There have been 28 comments, comment now

Colorado Daily

December 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Laviska Shenault earns second-team All-American honors from Athlon

From Athlon Sports … With college football’s 2018 regular season in the books and bowl season upcoming, it’s time to take a look back and honor the best of the best and top performers for the All-America team. Whether it was on offense, defense or special teams, there were no shortage of clutch performances by players at every position. As expected, the toughest debate on offense came at quarterback. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray are both deserving of first-team honors this year, but we gave a slight edge to Tagovailoa. On defense, sorting out the linemen for the four teams was the toughest call on that side of the ball.

WRTylan Wallace

Oklahoma State

Marquise Brown

Oklahoma

David Sills

West Virginia

Preston Williams

Colorado State

WRJerry Jeudy

Alabama

Laviska Shenault

Colorado

Antoine Wesley

Texas Tech

N’Keal Harry

Arizona State

WRAndy Isabella

UMass

A.J. Brown

Ole Miss

Hakeem Butler

Iowa State

John Ursua

Hawaii

In the Pac-12, Shenault received first-team honors from Athlon.

Also on the first-team All-Pac-12 list from Colorado was linebacker Nate Landman. Defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson earned second-team honors

The full All-Pac-12 list from Athlon can be found here.

The best news about the honors given to Shenault, Landman, and Johnson?

They were all sophomores in 2018 …

Laviska Shenault 2018 video highlights

… Just to make you feel a little bit better today …

—–

December 13th

… CU in a few minutes …

Evan Worthington to join Drew Lewis at the East-West Shrine Game

From the Daily Camera … Colorado safety Evan Worthington has accepted an invitation to play in the 94th East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Worthington is the second CU player to accept an invitation to the Shrine Game, joining linebacker Drew Lewis.

Worthington recently completed his senior season with the Buffaloes. He missed three games with a concussion, but in the nine games he played, he posted 48 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception. He also had a sack and two tackles for loss.

A Denver native and Cherokee Trail High School graduate, Worthington started the last 20 games in which he played for CU.

During the 2017 season, he had 86 tackles, three interceptions and six tackles for loss.

Continue reading story here

Details of Scripps family $2.5 million endowment of CU’s Leadership and Career Development Program

Press release from CUBuffs.com … For the Scripps family, being a student-athlete means being prepared to lead – whether in the classroom, sports arena or workplace.

The family’s recent $2.5 million endowment invests in successful futures for CU Boulder’s student-athletes through the university’s Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP). The program, now named the Scripps Leadership and Career Development Program in honor of the family’s investment, focuses on helping student-athletes achieve personal and professional success.

“Working with the Scripps Leadership and Career Development Program means a lot to me,” said CU football team captain Kabion Ento. “It demonstrates that CU cares about us when we leave, and it puts us in a position to be successful. They help us network and connect with different people, which really goes a long way.”

Bill and Kathy Scripps appreciate the value that the student-athlete can add to the workplace. For the Scripps family, the gift is important because it gives CU student-athletes a leg up as they are preparing for life. They hope their investment in the program will enable student-athletes to build valuable leadership and career skills, aiding in successful transitions to life after CU Boulder. The program currently serves about 380 student-athletes annually.

Through LCDP, student-athletes receive individualized coaching in key areas of personal and professional development. They engage in life skills workshops, service learning experiences, and transition programs into and out of CU. The professional development programming provides support in career exploration, career preparation, and career implementation, while staff members build tailored career readiness plans based on each student-athlete’s unique personal story.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker contract approved by a 6-2 vote by Board of Regents

From the Daily Camera … The University of Colorado Board of Regents have approved the contract of new CU head football coach Mel Tucker.

On Wednesday morning, the regents held a meeting in Denver and approved Tucker’s contract by a 6-2 vote. Regents Linda Shoemaker and Jack Kroll both voted against the contract, while Irene Griego abstained from voting.

Hired last week, Tucker’s contract, through Dec. 31, 2023, is for five seasons and $14.75 million.

Tweets from Brian Howell at the Daily Camera

— Mel Tucker’s contract does state that it runs through Dec. 31, 2024 – which would be 6 seasons. However, a CU spokesman has informed me that is a typo and it should read Dec. 31, 2023. Tucker’s contract is for five years, and not six.

— Unlike in Mike MacIntyre’s contract, Mel Tucker’s buyout, if there is one, would be offset by any job he would obtain in an “athletics-related industry.”

— Mel Tucker’s contract approved by a 6-2 vote. Regents Linda Shoemaker and Jack Kroll vote against the contract. Irene Griego abstained

— Regent Jack Kroll states that the money being spent on athletics is pushing the cure for cancer and other life-threatening ailments “that much further away.” Also criticizes the college athletics system and the money being used to subsidize the athletic program.

— Regent Linda Shoemaker speaking about the lack of safety in football and doesn’t see CU emphasizing safety in the sport. Therefore, she says she will be voting against the contract of Mel Tucker

— Should Mel Tucker terminate his contract, he would owe CU: $5M if before Dec. 31, 2019 $3M if before Dec. 31, 2020 $1.8M if before Dec. 31, 2021 $1M if before Dec. 31, 2024

CBS Gives Colorado a “B” grade for Mel Tucker hire

From CBS Sports … Coaches get hired to be fired. Hopefully, they win a few games in between … but usually, they aren’t winning enough. That’s why every winter is filled with coaches losing jobs, moving on to other jobs and trying on new polos and hats. It’s a dizzying process and one that can be hard for the average fan to follow.

We don’t all have time to keep track of every move that’s being made, especially when the coaching carousel is in full swing like it is now that the regular season has come to a close and the first National Signing Day is only a couple of weeks way. And that’s why we are here.

Lucky for you, it’s our job here at CBS Sports to break it all down for you. So you’re going to want to bookmark this page and come back as often as possible to stay abreast of what’s been happening on the coaching carousel this winter. We’ll not only keep you up to date with the latest happenings, but we’ll let you know what we think of each move as well. It’s a one-stop shop for all your coaching change needs.

Colorado … Mel Tucker returned to the college level as Alabama’s assistant head coach in 2015 after spending the previous nine seasons at the NFL level. He spent a year working under Nick Saban before spending the last three seasons as Georgia’s defensive coordinator. Suffice it to say, Tucker knows how to build a defense. His ability to do so at Colorado without the same kind of recruiting advantages he had at Alabama and Georgia, as well as his ability to pair it with a good offense will be the key to his success in Boulder. Grade: B

California … Extended the contract of Justin Wilcox … California extended Wilcox’s contract through the 2023 season, and it looks like a smart move. Wilcox took over a Cal team that had allowed 42.6 points per game in 2016 and has improved that number to 24.8 points per game in his first two seasons, going 12-12 overall and 6-12 in the Pac-12.

USC … Retained Clay Helton … A move that didn’t make everyone involved with USC happy, but it’s an understandable one. The results this season were well below the standard of USC football, but Helton did win 21 games the last two seasons, and this Trojans team dealt with a lot of injuries. Plus, would a fourth coaching change in the last decade fix things? Maybe stability is what’s needed. Or maybe Helton better win at least 10 games next season with a refreshed staff.

Colorado State … Retained Mike Bobo … Bobo dealt with health problems this season, and you have to think they had an impact on the Rams season. After posting 7-6 records in each of his first three years, the Rams went 3-9 in 2018. He’ll enter the 2019 season on the hot seat, but he deserves a chance to rebound.

Mel Tucker: “You have to be able to play the game that you need to play. You can’t be (tied to a scheme)”

From the Daily Camera … Under the direction of Bill Belichick for the past 19 seasons, the New England Patriots have been known for their ability to find the weaknesses of the opponent, adapt the game plan and attack.

New Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker aims to take the same approach, especially with the Buffaloes’ offense.

Tucker is a long-time defensive coach and when asked about his ideas for the offense, he said, “I know what gives defenses problems, and I think you have to be multiple. I think you have to be able to run the ball on your terms, I think you have to be able to make big plays and be explosive. Most importantly, you have to do what your players can do.

“Identify who your best players are, find out what they can do best and do that.”

Continue reading story here

—–

December 11th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU played in two of the top ten rated Pac-12 games of 2018

From the San Jose Mercury News … The highest-rated Pac-12 game of the regular season, by far, wasn’t a conference game.

Nor was the second-highest.

In fact, half of the top 10 were non-conference matchups, based on ratings taken from the SportsMediaWatch database.

