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Colorado Daily

 

August 13th

… CU in a few minutes …

Defensive end Chris Mulumba named to Ted Hendricks award watch list

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … Senior DE Chris Mulumba has been named one of 36 players to the Ted Hendricks Award watch list, announced by the Ted Hendricks Foundation Monday.

The Ted Hendricks Award is presented to the top defensive end in college football.  Hendricks was college football’s first three-time All-American and the award celebrates on-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, a contribution to the school and community, and academic preparedness.

Mulumba played in all 12 games in 2017, his first season on the squad after joining the Buffs from Diablo Valley College.  He recorded 39 tackles and had four or more tackles in six games, including the last five of the season.

Mulumba was given the team’s Ron Scott Award given to the most improved defensive lineman at the conclusion of spring practices and was named to Phil Steele’s College Football preseason All-Pac-12 third team.

Still relatively new to football, this will be his fourth year of organized football, including one season at CU and one at Daiblo Valley College.  He enrolled at Central Florida in 2016 but did not attend school there, sitting out a year before joining the Buffs in 2017 for his junior season.  Born in Finland, his parents are natives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo but left a year before he was born to escape the country’s civil war.

CU Athletics Hall of Fame inductees include Kordell Stewart and Daniel Graham

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The 14th class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this November 8 will feature 11 Golden Buffalo legends who are representative of five different sports across eight decades in the school’s history, all of whom have their special place in history created during their CU athletic careers.

The 11, one of whom will be honored posthumously, cover the 1920s through this decade, with two of the group also in coaching and administration.  Spanning the group are six who lettered in football, with one a three-sport star, another serving as an assistant coach and a third a long-time administrator; the school’s lone player who went on to win a World Series ring; two star basketball performers in the 1960s; CU’s first nationally recognized female sprinter in track; and the most successful female skier in school history, who will be the first woman inducted in the sport that has captured 20 national championships.

The 2018 class will be the 14th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the 11 will join 101 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (14 have been honored previously after their deaths).

Athletic director Rick George once again personally notified all 10 living members of the upcoming class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for the 11th inductee, Hatfield Chilson, a three-sport letterman and the creator of the “jump pass” in football during the early 1920s.

The group will officially be inducted in the Hall of Fame over the course of Nov. 8-10 (final details pending); they will be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade on Friday night and will be introduced at halftime of the CU-Washington State football game on Saturday, Nov. 10, to complete the weekend.

Those to be inducted are (click on names for complete bios):

With one throw of the football, Stewart became a college football legend.  Heaving a 64-yard touchdown pass that Michael Westbrook hauled in after the final gun that gave CU a 27-26 win at Michigan on Sept. 24, 1994, the play won an ESPY for the play of the year and is always listed among, if not at the top, of the plays of the century.  He was also the Offensive Most Valuable Player in CU’s throttling of Notre Dame in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl.

“To be selected as one of the greatest athletes to ever walk on CU’s campus, after all of the greats that have gone through this program, this honor is beyond me,” Stewart exclaimed.  “It will be an honor to join others in the Hall, including some of my teammates who have previously been inducted.”

Graham was a member of CU’s 2001 Big 12 championship team, and was renowned for both his ability to make the tough catch in traffic as we as blocking well downfield for his teammates.  He was rewarded for those combined efforts with the John Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end.

All inductees were nominated by their peers in the Alumni C-Club or by members of the selection committee; 25 semifinalists emerged from over 50 names submitted over the last three years.  There will now be 112 members (plus the ’59 ski team, CU’s first national champions in any sport) in the CU Athletic Hall of Fame since its inception in 1998.  An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from their CU career and retired from professional sports (teams) to be considered for induction.  With an induction every year instead of on a biennial basis as was the case for the first 16 years of the Hall, CU has been able to get more of those who are deserving of the recognition honored in a shorter time span with larger induction classes over the last five years.

 

Freshman linebacker Clyde Moore leaves team

… Moore was considered to be a three-star prospect last January, with offers from Arizona State, Boise State, and Colorado State … 

From the Daily Camera … True freshman linebacker Clyde Moore has decided to leave the Colorado football team.

CU confirmed that Moore is leaving the team and returning home “for personal/family reasons.”

Moore, from Corona Del Mar (Calif.) High School, practiced with the Buffs through the first week of fall camp. He will not enroll in fall classes and CU said Moore “will likely transfer somewhere closer to home.”

Moore missed all but three games of his senior year at Corona Del Mar because of injury.

In talking about the inside linebackers last week, assistant coach Ross Els said Moore was making an impression as a “very physical” player.

Moore was the only inside linebacker for the Buffs’ 2018 recruiting class, although the Buffs do have true freshman Jake Yurachek as a preferred walk-on.

Moore’s departure leaves CU with 82 scholarship players.

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August 12th

… CU in a few minutes …

Transfer running back Travon McMillian: “He’s going to have a big, big role in our offense”

From the Daily Camera … Darrin Chiaverini liked what he saw from running back Travon McMillian on Saturday.

For the scattered dozens in attendance at Folsom Field for Colorado’s open scrimmage, it’s probably difficult to disagree with Chiaverini’s assessment.

While Saturday’s exercise gave the Buffaloes an opportunity to break out the pads under the scrutiny of a full referee crew, it also provided a glimpse to how the competition is playing out to replace Phillip Lindsay in the Buffs’ backfield. In one sequence Saturday McMillian, the graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, caught a swing pass along the perimeter and immediately eluded a defender with a surprisingly nimble move for a player carrying a 6-foot, 210-pound frame.

Continue reading story here

Junior college transfer Davion Taylor impressing coaches with his versatility

From CUBuffs.com … In the first week of fall camp, Colorado’s Davion Taylor has recorded a pass interception against the No. 1 defense, played well against the run and gotten to the quarterback with regularity.

In short, Taylor has been everywhere — which is exactly where the CU coaching staff wants him to be. Their only “problem” is figuring out how to best utilize his considerable athletic ability.

Technically CU’s Buff back (a hybrid linebacker/safety), Taylor’s role has expanded since the spring semester, when he enrolled at CU in time to participate in spring ball after playing his second season last fall at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Miss.

“Davion’s a really talented guy,” said CU passing game coordinator ShaDon Brown. “He’s really fast. We bring him off the edge and he also is a guy that is fast enough and athletic enough to cover. We’re doing some different things with him to utilize his skill sets. I think when you have a multi-talented kid you have to be creative as a coach and not handicap those guys in terms of their abilities. We’re putting him in different positions so he can use his skill set to the best of his ability.”

Continue reading story here

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August 11th

… CU in a few minutes …

With quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper, class is in session

From the Daily Camera … In the early 1990s, Kurt Roper was a player at Rice University, sitting in a meeting with his fellow quarterbacks and feeling lost as he listened to offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger.

“He was going over defensive football and I’m going, ‘Hey, I don’t know what you’re talking about and this is over my head,'” Roper recalled recently. “As a player, I really didn’t take the initiative to learn it.”

A quarter century later, Roper is trying to teach the quarterbacks at Colorado what he wished he had learned as a player.

Entering his first season as CU’s quarterbacks coach, Roper, who was hired in January, is already making a big impact on the Buffs. It’s been well documented that starting quarterback Steven Montez has “gone from algebra to calculus” in his knowledge of the game, but Montez isn’t the only quarterback benefitting from Roper’s tutelage.

“In the last few months I’ve learned more than I’ve ever learned in my whole entire life,” sophomore Sam Noyer said. “Not taking away from any coaches that I’ve had in the past. They’ve all prepared me really well up to this point, but (Roper) has come in and he’s taken it to that next level, for sure.”

Continue reading story here

Duke coach (and Mike MacIntyre mentor) David Cutlcliffe talks about MacIntyre and QB coach Kurt Roper

From YouTube, courtesy of SBNation …

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August 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Nick Fisher ready to take over both as a safety and as a captain

From the Daily Camera … During the first three years of his career at Colorado, Nick Fisher didn’t play as much as he would have liked.

