Q & A with Lance Carl – Part Two

Lance Carl then … A member of Bill McCartney’s first recruiting Class (1983), Carl was a 12-letter winner (football, baseball, track and basketball) out of Fort Madison, Iowa. Carl, a wide receiver who led the Buffs in receiving in 1986, was a member of the team when the Buffs ended a six year run of losing seasons in 1985 – McCartney’s fourth year as head coach. Carl was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable touchdowns in Colorado football history, a 52-yard halfback pass from O.C. Oliver on the first play of the fourth quarter of CU’s epic 20-10 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in 1986.

Lance Carl now … Carl signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins and had a four year run as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles. More recently, Carl spent six years with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, where he was a director for student motivational outreach. In November of 2013, Carl was named to a newly created position, associate athletic director for business development. The largely external role which encompasses business development, community partnerships, Carl serves as the coordinator for non-game day events (if you are “grateful” that Dead & Company are playing Folsom Field July 2nd and 3rd, you have Lance Carl to thank). Carl, with an office down the hall from athletic director Rick George, is also the sports supervisor for the football program. He has daily interactions with head coach Mike MacIntyre, the assistant coaches, support personnel and the student-athletes.

Carl, in the locker room as Bill McCartney turned things around in year four of his career at Colorado, is in a unique position to discuss whether Mike MacIntyre, in the fourth year of his career at Colorado, can do the same.

Part Two … Recruiting

Previously posted … Part One: Coaches


Darrin Chiaverini was hired on January 1st as CU’s co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator, and had an immediate impact in improving the CU recruiting Class of 2016. What does Chiaverini bring to the table?

I’m excited that we have TCU on the schedule; Texas A&M on the schedule. Because we are going to start winning in Texas, recruiting-wise. Mike MacIntyre will be with Darian Hagan in south Dallas, Darrin will be in Dallas; Leavitt will be in Dallas, and put Charles Clark down there. Put those guys down there … Houston’s a hot bed of talent, too. There are so many players down there, and there are so many kids who want to get out of Texas. If you can identify them early, which Darrin can do. He’s got major connections down there, with the high schools.

Darian Hagan, another former Buff, also returned to the staff. What does it mean to have two former players out on the recruiting trail?

So Darrin is teaching all of those offensive guys in the meeting room, ‘this is what it means to be a Colorado Buffalo. Walk in there with some swag, and recognize who you are’. And no matter your character, or what your personality is … unless you’ve been here, and lived it, you can’t speak with that passion you need. That’s why, when Toby Neinas was let go, and Dave Forman was let go, and Mike put Darian Hagan on the road, recruiting. Coaches in Dallas, and Los Angeles, were so excited for Darian Hagan to be there, because Darian Hagan is speaking the truth. Darian Hagan has been here. He knows what it means to be a Buffalo. He is selling our program at a different level than those guys who haven’t been there. If you can get a qualified guy, who is a Buffalo, to be a coach here … get him on your staff. It doesn’t have to be your whole staff, but if you have certain guys, then other guys can feed off of that and ask you questions.

Will the Buffs be doing more in-season official visits, now that the Champions Center is complete?

This year, we’ll be going more in that direction. One thing Mike and I have talked about … some kids have to visit in January or late December, but, if you can get them here, by Hell or highwater during the football season, you want to get them here. A fall game in Folsom? The energy of the stadium. Seeing Ralphie run. You can’t replicate that with a video. We have to take advantage of everything we have. We’ve got more than most schools, so why not showcase it whenever you can?

If we are sitting at 8-5 or 9-4, which, if we won those fourth quarter games last year that’s where we’re at, it’s a whole different dynamic. We’ve lost a generation of kids, knowing what Colorado football is all about. The only thing that rectifies that is winning. The Champions Center will definitely help you. The right coaches will definitely help you. Drew Wilson, the new conditioning coach, is definitely going to help us, but nothing helps you like winning games.

But summer camps will remain important for Colorado (11 of the 15 freshmen in the Class of 2016 attended CU camps)

Let me tell you funny story about (Johnny) Huntley and (Tony) Julmisse (both members of the Class of 2016, both from Florida) … They came to Boulder in June. With kids verbally committing earlier than normal, we want to get kids here in June. We want to get them here when it is absolutely spectacular.

Huntley and Julmisse were here for the summer camp. They were just watching; they weren’t participating. We’re down on the practice fields, and they are both in long sleeved shirts. I said, ‘How are you guys feeling?’. They said it was the most beautiful place they had ever seen, that they thought it was going to be freezing here. I go, ‘Speaking of that, What do you think the temperature is?’. They go, ‘Like 70′. I took my phone out and showed them … it was 92-degrees. They looked at each other like, ‘Dude, if we were in Florida right now, at 92-degrees, we’d be dying’.

Just to get them here and understanding … Yes, it’s going to snow here, but you’re going to get the sun. In the summer, it’s 92-degrees, and I feel great. So they took that back home with them, and that’s what they talked about – the beauty, the weather, the scenery. I think you’ll see us getting more and more kids here on unofficial trips. Then you will be at the top of their list of schools they want to go to for their official visits during the season. They’re going to figure out a way to get here. They have a bye – they’re coming. They have a week off – they’re coming. When you recruit kids, not just texting and direct messaging and all of those things, you get them to come to campus in June for the summer camps, see other kids here, see our team out coaching the camp, all of those things have an impact.

One player the Buffs didn’t get was quarterback Sheriron Jones, the four-star Tennessee recruit who agreed to transfer to Colorado, then, two weeks later, returned to Knoxville

I don’t think he recognized the opportunity that he had. I spent some quality time with that kid, and it bothers me that he didn’t recognize the position he had put himself into … He was third-string when he left there, and then you go back, and they recruited one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He didn’t recognize the opportunity he had. He could have been the next great quarterback here.

How hard is it to recruit to the University of Colorado now, when those players being recruited weren’t even in kindergarten the last time Colorado won a conference championship?

Look guys … We’ve had a patient fan base. And you have patient alums like myself … but everybody sees the same thing. UCLA, we’re kicking their ass. USC, up 17-3. Now, don’t over think the game. But what happens is, when you haven’t been winning, you start over-thinking. ‘Is this really happening? Yeah, it’s really happening’. They need to play through that self-doubt and say, ‘No, they are not coming back today. This is our game’. When that switch goes on, it’s a special thing. We got to that point (in 1985 and ‘86) when we realized – ‘We’re the real deal’. At some point, this team needs to realize that. All the work they have put in, all the time. Commitment. Brotherhood. At some point, you have got to finish that game. The ‘85 Oregon game was like that. In the past, they would have scored, and we would have lost. But we weren’t going to stand for it. The reason we won that day was because, at the end of the game, we attacked them. Mickey Pruitt attacked – it was a safety blitz. I think Jim Leavitt wants to get to more of that. Attacking people, getting them out of their comfort zone. Don’t just sit back and wait for them to make a mistake. Force the issue.

Just for Fun … Here is the YouTube video of the final play of the 1985 Oregon game. CU led 21-17, with Oregon facing a fourth-and-goal at the CU three yard line with nine seconds to play …

Coach Bill McCartney after the game: “I think that could be a turning point for our program.”



Previously postedPart One: Coaches

Still to come … Part Three: Players – Offense; and Part Four: Players – Defense

3 Replies to “Q & A With Lance Carl – Part II – “We’re the Real Deal””

  1. Lance Carl played at CU when I was a student at CU and I smiled at the memory of (a) O.C. Oliver’s TD pass to him vs. Nebraska; and (b) Mickey Pruitt’s blitz off of the corner to sack Chris Miller and preserve the win vs. Oregon. I had the pleasure of screaming my lungs out in the student section at both of those games.

    And if Darian Hagan ever needs a visual aid to explain to his players or to recruits what it means to be a Buffalo, then he can cue up the video of his “thirty yard down the field” option pitch to J.J. Flannigan vs Nebraska in ’89.


  2. I am not sure if I am reading too much into this or not but I have started to see a change in the language. Much of it is coming out of the new people we have brought on board so that may be it. But overall, I am seeing people talking about success a lot more. The recognize where we are but they are definitely talking about winning now. I am excited to see what is coming this year. I have already gotten Friday off so I can go get a glimpse in spring practice!

    1. I agree…”UCLA, we’re kicking their ass. USC, up 17-3.” when was the last time someone had language like this about the buffs? I like it!

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