Here’s the rundown, with network and kickoff time:

4.4: USC-Notre Dame (5 p.m./ABC)
3.2: Washington-Auburn (12:30 p.m./ABC)
2.6: Washington-Utah/FCG (5 p.m./FOX)
2.5: Stanford-Oregon (5 p.m./ABC)
2.3: Washington-Washington State (5:30 p.m./FOX)
2.2: Oregon State-Ohio State (9 a.m./ABC)
2.1: Stanford-Notre Dame (4:30p.m./NBC)
2.1 Colorado-Nebraska (12:30 p.m./ABC)
2.0: Washington-Colorado (12:30 p.m./FOX)
1.9: Washington-Oregon (12:30 p.m./ABC)

Top takeaways:

• All of the top 10 were on broadcast television (FOX or ABC).

• Half of the top 10 involved Washington.

• None of the top 10 were night games.

• Also: Only one game involved USC, and the 4.4 for the Trojans’ finale assuredly had more to do with Notre Dame’s bid for an undefeated season than anything else.

Continue reading story here

CU soliciting contributions in honor of hiring of Mel Tucker

From CUBuffs.com … Welcome Head Football Coach Mel Tucker!

We are delighted to welcome Coach Tucker and his family to CU!

Coach Tucker comes to us from the University of Georgia where he spent the past three years as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. He brings with him a commitment to restore CU Football to the national spotlight as an elite program by building on the great traditions already in place.

To quote Chancellor DiStefano, there is “…no doubt that Coach Tucker will have an immediate impact on our football program and our university. Together as Buffs, we will continue to build our football program on the field and in the classroom.”

Share your excitement for the future of CU Football and Coach Mel Tucker by donating today!

Link to donation site

—–

December 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU may not be on the hook for all of Mike MacIntyre’s salary

From the Denver Post … “We are aware of Mike’s new job at Ole Miss and congratulate him on this new opportunity,” CU spokesman Ryan Huff said in a statement to The Post. “We are still working on the contractual details of Mike’s departure from CU.”

According to the original terms of MacIntyre’s contract with the university, and CU’s 2017 amended agreement, any amount owed by the Buffs would be “reduced by any amounts MacIntyre receives or is to receive in the future for services provided by MacIntyre in the positions of head coach at a university or college or in the position of head coach or assistant coach in the National Football League during the time he would have been employed by the University if this Agreement had not been terminated.”

Based on the 2017 amendment, MacIntyre would be entitled to a $650,000 base salary in 2019, a $725,000 base in 2020, and a $800,000 base in 2021, as well as at least $2.3 million annually over the next three years in supplemental salary tied to “radio, television, other media and public appearances” and “sponsorship support.” Any financial claim MacIntyre would make for money owed as a result of being fired without cause, the contract reads, would be subject to a mediation process “to be mutually agreed upon by (CU) and MacIntyre.” If the ex-Buffs coach and the university aren’t able to reach an agreement on the amount of damages within 30 days after MacIntyre’s initial claim is submitted, then new Ole Miss coordinator is “entitled to pursue legal action against (CU) for such damages.”

Read full story here

Saturday Down South: Mel Tucker can make CU a conference title contender

From Saturday Down South … When Kirby Smart hired Mel Tucker to be his defensive coordinator three years ago, it was never about  if he would leave someday for a head coaching job, it was when.

The move came this week after Tucker accepted the job as coach at Colorado in the Pac-12. He’s going to start immediately, which means he won’t run Georgia’s defense in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.

He has been exceptional during his three years at Georgia, and he’s going to be missed. He was beloved by his players, especially the guys in the secondary whom he spent the most time with. He was a great recruiter and worked very well with Smart in setting the tone for this perennial top-15 defense.

All that is gone now. And it will be tough to fill all of those shoes.

“When I came to Georgia in December of 2015, one of my top priorities was to bring Mel Tucker in as defensive coordinator,” Smart said. “He is an exceptional coach, coordinator and trusted friend. I think change is kind of inevitable, you know that that’s going to happen in this profession, (and) you know that coaches get opportunities. When you’re a part of a successful program and you’re able to win games, you’ll have guys get opportunities.”

That’s always how it works in college football. Struggling teams look to successful programs for their next head coach. Colorado was no different, looking for someone to get them over the hump. They’ve been better the past few years, and they want Tucker to make them conference title contenders.

He can do that.

Tucker is certainly ready to be a head coach. He has spent nine years as a defensive coordinator in the NFL and was even the interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for five games. He has been an assistant on two national championship teams — at Ohio State (2002) and Alabama (2015) — and has worked with some of the best coaches in the business, like Nick Saban, Jim Tressel, Mark Dantonio and, of course, Smart.

Tucker also coached defensive backs at Georgia aside from being the coordinator. He has turned Deandre Baker into one of the best cornerbacks in the country, and Baker appreciates it.

“Coach Tucker, he’s a great guy, a great coach,” Baker said. “He played a big role in the Georgia program. He’s going to go over there to Colorado and change the program around. I’m happy he got an opportunity to be a head coach.

“He groomed me into the player I am today. He taught me the ropes, and I took it and ran with it.”

Tucker has always been a well-respected recruiter as well. He was rated the No. 14 recruiter in the country by 247Sports.com last year, and he has been in the top 20 in their recruiting rankings all three years at Georgia.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 9th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Jon Wilner: Tucker hire “Interesting, in a good way” 

From the San Jose Mercury News … Colorado hires Mel Tucker.

Interesting, in a good way.

The obvious holes on Tucker’s resume — his lack of head coaching experience or ties to the Pac-12 footprint — don’t rise to the level of concern that they might for a new coach elsewhere in the conference.

For one thing, the Buffaloes aren’t as tied … they cannot be as tied … to the west coast for recruiting as other schools.

As far from LAX as they are from DFW, the Buffaloes must rely on a combination of in-state, surrounding state (Nebraska, Utah, Arizona), Southern California and the Dallas Metroplex prospects for roster building.

Tucker’s ties and experience recruiting for SEC schools across the southeast and south central regions — and the clout that his work at Alabama and Georgia carries — will benefit the program.

Of course, staff hires are critical. In that regard, Herm Edwards provides a model: The decision to hire Antonio Pierce away from Long Beach Poly provided an essential boost to ASU’s recruiting in Southern California.

Continue reading story here

Team Awards announced – Laviska Shenault named team MVP

Press release from CUBuffs.com … Sophomore wide receiver Laviska Shenault, Jr., was named the University of Colorado’s most valuable player at the team’s annual senior banquet Sunday afternoon at the Dal Ward Athletic Center.

                Shenault is the third receiver this decade to win the honor, named for the late Zack Jordan, joining Paul Richardson in 2013 and Nelson Spruce in both 2014 and 2015.  However, he’s the first player to earn the honor as a sophomore since 1999 when inside linebacker Jashon Sykes was recognized, and just the fifth sophomore to ever be named CU’s MVP, joining Joe Romig (who shared it in 1959), tailback Eric Bieniemy (1988) and quarterback Darian Hagan (1989).

                He was on a record pace until he suffered a turf toe injury in the second half at Southern California and would miss the remainder of that game and the next three games.  He still finished the year with 86 receptions for 1,011 yards and six touchdowns, with an additional 115 rushing yards and five scores (he was the only player in the nation to score at least five times both rushing and receiving).

                The first-team All-Pac-12 performer by the league coaches recorded the 10th 1,000-yard receiving season by a Buff, as he zoomed up CU’s all-time receiving charts over the course of the year.  He went from not being ranked to 20th in career receptions and to 21st in career yards as he had the third-most single season catches and the ninth-most yards.  He had five 100-yard games, tied for fourth-most, and his 11 touchdowns averaged 27.5 yards per (his six TD catches averaged 41.2 per).  Overall, he earned 50 first downs (43 receiving), gaining 634 yards after the catch and 346 after contact.

                Shenault also garnered second-team honors from the Associated Press and was a unanimous first-team Midseason All-American prior to going down with the toe injury.

The John Mack Award for the most outstanding player on offense was given to graduate transfer Travon McMillian.  He arrived at CU in the summer after graduating from Virginia Tech and rushed for 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 5.0 yards per carry.  It was the 17th time a Buff has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in a season, and McMillian was the 14th different player to accomplish the feat.  He had five plays from scrimmage of 49 yards or longer (four rushes, one reception), caught 14 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown and earned 47 first downs (43 rushing).

CU had a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver in the same season for the first time in its history with Shenault and McMillian both topping the plateau.

The Dave Jones Award for the outstanding defensive player was shared by two sophomores, defensive end Mustafa Johnson and inside linebacker Nate Landman.

Johnson, who earned AP first-team All-Pac-12 honors, led the team in both quarterback sacks with eight-and-a-half, tackles for loss with 18 and quarterback hurries (16); he had 73 tackles (53 solo), fourth-most on the team, with 10 third down stops while playing 673 snaps from scrimmage.  He had 10 tackles on two occasions (at Nebraska and versus Arizona State), which included two multi-sack games (two against Nebraska and Oregon State).