He did, however, pay attention to those playing ahead of him, soaking in the lessons taught by Chidobe Awuzie, Tedric Thompson and Afolabi Laguda.

“I think I’ve been behind a lot of good guys, all in the NFL right now,” Fisher said. “I’ve learned a lot from Ted, I learned a lot from Fo. When I first got here I played corner and nickel and I learned a lot from Chido.

“Everything they instilled in me, I still try to keep that going, as far as work ethic, film, and just the demeanor out on the field. They taught me a lot.”

Now a senior, Fisher is poised to play a starring role on the Buffaloes’ defense. He’s expected to start at safety, where he hopes to not only make plays, but lead the Buffs on and off the field as one of seven captains.

“Anytime that your peers vote you a captain, I think it should be taken seriously,” Fisher said. “To be seen as a leader by them meant a lot to me.”

Continue reading story here

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August 7th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Wide receiver Jaylon Jackson back on the field … after three year absence 

From CUBuffs.com … When Colorado’s Jaylon Jackson gathered in a pass Tuesday and took it to the end zone in CU’s first full-pads practice of fall camp, it was hard to tell who was more excited — Jackson, his teammates or his coaches.

Call it a tie, as he was mobbed by all after the play, which included several nifty moves from Jackson.

Jackson, a redshirt freshman who has battled injury after injury over the last three seasons, appears to finally be healthy and ready to roll. He has regained the speed that made him a highly regarded recruit, and he has made several outstanding catches and runs already in camp.

“I’m excited about Jaylon,” CU co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said. “He’s healthy and making plays. We’re seeing now what he’s capable of doing.”

Safe to say, Jackson is also excited about what he’s been able to do since camp began. The ebullient, energetic Cedar Hill, Texas, product has been waiting for this opportunity for years — literally.

Jackson hasn’t played in an actual game since 2015, his junior year at Cedar Hill — and that year, he played in just one contest after suffering a knee injury. The following year he missed the entire season after suffering an injury to the other knee.

Continue reading story here

Tight end Chris Bounds not worried about personal statistics

From CUBuffs.com … Quick: name the three Colorado Buffaloes who are tied atop the list of returning players with the most touchdown receptions last year.

Two should be relatively easy. Senior wide receivers Jay MacIntyre and Juwann Winfree both had two touchdown catches last year, the most of any wideouts on CU’s current roster.

But the third might not jump to mind because it was a relative rarity. When Colorado’s Chris Bounds nabbed two touchdown scores last year — both against Arizona — he became the first tight end since 2014 to have more than one touchdown catch in a season. He also became the first Buffs tight end since Joe Klopfenstein in 2005 to have a pair of touchdown catches in the same game.

But lest you think Bounds is planning on making such two-touchdown games a regular occurrence, know that he did not spend any time in his offseason working on an end zone celebration. Rather, he and his H-back/tight end teammates did what they always do — prepare to do whatever necessary to help the Buffs win. Block, tackle, run, serve as a decoy — whatever it takes.

It is what the position demands.

“Ever since I got here, the whole tight end group has been playing for the team,” Bounds said after Monday morning’s practice. “Whatever we can do, that’s great. If I can catch the ball more and that helps the team, great. If I can block more and that helps the team, great. Whatever it is — I just want to win games.”

Continue reading story here

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August 5th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buffs to lean on young stars to take a step up 

From the Daily Camera … For the Buffs (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12 in 2017) to have a better season, they will lean on Laviska Shenault and several other young, unproven players. National pundits aren’t expecting much out of the Buffs, but it might be because this team is so full of under-the-radar players, such as Shenault.

“I sure hope so,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said when asked if the Buffs have a lot of unknown talent. “We do have some really good athletes out there. Our coaches are doing a great job. They just have to get the learning curve on everything. The young men that came in here in January, I feel good about those guys being able to step in Day 1 and play really well.

“We have some good athletes out there. Now we just have to do it in the games and make the plays.”

The Buffs will depend heavily on veterans such as quarterback Steven Montez, receiver Jay McIntyre, linebackers Rick Gamboa and Drew Lewis and safety Evan Worthington. Yet, it might be those under the radar players that make the biggest difference.

Continue reading story here

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August 2nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Steven Montez flying under the radar

From the Daily Camera … For now, Montez is flying under the radar, but the potential to join the others is there.

“All of those quarterbacks that you mentioned in our league are excellent,” CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said at media day. “I feel like he’s capable of being that same type of guy.

“There are great quarterbacks in this league, and great quarterbacks every year. Last year, there were a few other names, right? So, I definitely feel like Steven has the ability to do it, and hopefully he will.

“When he does, it all goes back to us winning enough games to get his notoriety, and when we do that, he’ll get his time in the sun, so to speak.”

… “I only feel as much pressure as I put on myself,” Montez said. “At the end of the day, we’re here to play a game, we’re here to play football and win games. I know what’s expected of me, so there’s really not that much pressure.”

Continue reading story here

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July 31st

… CU in a few minutes … 

Rick Gamboa on being a captain: “It’s a role I’m proud of having and it pushes me to want to be better”

From CUBuffs.com …  In his four-plus years at Colorado, senior inside linebacker Rick Gamboa has experienced both ends of the spectrum when it comes to program success.

From a 10-loss season to a 10-win season — and a couple in between — the two-year team captain has run the gamut of emotions with the Buffs.

Now, as he enters his senior year, Gamboa simply wants to make his last season in a CU uniform one to remember for all the right reasons.

“Whatever it takes,” the 6-foot, 230-pound Gamboa said as the Buffs prepare to open fall camp this week. “Being here so long, I’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot and seen how a lot of things play out. Now I’m just trying to take everything day by day, help my teammates out and do whatever the team needs me to do to be successful. That means from a leadership role, from a player role — everything.”

Leadership is no doubt a Gamboa strong suit. He this year became just the 14th player in CU history to be elected a captain twice by his teammates, and he’s earned that honor via his work ethic, his performance and his dedication to the game.

“It’s something that’s really important to me, especially coming from the team,” Gamboa said. “It puts a big responsibility on me, 24/7. Practice, off the field, everything. Guys look at me for what to do, what’s right and wrong, things like that. … You can’t make mistakes, you can’t take plays off. It’s a role I’m proud of having and it pushes me to want to be better.”

Continue reading story here

Who will become the featured back in the post-Phillip Lindsay era?

From the Daily Camera … As Phillip Lindsay continues to impress his new teammates with the Denver Broncos this offseason, the Colorado Buffaloes continue to field questions about how they’re going to replace the dynamic running back.

For being just 5-feet, 8 inches tall, Lindsay sure did leave some big shoes to fill.

Leading up to fall camp, which starts Thursday, Buffzone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this final installment, we take a look at the running backs, which may take a committee approach to replacing one of the best players ever to wear a CU uniform.

CU’s unofficial all-time leader in state pride and passion, Lindsay left CU with the most yards from scrimmage (4,683) and all-purpose yards (5,760) in program history, while finishing second in career rushing yards (3,707). He also caught 110 career passes – the only running back in CU history to hit the century mark.

A year ago, Lindsay had a CU-record 301 rushing attempts, compiling 1,474 yards and 14 touchdowns.

What do the Buffs have left?

Well, among their top four returning rushers from last year, one is quarterback Steven Montez and two are receivers: K.D. Nixon and Laviska Shenault. While Lindsay had 301 carries, the rest of the running backs combined for 34 carries, 88 yards and no touchdowns.

