from … a number of other schools, though none from a Power-Five conference program. Many of the offers were from Mountain West schools, including Wyoming, Fresno State, UNLV, Hawai’i and San Jose State.

Here is a link to his Hudl.com highlights.

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23 Responses to “Colorado Daily”

  1. Bufftrax

    This is all great, just to hear there are changes. We’ve been swimming in circles and just counting laps…. AND NOT MAKING THE CHANGES THAT NEEDED TO BE MADE.

    Say what you will, RG – has been – and is making a difference…. and that difference goes all the way to the state legislature.

    *****This is monumental Buffs.

    Now, we can entertain quality coaches who can be retained and can recruit some honest 4* talent…. and we need that talent in the trenches where FB games are won, or lost. Sure, *’s don’t mean everything, but we need ENOUGH players who are – without doubt – talented enough to impress NFL scouts right out of high school… or, at least by the time they are So.’s, Jr’s, and Sr’s.

    It would be nice to get back to the late 80’s and early 90’s when we were getting 1-2 players taken in the first round and/or 3-4 players taken in the first 2 rounds and as many as 5-6 in the first 4 rounds. I can’t document that, but I’m just throwing that out to illustrate a point… I’ll leave the stats in the hands of those who love doing that. (I know VK, EP, AZ and NW Buff probably have those years and figures notated on the back of their hands)…. probably how they took notes at the Sink at 1:30 a.m.

    I just love my Buffs like so many of us do and can’t stand mediocrity when it
    comes to CU Sports. GO BUFFS

  2. ep

    Ambrose is a hire I can get behind. I know we should wait for results to judge but 13 years in the NFL and if the BZ photo is anywhere near recent he looks like he can still show the kids how its done.
    I had to chuckle at Stuart’s poll question associating him with HWSRN. I despise Dan Hawkins as much as anyone but that doesnt mean anyone who has come into contact with him is as shallow and incompetent. Chris Peterson is the perfect example of that….the man Dan rode into Boulder on the back of to destroy the Buff football program.
    I have hope Ashley Ambrose is here to help resuscitate it. Good choice by MM.

    • Well, EP, the BZ picture is of Ashley in CU garb, so… that’s what, 8-10 years ago? But, keeping in that thread, the picture of him in BSU garb on their turf, and he still looks the same, so, dude’s taking care of himself, at least. Which is tough to do w/ the hours those guys keep.

      Regardless, I liked him his first time in CU and was sad to see him move on. Glad he’s back. It’s interesting that he came back, possibly in part to work w/ a dude who’s pretty recognized as a DB guru, and pretty solid defensive coach. Yep. Mac.

      Go Buffs.

      • VKBerlin

        Yep his defense was really solid when Leavitt was here. Without Leavitt not so much. Just saying and of course it is fact.

        I am thinking too the new DC may be more than OK. Macs teams (Lindgren?) have always struggled offensively even in the 10-4 year. The defense made it a great season. The offense still ranked in the middle of the pac 12 in conference games and the defense jumped to number 2.

        Well past is past.

        This has to be the year of the O to get over the hump.

        Perhaps the yearly bump in the road, pothole, flood, earthquake has moved on.

        Buffs.

        Note: You say he is a DB guru? Hmmmmm……..He needs to be a HC guru.

        • Yeah, what, like 5+ DBs into the NFL since he’s been at CU? That’s pretty good.

          I agree, he needs to be a head coaching guru, too. I think he’s on his way. He’s helped put the lost decade of CU football behind us. That’s a great start.

          We’ll know a lot more as the 2018 season unfolds. As I’ve said, the jury is still out on whether he’s solely a program builder/re-builder, or can actually achieve and sustain success. I’m guessing he can and will, while at CU.

          Go Buffs.

  3. VK Berlin

    Ambrose is an excellent hire. Very Glad he is back. The tenth (additional) coach so to speak…..

    So now the key hire yet to get…………The D-line coach.

    There has to be a large upgrade out there.

    Has to be.

    Buffs

    Guess the LB coach will be doing special teams again.

    • Chirality

      And something that’s quite important (I assume, to you anyways)Ambrose cannot possibly be called a “mickeymac shill”.

  4. VKBerlin

    This is gonna be a good signing day because this is a really good class.

    Be pretty neat to add that JC running back and 2 more jc DT’s

    Damn.

  5. NW Buff

    ….. ‘CU quarterback signee Blake Stenstrom shines in Blue-Grey All-American Bowl ‘ …………..

    Just like in some other endeavours we are familiar with. IT IS NOT the # of stars on your shoulder; but what you on the field of battle that shows Who & What YOU are.

    Congratulations, Blake and to the CU staff for recruiting your 3 stars to the Black & Gold

  6. ep

    With Lytle and Stenstrom it looks like once again Roper landed on his feet. No excuses and stay out of Chev’s hair.

  7. VKBerlin

    The Buffs really have to feel good about the 4 quarterbacks on scholarship. They are lined up pretty nicely.

    Best in a real long time.

    Buffs.

    Note: Play the best…………

  8. VKBerlin

    4 star more star no care star

    Do care who was chasing him. Injury aside. He will not fit the kelly O but he will fit the Buff O…………I hope

    Buffs
    UCLA
    Oregon
    WSU
    AZ
    ASU
    Indiana
    Louisville
    A&M
    Utah
    Tennessee
    CAL

    2 more DL guys please and that running back

    Buffs.