Landman led the Buffaloes in tackles with 123 (61 solo), as he was in for 619 defensive plays.  He led the team in tackles behind or at the line of scrimmage with 25, which included a team-high 12 stops for zero gains.  He also led the team in interceptions (two), tied for third with 10 third down stops, and added five passes broken up, three hurries, two forced fumbles and a recovery.  He had 10 or more tackles in seven games, including 14 in his first start (against Colorado State in the opener) and a career-high 19 against Utah.

                The Bill McCartney Award for special teams achievement was won by senior safety Daniel Talley.  Playing on several special team units over his career, he finished fourth in special team points this past fall with 21: he was in on six tackles (two inside-the-20), nine knockdown blocks on returns, two forced fair catches, a downed punt and a caused penalty.  He was third in points as a junior (18) and had 44 for his career, which included 14 tackles (11 solo).

                CU’s inspirational honors went to senior wide receiver Kabion Ento (the Derek Singleton Award for spirit, dedication and enthusiasm); senior inside linebackerRick Gamboa (the Eddie Crowder Award for outstanding team leadership); redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jacob Moretti (the Tyronee “Tiger” Bussey Award for inspiration in the face of physical adversity); and senior safety Nick Fisher (the Tom McMahon Award for dedication and work ethic).   Gamboa had already been selected as the winner of the Buffalo Heart Award, presented by the “fans behind the bench” last month.

                Senior defensive tackle Mo Bandi claimed the Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic achievement.  Bandi is on schedule to graduate in May with a degree in Neuroscience, MCDB (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) and Pre-Med Studies; he is also minoring in Biochemistry.  He owned a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 through last summer’s semester.

The Scout Team Awards recipients were freshman quarterback Blake Stenstrom for offense and redshirt frosh defensive end Nick Edridge for defense.  The coaches selected the players who contributed the most to the weekly preparation on their respective scout teams over the course of the entire season.

                The Lee Willard Award for the most outstanding freshman went to defensive end Israel Antwine, who started 11 of 12 games at left defensive end and played 457 total snaps, the most ever by a true freshman defensive lineman for the Buffs (and the seventh by any true frosh at any position).  He had 16 tackles (nine solo, three for losses including a quarterback sack), nine hurries, two third down stops and two tackles for zero gains.

Junior quarterback Steven Montez earned the “Best Interview” honor from CU’s beat media, for his attending every weekly press luncheon to being available postgame, whether the Buffaloes won or lost.  He’s just the fourth quarterback to win the award since its inception in 1987, as he joins Kordell Stewart (1994), Mike Moschetti (1999) and Sefo Liufau (2015).

                In all, a record 88 players earned letters this season, including 21 seniors and 47 who were cited as first-year lettermen, another school best; 29 of those players were freshmen (19 redshirt, 10 true).  The lettermen broke down into 41 offensive and 40 defensive players along with seven specialists.

Mel Tucker, who was named CU’s 26th full-time head coach just last Wednesday, spoke briefly after the awards were finished.  His themes was that everyone in the room was  part of the CU family, including those he never coached, has yet to coach, or recruited.

The complete list of CU award winners announced Sunday, selected by the coaching staff unless otherwise noted:

Zack Jordan Award (most valuable player): WR Laviska Shenault

John Mack Award (outstanding offensive players): TB Travon McMillian

Dave Jones Award (outstanding defensive players): DE Mustafa Johnson & ILB Nate Landman

Bill McCartney Award (special teams achievement): S Daniel Talley

Lee Willard Award (outstanding freshman): DE Israel Antwine

Offensive Scout Player of the Year: QB Blake Stenstrom

Defensive Scout Players of the Year: DE Nick Edridge

Dean Jacob Van Ek Award (academic excellence): DT Mo Bandi

Derek Singleton Award (spirit/dedication/enthusiasm): WR Kabion Ento

Tyronee “Tiger” Bussey Award (inspiration in the face of physical adversity): OL Jacob Moretti

Tom McMahon Award (dedication/work ethic): S Nick Fisher

Eddie Crowder Award (outstanding team leadership): ILB Rick Gamboa

Offensive Trench Award (physicality & technique): OT William Sherman

Defensive Trench Award (physicality & technique): DT Javier Edwards

Best Interview (selected by team beat media): QB Steven Montez

Previously announced:

Buffalo Heart Award (selected by the fans): ILB Rick Gamboa

—–

December 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Drew Lewis to play in East/West Shrine game; Juwann Winfree to play in the Collegiate Bowl

From the Daily Camera … Colorado linebacker Drew Lewis has accepted an invitation to play in the 94th East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Lewis recently completed his senior season with the Buffaloes. Playing mostly outside linebacker, but also on the inside at times, he had 66 tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss, nine third-down stops, four pass breakups and an interception.

Starting every game at inside linebacker in 2017, Lewis led the team with 119 tackles, while also posting two sacks and four tackles for loss.

The East-West Shrine game allows many of the top collegiate players to showcase their talent for professional scouts. More than 100 players from last year’s game signed with pro teams, including 70 that made final NFL rosters. Among those was former Buffs running back Phillip Lindsay, now with the Denver Broncos.

… CU receiver Juwann Winfree was recently selected to play in the eighth annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Jan. 19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Read full story here

Coach Tucker promising a tough defense at CU

From the Daily Camera … Perhaps it was fitting that Mel Tucker was introduced Thursday as Colorado’s new head football coach at the Dal Ward Center.

Opened in 1991, the building now features a sign inside that reads it “is a tribute to the man who took the University of Colorado from relative obscurity into national prominence with a bone crushing brand” of football during his tenure as head coach from 1948-58. (Ward was also an associate athletic director from 1958-75).

Tucker takes over a CU program that is mired in relative obscurity on the national stage; a program that has a hard time even getting to bowl games — something nearly two-thirds of the Football Bowl Division teams do every year.

While he won’t run the single wing offense, as Ward did, Tucker plans to follow the Ward blueprint of toughness in order to raise the profile of the football program and the university.

“Our team, we will be physical,” Tucker said. “My dad always told me the name of the game of football is hit. H-I-T, hit. There’s always a place on the football field for someone who will hit.”

Continue reading story here

—–

December 7th

… CU in a few minutes …

Local/national reactions to hiring of Mel Tucker

… “Former CU Buffs react to Mel Tucker’s hiring” … video from 9News Denver

“CU took time, but landed ‘best choice’ for football coach” … from the Daily Camera

About three hours into his first meeting with Mel Tucker, Colorado athletic director Rick George realized he had not asked a single question.

“That’s when it came to me that this might be the guy,” George said Thursday after introducing Tucker as the 26th full-time head football coach in CU history.

While it took a little time for George and associate athletic director Lance Carl to get around to interviewing Tucker, it didn’t take them long to realize that Tucker, until this week the defensive coordinator at Georgia, was the man to lead to Colorado’s football program.

“You’re going to know when you know,” George said. “With Mel, we knew. I think we got the best choice.”

There were plenty of choices, however.

Continue reading story here

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreet: “There’s no reason for Colorado not to be a competitive team and a championship-caliber team”

From Herbstreit and Fitzsimmons Podcast … “(Georgia is) losing, not only a defensive coordinator, but a guy that really does a good job of being able to communicate and relate to players,” he said Thursday on the Herbstreit and Fitzsimmons Podcast. “ … I think anybody who really follows the coaching ranks knew that Mel Tucker would eventually get his opportunity. Here we go at Colorado.”

“I love what he said, there’s no reason for Colorado not to be a competitive team and a championship-caliber team,” Herbstreit said. “That had to be music to the ears of CU fans. It’s been a long time. I know that a couple years ago, they were in the conference-championship game, got undressed by Washington. I think that this is a program that, when I was in high school and college, boy they could play with anybody in the nation. They also had a pipeline into Texas and into Southern California. That’s what he’s got to be able to do. He’s got to be able to raise the bar in recruiting. He’s an outstanding recruiter. I can’t wait to find out who he puts on his staff to help him. He’s got to get into the LA area, and he’s got to do the best that he can to get into Texas.

“You have to make that Colorado brand cool. It’s been a long time since that’s been a cool brand for the 18-year old kid. Mel will work hard to be able to try to do that. I always look at Colorado as potentially a sleeping giant. … I wish him all the best, and I personally would love to see CU get back to winning and competing.”

“With Mel Tucker, Colorado is hoping to finally drag itself out of the past” … from The Athletic

Mel Tucker,​ Colorado’s newest​ football coach, the man​ tasked with finally​ carrying​ the team into​ this century,​ pulled​​ a small note card from his pocket Thursday with some prepared remarks, then quickly veered off script.

“If I start to ramble,” Tucker said, “just start to play music like the Grammy’s and I’ll know to wrap it up.”