Continue reading story here

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July 30th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Two Fall Camp practices will be open to the public

Players report this Wednesday, August 1st, with the first practice of Fall Camp taking place Thursday morning. Two Fall Camp practices will be open to the public:

— Saturday, August 4th … 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (also Football/Olympic sports media day. Mike MacIntyre will be meeting with the press at 2:15; assistant coaches and players from 3:00 – 4:15)

— Saturday, August 11th … 9:05 – 12:05 p.m. (includes a scrimmage)

Other CU notes, from the Colorado Pac-12 media day notes … 

— CU is 700-501-36, 25th in all-time wins; 36th in all-time winning percentage;

— CU played eight bowl teams in 2017, and will play eight bow teams in 2018;

— The Friday night opener against CSU will mark the sixth straight years in which CU does not start the season on Saturday (two Thursday; three Friday and one Sunday since 2012);

— New Hampshire represents the furthest east location of any opponent in CU history, further east than Boston College (Insight.com bowl opponent in 1999) and UMass (played twice);

— Mike MacIntyre is entering his sixth season as coach at Colorado, only the seventh coach in school history to reach seven seasons;

— The Buffs have 19 seniors on the roster, including 14 fifth-year seniors (the five four-year seniors: DE Javier Edwards; S Nick Fisher; P Alex Kinney; DE Chris Mulumba; S Kyle Trego)

Fall Camp injury report:

TB Jarek Broussard, Fr., knee

OL Kanan Ray, Fr., knee

OL Casey Roddick, Fr., knee

DL Jalen Sami, Fr., knee

S Jasen Sanchez, Sr., shoulder

LB Jacob Stoltenberg, So., knee

CU coaching staff confident kicking game will be a strength

From the Daily Camera … When it comes time to send the field goal unit to the field this season, Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre is sure to feel good about his team at least coming away with three points.

Sophomore James Stefanou aims to improve upon his solid 2017 season, and he’s part of what the Buffaloes hope is a strong kicking game this season.

Leading up to fall camp, which starts Thursday, Buffzone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the special teams, which could be among the best in the Pac-12.

Stefanou was recently named to the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, while punter Alex Kinney was named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award. CU is one of only nine schools around the country to have players on both lists.

Kickoff specialist Davis Price also returns after a strong 2017 season.

That trio gives MacIntyre plenty of confidence if the Buffs find themselves in close games where the kicking game could be a factor.

“Those guys make strategic changes in field position, make a winning field goal, and the team has momentum,” MacIntyre said. “I’m excited about those guys making those plays in those situations.”

Continue reading story here

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July 29th

… CU in a few minutes …

Phillip Lindsay making a positive early impression at Broncos camp

From the Daily Camera … The first day of Broncos training camp concluded Saturday with most players and coaches in the locker room when veteran linebacker Brandon Marshall and rookie tailback Phillip Lindsay lingered together on the grass.

They exchanged turns breaking down mechanics of a juke move. Lindsay jabbed his feet. Marshall shifted his hips. Each stopped, discussed, and went at it again while reporters looked on.

“He beat me on a move today and got me for a touchdown, so I was just talking technique,” Marshall explained. “It’s two teammates helping each other out.”

Here’s the kicker: Denver’s tailback depth chart is up for grabs, but if the season were to start tomorrow, Marshall has a pick for his runner of choice during critical down-and-distances. Neither two returning players. Not the pair of 2018 draft picks, either. It’s the undrafted free agent and Colorado Buffaloes legend – Lindsay.

“I think he’s going to be our third-down back,” Marshall said.

Continue reading story here

Neill Woelk’s five keys for the defense this Fall Camp

From CUBuffs.com … It is no secret that the biggest difference between Colorado’s 10-win season in 2016 and five-win finish in 2017 was a defense that struggled to find its footing all year.

While the offense certainly had its share of inconsistencies, the defense found itself on its heels more often than not.

Not that a step back was by any means a surprise. A group that that lost eight starters to graduation as well as its defensive coordinator was, in many ways, starting from scratch. The numbers bore that out, as opponents enjoyed significant increases in just about every statistical category.

That includes the most important stat of all — the numbers on the scoreboard.

In In 2017, the Buff yielded 28.2 points per game, a jump of nearly eight points over the previous season. Those numbers were even more stark in Pac-12 play. In 2016, Colorado yielded more than 30 points just once in nine regular season conference games; last year, Pac-12 opponents surpassed 30 points six times.

But there are reasons for optimism this year, and the general consensus is Colorado will be better — maybe much better — on the defensive side.

For starters, the Buffs should be much more comfortable in their second year under coordinator D.J. Eliot — and vice versa. Eliot now has a very good idea of who his playmakers are and how best to fit his scheme to best utilize those players’ talents. Meanwhile, many of those inexperienced players from a year ago now have a year of Pac-12 play under their belt and will be better because of it.

1. Improving the run defense

2. Bump up the pass rush

3. Increase takeaways

4. Establish a defensive line rotation

5. Develop an attitude — and have fun playing the game

Read full story here

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July 28th

… CU in a few minutes …

Neill Woelk gives his five keys for the offense this Fall Camp

From CUBuffs.com …  The list of things the Colorado Buffaloes need to accomplish in fall camp is no doubt a long one.

There are areas in all three phases that must be improved if Mike MacIntyre‘s sixth CU team is going to thrust itself back into contention for a Pac-12 South title and a bowl bid.

But, in the interest of brevity, we’ll hit five key points that will be on the Buffs’ minds when they report for camp next Wednesday and hit the field for their first practice Thursday.

1. Develop offensive line cohesion

2. Establish a running backs rotation — or identify an every down back

3. Adjust to increased tempo under co-coordinator Darrin Chiaverini

4. Perfect the timing between quarterback and receivers

5. Move the sticks and put points on the board

Read full story here

CU Tight ends – will this be the year they become part of the offense?

From the Daily Camera … In danger of falling too far behind during a game against Arizona last season at Folsom Field, the Colorado Buffaloes needed to gamble a bit.

Down 14 and facing fourth and goal at the 2, the Buffs went for it, with quarterback Steven Montez faking a run and throwing a jump pass to wide open tight end Chris Bounds in the end zone.

Moments later, Montez found Bounds for a 39-yard touchdown. CU didn’t win the game, but a rare big game from a tight end kept them in it.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins next week, BuffZone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the tight ends, which are led by Bounds.

Aside from that game against Arizona, Colorado’s tight ends haven’t made much of an impact in the passing game in recent years. During the past two years combined, tight ends have accounted for 11 catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns.

With Bounds, sophomore Jared Poplawski and junior college transfer Darrion Jones, the Buffs may have more options than in the past, however.

Continue reading story here

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July 27th

… CU in a few minutes …

Steven Montez named to Walter Camp (collegiate player of the year) Award Watch list

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado quarterback Steven Montez has been named to a second preseason watch list for a national award that honors the collegiate player of the year.

The Walter Camp Football Foundation named 50 players to its 2018 Player of the Year award watch list and Montez was among the group. The award is the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.

There are 38 offensive players (17 quarterbacks, 15 running backs and six receivers/tight ends) on the list along with 12 from the defensive side of the ball. Five of them are from the Pac-12 with Washington QB Jake Browning, Husky RB Myles Gaskin, Stanford RB Bryce Love and Arizona QB Khalil Tate joining Montez on the preseason watch list.

“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president Michael Madera said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”

The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2018 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 129 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 6. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s 52nd annual national awards banquet on Jan. 12, 2019 in New Haven, Conn.

Back on July 16, Montez was named to the 82nd annual Maxwell Award preseason watch list for its award has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. The Walter Camp Trophy was first awarded in 1967.

A 2017 honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection by the league’s coaches, he threw for 2,975 yards last season, narrowly missing what would have been just the third 3,000-yard passing season in Colorado history. He set several CU records last fall, including the most consecutive pass attempts without being intercepted (172), consecutive 300-yard passing games (three) and most games with over 400 yards of total offense in a season (three).

In 1994, CU running back Rashaan Salaam was named the winner of the Walter Camp Trophy and in 2002 Chris Brown was one of 10 semifinalists for the award.

Neill Woelk: Despite the preseason prognostications, CU’s representatives at Pac-12 Media Day exuded an air of optimism

From CUBuffs.com … There were no stunning revelations, no secrets revealed Wednesday at the annual Pac-12 Media Day — at least not concerning the Colorado Buffaloes.

But there was a quiet confidence from CU’s representatives, head coach Mike MacIntyre, senior linebacker Rick Gamboa and junior quarterback Steven Montez.

The Buffs, one year removed from a 5-7 season (2-7 Pac-12), were picked in the annual media poll to finish fifth in the six-team Pac-12 South, ahead of only Arizona State and trailing — in order — Southern California (22 first-place votes), Utah (14), Arizona (3) and UCLA (2). The only surprise in the South voting, given last year’s records and each team’s returning starters, is that the Buffs did receive one first-place vote.

Washington, meanwhile, was the overwhelming favorite in the North, getting 40 first-place votes, and the Huskies were also the heavy favorite to win the Pac-12 title game, with 37 media members picking UW to win.

But despite the preseason prognostications, CU’s representatives exuded an air of optimism. While the Buffs will be inexperienced in a number of places, there still seems to be an undercurrent of self-assurance that if things fall together in camp, Colorado could be a surprise team this year in Pac-12 play.

“I’m excited about the 2018 team,” MacIntyre said. “I’m excited about the leadership on our team, the playmakers that we have. Now those guys are in some key roles. They’ll be calmer in those situations and we’ll win a lot of those close games that we didn’t get last year.”

Continue reading story here

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July 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU offensive line defensive about poor play

From the Daily Camera … Game day experience is the most important way to evaluate the talent of a certain position group and, for the Colorado offensive line, there’s a lot to prove in that regard.

There is, however, excitement about the potential of that group.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins Aug. 1, Buffzone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the offensive line, which will lean on some youth to try to improve as a unit.

“I’m very excited about them,” junior quarterback Steven Montez said. “I think we’re going to be very tough up front. I think we have a lot of guys that can play some football and we have some mean, edgy guys, which you need up front. All of our linemen are real strong and they’ve been showing it in the weight room.”

A year ago, injuries and a two-game suspension to then-senior left tackle Jeromy Irwin contributed to a disjointed group. CU gave up 39 sacks (ranking 123rd nationally with 3.25 per game) and ranked 102nd nationally with just 3.78 yards per rushing attempt.

Continue reading story

Dave Plati’s Media Day Plati-tudes

From CUBuffs.com

Media Day Take-Aways
A potpourri of what was covered/discussed here:

Mandatory Injury Reports.  One of the topics of the day that almost every coach had to address, with the potential oncoming onslaught of legalized gambling likely headed all our ways.  Most coaches said they’d do what they have to if it became policy, but if they have their say, will not go for it.  Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin raised a good point that unlike the pros, there are other reasons a player might not play that have nothing to do with injuries, and how would those be addressed.

Pac-12 Network and DirecTV.  Sorry to report, nothing new on the horizon.  But there are more and more ways to access the network than before, including sling, fubo and layer3TV.

The revised redshirt rule.  Most know that incoming freshmen can now play in up to four games but not lose that year of eligibility.  It also applies to junior college transfers who arrive on campus with three years to play two; they can also play in up to four games and keep their status as a sophomore or junior.  It essentially applies to anyone in their first year at an institution.
Also, and this hasn’t received as much publicity, but if a player redshirts as a true freshman and then suffers a season-ending injury within the first four games of another season, he’s now eligible for a sixth-year without having two lose two years to injuries and the subsequent petition process.  A perfect example of this would be Derek McCartney, who redshirted as a true freshman, and was injured in game three of his fourth-year; he would have been awarded a sixth-year of eligibility under this rule change.

Buffs who redshirted expecting to see serious PT in 2018.  Mike MacIntyre was asked that question, and he specifically mentioned defensive end Terrance Lang, cornerback Chris Miller and offensive linemen Colby Pursell and Will Sherman.

Continue reading full Plati-tudes (including Dave’s top ten Folsom Field games) here

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July 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mike MacIntyre Pac-12 Media Day quotes 

From CUBuffs.com

Mike MacIntyre: “Today we have Steven Montez with us, our quarterback, and Rick Gamboa, our linebacker. I know y’all know where they are, but they’re two great young men for us, and have made a lot of plays for us at CU, and excited they’re here for today. So at this time, we’ll take any questions you have. Thank you.”

Biggest concerns going into fall camp?

“There’s always a bunch of concerns. Yeah, we’re excited about some of the young guys that we have on our defensive line and our offensive line. I feel like they’re very athletic, so we need to keep them coming along, so I feel we’ll be more athletic in those two areas than we have been in the past. We’ll just be a little bit younger, so making those two areas come along quick would be a good deal for us.”

Who are some guys that didn’t play last year or weren’t on the team that seem to be making an impact this year?

“Some guys that did not play last year that red-shirted, a couple guys that we’re looking forward to defense, a young man named Terrance Lang, a defensive lineman. Another young man named Chris Miller that plays corner. Offensively, Will Sherman, who plays offensive guard for us, and Colby Pursell who plays center, those are guys that were on our football team that we red-shirted last year that will see a lot of time this year.”

Did you find that there’s not much difference between being in first place in 2016 and last place last year in terms of how close the games are?

“Yeah, it’s a lot more fun to be in first place than down where we were. It all goes back to winning the close games. You hear coaches talk about that all the time. We lost a lot of good players the year before, and so we played some guys out there that were a little bit newer. We just didn’t quite make enough situational plays in some games. Flip a couple of those, which is what we hope to do this year, and believe we can, we have a lot of experience in the areas that make that happen — quarterback, our kicking game. Our punter’s back, our kicker’s back, our kickoff guy is back, our long snapper. Those guys make strategic changes in field position, make a winning field goal, team has momentum. They kick it out of the end zone on a kickoff. So those things are small factors that end up being big factors in close games, so excited about those guys making those plays in those situations.”

Did spring ball give you any idea on how to fill some holes on the offensive line?

“Yeah, spring ball did give us a lot of things. Jake Moretti is a young man that came along this spring. He’s getting healthier. Will Sherman, Colby Pursell on the offensive line. You mentioned Phillip Lindsay, he’s practicing with the Broncos right now, and he’ll do well for them. We have some good running backs that we’re excited about, and Kyle Evans, who played a lot the year before and then hurt his hip, he had a great spring. Alex Fontenot is a freshman that we red-shirted who is big and powerful, about 210. And Travon McMillan, who wasn’t in in the spring, he came in in May. He’s been there. Good-looking tailback that transferred in, graduate transfer from Virginia Tech that we’re excited about too. So we’ll see what happens in fall camp and go from there.”

With other coaching changes in the South, do you feel like stability is in your favor?

“Yeah, there are some good coaches that came into the South. There were some good coaches that left the South. So I think we’ve always had excellent coaches in our league. It’s a league that coaches aspire to be to, so the guys that get there have experience and have had a lot in their pedigree, so to speak. So I think that hopefully sometimes a first year for a coaching staff and a team is a little bit rougher. So I’m hoping that happens on some of those teams. But they’ve got good players and excellent coaches, so I know they’ll all be ready to play.”

How about the annual question with Utah becoming a bit of a rivalry now?

“We were fortunate enough to beat them a year ago, and last year they beat us pretty good. Whoever won the game was going to go to a bowl game. So even though I don’t think either one of us would say we’re where we’d like to be from the year before, we’re both playing for the championship. So Kyle does an unbelievable job there, and, you know, it is becoming a bigger and bigger game because the last two years we both played for something. In the past we weren’t playing for anything, so I think we’ve added to make it a little bit more of a rival-type game. This year it’s different, though. They’ve moved it because they’re playing BYU, so it’s kind of changed that a little bit. But it’s still an exciting game, and they’re a very good football team.”

You’ve got your quarterback coming back?

“Yes, Steven Montez is coming back. He had a really good year last year. He was just barely under 3,000 yards passing. Had the most consecutive passes in a row in Colorado football history without an interception. Done a lot of great things for us. He played well enough, definitely well enough for us to be better than 5-7, and I believe the teams catching up with him, and he’s got more experience and understands the grind of the season and taking the brunt of everything. I think he’ll have a special year.”

What does Montez need to do to take it to the next level?

“Well, he’s been doing it. He’s gotten himself — he keeps getting in better and better shape and understanding the necessity of that. But the thing he’s improved on, and I said it today, he’s gone from algebra to calculus in understanding how to prepare for a game, his film study and all the things he’s doing. He’s been around the office all summer, watching tape, working on it, studying it. And Kurt Roper, our new quarterback coach, has done a great job with him. Kurt worked under David Cutcliffe and tutored Eli and a bunch of other pro quarterbacks. I think that he’s taken the heat that Kurt’s teaching him.”

When you talk about Pac-12 quarterbacks, talking about Jake Browning, Justin Herbert, Khalil Tate, people tend to forget about Steven. Is that a motivating factor for him?

“Well, there are great quarterbacks in this league, and great quarterbacks every year. Last year there were a few other names, right? So I definitely feel like Steven has the ability to do it, and hopefully he definitely will. When he does, it all goes back to us winning enough games to get his notoriety, and when we do that, he’ll get his time in the sun, so to speak. But all of those quarterbacks that you mentioned in our league are excellent. I feel like he’s capable of being that same type of guy.”

Question about the CSU game, do you like that being played in Denver and what is the status going forward because there was some talk about playing at it on campus?

“Right, the CSU game is always — the Rocky Mountain Showdown is always a big deal in the state of Colorado. Playing there in Bronco Stadium, I think either school would like to have it on their home campus, of course, but playing in the Bronco Stadium, our kids love it. I think both teams kids absolutely love it, more than maybe some of the fans do. I think a lot of the fans like it. It’s interesting. The student bodies for both teams — I mean, there are so many students there, so it’s a nice environment for a game, and kids like playing in the pro stadium. I don’t know what it carries after 2020, and I guess the ADs and all of them will work all of that out. But right now it’s a fun game to play in there in Denver.”

One of your younger guys, Colby Pursell, how is his work ethic helping him to get closer to a starting spot?

“Yeah, Colby Pursell’s work ethic, only word I can use is phenomenal. He’s strong, he’s athletic. I don’t think he’s made a B yet, but he’s a high 3s in school. He’s a special young man. He’s our starting center right now. So hopefully he does well in fall camp and keeps that, because to me he’s an excellent player and can do a lot of things for us and really help us.”

And he can squat a lot.

“Yeah, he squats. I mean, he really works at it. He’s one of those guys that always carries a jug of water around with him. Always hydrating, always eating properly. I’m really excited about — I’m trying to temper my excitement, but he’s an excellent player and hasn’t even played a college snap yet in a real game. But in practice what he’s shown, he was a unique individual when we were recruiting Colby, he was only 16 years old as a senior in high school, and he wouldn’t turn 17 until end of September of his freshman year. So I’m sitting there with him, talking to his parents, and say, Mom, do you want him to go to college at 16? She says, Not really. So he did a gray shirt. He could have come in, but he gray shirted. So he didn’t come in, so he had all of January, all of summer, and then his fall last year he turned 18 in September, and now he’s had a whole year. Now he’s going to turn 19. So he’s prime and ready to play, so excited about Colby.”

What did Jared Poplawski do for you in those first six games, and what do you think he can do when he’s fully healthy?

“Yeah, Jared Poplawski gives us a multiple tight end. He can play in the back field, he can split out, he runs excellent routes, he can catch the football. Jared really helped us in the first six games. We were going to use him some more. His knee is back, and he’s doing really well. So you’ll see us using him in multiple spots, and he’s a multidimensional tight end. He’s not just an end-liner or an H-back, he can do both.”

Can you talk about Kyle Whittingham and being the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12?

“Yeah, Kyle is a phenomenal coach and really well respected in our profession. The thing that amazes me to Kyle is people come and go, and he keeps steady, keeps them winning. I think it was really smart at Utah. He was there, and it kind of turned around and he was an assistant. They made him the head coach, and he’s kept it at a level I don’t think they’ve ever seen in this long a period for the history of the program. You know, I kind of connect with Kyle a little bit because we’re both coach’s sons. He totally gets it and understands it. He’s done a great job at Utah. We play him every year. I wish I didn’t have to play him every year. I wish he was on the other side because he’s an excellent coach.”

How did Brett Tonz transition from the defensive line to the offensive line?

“Yeah, Brett Tonz, the transition has been excellent for him. This is a big fall camp. He’s competing to start at guard. I think he’s going to do really well for us this year. He’s gotten a little bigger. Understands the offensive scheme. We had talked to Brett a year earlier about maybe going to Oline, and he wanted to go to D-line, and he walked in and said: O-line is a better fit for me. So his whole heart and soul is into it. I look for Brett to make good strides for us this year. He’s a very athletic offensive guard. So is Will Sherman and Colby Pursell. They’re athletic guys. More athletic than we’ve had in the past in there. So I’m excited about watching those guys gel together.”

Getting that time on the defensive line at the college level, how do you think that’s going to help Tonz?

“He was a good enough athlete to do that. There were a lot of offensive linemen that couldn’t play defensive line, so he’s able to do that. He understands defensive schemes. He understands what the D-line men are trying to do in their lineup, and shade to the inside shade or outside shade or zero on him. So he has that intelligence factor that maybe an offensive lineman wouldn’t have that didn’t play defense.”

Unfortunately for you guys, Boulder was the site of Khalil Tate’s coming out party last year. What stood out to you the most about his performance that night?

“A nightmare. Thanks for reminding me of Khalil Tate’s coming out party. One thing I learned, don’t knock the first string quarterback back out. No, Khalil Tate is fast and explosive. Has great vision. And he just kept making play after play. Very, very impressed with Khalil Tate and his athletic ability and his ability to play quarterback. I remember him at J. Serra High School, and just a great player. That night he was exceptional, and we had a hard time tackling him. Hopefully we can tackle him better this year.”

Did it make you feel any better in a way when he started to do it against other people, too, and you realized it’s not just us?

“No, after I watched what he did, I knew he was going to do it against other people. The key is you started preparing just for him, and I think that caught up with him a little bit at the end of the year. But he’s so talented. There are a lot things he can do, and I know he’s probably excited about showing other aspects of his game this year.”

Do you remember going into that game how much you guys prepared for the possibility of Tate playing?

“We didn’t prepare much for him playing, because he hadn’t been playing. Dawkins had played for the years. He had played just a little bit. We knew who he was. They didn’t change much, he was just a different speed and different elusiveness in that football game.”

Did your team gain anything, do you think from that experience moving forward?

“Oh, yeah, we definitely did. We had a lot of young guys on the field on defense. If that would have happened the year before, I think the kids out there would have adapted quicker because we had nine guys. Seven of them went to the NFL. So I think they would have adapted a little quicker during the course of the game. He still would have made plays because he’s just that kind of guy. But hopefully our guys have learned from that, and a lot of our same guys will be out there playing this year. So hopefully we’ll be able to tackle him.”

Last year you sat up here and called your shot and said Isaiah Oliver was one of the best cornerbacks, if not the best cornerback. Went out, proved it. With the Falcons now. Is there anybody on the team, any secrets you want to share this year?

“No, because I don’t want anybody to go out early (laughing). Yeah, we have some young, talented corners. Couple junior college corners, too, that I think are talented. So we’ll see when they get out there. They haven’t played much, but they’re extremely talented.”

What did you think about Isaiah’s progression?

“Yeah, it was going really well. Got nicked up in the Washington State game and really didn’t play very much at the end of the year. I know everybody keeps telling us we’ve got to replace him. We kind of had to replace him at the last part of the year last year so a lot of the guys this year had a lot of experience playing. Would we like to have had Isaiah out there the whole year? For sure. But I knew he’d be an elite corner in the NFL also, and he’ll keep getting better and better.”

Your wristband, “Uncommon,” what’s that represent?

“Uncommon is the wristband our players wear, and we want to be uncommon men. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t take the shortcuts. Be uncommon in everything you do in life. So they wear that as a reminder on a daily basis.”

Talk about renewing the Nebraska series, what’s that mean for your players, for your fans, for the Colorado community?

“Yeah, it’s very unique this year. I haven’t heard of it before, so people can refresh me if it’s true or not. But I don’t know many teams that have played their two biggest traditional rivals the first two weeks of the season. I know they’ve played them somewhere in the first two seasons, but not the first two weeks. So adding Nebraska back on the schedule is great for Colorado and for Nebraska. We’re so close there. It’s a driving game. So it will be exciting going to Nebraska. They’re excellently coached, and they’ve got a lot of great players and a great following. So I know our guys will be excited about it when that time comes.”

You mentioned playing Nebraska. You’ve got Air Force coming up, TCU and Minnesota added to the non-conference schedule. Is there a change in your scheduling philosophy?

“We’re trying to schedule a few more teams in Texas because we’re recruiting so well in Texas on that side of it. Some of those were set, the Minnesota and all that was set a long, long time ago. But the Texas schools is definitely on purpose, wanting to play them in our close location, and our recruiting base in Texas.”

Can you talk about Jaylon Jackson? He’s been through so much. I don’t think he’s played football for three years, but how is he looking as you start fall camp? Is he a guy that can make an impact this year?

“Yeah, Jaylon Jackson has had a couple different injuries senior year in high school, and now in his freshman year. He’s looked good at the end of spring. The summer workouts, running and all the cutting he’s been doing, he’s doing really well. So if he gets back out there and gets going like he can, he’s an athletic young man that can help us and make plays and be able to help us on special teams, not only as maybe a returner but as a cover guy. So I look forward to getting Jaylon out there and getting him on the field. One thing about Jaylon, he’s got that big smile on his face no matter what he’s going through. So he’s an uplifting-type person around our building.”

Wanted to ask you about Jackson’s attitude through everything?

“Jaylon’s attitude is incredible. I always tell the kids attitude determines altitude, and he shows that all the time.”

You guys are stacked at receiver. He’s a receiver. Are there plans to keep him there?

“Yeah, our plans are to keep Jaylon at receiver and keep him there. We do have some good receivers, but there are injuries that happen in football, different things happen. So we need all we can get. But I definitely see him we’re going to put him in there to help us on special teams too.”

You’ve been able to recruit some really productive players in the state of Arizona, but at some times under-recruited, whether it’s Isaiah or Jared or Brett. What is your philosophy when recruiting the state of Arizona in particular?

“Yeah, the state of Arizona has a lot of talent in it, and the population growth is growing all the time there in the greater Phoenix area. We’re looking for players we feel are Pac-12 football players and that want to maybe leave the state, because there are good schools to choose from in the state of Arizona, too, and that want to come to Colorado. So we’ve been able to find that niche with some of those guys. Isaiah Oliver was a unique situation. He had no offers but us. He’s a guy that bloomed late, and we kept recruiting him and kept looking at him. We were able to get him. The other young men were recruited by a lot of different people too. But Isaiah was unique. We were the only people that recruited him in the country, which is amazing to me. But that sometimes happens.”

Steven Montez: “It’s up to us to prove people wrong”

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado quarterback Steven Montez has always been a player blessed with immense physical talent.

This summer, Montez has turned his focus to the mental aspect of the game — and it has resulted in more than a few late-night calls to Buffs quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper.

“I’ve been trying to spend two or three hours a day going in, breaking down film and trying to fine-tune my knowledge of the game,” said Montez, who will join linebacker Rick Gamboa and head coach Mike MacIntyre at Wednesday’s Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles. “Coach Roper has been a huge help. There have been times when I’ve had a question about a specific defense and I’ll call him up, even if it’s late at night. … He’s always ready to answer them.”

Indeed, Roper said, he has learned to stay close to his phone and computer in the evenings, when Montez and CU’s other quarterbacks might call with specific questions.

“They’ll call and FaceTime and we’ll talk,” Roper said. “Watching film is a big piece of that development process.”

Montez said that mental development is something he knows he needs to improve. While he had a solid statistical season last year — his first as a full-time starter at Colorado — he is aware there is plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to the finer points of reading defenses and reacting to different coverages.

Continue reading story here

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July 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU has the second-fewest returning starters in the Pac-12 

From the Pac-12 media guide … THE RETURNEES: A total of 177 starters, who started at least half of his team’s games or a majority of games at a specific position, return to Pac-12 football squads in 2018. That’s out of a possible 288 (including placekickers and punters) for an average of 14.8 starters returning per team. ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA and WASHINGTON each return the most with 18 starters. WASHINGTON STATE returns the fewest starters with 10.

Here are the numbers:

Returning Starters Off Def PK/P Total
Arizona … 7 9 2 18
California … 10 8 0 18
Washington … 8 9 1 18
Oregon … 7 7 1 15
Oregon State … 7 7 1 15
Stanford … 8 5 2 15
USC … 7 6 2 15
Arizona State … 8 4 2 14
UCLA … 5 7 2 14
Utah … 8 4 2 14
Colorado … 4 6 2 12
Washington State … 4 5 1 10

Total … 82 77 18 177
Average … 6.8 6.4 1.5 14.8

CU wide receivers corps has three captains … and great expectations

From the Daily Camera … Last week, when the Colorado football team announced its captains for the upcoming season, the list of seven players included three receivers.

“I would think that’s probably the first time in school history,” co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said. “I don’t remember three receivers being team captains in one year. It says a lot.”

Chiaverini was a captain during his senior season at CU in 1998, but in the 19 seasons from 1999-2017, only five total receivers were named captains, and there’s never been as many as two in a season until now.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins Aug. 1, Buffzone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the receivers, a position group that didn’t have a great season in 2017, but, led by senior captains Kabion Ento, Jay MacIntyre and Juwann Winfree, is determined to be better this year.

“We didn’t live up to expectations last year and that’s all of us,” Chiaverini said. “I told the players that. We’re all in this together. I didn’t do a good enough job and we didn’t do a good enough job as a group. We have a lot to prove. I’m excited to see those guys work.”

It’s a group that must replace three of the most productive receivers in school history. Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields and Devin Ross were the top three receivers last year, combining for 151 catches for 1,824 yards and 11 touchdowns. All three rank among the top eight in CU history for career catches.

Continue reading story here

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July 23rd 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Cornerbacks: “The competition is tight”

From the Daily Camera … During the past few years, the Colorado secondary has become known for producing NFL talent.

Since 2016, the Buffaloes have sent four cornerbacks to the NFL, including Isaiah Oliver, who skipped his senior year at CU and was a second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in April.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins Aug. 1, BuffZone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the cornerbacks, which must replace Oliver and try to find the next star to lead the way.

“Isaiah was so talented and made so many plays and we may not have another Isaiah,” CU defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said, “but I think we’ll have a really good group that can make up those plays collectively.”

It’s a group that has some work to do this fall to figure out which corners will be in the starting lineup when CU plays rival Colorado State in the opener on Aug. 31.

Continue reading story here

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July 22nd 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pat Rooney: Dismissal of lawsuit will allow MacIntyre to focus solely on football

From the Daily Camera … With the opening of preseason training camp less than two weeks away, Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre has one less headache to worry about.

On Wednesday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Pamela Fine, the ex-girlfriend of former Buffaloes assistant coach Joe Tumpkin, against a number of CU officials. The suit sought restitution from MacIntyre, athletic director Rick George, President Bruce Benson and Chancellor Phil DiStefano for failing to address Fine’s accusations of prolonged physical and emotional abuse from Tumpkin.

Fine’s civil suit against Tumpkin remains active, as does Tumpkin’s criminal case. Until that changes, the ugly and deflating ending to what otherwise was a resurgent 2016 season for MacIntyre and the Buffaloes will remain an ever-present shadow lurking over the program. Once the suit and the criminal case goes to court, assuming settlements don’t occur, MacIntyre likely will be forced to take the stand as a material witness in both cases.

However, with Tumpkin’s criminal case in a seemingly perpetual delay while lawyers on both sides debate various legal issues, the dismissal of the civil suit hanging over MacIntyre’s head allows CU’s leader to focus solely on getting the Buffs to take aim at posting just their second winning season since 2005.

Continue reading story here

Steven Montez: “I’ve been watching that guy put on muscle, put on size and he’s got himself in really good shape”

From the Daily Camera … During a cold, windy and rainy night in Pullman, Wash., last October, Colorado quarterback Steven Montez was about as miserable as could be, and the weather had little to do with it.

Benched at halftime of that 28-0 loss, Montez came back the next week with one of the best games of his career, leading CU to a 44-28 win against California.

Leading up to fall camp, which begins Aug. 1, BuffZone.com is previewing each position group for the Buffs. In this installment, we take a look at the quarterbacks, who are led by Montez. Now a junior, Montez and the Buffs are hoping the lessons he’s learned from those ups and downs translate into more consistent play.

“I’m excited for Steven, just because he’s played a lot of football now in our offense and he knows what’s expected of him, from (head coach Mike MacIntyre), from myself, from his teammates,” CU co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. “I’ve been watching that guy put on muscle, put on size and he’s got himself in really good shape.

“I’m excited to see him compete this fall. Going through the kind of season he went through last year, the ups and downs that he went through, it helps you mature as a quarterback, too. I’m excited to see his maturation process, as well.”

Continue reading story here

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July 21st

… CU in a few minutes … 

Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot on safeties: “Those guys that played last year, Nick and Evan, I feel good about”

From the Daily Camera … Returning to the Colorado football team last season, Evan Worthington was a new man — both in name and his play.

Having changed his last name from White, Worthington returned after getting dismissed from the team before the 2016 season and was one of the best players on the Buffaloes’ defense last season.

Nick Fisher, meanwhile, got the most playing time of his career and showed his potential to be a top player.

Going into this year, that duo is expected to anchor the back of the CU defense at safety.

“Those guys that played last year, Nick and Evan, I feel good about,” defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said.

Continue reading story here

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44 Responses to “Colorado Daily”

  1. ep

    Phil scores!!! I dont think they even let Bobo on the field though.
    And how bout those Broncos? Lynch is becoming their version of Einstein’s theory of insanity. Sloter and Semien sure put an exclamation point to that. and to top that off I am beginning to think Musgrave and Lingering were separated at birth

    • VKBerlin

      So did you know that Phil has the trifecta?

      At Mile high…. Lindsay…LINDsay…LINDSAY scored a touchdown in:

      High School
      College
      As a pro

      Yehaaaaaaaaa.

  2. ep

    One take away from the Roper article is that Oregon State is lucky they have a good ex QB as a head coach

  3. Eric

    That was a great interview with Cutcliffe.

    Go Buffs.

  4. cricky

    I was thinking about going up to the practice on Saturday, but I wonder what will be going on. I remember rules about how they need to practice so many days in helmets before they can put on pads, and so many days in pad before they can hit, etc. So, if camp starts today, what will they be allowed to do on Saturday?

    I’m thinking that it might be better to skip this Saturday and go up next week on the 11th instead. Has anyone heard anything about this?

    • Stuart

      If you only get to go to one, I would go with the practice on the 11th.
      There will be a scrimmage next Saturday, whereas this Saturday will likely just be drills – no pads for Practice No. 3.

  5. ep

    Where do I start? Maybe I should use the Berlin note method.
    Naaahh
    Everything starts, and ends, with the lines. Sooooo….Thats where it starts and ends about getting to a bowl game. I looked at the SEC passing stats…using the words of the almighty Wilner….”mediocre.” They dont have to pass anywhere near half the time. They have an O line that opens holes and does a passable job keeping the QB alive when he does occasionally throw, which probably comes as a mild surprise to most D’s in the SEC.
    I know, I know, the Buffs are in the PAC 12 where the balls are in the air like a locust plague. Doesn’t make any difference. The DBs are important but the Buff’s crappy season last year can be traced right back to mediocre play on the O line and downright embarrassing play on the D line.
    OK no more DBs in this class….right Mac?
    Buffs picked up a few more promising recruits on the O line than the D line. Probably going to take at least one more good recruiting year and possibly 2 for the lines to get dominate again. Also Waiting to see if Elliot has the D kids in position break the opposing O instead of “bending.”
    All this means I will be ecstatic if the Buffs come away with 7 wins but realistically expecting less.
    btw
    Dont count Kyle Evans out. He stays healthy and he is going to gain some yards

  6. Rob Thompson

    Wow! Is it just me or did Colorado just knock it out of the park for knee injuries to Freshmen in a season? WTF!!!
    Fall Camp injury report:

    TB Jarek Broussard, Fr., knee

    OL Kanan Ray, Fr., knee

    OL Casey Roddick, Fr., knee

    DL Jalen Sami, Fr., knee

    S Jasen Sanchez, Sr., shoulder

    LB Jacob Stoltenberg, So., knee

    • Stuart

      It is worth noting that none of the injuries were listed as being season ending, though it has been previously reported that Jalen Sami, who tore his ACL “slipping in the snow” last spring, is not expected to play in 2018.

    • The more frustrating part, for me, is that when CU finally does get some “dudes” like Ray, Moretti, Sami, etc. (or at least those projected more as “dudes”) they seem to get hurt more often than not – Winfree is another good example. And, the depth behind them just isn’t quite as good as they were projected to be.

      Now, that’s not to say the depth has not improved. It has. By a big margin. The team may be as close to a legit two deep across the board as we’ve seen in years.

      But, it’s not like the top tier programs where when one stud goes down, there’s another two or three right there waiting to slide into that role.

      They’ll get back there though. Getting to 8-4 plus a bowl win would go a long way in that effort, I think, as well. That would help turn the 2019 recruiting class from good to great.

      So, when is August 31st?

      Go Buffs!

  7. Rob Thompson

    Why does the Daily Camera print a rerun of a Denver Post article on Phillip Lindsey’s fantastic first day of training camp? Didn’t the kid do enough to get his own article from the Daily Drag? Good Lord! A possitive write up from the Post on a Buff is like the NY Times writing an article telling the world what a great job President Trump is doing.

  8. VK Berlin

    Ya gotta love the this time of year with its unbridled optimism and hype. I do.

    Uh Oh Bowl Game for the Mighty Buffalo

  9. cricky

    I’ve been watching Last Chance U on Netflix. The first two season were quite entertaining and offered insight into some of what goes on in college football. This season is much darker and many more “did he just say what I think he said?” moments.

    Anyway, I know that the Buffs have a guy or two that either played for or against the schools featured in this series. That started me wondering how many Juco guys are on the roster. As near as I can tell, there are 20 JC guys on the roster, with 13 of them in the 2 deep depth chart. In addition, as near as I can tell there are 7 guys who have transfered from other 4-year schools, with 2 of them in the 2 deep. The roster is always quite fluid so it’s hard to know exactly, but I think this is pretty close based on the info CU has put out recently.

    • VKBerlin

      Interesting
      And those JC and/or transfers are pretty much on scholarship except for 2 I believe…..so 30% of the Buff scholarship players were not recruited by the Buffs out of high school. Those 20 JC guys were all recruited by the Buffs at their Junior college. Transfers some recruited some not.

      Anway without those JC guys the Buffs would be in deep dodo and even those with a hetaeric background will have to agree with this.

      About that 2 deep Yup it is in pencil yup right yup.

      Seniors got some top spots well cause they are seniors….not the best player at that position. They will change…….except those where “other dubious factors” come into play.

      Oh well.
      Like
      Tailback
      Wide receiver H
      Wide receiver Y

      Buffs

      Note: Well 6 senior starters on defense. 3 plus will get drafted 3 will sign as free agents. According to

      And like last year seniors are the starting wideouts. Didn’t work out well eh? But I will say this group looks better than last years group from a couple different perspectives. (There is an exception)

      And next years wideouts (with only transfer brown a senior) will be better than last years and this years group.

      The exoteric group (rah rah ) will now have their (why the defense sucks in 2019 cause they (charge of the light brigade) used it for 2017.
      HeHeHe

      Practice note. Open to public scrimmage on August 11. 905 to 12

      Note 3 GO BIG PENCIL DEPTH CHARGE

      • Old Codger

        Good to see VK rounding into mid-season form (strong opinions based on who knows what, certainly not facts) and his continuing dig at Jay Mac.

        VK would have really enjoyed original Mac’s depth chart philosphy: “Seniors have earned their stripes; they start irregardless!” — I argued with him on that several times myself!

        • VKBerlin

          Hey ya made it through another summer. Praise the Buffalo. Good reports on lil Mac. Bigger Faster Experienced Captain. Hoping for a great Buffalo year.

          Up yur Buffalo ol man.

          HeHeh

  10. VKBerlin

    I can answer every question Mac2 is asked.

    Buffs.

    Note: So can you.

    • AZBuff

      Answer this question then. I recall some sarcastic, snarky comments by some (not naming names right now but I know who they were) when it was announced that Roper was probably coming to CU. I know, I know the proof will be this fall, but it sounds like some important teaching that most likely didn’t happen under the favorite QB coach/OC from these same sarcastic snarky Monday thru Sunday QB commentators re: the hiring of Roper.

      There is the first question that Mac can’t answer but others that post here can.

  11. VKBerlin

    Yo go Big Lindsay…….LINDsay……….LINDSAY. (That was a great call eh)

    He did good.

    Buffs.

  12. VKBerlin

    What a great day/week Wednesday yehaaaaaaaaaaa Week………March time……….it just never ends Hump day…………Camel Day

    NCAA ski championships start today
    Pac 12 MBB tourney starts today
    NCAA Indoor Track champion starts 2 days
    Lacrosse has Stanford and Cal in town
    Tennis AZ and ASU in town
    Golf Teams looking good….Yup Right Yup.
    Buffs Football 5th practice today then 6th friday 7th saturday
    BUFFS FOOTBALL PRO DAY TODAY……….THE “HEART”MAKES HIS STATEMENT…BUFFS

    BUFFS AGAIN.

    Note: So there is a feeling/rumor/speculation/facts/knowledge that the Mighty Buff offense from a structure and scheme and play design and plays called will kinda be like last year except this year the offense will “play faster”………. Hmmmmm don’t believe it…………….Playing faster will happen…………faster offensive mind running the show……plays and play sequences are better designed…….. Chev in the box……..Adman and “The Rope” on the sidelines………..No more “deer in the headlights” in the box…Mein Gott ……………The Mighty Buffs offense has been freed…………Freed Freed………yehowwwwwwwww

    THIS BUFFS OFFENSE WILL BE WAY DIFFERENT FROM THE LAST 5 YEARS. YOU WILL SEE IT EARLY AN OFTEN. NO MORE RUN SEFO 7 TIMES IN A ROW………….UP THE MIDDLE…………AND LOSE THE GAME CAUSE YA GOT NOTHING ELSE………

    MIGHTY BUFFS OFFENSE IS BACK AND DIFFERENT………..WHY?……..BECAUSE IF YOU KNOW………….YOU KNOW………

    • buffnaustin

      Nice. Makes me want to put the pads on and run into someone. Or at least put the pads on and sit on the couch.

  13. tom

    ok, so again csu is getting a game before the showdown. that seems sneeky and a bit underhanded – not in the spirit of the agreement that both teams would open their seasons with this game. so, …
    should cu move its new hampshire game to week zero?
    should RG take this into account when deciding whether to put csu back on the schedule after 2022 …
    certainly, cu shouldn’t be in a position to worry about this … but it still is …

  14. buffnaustin

    Can anyone tell why Bisharat is not panning out? I don’t see enough of the Buffs games to see everyone. Is it he can’t read the line? Is he too slow? is he hesitant in his cuts? Is he another Marcus or Darrell?

    • VKBerlin

      Hmmmm, good question.

      May have been over rated
      Believed his own star ranking
      Came in out of shape and lighter than expected
      Took too long to understand the offense
      Had Mr. Lindsay ahead of him for both frosh and soph years
      Now more mature in all areas.
      This may be his year as “the real power back”
      Stiff competition.
      Can he prove the 4 stars.

      Buffs.

      Note: Power back. Buffs need that. go Big Bisharat.

    • KevinMac

      If I recall correctly, even though he was a 4 star guy by some sites, most schools were recruiting him as a linebacker. One reason be picked CU was because they said they’d play him at RB. Maybe the other schools were right. I hope he puts it together this year.

  15. 83Buff

    Stuart, that was a very interesting podcast. I thought that your account of reading the newspaper while driving from Boulder to Montana to be hilarious. A regular appearance on the podcast or a podcast would be great and I’d listen whenever you appeared. Although, I hope no one had small children around while listening, those hosts are rather liberal with the f-bombs, as am I, but it is not for young ears. I was disappointed with your description of Nebraska fans. I have found them to be condescending and poor losers (can never forgive the “Sal’s Dead, Go Big Red” sign). I think that Frost will be modestly successful (similar to Pelini), but won’t compete with the big 3 in the Big 10 (14), Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

    • ep

      ditto on the Corn cobs. I have inlaws in Lincoln, who are reserved and polite about the whole thing, but there have been too many times my Colorado plates have sparked some pretty trashy behavior on the locals part. One time I got pretty hot in reaction to a horn honk and middle finger, pulled over and invited one particular mouth breather to air it out with me but thankfully he kept on going. I can imagine being in front of a Nebraska judge as a Buff fan.

  16. VKBerlin

    Just gonna leave this here………

    Looking back Athlon. (They rank everything)

    going into…..

    ……………..Team rank…………….hc rank…………talent rank
    2018…………..71…………………..?……………….?
    2017…………..36…………………..28………………63
    2016……………61………………….75………………above 66

    Get the clicks baby get the clicks

    Buffs.

    And I say…………….CLICK YOU……

  17. BESBUFF

    Lots to agree with in terms of branding. Call it arrogance or ignorance the University let the branding slip a decade ago and has been trying to recover ever since….the good news is that there is lots to build on…Ralphie, altitude etc…

    • Old Codger

      “Nice pic. I do better with pics”

      So true! Makes it easier to write out what passes for your “thoughts” and “opinions,” in crayon!

      What’s your favorite color, “Deep Rough Green” ? OR “Golfball Fluorescent Orange” ? (I recognize that for you, those two colors often merge…)

    • ep

      almost puked when I saw Oregon St and Purdue ahead on branding. Geography doesnt count obviously. Makes sense these days when folks cant see past their phones

  18. VKBerlin

    >i>I’m guardedly optimistic Montez grew a lot last year

    Earache,

    Yes there is a large chance last year was a waste……….for just about everybody.

    I am totally optimistic Montez will grow a ton this year…….Better coaching

    Buffs

  19. ep

    Had to go to Ralphie report for some info on the walk-ons. I am interested when the underdog kids stand out enough to earn a schollie and PT. The Yurachek kid has some mind boggling stats but CU was his only “big school offer.” All the service academies offered him as he looks like a prototype for their teams. He isnt big but he isnt slow either.
    Stuart…..is their a resource one can turn to for looking at all the walkons and their bios?

  20. VKBerlin

    My job is to give insight.

    Take a memo.

    Buffs

  21. VkBerlin

    Where is that guy that didn’t believe me on Kaiser?

    Buffs

  22. Old Codger

    The problem with guys like Leavitt, is they are like a drug: They bring the energy and the players become dependent on the coach to get them psyched-up and energized.

    Much rather have a guy who encourages the players to “do their job” ala Belichick, rather than become the crutch the players must rely on.

    • VkBerlin

      He did bring the engergy……….His players caught it and made it their own.

      But he also brought brains to the scheme and the play calling.

      Well see if the new coaching team can match the old team.

      Buffs

      Note: Half of the new team didn’t do it last year.

      Fact.

  23. Old Codger

    Montez can see and FEEL the talent surrounding him in the QB Room

    If he screws up, he’s gonna sit while someone else supplants him, maybe FOR GOOD!

  24. Old Codger

    Well said!

    • VKBerlin

      Don’t ya hate it when it just goes right over yur head and ya don’t even know it?

      Well I guess you couldn’t hate that it went over your cause you don’t know it went over your head.

      I was gonna let it ride but………………well you know………..I couldn’t

      Buffs and get off your grass.

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