    Wonder if Morretti is healthy?

  9. VKBerlin

    Yehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Signed Kanan Ray the oline guy to a financial aid agreement.

    Enrolled for the spring

    Nice

    Go Mickey

  10. VKBerlin

    hahahahahaha hahahahahahahah hahahahahaha

    MacIntyre said he doesn’t know if any practices will be open to the media and/or general public.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAH

    What a jokester ol MickeyMac is.

    Buffs

  11. Chirality

    Jeffcoat gone!

    To me, this was the only huge priority this offseason. A half-competent defensive line last year and the team has 2-4 more wins (Arizona and Arizona State obviously, probably UCLA, better chance against Washington.

    Of course, the question is “who will replace him?”. It seems a bit late in the cycle to fire him, doesn’t it? Also, it seems like with the new “Defensive Passing Game Coordinator” position, there should be a “Defensive Running Game Coordinator”.

    • ep

      who will replace him?
      Does the check list look like:
      1. A member of the Cutcliffe “coaching tree” currently unemployed?
      2. Anyone in the SEC currently endangered of being unemployed?
      If Mac does have aspirations of returning to the coaching world of grits, bellicose preachers and oppressive heat and humidity he seems to be doing it in a somewhat backwards manner.
      I will give Mac credit for recruiting good secondary coaches and players. That might have something to do with his playing background. I pass off the horrible irony to the Buffalo curse that one was a woman beater.

  12. VKBerlin

    So Jeffcoat is now gone. Right decision.

    Bernardi, needs to be gone. Another Mac bud so probably not.
    Bernardi has been useless for 5 years. I am sure he is a nice guy but he is Macs dog.

    Get that done as well.

    Last one then will be Adams. 2nd year in this job and now co-oc. Make it happen Mr. Adams.

    Buffs.

    • ep

      also trying to figure out why we even need a tight ends coach. We have an ex WR AND an ex O lineman as OC’s. That covers a TE’s double duties. Has Bernardi ever played the position? Hanging on to Bernardi makes one think the TE will never become a threat as a receiver in the Buff O.

    • Old Codger

      Hmmmm….Bernardi recruited and landed the soon-to-be pro DB Oliver and now was the re-kindling force that resulted in signing Ray…..Solid, if unspectacular, kids like and respect him; TEs can at least block; (not throwing to them is on Lindgren, both as play caller and QB coach) has solid recruiting connections, but will never be mistaken for one of those edgy, “used car salesman-type” recruiters;
      lowest paid guy on the staff….seems to do his job

      (Unlike VK, whose main job as ACQB, requires information, but VK shows he lacks/ignores information).

      He’ll retire soon, let him be.

      • VKBerlin

        Soon please.

        He tried to recruit him. He could’t make it happen.

        Buffs weren’t even in his top 3. Not much of a recruiter really.

        So he decided to come to The Mighty Buffs. His HS coach called the only guy on the Buffs he knew. A blind squirrel eh?

        Doesn’t matter he is here and that is great. Good to be a squirrel.

        Buffs.

        Note: You ol guys stick together. Maybe identical rocking chairs.

        Note: And he is no way shape or form the lowest paid guy on the staff. Clueless in the rocking chair……..Get off your grass.

        Note 2: Bernardi is the only coach who did not get a raise. Lack of performance?

        Note 3: Here ya go olfoger. Last year, like he has been for 5 years he was the 3rd highest paid coach.

        Coach, position ……………2017 salary 2016 salary
        D.J. Eliot, Def. Coordinator $700,000 $511,900*
        Brian Lindgren, Co-OC/ QBs $487,232 $481,825
        Darrin Chiaverini, Co-OC/WRs $375,000 $265,625
        Klayton Adams, Offensive line $315,000 $261,025
        Gary Bernardi, Tight ends $311,000 $311,625
        Jim Jeffcoat, Defensive line $269,012 $263,732
        Ross Els, Linebackers ……..$225,000 $205,025*
        ShaDon Brown, Secondary ……..$200,000 $185,219*
        Darian Hagan, Running backs $183,400 $175,625

        • Old Codger

          You even read the kid’s account? He had no clue CU even had a new sports training facility or what Boulder was about!

          And don’t tell me Bernardi is responsible for that kind of tunnel vision in kids, who form their impressions of their dream school in 8-9th grade!

          Just like those recruits from FLA who thought Boulder would be freezing in June and had no concept of heat without humidity!

          • VKBerlin

            Yur grasping. And I’ll tell ya anything I want.

            The kid didn’t know? Now who was recruiting him?

            Listen yur probably a nice guy (maybe not) but seriously didn’t yur mom ever tell ya……Don’t open your mouth unless you know what the heck yur talking about?”

            Our that good one…………”Don’t open your mouth and remove all doubt?”

            I got on your wrong side cause I can be critical and as a fanatic you couldn’t handle it. Sorry but just how it is…………..for you. Tough. Don’t try and be knowledgeable unless you are.

            And as a side…………..your comments about the kids and the weather blah blah blah…………are off kilter…….as usual.

            Buffs.

            Note: I own a Legacy Brick………….do you?

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