He can talk as long as he wants, as far as the Buffaloes are concerned. The longer the better. Colorado, a school that has not seen a football heyday for 25 years, hired another new coach Wednesday and rushed to introduce him Thursday at its fancy digs in the north end zone of Folsom Field.

Tucker, the 46-year-old former defensive coordinator at Georgia, was hired on a five-year contract worth $14.75 million, pending approval from the university’s board of regents next week. He immediately will assemble a staff of assistants, perhaps as soon as this weekend, then hit the recruiting trail with a tight deadline. Promising high schoolers can start signing national letters of intent Dec. 19.

For a school riding a carousel of coaches over the past 20 years, Tucker’s face might be new, but his hiring is not. Colorado’s past four coaches never survived their contracts, starting with Gary Barnett, then Dan Hawkins, Jon Embree and Mike MacIntyre. If Tucker ever leaves Colorado on mutual terms, he would be the first to do so since Bill McCartney retired in 1994.

Continue reading story here

“Rooney: Focused Mel Tucker locked arm-in-arm with Rick George’s championship dreams” … from the Daily Camera

It is an impossible chore to predict a coach’s success based on first impressions. It was 13 years ago when Dan Hawkins breezed into Colorado working the room at his introductory press conference like a politician while spouting platitudes about “Hawk Love” that had the CU faithful eager to reciprocate that affection. It turned out Hawk Love was fleeting, and it’s arguable the program has never fully recovered from the downturn the Buffs took in less than five full seasons of Hawkins’ reign.

… If anything stood out from Tucker’s introduction, it was his business-like, no-nonsense approach to the task at hand. The man seems succinct without being blunt, focused without being overbearing, ready for the challenge without showing an ounce of trepidation at taking on new responsibilities while packing up his family for his first job west of the Mississippi River.

Continue reading story here

Three Buffs on Associated Press All-Pac-12 teams – Mustafa Johnson (first team); Nate Landman & Laviska Shenault (second team)

From the Associated Press … There’s no question at quarterback: Washington State’s Gardner Minshew II leads the way in the Pac-12.

Minshew, a graduate transfer who leads the nation with an average of 373.1 passing yards per game, was the unanimous choice for first-team quarterback on The Associated Press All-Pac-12 team, selected by a panel of sports writers who cover the conference.

Unsurprisingly, he also got the nod as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Minshew has thrown for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns for the Cougars, who are 10-2 overall and headed to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 against Iowa State.

Stanford’s K.J. Costello earned the second team quarterback honors.

Minshew joins Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin as the two unanimous first-team selections on offense. There were several on the first-team defense: Washington’s Greg Gainesat defensive tackle, fellow Husky Ben Burr-Kirven at linebacker and Utah’s Bradlee Anae at defensive end.

As for Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Washington State’s Mike Leach also topped all the ballots. Burr-Kirven was defensive player of the year and Minshew got the nod as newcomer of the year.

The 2018 Associated Press All-Pac-12 team, as selected by a panel of sports writers who regularly cover the league for newspapers or broadcast outlets. Players at all positions are listed alphabetically with name, school, height, weight, class and hometown; “u-” denotes unanimous selections.

First team

Offense

Quarterback — u-Gardner Minshew II, Washington State, 6-2, 220, sr., Brandon, Missouri.

Running back — u-Eno Benjamin, Arizona State, 5-10, 200, soph., Wylie, Texas; Joshua Kelley, UCLA, 5-11, 204, jr., Lancaster, California.

Tackles — Andre Dillard, Washington State, 6-5, 310, sr., Woodinville, Washington; Calvin Throckmorton, 6-5, 318, jr., Bellevue, Washington.

Guards — Shane Lemieux, Oregon, 6-4, 317, jr., Yakima, Washington. Jordan Agasiva, Utah, 6-4, 320, sr., Kalihi, Hawaii.

Center — Nick Harris, Washington, 6-1, 300, jr., Inglewood, California.

Tight end — Caleb Wilson, UCLA, 6-4, 235, jr., Dallas, Texas.

Wide receiver — N’Keal Harry, Arizona State, 6-4, 213, jr., Chandler, Arizona; JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford, 6-3, 225, sr., Inman, South Carolina.

All-purpose player — J.J. Taylor, Arizona, 5-6, 184, soph., Corona, California.

Kicker — Matt Gay, Utah, 6-0, 230, sr., Orem, Utah.

Defense

Defensive ends — u-Bradlee Anae, Utah, 6-3, 254, jr. Laie, Hawaii; Justin Hollins, Oregon, 6-5, 242, sr., Arlington, Texas.

Defensive tackles — u-Greg Gaines, Washington, 6-2, 316, sr., La Habra, California; Mustafa Johnson, Colorado, 6-2, 290, soph., Turlock, California.

Linebackers — u-Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington, 6-0, 221, sr., Menlo Park, California; Chase Hansen, Utah, 6-3, 230, sr., Highland, Utah; Evan Weaver, California, 6-3, 245, jr., Spokane, Washington.

Cornerbacks — Byron Murphy, Washington, 5-11, 182, soph., Scottsdale, Arizona; Paulson Adebo, Stanford, 6-1, 189, soph., Mansfield, Texas.

Safeties — Taylor Rapp, Washington, 6-2, 200, jr., Bellingham, Washington; Ashtyn Davis, California, 6-1, 190, jr. Santa Cruz, California.

Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah, 6-2, 220, sr., Perth Australia.

Second Team

Offense

Quarterback — K.J. Costello, Stanford, 6-5, 215, jr., Coto de Caza, California.

Running back — Myles Gaskin, Washington, 5-10, 193, sr., Lynwood, Washington; Zack Moss, Utah, 5-10, 215, jr., Hialeah Gardens, Florida.

Tackles — Kaleb McGary, Washington, 6-8, 324, sr., Fife, Washington; Patrick Mekari, California, 6-4, 310, jr., Westlake Village, California.

Guards — Chris Brown, USC, 6-5, 310, sr., Los Angeles; Gus Lavaka, Oregon State, 6-4, 353, jr., Kearns, Utah.

Center — Jake Hanson, Oregon, 6-5, 297, jr., Eureka, California.

Tight end — Kaden Smith, Stanford, 6-5, 252, jr., Flower Mound, Texas.

Wide receivers — Dillon Mitchell, Oregon, 6-2, 189, jr., Memphis, Tennessee; Laviska Shenault, Colorado, 6-2, 220, soph., DeSoto, Texas.

All-purpose player — Britain Covey, Utah, 5-8, 170, soph., Provo, Utah.

Kicker — Jet Toner, Stanford, 6-4, 201, jr., Honolulu.

Defense

Defensive ends — Logan Tago, Washington State, 6-3, 250, sr., Fagasa, American Samoa; Christian Rector, USC, 604, 275, jr., Pasadena, California.

Defensive tackles — Leki Fotu, Utah, 6-5, jr., West Valley City, Utah; Jordan Scott, Oregon, 6-1, 329, sophomore, Largo, Florida.

Linebackers — Jordan Kunaszyk, California, 6-3, 235, sr., Sacramento, California; Colin Schooler, Arizona, 6-0, 236, soph., Dana Point, California; Nate Landman, Colorado, 6-3, 235, soph., Danville, California.

Cornerbacks — Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon, 5-11, 191, soph., Rancho Cucamonga, California; (tie) Camryn Bynum, California, 6-0, 180, soph., Corona California, Elisha Guidry, UCLA, 5-11, 182, fr., Murrieta, Georgia, and Julian Blackmon, Utah, 6-1, 190, jr., Layton, Utah.

Safeties — Jalen Thompson, Washington State, 6-0, 190, jr., Downey, California; Ugochukwu Amadi, Oregon, 5-10, 201, sr., Nashville, Tennessee.

Punter — Jake Bailey, Stanford, 6-2, 202, sr., Solana Beach, California.

Coach of the year — Mike Leach, Washington State.

Offensive player of the year — Gardner Minshew II, Washington State.

Defensive player of the year — Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington.

Newcomer of the year — Gardner Minshew II, Washington State.

Voting panel:

Tony Parks, 1280 The Zone, Salt Lake City; Theo Lawson, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington; Gary Horowitz, The Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon; Joey Kaufman, Southern California News Group; Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, San Jose, California; James Crepea, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon; Brian Howell, Buffzone.com, Boulder, Colorado; Adam Jude, The Seattle Times; Christian Caple, The Athletic; Lauren Kirschman, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington.

—–

December 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Coach Tucker on recruiting: “We know what we’re looking for”

From the Daily Camera … Mel Tucker has gained a reputation for being a top-notch recruiter, and the Colorado Buffaloes’ new head football coach is hoping to continue landing great talent in his new job.

Tucker, announced Thursday as the Buffs’ head coach after spending the last three seasons as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, has coached or recruited nine first-round NFL draft picks over the years. That number is likely to increase to 10, as current Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker is projected as a first-round pick in the 2019 draft.

What exactly does Tucker look for when recruiting talent from the high school ranks?

“Obviously you want guys that can win one on one,” he said. “They can win their box, whatever position that is. The evaluation process is critical. It takes talent to evaluate talent. We first have to identify the players. We have to evaluate them.

“At that point, once we decide these are guys that can be difference makers and help us reach our goals — these young men can help us win championships — it’s all about marketing at that point. We know what we’re looking for. We know what it takes to compete and to win. It’s not always all about talent. It’s talent and character. We know what we’re looking and we’re going to go get it.”

Continue reading story here

Coach Tucker: “I’m honored and privileged and proud to be here” 

From the Daily Camera … After moving his family around to different coaching jobs in recent years, Mel Tucker has learned that his two sons aren’t easily impressed.

On Wednesday night, however, Tucker, his wife JoEllyn and their sons, Joseph, 16, and Christian, 14, toured the football facilities at Colorado and the boys were blown away.

“We get back to the hotel room last night and the boys say, ‘Are you kidding me? We can win here,'” Tucker said Thursday. “I said, ‘What do you think we’re doing here?’ That’s why we’re here. We’re here to win big.”

Tucker was introduced Thursday as the 26th full-time head football coach in CU history, taking over for Mike MacIntyre, who was fired Nov. 18 after posting a 30-44 record in nearly six full seasons.

“I’m honored and privileged and proud to be here,” he said. “I waited for this opportunity for my entire career”.

Continue reading story here

Video: Coach Tucker’s first press conference

Scroll ahead. There is no one at the podium until about the 7:30 mark, when Chancellor Phil DiStefano opens the proceedings. CU athletic director Rick George takes the stage at the 10:00 minute mark, with Coach Tucker’s opening remarks coming at the 16:00 minute mark.

Video: Coach Tucker’s first walk through of the Champions Center

Here is a link to the video of Mel Tucker and his family getting a walk through of the Champions Center by CU athletic director Rick George and assistant athletic director Lance Carl.

… Surprising that Tucker would take the job “sight unseen”, but he seemed suitably impressed with CU’s facilities (considering he’s coming from the SEC, that’s a nice compliment). Tucker called the Champions Center a “no excuses” facility …

Neill Woelk: “Rebuilding” not in Tucker’s vocabulary

From CUBuffs.com … It is perhaps only coincidence that the similarities between the two situations are so striking — but it is also impossible to ignore the parallels.

Thirty-six years ago, a nationwide Colorado coaching search ultimately settled on a young, relatively unknown defensive coordinator from a perennially elite program. No doubt, there were plenty of questions when Bill McCartney landed in Boulder.

Now, almost four decades later, the man who helped McCartney build the most successful era in CU history has followed the same path. When CU Athletic Director Rick George introduces former Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as Colorado’s 26th head coach at a Thursday press conference, he will do so with the comfortable conviction that he has found the coach who can return the Buffaloes to national prominence.

Experience has a way of building confidence.

Yes, there will be questions again as Tucker takes the reins in Boulder. Colorado has hired a man who has never been a college head coach, and there is no way to know what the future holds.

But what we already know is that he comes to the job with plenty working in his favor:

Continue reading story here

The Athletic: Stout defense the key to Pac-12 success, and Tucker brings that with him to CU

From The Athletic … Colorado​ athletic director Rick​ George knows​ the clichéd mantra: Defense​ wins championships. But​ when​ he started looking​ for Mike​ MacIntyre’s​​ replacement, he didn’t start there.

“I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of whether it was an offensive coach, a defensive coach, a head coach, a coordinator, someone from the NFL,” George said. “All I wanted to do was find the best fit for Colorado.”

But the best fit, ultimately, proved to be a defensive guy in Mel Tucker, the former Georgia defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach who has been hired three different times by Nick Saban and has worked under defensive gurus like Kirby Smart and Mark Dantonio.

George said that what made Tucker rise to the top of Colorado’s list were his accolades as a college football coach, his references and his ability to recruit. Colorado was impressed with Tucker’s NFL history (nine years as an NFL defensive coordinator and secondary coach with a short stint as an interim head coach) and that he has a “great administrative side to him.”

And though it was those pieces that might have made him the best fit, the fact that he has that defensive mind and background could be the trait that makes him stick at Colorado and make noise in the Pac-12.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 5th

… CU in a few minutes …

Introductory press conference for Mel Tucker set / Meet-and-greet opportunity

From CUBuffs.com …Colorado football announced Mel Tucker as the 26th head coach in program history on Wednesday. A press conference will be streamed live on the CU athletics Facebook and Twitter accounts at 10 a.m. on Thursday. The press conference is open to credentialed media members only.

The public will also have an opportunity to meet Coach Tucker from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Bryon R. White East Side Club at Folsom Field. The event is open to all.

Press conference information:
10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6
Facebook Video Link: https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoAthletics/
Twitter Video Link: https://twitter.com/cubuffs

First interview with Mel Tucker as CU’s new head coach

Link to video of Mark Johnson’s interview with Mel Tucker can be found here

Some quotes:

— “It’s a great place. The tradition, the facilities, what’s possible here, what should happen here”;

— On being in Boulder for the 1994 CU/Wisconsin game (No. 7 Colorado 55, No. 10 Wisconsin 17): “It was a phenomenal atmosphere. The fans were going nuts. They had difference makers on both sides of the ball … that’s what the expectation is here”;

— A Mel Tucker team: “The best conditioned; based on technique and fundamentals … relentless competitors”;

— On recruiting: “We’re going to recruit every single day. We’ll recruit nationally”;

— “Coaching is teaching. I love to teach”;

— On his coaching with some great coaches: “They were winners. They knew how to establish a program. A program of accountability; of hard work; of physical football. All highly organized, and they were all excellent recruiters”.

—–

December 4th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU releases 2019 schedule! Three Friday night games for Buffs next fall

Related … The full 2019 schedules for every Pac-12 team can be found here … 

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The Pac-12 Conference released its schedule Tuesday for conference football games for the 2019 season, with University of Colorado set to play three Friday night games for the second straight year and the home schedule highlighted by the return of two longtime rivals traveling to Boulder.

Colorado will once again open the season against Colorado State in Denver in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field on Friday, Aug. 30.  CU will serve as the home team for this, the 10th consecutive and at present, the final game in the series to played in Denver.  The next three games in the series are set for campus sites, in Fort Collins in 2020 and 2024 and in Boulder in 2023.  It will mark the 21st time the Rams will be CU’s season opening opponent since the rivalry resumed after a 25-year dormancy in 1983.

The Buffaloes’ home opener follows on Saturday, Sept. 7, when former conference rival Nebraska visits Folsom Field for the first time since 2009.  The Huskers will be the first former Big 12 Conference school to appear on CU’s home schedule since 2010, its last year in the league.  Then on the next Saturday, Air Force will roll up Interstate 25 and U.S. 36 into Boulder for the first time in 46 years; the two last met at Folsom in 1973 and anywhere in 1974 at the Academy.

After opening Pac-12 league play at home in four of the last five years, the Buffaloes will travel to Tempe to take on Arizona State on Sept. 21, the first time CU opens conference play away from home in the Copper state.  The first of two bye weeks follow (there are 14 Saturdays in the 2019 schedule window), and on Oct. 5, Arizona will visit Boulder in what will be CU’s annual Family Weekend affair.

Colorado then has the annual back-to-back road games within the league grind, first playing at Oregon on Friday night, Oct. 11, and then returning to the Pacific Northwest the following Saturday (Oct. 19) to face Washington State in Pullman.  CU caps off the month of October with a nationally televised Friday night contest on ESPN against USC on the 25th.

The Buffaloes open November in Pasadena against UCLA at Rose Bowl Stadium (Nov. 2).  The next two on the docket are in Boulder, against Stanford (Nov. 9; Homecoming) and Washington (Nov. 23); they are bookended around the second bye of the season on Nov. 16.  Colorado will finish the regular season on the road at Utah on Nov. 30, as the Buffs and Utes will again close the season against each other after a one-year hiatus due to a schedule quirk.

(The opponent “misses” in conference play the next two seasons are California and Oregon State.)

“This is one of our most attractive home schedules in recent memory,” CU athletic director Rick George said.  “Opening with resumed rivalries against Nebraska and Air Force, closing with defending Pac-12 champion Washington with those three sandwiched around Arizona, USC and Stanford.  It makes for one exciting season ticket at Folsom Field.”

There is no FCS (Football Championship Series) opponent on the schedule for just the second time since 2011, and the 2019 home schedule rivals two of the previous best in CU annals, 1984 (Michigan State, UCLA, Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma) and 2003 (UCLA, Washington State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska).  A five game slate in 1970 also comes close (Penn State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas).

Television game selections and start times for the first three weeks of the season will be known by June 1, with all remaining games from Sept. 21 through the final week of the regular season to be made 12- or six-days in advance per contractual agreements with the Pac-12’s television partners, ESPN, FOX and the Pac-12 Networks.

Date                        Opponent                                                Site

Aug.     30      (Fri.) Colorado State                                      Denver

SEPT.     7      NEBRASKA                                                 BOULDER

SEPT.   14      AIR FORCE                                          BOULDER

Sept.    21      *at Arizona State                                           Tempe

Sept.    28      —BYE—

OCT.      5      *ARIZONA (FW)                                         BOULDER

Oct.     11      (Fri.) *at Oregon                                           Eugene

Oct.     19      *at Washington State                                  Pullman

OCT.    25      (Fri.) *SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA             BOULDER

Nov.       2      *at UCLA                                                    Pasadena

NOV.      9      *STANFORD (HC)                                       BOULDER

Nov.     16      —BYE—

NOV.    23      *WASHINGTON                               BOULDER

Nov.     30      *at Utah                                               Salt Lake City

Dec.       6      (Fri.) Pac-12 Championship Game          Santa Clara

Laviska Shenault named first-team All-Pac-12; six other Buffs receive honorable mention

From CUBuffs.com … Sophomore WR Laviska Shenault Jr. was named to the Pac-12 Football All-Conference First-Team, the league office announced Tuesday.

Additionally, LB Rick Gamboa, DT Mustafa Johnson, LB Nate Landman, RB Travon McMillian, OT Will Sherman and DB Evan Worthington were honorable mention selections.

Shenault is just the second offensive player and fifth overall to earn first-team honors since the Buffs joined the Pac-12 in 2011; WR Paul Richardson was a first-team selection in 2013.  DE Jimmie Gilbert and S Ryan Moeller (all-purpose player) were named first team in 2016 and last season CB Isaiah Oliver garnered the first-team honor.

Shenault finished the 2018 season with 86 receptions for 1,011 yards and six touchdowns.  He also added 17 rushes for 115 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.  Missing three-and-a-half games due to injury and playing the last three games of the season at less than 100 percent, he still managed to lead the nation in receiving at 9.6 receptions per game, exactly 1.0 reception per game more than any other player in the country.

Shenault was the only player through conference championship games nationally to have at least five touchdowns both receiving and rushing.  He’s the second player in CU history to accomplish that feat alongside WR Mike Pritchard, who did so in 1990 aided by playing the season-opening Tennessee game at tailback and rushing 20 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

Gamboa was second on the team in tackles in his senior season with 96, or 8.0 per game, and he also added an interception, two forced fumbles and four pass break-ups for the Buffs.  Gamboa started the final 49 games of his career finished with 388 tackles, sixth-most in CU history and most in more than a decade since Jordon Dizon recorded 440 from 2004-07.

Johnson had a breakout sophomore season after coming to CU from Modesto Junior College, finishing with 73 tackles and leading the Buffs with 8.5 sacks and 17.5 total tackles for loss.  He also led the Buffs with 16 quarterback pressures.  His 17.5 tackles for loss rank 10th most in CU history and it’s the most by a Buff in 25 seasons since Ron Wookfork had 18 in 1993.

Landman, another break-out sophomore for the Buffs, led the team in tackles with 123, or 10.3 per game, and also had 13 tackles for loss including four sacks and had another 12 tackles for no gain.  He had a knack for big plays with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and five pass break-ups.  He had two fourth-down stops and eight additional third down stops.

McMillian, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech, made the most of his decision to come to Colorado and help replace the void left by Phillip Lindsay.  He finished with the 17th 1,000-yard rushing season in program history with 201 rushes for 1,009 yards, averaging over 5.0 yards per carry.  He also had seven touchdowns.  Along with Lindsay’s two 1,000-yard seasons in 2016 and ’17, this is the second three-year stretch with 1,000 yard rushers in CU history and first since 1988-90.  Along with Shenault’s 1,000-yard receiving season, the two become the rusher and receiver to go over 1,000 yards in the same season in CU history.

Sherman, one of three freshman starters on the offensive line, started the final nine games and played every offensive snap at right tackle for the Buffs.  On the season, he played in 750 offensive plays, the second-most on the team, and had 14 knock down blocks, 11 touchdown blocks and 10 perfect plays on touchdown passes.

Worthington, a fifth-year senior from Aurora, Colo., closed out his senior season recording 48 tackles in nine games, an average of 5.3 per game, and had six pass break-ups and one interception.  In his career, he played in 33 games and had 162 tackles with four interceptions and 14 pass break-ups.

The Associated Press team is expected to be released later this week.

—–

December 3rd

… CU in a few minutes …

New head coach won’t find a defense without talent

From the Daily Camera … During his three years at Georgia, Mel Tucker has coached one of the best defensive teams in college football.

Although there’s been no official announcement or confirmation from Colorado, there were reports this weekend that Tucker, Georgia’s defensive coordinator, is soon to be named the head coach of the Buffaloes.

Should Tucker officially take over the Buffs, he won’t find the same caliber of athletes he worked with at Georgia, but he will inherit a talented crew of defenders.

Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot led a bit of a resurgence of the CU defense this past season, despite the Buffs’ final record of 5-7.

“We were a lot better,” said Eliot, who has been at CU for two seasons. “We made huge strides from year one to year two and I think that’s because we had guys that were in the system for two years and we also had some newcomers that were very talented that were major contributors. That’s a testament to the defensive staff’s recruiting last year.”

Continue reading story here

—–

November 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Should he stay or should he go? The Athletic weighs in on Steven Montez

From The Athletic … The​ 2018 NFL Draft​ will be​ remembered for the four​ quarterbacks drafted in​ the​ top-10, for the​ first time​ since​​ 1949.

The 2019 NFL Draft? Well, it might be remembered for the lackluster quarterback options in the early first round.

… None of the below quarterbacks have made an official decision. And until they do, we’re all making educated guesses on what choice they will make. Let’s examine each situation with the assistance of an NFL scout who provided input from his perspective …

Steven Montez, Redshirt Junior, Colorado

Reasons to leave: Montez isn’t NFL-ready yet, but several teams have made off-scheduled trips to Colorado this fall, specifically to see the quarterback. Montez is a terrific athlete for his size (6-5, 232) and the ball shoots off his hand, using a quick release to fire seeds downfield. The coaches who believed in him as a recruit are on their way out and the impending coaching hires might affect his decision.

Reasons to stay: Over the first five games of 2018 (all wins), Montez had 14 touchdowns, two interceptions and 77 percent completions. But over the final seven games (all losses), Montez had nine touchdowns, seven interceptions and only 58 percent completions. His tape shows a player not ready for the NFL game.

NFL Scout: “I don’t think his choice is much of a choice, right? Go back, get better, be a high pick next year. Sounds like he’s really considering coming out, but as long as that receiver (Laviska Shenault) is there, he’d be smart to stay because they’re both high-ceiling guys.”

Read full story here

—–

November 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buff players – even without a head coach – are working on getting ready for 2019 season

From the Daily Camera … As they typically do, Colorado receivers KD Nixon and Laviska Shenault showed up to CU Events Center on Tuesday night to support the women’s basketball team.

Just three days after the football season came to a close with a 33-21 loss at California, the sophomores were asked if they were taking some time off after the grind of the season.

“Oh no,” Nixon said. “We’re already working out for next season.”

While players still don’t know who will coach them next year — CU athletic director Rick George is continuing that search — those scheduled to return to the team are pressing on.

Posting back-to-back 5-7 seasons doesn’t sit well with CU’s players, and especially those from the 2017 class, which came in with a lot of hype two years ago.

“Our class, we trust Rick George,” Nixon said after the loss to Cal. “We know Rick George is going to make the best decision for us, but also the players that are coming in, we’re going to tell them straight up, ‘Hey, we’re about business this year. It’s time to work. It’s time to change the program. It’s time to take over.’

“There’s no other feeling you can say.”

Continue reading story here

D.J. Eliot:  “There is some excellent young talent and I think the future is really promising for the CU defense”

From CUBuffs.com …  In an up-and-down season overall, the Colorado defense proved to be a steady, much-improved unit in 2018.

The Buffs were among the Pac-12’s top four teams in several categories, despite being on the field for an inordinate amount of time. Colorado’s defense faced the third-most plays in the league this year, but still finished third in the conference in third-down defense and fourth in yards allowed per play.

“We had some great senior leaders and some really talented young guys,” defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said Tuesday. “The guys who had been in the system for a year did a great job in keeping the defense together and we had some new faces who showed up and made plays right away. There is some excellent young talent and I think the future is really promising for the Colorado defense.”

The Buffs made incremental progress in their scoring defense, yielding just more than 27 points per game. But even that number was inflated by offensive turnovers. Take away four touchdowns scored by the opposing defense, and CU’s defense actually yielded less than 25 points per game, which would have been sixth-best in the Pac-12 and in a virtual tie with Stanford.

“The thing that stuck out was how the guys played hard right to the end every game,” Eliot said. “The leadership was impressive, and some of those young guys were a big part of that. There will obviously be some new faces next year because of graduation and a chance for more young guys to play, but there are also a lot of really talented guys coming back.”

Continue reading story here

—–

November 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU assistants in limbo as coaching search continues 

From the Daily Camera … Throughout his career, Kurt Roper has worked with a lot of quarterbacks at several different schools.

After barely getting started with Colorado’s quarterbacks, Roper has no idea if he’ll get to continue working with the Buffaloes.

“Obviously it’s not easy,” he said after Saturday’s 33-21 loss to California, which ended the Buffaloes’ season at 5-7 (2-7 Pac-12).

CU athletic director Rick George fired head coach Mike MacIntyre on Nov. 18. While the rest of the staff — including Roper — is still employed by the Buffs, there is plenty of uncertainty about their futures.

Roper, hired as quarterbacks coach in January, took over as interim head coach last week but isn’t sure if he’ll be looking for another job in the next few weeks.

“It’s kind of the lifestyle we chose, right?” he said. “While it’s not easy and we all would like to be someplace for 30 years, it just doesn’t work that way.

“There’s nothing easy about it. This is a great place. The University of Colorado, like Rick George said, is a special place. It’s a special university with a great history and this can be a destination job for anybody.”

Continue reading story here

—–

November 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Steven Montez pondering NFL options

From the Daily Camera … A year from now, Steven Montez could be putting his name atop the Colorado record book in just about every major passing category.

During the next few weeks, however, Montez has to decide if he wants to chase records — and a bowl game appearance — or his dream of playing in the National Football League.

Following Colorado’s 33-21 loss to California in the season finale on Saturday in Berkeley, Calif., the talented junior quarterback said he’s not sure what he’ll decide to do next season.

“That’s a decision I’m going to have to have with my family and, to be honest, I don’t think right now is the time to make the decision,” he said after an emotional night when the Buffaloes (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12) lost for the seventh straight week to finish out of contention for a bowl berth. “I think that’s going to come later on. We’ll see what happens.”

… Asked if Kurt Roper’s status will play into his decision to return or leave, Montez said, “We kind of have to see where the cards fall and then we’ll make our decision after that.”

Continue reading story here

Neill Woelk’s Ten Takeaways from 2018 season

From CUBuffs.com …  For Colorado, the 2019 football season began Sunday.

Yes, 2018 is still fresh in everyone’s mind. A year that began with a bang ended with a thud Saturday night, a 33-21 loss at Cal the culmination of a painful stretch that left players, coaches and fans in various states of disbelief.

But now, CU officials are in the process of finding a new head coach, a duty CU has undertaken four times in the last 20 years and three times since 2005.

This time around, CU Athletic Director Rick George will have the responsibility of trying to find the right man for the job.

The just-completed 2018 season was no doubt a memorable one, albeit not for all the right reasons. The Buffs began the year with five straight wins, starting with back-to-back victories over rivals Colorado State and Nebraska. Then came a win over New Hampshire, then Pac-12 victories over UCLA and Arizona State and a top-20 ranking.

Colorado hopes were sky high — and then the sky fell in.

Piece by piece, week by week, the Buffs’ season began to crumble as the losses mounted, and they came in all varieties. Close losses, blowout losses and second-half collapses were all part of a seven-game losing streak. Each week held the promise of bowl eligibility, and each week the promise went unfulfilled, as the Buffs once again ended up in the Pac-12 South basement. There were casualties along the way, including the dismissal of head coach Mike MacIntyre with one week to go in the season.

But the 2019 season has started, and George — a man who once worked for legendary CU coach Bill McCartney — will hire his first football coach at Colorado. With that in mind, we present our weekly 10 Takeaways, modified to look back at the 2018 season, as well as what is ahead for the Buffaloes in 2019:

Continue reading story here

—–

November 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Coaching Carousel: Current count – 12 openings; 6 in Power Five Conferences (one filled)

Team2018 Coach2019 Coach
Bowling GreenMike Jinks
Central MichiganJohn Bonamego
CharlotteBrad Lambert
ColoradoMike MacIntyre
KansasDavid BeatyLes Miles
LouisvilleBobby Petrino
MarylandDJ Durkin
North CarolinaLarry Fedora
Texas StateEverett Withers
Texas TechKliff Kingsbury
UMassMark Whipple
Western KentuckyMike Sanford

Washington back into top ten in national polls after Apple Cup victory over Washington State

From CBS Sports … As one would expect, Ohio State was among the biggest winners in the newest Associated Press Top 25 following its 62-39 victory over Michigan on Saturday. The Buckeyes jumped four spots up to No. 6 after playing their best game of the season. With the College Football Playoff Rankings show set for Tuesday, the upcoming week will undoubtedly focus on whether Oklahoma or Ohio State could grab the No. 4 spot on Selection Sunday. Ohio State will play No. 21 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game next Saturday.

Michigan, meanwhile, dropped four spots to No. 8, allowing Georgia to move up to No. 4 and Oklahoma rounds out the top five. LSU and Washington State, two teams tied at No. 12, both fell out of the top 10 following Week 13 losses. The Cougars fell to Washington in the Apple Cup while LSU couldn’t outlast Texas A&M in a wild seven-overtime game. Washington, one of Week 13’s biggest risers, climbed back into the top 10.

Associated Press poll: 

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Ohio State
7. UCF
8. Michigan
9. Texas
10. Washington … up six spots from last week
11. Florida
12. Washington State … down five spots from last week
12. LSU
14. Penn State
15. West Virginia
16. Kentucky
17. Utah … up one spot from last week
18. Syracuse
19. Boise State
20. Mississippi State
21. Northwestern
22. Texas A&M
23. Army West Point
24. Iowa State
25. Fresno State

Others Receiving Votes: Utah State (10-2) 92; Missouri (8-4) 88; NC State (8-3) 39; Cincinnati (10-2) 33; Stanford (7-4) 10; Iowa (8-4) 4; Oregon (8-4) 1; Appalachian State (9-2) 1; Buffalo (10-2) 1

USA Today / Coaches’ poll:

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Notre Dame
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Ohio State
7. UCF
8. Michigan
9. Texas
10. Florida
11. Washington … up five spots from last week
12. Penn State
13. Washington State … down six spots from last week 
14. LSU
15. Kentucky
16. West Virginia
17. Utah … same spot as last week
18. Syracuse
19. Mississippi State
20. Boise State
21. Northwestern
22. Texas A&M
23. Fresno State
24. Utah State
25. Army West Point

Others Receiving Votes: Iowa State (7-4) 103; Cincinnati (10-2) 82; NC State (8-3) 55; Missouri (8-4) 33; Iowa (8-4) 20; Appalachian State (9-2) 14; Pittsburgh (7-5) 13; Memphis (8-4) 6; UAB (9-3) 4; Oregon (8-4) 3; Stanford (7-4) 3; Buffalo (10-2) 3; Wisconsin (7-5) 1; California (7-4) 1; Georgia Southern (9-3) 1

McMillian and Shenault reflect on their record-setting season

From the Daily Camera … Receiver Laviska Shenault and running back Travon McMillian both eclipsed the 1,000-yard marks for the season. It’s the first time in program history that CU had a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver in the same season.

“It was fun to watch them all year long,” CU interim head coach Kurt Roper said. “I think they have a lot football left in front of them.”

McMillian rushed for 58 yards on 21 carries and finished his season with 1,009 yards.

“I just think it’s a pretty good deal,” McMillian said of the milestone. “I’m on my way (to the NFL), so this guy (Shenault) is coming back next year, so he’s going to have to do his thing again.”

Shenault, meanwhile, caught seven passes for 65 yards against the Bears.

The sophomore finished his season with 86 catches for 1,011 yards.

“It’s definitely a blessing, growing up seeing all the college receivers or NFL receivers get 1,000 yard seasons, and now I’m leading my own life of getting a 1,000-yard season,” he said.

… Shenault’s 86 catches rank third in CU history for a single-season, and his yardage total ranks ninth. Shenault’s numbers are even more impressive because he missed three full games with a toe injury.

Continue reading story here

—–

28 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

  1. Ostensibly, mister Kroll fails to equate investment in athletics with financial returns. A successful football program brings in a hell of a lot more revenue than the $14.75m cost. Not to mention the ridiculous, non sequitur comment somehow equating this to curing cancer is equally idiotic. Let’s see how people like Jack Kroll would fare without sports revenue…probably not have a job. What a joke.

  2. Evans flips. We are finding out who the commits we don’t really need are. He cites the coaching change. The rug has been pulled out of him twice he whines. He needs attention more and maybe another daddy it sounds like.
    I try and put myself in a commit’s shoes during this McIntyre mess. I would have flipped if they didn’t fire him.

    1. Note: Any comment from WacMac yet? Other coaches fired have stepped up.
      Note 2: Hey earache, maybe you can use your connections email him and ask him to show us who he is and step out from behind the COY awards.

  3. It appears to me losing the last 7 straight including one to to the worst team in the conference after leading by 30 and not making it to bowl game isnt “just cause.” What the heck is “just cause?” anything other than being Tumpkin or worse? How about coddling Tumpkin? or has that ship sailed?

  4. “Tuck em up…..Tuck em up……..real tight.” Then repeat again, again and again…. ‘S almost a rallying cry for the Cheer squad. Leave it to VK to come up with a battle cry .

    Can’t wait to see what’s around the corner…. Luv “Tuck em up.” !!! – As far as Coach Tuck, I’ll reserve any opinions until after the second season and the second season of recruiting.

    It’s a wait and see for me. Gonna be interesting watch it unfold. Gotta show support tho’ and give the boy a chance. I’m all in. Trust in RG.

  5. One of the biggest limiting factors in recruiting at Boulder that is known but not discussed enough is the fact that CU and Boulder are known as challenging environments for minorities in general, let alone African-Americans on scholarship, given the demographics of the city and school ($$). Both Macs overcame this to varying degrees primarily by their faith-based recruiting (let’s also be real, w/ MAC1.0 we were on our way to becoming a football-first school, w/all the glory and gore that goes w/that). Therefore very pleased that Coach Tucker has been brought on board to lead the young, student-athletes of our football program.

    Welcome Coach Tucker, wishing you the very best!!
    Go Buffs

    1. That’s absolutely a hurdle, Irie.

      Coming from Pullman WA for most of my youth, where we had not the most diverse population, I was always struck by how similar Boulder was in that regard, even w/ Denver just down the road.

      And yes, having a black head coach sends a great message, for that purpose, and many others. It’s pretty mind-boggling how few there really are, still. Glad to see that tide is turning though, at CU and elsewhere.

      Hey, maybe Mel can be the first to win a natty, and at CU no less? Would that be the case? I’m not sure, but seems like it in my foggy memory (Saban, Saban, Saban, another white guy, Saban, Saban…. etc.).

      Go Buffs.

      1. I’m happy Tucker got the nod b/c I think he and Lake were the best candidates that were apparently in the running, that had any shot of actually wanting to come to CU (Day and Holgorson were never coming to CU; and honestly, I like Lake and Tucker more than Day anyway).

        Go Buffs.

  6. Very smooth ain’t he.
    Committed to be great. Not committed to be midland to mediocre.

    Buffs.

    Note: The eyes…………………it’s always the eyes.

  7. Preliminary prediction for the Buffs 3 and 9 unless something drastic happens. The three wins should be – Colorado St – Air Force – Arizona.

    1. Wow.

      CSU is reportedly going to be much improved next year. Stabilized the HC position which according to some Buff Fanatic is the most important item in digging yourself out of the cellar.

      Predictions from a friend cause you know I don’t predict
      Aug. 30 (Fri.) Colorado State Denver WIN
      SEPT. 7 NEBRASKA BOULDER LOSS
      SEPT. 14 AIR FORCE BOULDER WIN
      Sept. 21 *at Arizona State Tempe WIN
      Sept. 28 —BYE—
      OCT. 5 *ARIZONA (FW) BOULDER WIN
      Oct. 11 (Fri.) *at Oregon Eugene WIN
      Oct. 19 *at Washington State Pullman LOSS
      OCT. 25 (Fri.) *SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BOULDER WIN
      Nov. 2 *at UCLA Pasadena WIN
      NOV. 9 *STANFORD (HC) BOULDER WIN
      Nov. 16 —BYE—
      NOV. 23 *WASHINGTON BOULDER WIN

      Nov. 30 *at Utah Salt Lake City LOSS

      Dec. 6 (Fri.) Pac-12 Championship Game Santa Clara

      Note: Assuming the TuckMeister is the new HC

      Note 2: No note

        1. AZ AZ AZ…………… I hang out with all classes. Hence replying to you eh?

          As RG says, it is an intriguing home schedule.

          But Iike next years maybe even better.. the second year of Tuck em up, Tuck em up, Go CU

          Fresno
          ASU
          Oregon
          UCLA
          WSU
          Utah

          and 2021
          umass
          A&M
          Minnesota
          Arizona
          OSU
          USC
          Washington

          Whoa is that 7 home games. Holy Moly eh????

          Anyway Go Buffs.

          Note: Any comment from WacMac yet? Other coaches fired have stepped up.
          Note 2: Hey earache, maybe you can use your connections email him and ask him to show us who he is and step out from behind the COY awards.
          Note 3: Mein Gott what a great 3 year schedule
          Note 4: Whoa #2 if Leavitt gets the KSU job ……2027 KSU at Folsom. Sheesh I am outa control this early.

      1. VK I like your friends prediction better than mine. But the pessimist in me is at low tide right now. Maybe by the Spring game my optimism and hope will rise.

  8. Yo Stuart,

    MacIntyre and his offensive posse (Bernardi, Adams, and Roper) need to head back to Group of Five. None of the posse deserve to be retained by the new coach. Some, like Montez, are pushing for Roper to stay. But if you look at the numbers for ’18 and ’17 for Montez, they are almost identical. In the long run he did not improve at all except for big numbers against lousy teams.

    And, as for Montez, there have been lots of big, strong, mobile quarterbacks who accomplished a lot more than Montez in college who tried to leave early and ended up never making a team. My advice to him is to learn from the new QB coach and get his game in order. As Bill Parcells liked to say, “Potential means you haven’t done anything yet.” It’s not like Montez was playing lights out for the year and the Buffs lost because of bad defense. It was just the opposite. Stay in school Steven and get your degree. If you think the d-line guys in college are good, wait until you find out how good the NFL guys are.

    Darrin Chiaverini needs to learn by the side of a really good offensive coordinator, and learn how to recruit the Hogs up front. Not sure if he will be able to do it here. He is a good recruiter but not yet ready to be OC or HC.

    Darian Hagan keeps coaching guys who rush for 1000 yards. Stewart, Charles, Lindsay and now McMillian. Imagine what those guys could have done with good offensive lines and imaginative play calling. I’m sure that DH will remain at CU, but it will be up to the new coach to determine if he stays on the sideline.

    Mark / Boulderdevil / Golden Buffs

    1. Golden Buff, as the year wore on and the OLine never seemed to improve Montez started leaving the pocket earlier and earlier on the pass plays. I had hoped that even though the protection was pretty spotty that Roper would have emphasized that he at least try and remain longer in the pocket.

      The other thing that as the pressure became more intense was that this offense never put him under center and the handoffs to the RB always looked like slow developing plays rather then have the RB at times lined up behind the QB.

      Yes, Darian Hagan has had some 1000 yd. rushers but the last 2 (Lindsay & McMillian) received almost all the carries. I’m not a big favorite of RB by committee, but there were times this year that they could have used a guy like Bisharat for short yardage, rather then Kyle Evans. Also it seems that they gave up totally on Fontenot for some outside speed and maybe a flat pass or two. Rather unimaginative Offense it seemed to me. Of course it is easy for me and others to criticize when one observes the lousy season as it turned out.

    2. Well said, Golden Buffs. I thought Roper was the answer–until the final seven games. And then when Noyer and Lytle came in? I’ve never seen backup quarterbacks so ill-prepared at the D1 level. What should happen instead? See Utah.

      Keep Hagan, Drake, Chev (if he’s willing to focus on wide receivers, recruiting, and somehow help additionally with offense without being the main coordinator). Wilson sounds like a keeper as well. Not sure what to think about Eliot. The defense played hard, for sure, most every game, but they didn’t play enough smart football. How many times did our d-backs back peddle 10 yards away from an opposing wide receiver only to have that receiver stop after 7 yards and find the ball easily placed in their chest for at least a 7-10 yard gain? It happened a dozen or more times in the second half of the OSU game alone. Unacceptable!

  9. I don’t see Montez being ready for the onslaught of the NFL yet. Everyone knows he has the physical tools but mentally I think he needs more college time.

  10. Hey Stu,

    Reading the legacy post again.

    Curious.

    When did you know? Really know? Earache still doesn’t know.

    Just wondering. Or asking for a fan.

    2019……………..The year of the NEW mighty buffalo eh? The new legacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *