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Colorado Daily – Spring Practices

April 30th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU one of only 15 FBS teams without an FCS team on its 2019 schedule

From FBSchedules.com … Of the 49 Power 5 vs. FCS matchups which occurred in 2018 only one resulted in a loss for the bigger school. That’s a 98% success rate for the big boys.

Compare that to the 76-17 (82%) record Power 5 teams compiled vs. Group of 5 programs during the 2018 regular season.

It amounts to Power programs being 16% more likely to beat an FCS opponent than a team from a Group of 5 conference.

It’s a big deal when that extra win can equal bowl eligibility.

In 2019, there are only 15 Power 5 teams – or 23% of the field – that won’t play an FCS opponent. That’s down one from the 16 teams who didn’t do so last season.

By conference, it’s ten Big Ten members, four from the Pac-12, and just a single Big 12 school. That leaves the ACC and SEC, where 100% of each conference has an FCS foe scheduled.

It’s yet another very subtle, but potentially meaningful, scheduling caveat.

From the Pac-12 … 

Colorado

Non-conference schedule: Colorado State (in Denver, CO), Nebraska, Air Force

This is the first season since 2014 that Colorado hasn’t had an FCS opponent on its slate. The Buffs haven’t fallen to such a foe since 2012 when they were edged 30-28 by Sacramento State on their way to a 1-11 finish.

Stanford

Non-conference schedule: Northwestern, at UCF, Notre Dame  

Stanford has only played an FCS opponent four times since 2000; in 2005, 2010, 2014, and in 2018. The sole loss came vs. UC Davis in 2005, a 5-6 campaign in the first year of the short-lived Walt Harris era.

UCLA

Non-conference schedule: at Cincinnati, San Diego State,  Oklahoma

UCLA is one of only two schools on our list that simply does not book dates with FCS opponents. The last time the Bruins played a team considered a non-major at game time was in 1954 when they opened with a 67-0 win over San Diego Navy. Prior to that, it was three such contests in 1945; wins over San Diego Navy and Pacific and a 13-6 loss to St. Mary’s (California) Pre-Flight.

USC

Non-conference schedule: Fresno State, at BYU, at Notre Dame

Like UCLA, USC doesn’t schedule FCS foes. Also like the Bruins, the Trojans’ most recent game vs. a non-major came in the 1950’s against San Diego Navy. USC’s clash came two years earlier, in 1952, resulting in a 20-6 win. The most recent loss also came in 1945, a 33-6 upset at the hands of San Diego Navy, which it also fell to in 1943.

Read full story here

CBS Top 100 players for 2020 NFL Draft includes three Buffs

From CBS Sports … As of now, Tua Tagovailoa is the prized prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft class.

The surgical lefty from Alabama dazzled in his debut season as (essentially) the full-time starter for the Crimson Tide. He completed 69% of his passes at 11.2 yards per attempt with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions, two of which came in the national title game loss to Clemson.

… Why’s he ahead of Justin Herbert? Good question. Tua was more poised and more accurate than the Oregon quarterback — who’s quite the prospect himself — last season.

Tagovailoa’s relatively bad effort in the title-game drubbing at the hands of Clemson was mildly concerning, yet Tagovailoa looks like the cleanest quarterback prospect in this class ahead of the 2019 college football season. And the hashtag that fans of teams vying for his services can use couldn’t be more straight forward — #TankForTua.

Here’s an early look at my top 100 players for the 2020 NFL Draft.

From the Pac-12 (including eight players from Oregon!?!) … 

5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

9. Trey Adams, OT, Washington

10. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

12. Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon

19. Walker Little, OT, Stanford

21. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

33. Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford

38. K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford

39. Evan Weaver, LB, California

43. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

45. Nick Harris, C, Washington

51. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

55. Steven Montez, QB, Colorado

59. Shane Lemieux, OL, Oregon

66. Juwan Johnson, WR, Oregon

67. Mustafa Johnson, DL, Colorado

75. Thomas Graham, CB, Oregon

77. Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon

84. Colin Schooler, LB, Arizona

87. Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State

91. Jake Hanson, OC, Oregon

98. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

100. Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA

Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers on Spring game: “Too many points … we’ll figure it out”

From the Daily Camera … The list of players projected to help the Colorado defense next season that weren’t available for Saturday’s spring football game is a long one.

Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers wasn’t about to make excuses, however.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You have to go play with what you’ve got. We’re going to play with the best players that we can and we’re going to play with whatever number we’ve got and we’ll figure it out.”

The CU offense put 76 points on the board during the Black & Gold game, and Summers’ initial reaction was simply, “Too many points.”

CU played the spring game without its best defensive lineman, Mustafa Johnson, who wore a walking boot after being injured about a week earlier. Six other defensive linemen, including Auburn graduate transfer Jaunta’vius Johnson, are expected to join the team this summer.

Continue reading story here

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April 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Neill Woelk: CU culture change well underway under Mel Tucker

From CUBuffs.com … Technically, the Mel Tucker era at Colorado is now barely five months old.

But while the Buffaloes have yet to play a game, while the first session of spring ball is just now completed, this much we already know: the landscape of Colorado football has undergone a significant change.

It’s not about Xs and Os. While the new offense and defense we saw on display in Saturday’s spring finale at Folsom Field are no doubt different from past years, they are not shifts of epic proportion.

But strikingly different are the attitude and environment Tucker and his new staff have instilled.

The culture. It is something Tucker has talked about consistently since his arrival and something he has worked steadily to embed in the Buffaloes.

It has no doubt sunk in.

“I think guys are really starting to understand how he is as a person and what he expects of us,” quarterback Steven Montez said after Saturday’s spring game. “I think guys are really starting to find that out — some the easy way, some the hard way.”

Indeed, Tucker has established a standard he expects his players to meet. The opportunity to play football at the Division I level is a privilege, not an entitlement, and he expects them to act accordingly.

Continue reading story here

Buffs depending on DT Jalen Sami (even though he hasn’t played a game since 2016)

From the Daily Camera … At the time that he signed his letter of intent with the Colorado football team in the spring of 2017, Jalen Sami knew it would be a while before he played another football game.

By now, the 6-foot-6, 320-pound defensive lineman is a bit anxious. Sami hasn’t played a game since Nov. 12, 2016, his final game at Vista Ridge High School.

“I’m pretty ready,” he said. “I just want to play. I have to take each practice and keep working so I can come out well prepared and just play.”

This spring, Sami has put himself in position to play a key role on the Buffs’ defensive line. After delaying his enrollment until January 2018, Sami missed last season with a knee injury. Now a redshirt freshman, he is nearly 50 pounds lighter than when he first came to CU, and he’s impressed his coaches.

“He’s a big body and he’s hard to move and it seems like he’s catching on the technique we want him to play,” head coach Mel Tucker said earlier this spring. “He’s doing a better job with his pad level, doing a better job using his hands and being able to sustain throughout the practice. He’s gotten better.”

Continue reading story here

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April 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Steven Montez: “It’s just God, he just doesn’t want me to have a good spring game, I guess”

From the Daily Camera … There’s a lot of change going on with the Colorado football team this winter, but Steven Montez kept one thing consistent: his struggles in spring games.

“Good and bad,” the senior quarterback said of his performance Saturday at Folsom Field. “That’s how every spring game I’ve had has been. It’s been not too great, not God-awful, but not really good.”

Montez completed 23-of-44 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on Saturday.

A two-year starter who typically plays well on game days, Montez has had a weird history in spring games. This is the fourth time in his career he’s been the top quarterback for the spring game, but he’s thrown six career interceptions in these games, with at least one each year.

“It’s just God, he just doesn’t want me to have a good spring game, I guess,” Montez said. “I studied for it. For some reason, I just struggle. It might have something to do with the playbook being condensed, but I’m not going to sit up here and make excuses.

“I just have to go watch film and see what my decisions were. I know I didn’t make good decisions there toward the end, but we’ll clean them up next time.”

From the Daily Camera

Help on the way – list of players who sat out Spring game

From the Daily Camera … Several players did not participate in the spring game because of injuries, including receiver Laviska Shenault; tight ends Beau Bisharat and Jared Poplawski; offensive linemen Colby Pursell and Jake Moretti; defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson; and defensive backs Aaron Maddox, Hasaan Hypolite and Chris Miller. … Receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, who called the offense last year, got a chance to call plays for the Gold team, helping them to 536 yards and 55 points. Johnson will call plays during the season. … The 55 points by the Gold team is the second-most by one side in CU spring game history. In 2002, the offense defeated the defense, 59-49, using a different type of scoring system. … CU has handed out post-spring awards since 1983, but Tucker and his staff has decided to do away with those awards this year. This is just the fourth time since 1983 that CU hasn’t done post-spring awards (also 1998, 2006 and 2012). … Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders attended the game.

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April 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU (finally) building some depth at inside linebacker positions

From the Daily Camera … During his first two years with the Colorado football team, inside linebackers coach Ross Els has had talented and experienced starters to put on the field.

Els hasn’t had a lot of depth at the position, however. He’s hoping that will change this year.

“I’ve been saying this for the last two years, but I don’t want to play two backers the whole game,” Els said. “That’s what we’ve had to do because of a lack of depth. Hopefully we can roll guys in so we don’t have to play 80 snaps a game.”

Junior Nate Landman, one of the top inside linebackers in the Pac-12, leads the group and he’s the only one on the team with much experience at the position. Els has been encouraged by the development of the others this spring, however.

Sophomore Jonathan Van Diest and junior Akil Jones have spent the spring splitting time with the No. 1 defense. Sophomore Chase Newman and freshman Ray Robinson have spent some time with the second team. For now, Els said, there’s not a lot of separation among that group, but the talent is evident.

Continue reading story here

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April 26th

... CU in a few minutes …

In response to New York Times articles, CU releases Mental Health Report

After a pair of scathing New York Times stories, “A Giant Laid Low by Too Many Blows to the Head” and At Colorado, a Breach in Football’s Wall“, stories which were nominally about head trauma in college football as a whole, but took the University of of Colorado to task specifically, the University of Colorado has issued the following: 

Learn About Our Mental Health, Safety, Academic, Performance and Nutrition Programs

With the 2018-19 academic year coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you several of our programs and initiatives we have undertaken in the athletic department. These are in the areas of mental health, student-athlete safety, academics, health, performance and nutrition.

We are at the forefront of many of these initiatives, and we are excited about expanding on these initiatives in the future.

Psychological Health & Performance (PHP)
The mission of CU’s PHP contributes to overall student-athlete health and performance by inspiring student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically and personally.  This is accomplished through individual, group, and team interactions that encourage psychological health while challenging personal growth.

Seven years ago, we hired a clinical psychologist in athletics; we were one of the first to do so, and in recent years this program has expanded to be one of the top mental health programs in the nation – something we are extremely engaged in and proud of.  There are now two full-time staff members on staff and we are looking to expand in the near future. The staff coordinates the following:

  • Clinical Service ProvisionOur counselors see approximately 30-40 student-athletes a week, depending on the time of year, as that number often fluctuates in either direction; we work to get those who request counseling in within 24 hours (and usually sooner).  Approximately 75-80 percent of student-athletes take advantage of this service during their time at CU.  We consult with athletic trainers, strength & conditioning coaches, sport coaches, administrators, academic staff and dietitians to provide well-rounded support for our student-athletes.
  • Bolder Buffs: We have at least one representative from each CU team in the Bolder Buffs group (the total is approximately 25 student-athletes). The group was created by our student-athletes to discuss and support mental health issues that arise amongst their own, hold meetings once a month and have trainings over the summer.  We also have launched a series of educational materials as an initiative in the area of coach education.
  • NewsletterThe staff produces via Email (PDF) the Mental Health Monthly – a topic-based newsletter for student-athletes, staff, and coaches.
  • Partnerships: We have partnerships with the National Mental Health Innovation Center for virtual reality headsets for relaxation and meditation, and with CU’s School of Medicine Pre-Doctoral Internship Program that will place an intern (psychology trainee) in our office.

Four areas in our department comprise our Health and Performance initiative: Psychological Health and Performance (PHP), Strength and Conditioning, Performance Nutrition and Sports Medicine.  Information is collected and shared among all four groups to create a “Buff Profile” on each student-athlete, with that profile updated twice annually to track changes.

Psychological Health and Performance

  • In addition to the above, PHP coordinates with the student-athletes to do a number of baseline surveys when they first come onto campus.  Specific screens are reintroduced throughout their careers, including but not limited to anxiety, depression and general well-being.
  • A Mental Health Profile (MHP) is created based on screen results.  Injury data and MHP are run through an analytics platform to look for correlations.
  • Implementing a “Telemedicine” portal, where student-athletes would be able to have appointments with psychiatrists (it is historically difficult to see a psychiatrist in town).

Continue reading story here

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April 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Right after the Spring Game, CU coaches will hit the recruiting trail

From CUBuffs.com … After the Buffs wrap up spring ball this weekend, players will concentrate on wrapping up the academic year, with finals immediately ahead. After that, they will have a short break before returning for summer school and the summer conditioning programs.

Coaches, meanwhile, will hit the recruiting trail.

“We have our recruiting staff in place, we have our targets, we’ve done our evaluations,” Tucker said. “We know exactly where we need to go, who we need to see, when we need to see them. We’re ready to hit the road.”

Tucker said the reaction to CU’s new coaching staff has been good — but it has also included a “show-me” philosophy.

“Recruits are waiting to see what we do,” he said. “They’re intrigued, they’re excited, they’re interested. But it’s a ‘show-me’ situation. ‘Let’s see what these guys are all about.’

“So it’s how we build relationships, how diligent we are in our recruiting process, staying in touch with guys, recruiting guys on a consistent basis, what we do when they come on unofficial visits and official visits, what they see. Then, obviously, how we play. The brand of football we play in the fall is going to have a lot to do with how our recruiting goes.”

Read full story here

Cornerback Mehki Blackmon “a breath of fresh air” 

From the Daily Camera … Cornerbacks coach Travares Tillman is still working to find consistency with his group, but one player who has stood out this spring is junior Mehki Blackmon.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air,” Tillman said of Blackmon, who has been playing cornerback and Star this spring.

Listed at 6-feet, 160 pounds, Blackmon came to CU as a junior college transfer last year and figured to redshirt. When injuries hit the cornerback position, however, he got onto the field, playing 172 snaps and recording three pass breakups.

Blackmon is still undersized, but making up for it in other ways as he learns the Buffs’ defense.

“He’s a little guy,” Tillman said. “We wish he would get a few more pounds on him, but he’s got this offseason to do that. I don’t think he’ll lose any of his quickness (with extra weight). We’re looking forward to getting him in the summer program and beefing him up a little bit and having him come out and have a good year this year.

“He’s quick. He has a lot of little things that he does that he can get himself in good position. He has a knack to go up and get the ball, as well.”

Read full story here

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April 24th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Wide receiver Daniel Arias fighting for playing time despite the recent death of his father

From the Daily Camera …Daniel Arias was not close with his father and had not seen him in years, but that didn’t make the final goodbye any less painful.

In fact, when Arias took a quick leave from Colorado spring football practices earlier this month to attend his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic, a flood of emotions hit the 20-year-old.

“When I saw him in the coffin, that was the first time in like 12 years, 13 years,” Arias said. “It was rough. We weren’t too close, but just all the memories and all that stuff (from the past) just filled my heart with anger and confusion. It hurt really bad because now it’s too late to ask him why.”

Arias may never get the answers he wants to some questions, but he’s driven by his past. His father’s passing, which came amid the daily grind of trying to earn his spot in the lineup as a talented, young receiver, has served as a reminder that he can’t stop pushing.

Continue reading story here

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April 23rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

247 Sports: Laviska Shenault best wide receiver in the Pac-12 – No. 6 in the nation

From 247 Sports … Perhaps the most talent-rich position in the 2020 NFL Draft, prepare for a ton of big plays this season in college football from a bevy of big play-ready wide receivers.

Most of the elites go several players deep at the pass-catcher spot, bu there’s a few under-the-radar guys nationally who could emerge as potential early-round options with impressive campaigns.

Blessed are the teams with size and athleticism on the outside, necessities in today’s changing philosophies defensively.

What goes into creating a subjective 25-player projection five months out from kickoff? This list is determined by a variety of factors including projected numbers relative to team success, impact in respective conferences, NFL probability and expected development from last season to now. There will be snubs and players ranked in spots you don’t agree with, which is part of what makes every preseason power ranking entertaining to discuss.

Here’s a look at college football’s Top 25 pass-catchers exiting spring in anticipation of the 2019 season:

From the Pac-12: 

Just missed the cut: Isaiah Hodgins; USC …

21. Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC … The alpha in USC’s talented core of wideouts, Amon-Ra St. Brown had a terrific spring learning Graham Harrell’s new Air Raid set. One of the Trojans’ most consistent weapons as a freshman last season, his game should go to another level with more freedom at the position, benefiting from hot routes and freelancing a bit in USC’s updated scheme. His well-established chemistry with quarterback JT Daniels may blossom into the top QB-WR punch in the Pac-12.

6. Laviska Shenault, Colorado … 2018 stats: 86 catches, 1,011 yards, 6 touchdowns; 5 rushing touchdowns

The skinny: If he played for a team with a bigger spotlight, Shenault would be a household name nationally heading into the 2019 season. A bulldozer at 6-2, 220 pounds, Shenault was used in red zone situations last season and he didn’t disappoint, scoring five times on the ground for the Buffaloes. The versatile hybrid playmaker didn’t play a full season (nine games), helped Colorado to a 5-0 start as a breakout player in the Pac-12. He caught 10 or more passes five times and surpassed the century mark in each of those contests. He’s a big play waiting to happen and one of the best individual performers out West.

Read full list here

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April 22nd 

… CU in a few minutes …

Tucker: Spring game – “It’s going to be game-like”

From CUBuffs.com … The Buffs will practice again Wednesday, then play the spring game Saturday. Tucker said Monday he still wants to play a “game” format as much as possible, although it could be limited because of a lack of depth at some positions. Coaches will split the team up into two equal squads.

“It will be game-like if at all possible,” Tucker said. “We’ll probably have a running clock except for the last four minutes of each half. We’ll make sure those guys go into two-minute mode offensively. In general it’s going to be game-like.”

Player Notes from Monday’s practice

From CUBuffs.com … The Buffs got in plenty of situational work in a full-pads practice Monday, including some two-minute and red zone work. The Buffs also continue to work regularly on special teams each day. …

Quarterback Steven Montez connected on a couple of long balls Monday, including a toss to K.D. Nixon. … Sophomore Frank Fillip, who has been playing right tackle, got some snaps at left tackle Monday while Jack Shutack moved over from guard to get some time at right tackle. … Sophomore Jonathan Van Diest made some nice plays in the run game at inside linebacker. … “Star” back Davion Taylor also had a couple of stops behind the line of scrimmage. … Dante Sparaco has been lining up on the defensive line. … Getting some regular snaps with the No. 2 defense on the interior have been Nico Magri and Melekiola Finau. … Freshman Casey Roddick continues to show flashes at guard. … Trey Udoffia, a former cornerback, is getting some work with the No. 1 defense at safety.

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April 21st

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU picks up a preferred walk-on at outside linebacker, Steele Dubar

Steele Dubar, a 6’0″, 200-pound outside linebacker from Santa Ana, California, has sent out a tweet that he has committed to the University of Colorado.

A member of the Recruiting Class of 2019, Dubar is rated as a two-star prospect by 247 Sports. Rivals bio  247 Sports bio

Dubar had an offer from Nevada, but chose to pay his own way to play at Colorado this fall. As is the case with all incoming freshmen, Dubar will have five years to play four at Colorado, but as a preferred walk-on, does not count against CU’s mandated maximum of 85 scholarship players.

Dubar played for Mater Dei, which finished last season ranked by Xcellent as the No. 1 high school team, not only in California, but in the entire nation. Last season, Dubar finished with 67 tackles (37 solo), 11 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

While still small for the position, Dubar has played for a big time prep power, and can grow into the position. He could be a special teams contributor early on, and may earn a scholarship at CU before he is done.

Dubar joins four-star wide receiver prospect Braedin Huffman-Dixon, a teammate of Dubar’s at Mater Dei, who signed with the Buffs in December.

Here is a link to Dubar’s Hudl.com highlights.

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April 20th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Nate Landman: “I love being a leader on this team”

From the CU Independent … Seemingly out of nowhere, Colorado Buffaloes inside linebacker Nate Landman arrived on the scene at the University of Colorado last season, thrusting himself into college football’s national spotlight along the way. The then-sophomore turned heads early, earning his first career start during last season’s Rocky Mountain Showdown against intrastate rival Colorado State Rams, under the bright lights of the 76,125 capacity-holding Mile High Stadium, no less.

The inside linebacker recorded 16 tackles and an interception in his first career start while at Mile High, helping the Buffs rout the Rams, 45-13. Landman’s 16 tackles during his first start set a new school record for the most in a player’s debut.

Landman’s lore only continued from there.

After being named the Pac-12 Conference’s defensive player of the week in light of his raucous performance against the Rams, the sophomore rising star went into Nebraska the very next week and recorded 13 more tackles and another interception en route to helping Colorado upset the Cornhuskers 33-28.

Following that performance, Landman earned Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honors.

By halfway through that Nebraska game last season, the CU sophomore had already doubled his tackle total from his freshman year. In total, Landman finished his strong sophomore campaign with 123 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and the aforementioned two interceptions. Not a bad season by any means.

His hard-nosed effort and crushing physical capabilities earned the sophomore the nickname “The Hammer,” affectionately coined by his teammates.

Continue reading story

Phillip Lindsay: “Rough Draft: From the Basement to the Pro Bowl”

Phillip Lindsay is the focus of a SportCenter feature by Scott Ranaldi, entitled, “Rough Draft: From the Basement to the Pro Bowl”.

The seven-minute piece can be found here (and is definitely worth your time).

Ronnie Blackmon: “What I want to do is play everywhere in the secondary”

From the Daily Camera … Junior Ronnie Blackmon is angling for more playing time on the Colorado defense, and he’s hoping his versatility will help.

The 5-foot-10 cornerback is also working at nickel back and the Star position. He’s hoping to learn safety, as well.

“That’s basically what I want to do is play everywhere in the secondary,” he said.

Head coach Mel Tucker said Blackmon is competitive and “has a chip on his shoulder,” and that the versatility will help Blackmon and the Buffs.

“There’s a lot of jobs open and there’s nothing set in stone,” Tucker said. “We just have to continue to make the most of our opportunities. Guys that have position versatility, they really help the depth of your team.”

Blackmon, who played just 95 defensive snaps last year, is trying to take advantage of a new opportunity with the first-year coaching staff.

“With the new coaching staff, I feel like we can all go out there and compete and show what we’ve got and they’re going to put the best players on the field,” he said.

Continue reading story here

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April 19th

… CU in a few minutes …

Tight ends coach Al Pupunu: “Technique-wise we’re coming around, which is good” 

From CUBuffs.com … Here’s your statistical anomaly for the day: the number of tight ends on the 2019 Colorado football roster (eight) is more than the number of passes caught by Buffs tight ends in the entire 2018 season (six).

Now here’s a good bet for the 2019 season: that won’t be the case next fall. The Buffs are utilizing at least one and oftentimes two tight ends on a regular basis, and it is clear that the position will be an integral part of CU’s attack under head coach Mel Tucker and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson.

Five of CU’s tight ends are scholarship players: returnees Brady RussellDarrion Jones and Jared Poplawski, along with graduate transfer Jalen Harris (Auburn) and converted running back Beau Bisharat. The group also includes Legend BrumbaughDerek Coleman and C.J. Schmanski.

But the key part to the puzzle is new tight ends coach Al Pupunu, whose job is to make sure his players understand the nuances and intricacies that their position requires in the new attack.

The report thus far: so far, so good. Pupunu likes what he has seen from his group, but also knows there is plenty of work to be done before next fall.

Continue reading story here

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April 18th

… CU in a few minutes … 

The Athletic: “From Saban to social media: How a life of listening shaped Mel Tucker’s outlook, enthusiasm and approach”

From The Athletic … They​ say you​ never forget the first​ time Nick Saban​ yells​ at you.

Though the​ memories surrounding​ the​​ event might fade a bit — perhaps you deserved the yelling and perhaps you did not, or perhaps you choose toremember it as not — the moment itself remains seared in the memory banks of so many coaches and players. That recognition. That look, nay, that glare.

For Colorado coach Mel Tucker, it was only a few weeks into his first year as a coach. He was a Michigan State defensive graduate assistant under Saban. His playing career at Wisconsin had ended two years earlier and for that time he was doing odd jobs and coaching high school sports, but he had decided to get back into college football as a coach. And now, just weeks later, he was about to be baptized by fire.

Now, he acknowledges he can’t pinpoint every detail of that day. But the Spartans were at the indoor practice facility. There was a random recruit who showed up to practice. Saban spotted the recruit, who happened to be standing near Tucker. Saban’s eyes moved from the recruit, to Tucker, back to the recruit, as if to be putting together the context clues that would set off a chain of events that would end with Saban screaming at Tucker for not letting him know that the recruit would be there.

“I just happened to be in the line of fire,” Tucker said. “He ripped me. Like, ‘I didn’t know that guy was here! You don’t get it!’ It was bad.”

Was letting Saban know which recruits would be at which practices a part of Tucker’s job description as defensive GA?

No.

But as he was learning under Saban, your job is everything, your job is the team, your job is to be a step ahead.

Continue reading story here … (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you don’t subscribe to The Athletic, you should do so!) …

The New York Times: “At Colorado, a Breach in Football’s Wall”

… For the faint of heart, do yourselves a favor, and don’t read this article. If you are considering running for CU Regent, please print out this article, and refer back to it often during your campaign … 

From The New York Times … The University of Colorado hired a new football coach in December and, as coaches are wont to do, he talked tough.

“Our team, we will be physical,” Coach Mel Tucker said at his introductory news conference. “My dad always told me the name of the game is hit, hit, H-I-T. There is always a place on the field for someone who will hit.”

He was preaching that old style pigskin religion. Unfortunately, Tucker, who came from the University of Georgia, runs a football program that has seen at least a half-dozen former players — including several who played in the N.F.L. — kill themselves. Other former players are alive but afflicted by severe post-concussion problems.

Two university regents, dissenters from the Church of Hit, Hit and Hit, read Tucker’s remarks and shook their heads. A few days later these heretics voted against his five-year, $14.75 million contract. They could not block the contract, but another cannon had been fired in the football concussion wars.

Linda Shoemaker, one of the regents, described her pilgrimage from casual fandom to casting a vote against football.

“I really thought at first that we could play football safely with better rules and better equipment; I drank the Kool-Aid,” she told me. “I can’t go there anymore. I don’t believe it can be played safely anymore. I want these young men to leave C.U. with minds that have been strengthened, not damaged.”

Continue reading story here

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April 17th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buffs showing “flashes” of leadership

From the Daily Camera … Another aspect that will take time to develop is leadership among the players. Tucker said he’s seen “flashes” of leadership.

“Most of the leadership that I see right now is by example by some of our older players,” he said. “At some point it will be by example and it will be also vocal leadership.”

One reason leaders haven’t fully emerged, Tucker said is, “I haven’t asked for that so far.”

For now, the focus is on learning the offense and defense, as well as the program standards.

“I want guys to learn the system, go out and play hard, play physical, execute, do what you’re supposed to do,” Tucker said. “The leadership will come. The leaders will emerge. We need to have some more adversity before we really find out who our leaders are.”

Read full story here

New York Times posts article on Ryan Miller and head trauma

From the New York Times … Tall and imposing, indomitable even, 6-foot-8 with shoulders and a back broad enough to push a pickup truck.

He was a star lineman on a state championship team in high school and for the University of Colorado Buffaloes, where he set a team record for starts and minutes played. He was an Associated Press third-team all-American and played three years in the N.F.L.

Yet the word that jumps most quickly to mind when talking to Ryan Miller is “fragile.”

Hits, concussive and subconcussive, have laid him low. Head bursting, nausea rising, please shut off the lights, please. I interviewed Miller twice, our talks separated by 22 months, and he is doing better, which is not to suggest this thoughtful and soft-spoken 29-year-old is anywhere near what he wants to be.

When I met him in 2017 Miller had spent the previous hour in a darkened room, breathing slowly. He would get into his car and sit for hours, trying to remember where he intended to go. He would walk into airports, and lights and noise and crowds made him want to curl into a fetal ball. Since then he has gotten better with therapy and diet, and he has lost a lot of weight. He’s healthier, and yet. …

“I don’t live as much in fear of what will happen next, and it’s been a year since I have had a seizure,” he told me. “It’s been a long road. It still is a long road.”

The brutality of the N.F.L. and its malefactions and lack of care for players’ bodies and minds are well known. But the time a player spends in college, including Miller’s tenure in the savage trenches of an offensive line, wreaks great damage, too, and that raises a pointed question: How can universities, places of higher learning that are devoted to the development of young minds and that in some cases spend millions of dollars researching the ill effects of brain injuries, justify running multimillion-dollar football machines that put those brains at risk of lifelong damage?

The University of Colorado is in measurable ways better on health than some top-ranked college programs. Yet former Buffaloes players have suffered brain and emotional damage, and some have taken their own lives. The roll call of the Colorado dead includes running back Rashaan Salaam, at age 42; linebacker Drew Wahlroos, 37; and tight end Tennyson McCarty, 32. Much evidence points to the likelihood that these men suffered emotional and cognitive problems as a result of too many hits. Wahlroos’s brain was donated to the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy center. Results have not yet been released.

Some Colorado regents have begun to ask questions. “Football as played in America is a brutal 19th century sport that is highly destructive to the human brain,” Linda Shoemaker told fellow regents. “I don’t believe it has a place in the academic enterprise that is the University of Colorado.”

Continue reading story here

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April 16th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buff fans introduced to offensive line transfer Jack Shutack

From CUBuffs.com … Coaches have been mixing and matching other players into the offensive line rotation.

One of those has been senior Jack Shutack, who started his college career at Rutgers. Shutack has been lining up with the No. 1 group at right tackle and guard — including both spots in the same practice on occasion.

“Love it,” Shutack said after Monday’s practice. “Honestly, I don’t care where I I play, I just want to play. I’ll line up wherever they ask me and do whatever they need me to do.”

After a redshirt freshman season at Rutgers in 2015, Shutack transferred to the College of DuPage in 2016 but did not play football there. He came to Colorado in 2017 and redshirted again, and finally got back on the field last year for a handful of plays on offense and special teams.

Now, the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder is competing for some playing time.

“It’s great to be back out there and playing,” Shutack said. “I have a great center in Tim, who tells me what to do. It’s definitely a learning process, but I think I’m making some strides. Some of the details in my sets, I have to iron out, and some of my  footwork as well. But the big thing is you have to keep grinding. Everybody’s excited on the first day of spring ball; you have to be able to keep that up when you get to the end.”

Continue reading story here

“An Evening with Larry Zimmer” set for May 1st

From CUBuffs.com … Register here

Please join us May 1 to honor Larry Zimmer’s longstanding and distinguished career in sports broadcasting, while highlighting his close association with CU Boulder.

An Evening with Larry ZimmerSpecial and rare interview setting with Larry Zimmer to journey back through memorable broadcasting moments guided by Mark Johnson and Dave Plati.

Honored Guest

Larry Zimmer | After more than four decades of broadcasting excellence in Colorado, Larry Zimmer is one of the most recognizable figures in the state’s sporting history. Known as the “voice of the Buffaloes” since joining KOA Radio and Television in 1971 as an announcer for University of Colorado football, Zimmer has attained a legendary status recognized by numerous broadcaster honors.

Interviewers

Mark Johnson | Since 2004 Mark has been the play-by-play announcer for University of Colorado football and men’s basketball. He joined the CU Boulder athletic department full-time as its director of audio broadcasting in 2017.

David Plati | In his 35th year as the athletic department’s director of sports information, and his 41st year overall in CU’s Sports Information Office, Dave will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame in June 2019.

Sit with VIP Guests | $100 per seat
Tad Boyle | CU Men’s Basketball Coach
Chad Brown | Fomer NFL and Buffs Football Player
Jeff Campbell | Former NFL and Buffs Football Player
Daniel Graham | Former NFL and Buffs Football Player
Joe Romig | Hall of Fame Buffs Football Player, All-American, Rhodes Scholar
Matt Russell | Former NFL and Buffs Football Player
Alfred Williams | Former NFL and Buffs Football Player
Scott Wilke | Former Buffs Basketball Player

Thank you to our sponsors
Buffalo Sports Properties | Colorado Buffaloes Athletic Department

EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Wednesday, May 1
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Buffet appetizers | Cash bar

WHERE
CU Boulder | Folsom Field
Arrow Touchdown Club

COST*
$45 | General fee


$100 CU VIP Athletic Seat | sit with CU coaches (current and former) or former CU letterwinners


$500 | Company sponsored table, 10 seats. Reserve by calling Michele McKinney, 303.860.5622

 

Steven Montez makes Top 25 quarterbacks in the nation list

From 247 Sports … Arm strength. Precision. Intangibles.

These are all qualities coaches covet in a starting quarterback, the player designated to lead by example and direct his team to a special season.

Which signal callers will outperform their peers at college football’s most important position this fall?

Outside of the handful of recognizable All-American level passers, there’s a logjam of talent among Top 25 teams and others itching to break into the oft-talked about mix this season. What goes into a 25-player projection five months out from kickoff? This list is subjective and was determined by a variety of factors including projected numbers relative to team success, impact in respective conferences, NFL probability and expected development from last season to now.

There will be snubs and players ranked in spots you don’t agree with, which is part of what makes every preseason power ranking entertaining to dissect. Here’s a look at college football’s Top 25 quarterbacks exiting spring ahead in anticipation of the 2019 season later this year:

25. Joe Burrow, LSU

24. Nate Stanley, Iowa

23. Steven Montez, Colorado

22. Charlie Brewer, Baylor

21. Bryce Perkins, Virginia

The skinny: The toughest five to select in this predictive ranking, LSU’s Joe Burrow pushed his way into the Top 25 in the final spot ahead of two SEC East quarterbacks who had better numbers last fall, but were marred by inconsistent play. Burrow provided stability through the air in Baton Rouge and with much of the Tigers’ targets returning, should have a special senior season this fall … You have to feel for Montez, who played for his third quarterbacks coach in four seasons last year at Colorado. The redshirt senior flirted with the NFL Draft for weeks after the season, but decided to return with a chance to enhance his stock. At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Montez is a load in the pocket and completes passes at a near 65 percent clip ... Virginia’s Bryce Perkins and Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray were the only players in the nation last season with at least 2,400 passing yards and 800 rushing yards. Perkins also was the only ACC player with at least 20 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns. Teams struggle to defend Perkins’ dual-threat abilities, one of the reasons the Cavaliers should be considered the Coastal Division favorite in conference play.

Also From the Pac-12 … 

  • 19. Kahlil Tate – Arizona
  • 17. Jacob Eason – Washington
  • 13. K.J. Costello – Stanford
  • 4. Justin Herbert – Oregon

Read full story here

—–

April 15th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Terrance Lang looking to be more than a pass-rush specialist in 2019

Related … “CU Buffs’ Terrance Lang showing improvement” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  In his first year on the field last season with the Colorado Buffaloes, defensive lineman Terrance Lang played mostly as a pass-rush specialist.

In that role, he delivered. While he played just 263 snaps over the course of 11 games, he finished with one quarterback sack, another tackle for loss, six quarterback pressures and three pass breakups (attempts he knocked down behind the line of scrimmage).

But now, the 6-foot-7, 284-pounder is expanding his game and as a result, is becoming a solid run defender as well as a pass rusher. He has added about 10 pounds of muscle to his frame, is getting regular snaps with the No. 1 defense in all situations (not just obvious passing downs) and shows all the signs of becoming a force for the Buffs next fall.

“I’ve actually been trying to take pride in playing the run this year,” Lang said after Monday’ practice. “That was my weakness last year, so I’ve been focusing more on playing the run than anything.”

That focus — along with CU’s fourth-quarter nine-week offseason strength and conditioning program — is paying dividends.

“He’s got good size and length,” Colorado head coach Mel Tucker said. “He’s stout against the run, he’s showed the ability to rush the passer. I like that about him. He worked really hard in the offseason program to get himself in good shape to he could sustain and play hard. He just needs to continue to work on the little things and the details. I think he’s going to be a really good player for us.”

Continue reading story here

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Brian Howell: Buff fans need to tap the brakes on their enthusiasm

From the Daily Camera … Offseason workouts have been intense. Practices are intense. Players are getting bigger and stronger. Along the way, Tucker has said pretty much all the right things to generate the energy he was hired to provide.

For now, however, it’s best to not get too ahead of ourselves. After all, Tucker has yet to coach a game. The Buffs have yet to lose a game — or two, or three — under his watch and shown how they’ll respond.

The energy created by Tucker and his staff is refreshing, there’s no doubt. But, it’s not unusual.

There was a lot of excitement when MacIntyre went through his first spring with the Buffs in 2013. The hiring of Jon Embree before the 2011 season got players pumped because of all the NFL experience he and his staff were bringing to Boulder. When Dan Hawkins was hired before the 2006 season, it was a big-time jolt for the program.

Hawkins lost his first six games en route to a 2-10 debut season. Embree lost his first two on his way to a 3-10 first season. MacIntyre won his first two, but the Buffs finished 4-8. All three wound up getting fired with overall losing records.

To be fair, the Colorado program is in better shape and filled with more talent now than it was in 2006, 2011 or 2013. Nevertheless, expectations should be tempered just a bit, as there is plenty of work to be done in Boulder.

Continue reading story here

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April 14th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Cornerback Delrick Abrams, Jr. confident: “I’m a very competitive person”

From CUBuffs.com … At a position where the Colorado Buffaloes struggled to find consistency last year, cornerback Delrick Abrams, Jr. proved to be the steadiest of the bunch.

In his first season in Boulder, the junior college transfer started in eight games and played in 10, missing action only because of an injury. He finished with 44 tackles, but more importantly, led the team in pass breakups with eight. He also had a forced fumble, three quarterback pressures and six third down stops.

This spring, the long, lanky (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) senior has been a regular with the No. 1 defense at right corner as the Buffs install defensive coordinator Tyson Summers‘ new scheme. He is once again proving to be a consistent defender in coverage, and with a year of experience under his belt, has a chance to take the next step in his development under new cornerbacks coach Travares Tillman.

“My mindset is trying to be the best player I can be, the best player on the field,” Abrams said after Friday’s scrimmage, the first of the spring. “I feel like the only person who can stop me is me. I’m just a very competitive person.”

Continue reading story here

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April 13th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Afodabi Laguda signs two-year deal with Atlanta Falcons

From the Atlanta Falcons … The Atlanta Falcons announced Friday that they have signed Atlanta native Afolabi Laguda to a two-year contract.

Laguda, 24, was a safety with the Los Angeles Rams as a rookie prior to the 2018 season, but he was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury following the preseason and was later waived.

Before joining the NFL, Laguda played for three seasons at Colorado University. Laguda left Colorado after recording 150 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, eight pass defenses, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

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April 12th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU runs a 94-play scrimmage – Statistics 

Scoring Summary
Series 2 (SM)— Deion Smith 1-yard run – (James Stefanou kick) 7 plays; 31 yards
Series 5 (SM)— Deion Smith 18-yard run (James Stefanou kick) 5-56
Series 7 (SN)— Jared Broussard 4-yard run (Evan Price kick) 9-56
Series 8 (SM)— Alex Fontenot 1-yard run (Evan Price kick) 6-12
Series 9 (TL)— James Stefanou 25-yard field goal 4- 7
Series 10 (SM)— KD Nixon 4-yard pass from Steven Montez (no PAT kick) 2- 4
Series 11 (SN)— Tyler Francis 24-yard field goal 4- 1
Series 12 (SM)— Jaylon Jackson 62-yard pass from Steven Montez (no PAT kick) 5-56

Rushing Att. Yards Avg. TD FD Long
Jared Broussard 7 rushes for 32 yards – 4.6 yard average – one touchdown – 2 first downs – longest run of 22 yards
Alex Fontenot 12 30 2.5 1 2 9
Deion Smith 5 25 5.0 2 1 18t
Jaren Mangham 4 22 5.5 0 0 8
Joe Davis 4 18 4.5 0 2 11
Jaylon Jackson 2 11 5.5 0 0 9
Steven Montez 2 7 3.5 0 0 4
Tony Brown 1 2 2.0 0 0 2
Sam Noyer 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
Team (fumbled snap) 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
Totals 39 147 3.8 4 7 22

Passing (*) Att-Com-Int Pct. Yards TD Long Sacked
Steven Montez (7 series) 19 attempts-11 completions-0 interceptions – 57.9% – 148 yards – 2 touchdowns –  62t (long) sacked 3/21
Tyler Lytle (3) 13- 8- 0 61.5 116 0 47 1/ 8
Sam Noyer (3) 8- 5- 0 62.5 33 0 12 2/13
Josh Goldin (0) 1- 0- 0 0.0 0 0 0 0/ 0
Totals (13) 41-24- 0 63.2 297 2 62t 6/42 1

Receiving No. Yards Avg. TD FD Long
Jaylon Jackson 3 receptions 115 yards 38.3 average  1 touchdown  3 first downs 62t- long
Daniel Arias 3 67 22.3 0 2 47
K.D. Nixon 3 33 11.0 1 2 20
Tony Brown 3 21 7.0 0 1 15
Dimitri Stanley 3 17 5.7 0 2 8
Alex Fontenot 2 17 8.5 0 1 15
Jared Broussard 2 8 4.0 0 0 5
Joe Davis 1 6 6.0 0 0 6
Beau Bisharat 1 6 6.0 0 1 6
Darrion Jones 1 4 4.0 0 0 4
Clayton Baca 1 4 4.0 0 0 4
Deion Smith 1 -1 -1.0 0 0 -1
Totals 24 297 12.4 2 12 62t

Defensive UT AT—TOT TFL QBS 3DS TZ PBU
Jonathan Van Diest 6, 2— 8 2
Chase Newman 4, 2— 6 1
Akil Jones 4, 1— 5 1
Ronnie Blackmon 3, 2— 5
Mustafa Johnson 4, 0— 4 1- 1 1
Nate Landman 3, 1— 4 1- 1 2
Jacob Callier 2, 2— 4 2-13 1
Carson Wells 2, 2— 4 1- 1 1
Trey Udoffia 3, 0— 3 1- 8 1 1
Delrick Abrams 2, 1— 3
Hasaan Hypolite 2, 1— 3
Terrance Lang 2, 1— 3 2-16 1
Ray Robinson 2, 1— 3
Isaiah Lewis 1, 2— 3
Lucas Cooper 2, 0— 2 1 1
Kevin George 2, 0— 2
Derrion Rakestraw 2, 0— 2 1- 3
Alex Tchangham 2, 0— 2
Uryan Hudson 1, 1— 2 1 2
Jalen Sami 1, 1— 2 1
Davion Taylor 1, 1— 2 1
Dante Wigley 1, 1— 2
Mehki Blackmon 0, 2— 2
Melekiola Finau 0, 2— 2
Nu’umotu Falo 1, 0— 1 1- 5 1
Nico Magri 0, 1— 1

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April 11th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Offensive lineman Aaron Haigler honored by National Football Foundation

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado graduating senior Aaron Haigler has been named a member of the 2019 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Hampshire Honor Society.

The honor goes to college football players from all divisions who maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average or better throughout their college careers. A strategic communications major, Haigler started 27 games on the offensive line in his career at Colorado and is scheduled to graduate this spring.

An all-time high of of 1,643 players from a record 424 schools qualified for membership in the Society’s 13th year.

Colorado is one of just eight FBS schools in the nation to have at least one honoree every year since the program’s inception in 2007.

“Having a member every year since 2007 is a testimony to the Herbst Academic Center staff,”  said CU Athletic Director Rick George. “The NFF Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role because it’s not a popularity contest subject to the vote of whoever. You meet or exceed the minimum requirements, you make the list. That’s beneficial for the student-athlete on his academic resume, and it’s a proud accomplishment for the school. Membership is an excellent reward for their hard work in the classroom, and people do take note of academic honors and awards.”

Colorado’s Hampshire Honor Society honorees have included:

2007 — Ben Carpenter, Brian Daniels

2008 — Kevin Eberhart, Byron Ellis, Dusty Sprague

2009 — George Hypolite

2010 — Jake Behrens

2011 — Nate Solder

2012 — Logan Gray, Tony Poremba, Travis Sandersfeld

2013 — Dustin Ebner, Will Pericak

2014 — Nate Bonsu

2015 — Brad Cotner, Tyler McCulloch, Darragh O’Neill, Will Oliver, Richard Yates

2016 — Jered Bell, Nelson Spruce

2017 — Ryan Severson

2018 — George FrazierChris GrahamMichael MathewesDerek McCartney

2019 — Aaron Haigler

Kicker James Stefanou “I’ve been kicking really well and I feel great”

From the Daily Camera … James Stefanou reluctantly took a day off from kicking the football on Wednesday.

“I hate taking a day off,” he said. “But, it’s something we have to be smart about.”

The Colorado junior is healthy again and going full bore this spring as he aims to regain the form he had as a freshman in 2017.

“I’ve been kicking really well and I feel great,” he said after giving his leg a break Wednesday.

The Australian native, who turns 32 on Monday, was the oldest player in college football last year, but he’s rejuvenated this spring.

“I’m 32 this year, but I feel young, I feel great, so why not keep going?,” he said.

A former professional soccer player, Stefanou had never played in a football game before 2017, but had a stellar debut season. He made 17 of 22 field goals and all 35 extra points, was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award and earned first-team freshman All-American honors by ESPN.com.

Continue reading story here

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April 10th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Practice report: Coaches mixing in the twos with the ones

From CUBuffs.com … Coaches continue to give a number of players opportunities with the No. 1 and No. 2 units on both sides of the ball at a number of positions. That includes outside linebacker, where Carson Wells, Nu’umotu Falo, Alex Tchangam and Jacob Callierare all getting looks with both units.

“We want to try to see how guys match up against the ones and twos,” said outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski. “Give everyone a fair opportunity and create a competitive culture.  Help each other get better but also know how to compete and win a spot. We’re mixing it up, giving guys ones and twos reps and just making sure they are as versatile as they can be.” …

Wide receiver Jaylon Jackson is working his way into the mix, getting some time with the No. 1 group and making plays. … Sophomore Jonathan Van Diest is getting some time at inside linebacker alongside Nate Landman. … Junior cornerback Ronnie Blackmon is logging some snaps with the No. 1 group. … Senior corner Delrick Abrams Jr. has been steady at the other corner. … Redshirt freshman Melekiola Finau and junior college transfer Jeremiah Doss have been getting time in pass-rush situations. Terrance LangMustafa Johnson and Jalen Sami are regulars out of the base 3-4. … Sophomore wide receiver Daniel Arias had a nice catch of a long ball from Tyler Lytle. … Tight ends Jalen Harris and Brady Russell had nice catches. …

The play of the day may have been a perfect strike from quarterback Steven Montez to slot receiver Dimitri Stanley. Montez threw a perfect ball down the middle to Stanley, who made a nice grab in stride just over the outstretched arms of a defender before picking up some extra yardage after the catch.

Read full story here

CU Board of Regents name finalist for next CU President

… We’ll have to wait and see if the background reviews show Kennedy to be athletics-friendly … 

From the Board of Regents …

Some of you received our announcement today regarding the University of Colorado’s presidential search because of your affiliation with the university beyond the CU Advocates program. We are pleased to let you know that the Board of Regents today named Mark R. Kennedy as finalist for CU’s presidency. Kennedy has been the president of the University of North Dakota (UND) since 2016.

Kennedy has had diverse skills and experiences in higher education, government and business. His resume demonstrates the breadth and depth of his varied careers.

Much of what he has accomplished is applicable to the CU Advocates program.

  • He embraces his role as a thought leader in higher education and fully understands the importance of engaging those closest to the university to help it achieve its aims.
  • The “Leaders in Action” marketing effort he instituted at UND parallels some of the efforts you have been involved with to help tell our story. Engagement is one of the key tenets of the strategic plan he developed at UND.
  • He has implemented some innovative ideas at UND, including launching the Eye of the Hawk speaking series, keying off both the UND Fighting Hawks mascot and the example of Merlin turning young Arthur into a hawk so he could see that the borders that divide us disappear with a higher, broader perspective. Speeches are followed by salon dinners where advocates can engage speakers and university officials, including the president. The series aimed to cultivate a broader view among students and other constituents.
  • At UND he sponsored a summer bus tour that included new faculty and senior staff touring the state each summer to help them understand the state and engage constituents in less-frequently reached corners of the state.

His work as a U.S. Congressman (Minnesota, 2001-07) also gave him keen insight into the value of constituent engagement.

Kennedy’s experiences tell us he is quite interested in the power and promise of a program like CU Advocates. We look forward to CU Advocates meeting with him to share the great work the program does now and to hear his ideas about how we can make it even better. We hope you will be able to attend some of the campus forums and receptions that will begin the week of April 22. CU Advocates will be sent the schedule when finalized.

Thank you for all you do for CU. We look forward to you joining us in this next important chapter in our history.

Sincerely,
Sue Sharkey, Chair
Jack Kroll, Vice Chair
University of Colorado Board of Regents

—–

April 9th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Davion Taylor comfortable moving from “Buff” Backer to “Star” linebacker

From the Daily Camera … With a 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame and sprinter speed, Davion Taylor has the ability to do a lot on the football field.

That’s good, because the Colorado Buffaloes might ask him to do a lot.

Taylor, a senior who came to CU as a junior college transfer a year ago, is aiming to build off his solid 2018 season by filling a different role for the Buffaloes this year.

A year ago, Taylor shined in the “Buff back” position that was featured in previous head coach Mike MacIntyre’s defense. Now, he’s playing in the “Star” position that is featured in the defense employed by first-year head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers, who both came to CU from Georgia.

“I like it better than Buff backer because last year I feel like I was more in run fits and this year I’m more in coverage, which I need,” Taylor said. “I’ll love to have that film trying to go the NFL next year.”

Continue reading story here

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April 8th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Mel Tucker – No wasted moments; no missed opportunities to improve

From CUBuffs.com … Since the day he took the job as Colorado’s head coach, Mel Tucker has stressed to his team that there will be no wasted moments, no opportunities missed to improve.

Simply, every minute counts, and that philosophy is clearly evident in CU’s practices. Every drill, every play — every moment — is accompanied by coaches from all angles teaching, instructing, encouraging and correcting. One of Tucker’s points of emphasis has been running to the ball on every play until the whistle blows, and more often than not, coaches are right there with the players by the time the play comes to an end.

Players know when they have done something well. A quick pat on the back or a nod and a few words of encouragement are common. But players also know when a mistake needs to be corrected — and the idea is to make sure the mistakes aren’t repeated.

There is no waiting until film sessions for instruction to take place.

“We want to coach the players after every play and in between plays,” Tucker said after Monday morning’ seventh practice of the spring. “Coach them on the run. Coaching is teaching. If you’re not coaching it, you’re letting it happen. We’ve got the mistakes cleaned up right away and get them ready for the next play.”

Players seem to enjoy the immediate instruction, and they also like the fact that the coaches are running with them.

“It’s just a higher level of intensity,” said linebacker Davion Taylor. “When the coaches are right there with you, it makes you want to work a little harder. When they talk to you right after a play, you know how to fix something.”

Tucker, it seems, is always in the mix, instructing both offense and defense. But his position coaches are also always on the spot as well, making sure players receive instruction on the spot.

“It’s a big part of what we do overall in our program — teaching — and how we try to function within our defense,” said defensive coordinator Tyson Summers. “I think certainly the intensity that it takes to practice at a high level of defense is going to help us as we try to go play at a high level. If you look at our conference, the teams that are playing the best defense are the teams that are playing in the championship each and every year. We want to be in that position.”

With the Buffs installing a new offense and defense under the new staff, every moment of practice time and instruction is invaluable.

“You don’t have a lot of time in the spring,” Tucker said. “You have to be organized and efficient in terms of evaluation, development and teaching.”

Continue reading story here

—–

April 7th

… CU in a few minutes …

College Football News ranks the nation’s teams 1-130 

… The way of the world … CU finished 5-7 last year, but is ranked 62nd nationally by College Football News. Compare: UCLA (3-9 in 2018 – now 36th); Nebraska 4-8 (31st); and USC 5-7 (33rd). Tucker & Co. have much to prove … 

From the College Football News … Just how good are all 130 college football teams looking as we dive into the dog days of the offseason?

Obviously, a slew of key position battles still have to be figured out. There will be injuries, transfers, and only about a million other things happening to change this over the next few months. But for now, here’s your snapshot of every team.

This isn’t about where the teams will end up – the CFN Season Rankings are about production, not talent. It’s about how strong everyone looks at the moment, with the next rankings coming this summer as a part of Preview 2019.

105. Colorado State … Alright, so the Rams might just be a whole lot better than this. The receiving corps has to do some work, but that’s just one part of the attack that has to find a slew of new starters. The D didn’t do much last season, and now it has to replace four of the top six tacklers.

83. Air Force … At some point, the Falcons will get back to being their old selves. The backfield should be better than it’s been, but the offense isn’t the issue. The Air Force defense has to be far better, and the starting 11 will be.

62. Colorado … Remember that these are early rankings – Colorado could grow into a sleeper-fun team to get excited about by the time August rolls around. New head man Melvin Tucker has two stars in QB Steven Montez and WR Laviska Shenault  to work around, and the D should be a big positive with its secondary.

52. Arizona … The offensive backfield needs to be a force with QB Khalil Tate and RB JJ Taylor back, and now the line should be a plus after being a big concern early on last year. The experience is back on a young D that should thrive after going through the growing pains in Kevin Sumlin’s first year.

50. Arizona State … There won’t be a lot of early buzz, but this ranking could turn out to be way, way too low. The passing game needs new parts, but Eno Benjamin is one of the nation’s best running backs. The D? Loaded – 16 of the top 19 tacklers are back.

36. UCLA … Okay, ha ha – now the Chip Kelly era should really begin. The passing game should be more consistent, Joshua Kelley is a productive running back, and the line is experienced. The young defense is now experienced, but it has to be a whole lot better.

33. USC … There should be a big turnaround after the rebuilding job done last year, but QB JT Daniels has to be better, there has to be a ground game, and the defense needs to rock in the secondary. Overall, the D will be better, but it has to replace several key tacklers.

31. Nebraska … Nebraska will be better, but how fast can it get to up to full speed? Adrian Martinez is a rising superstar quarterback, but the running game needs to be a bit better and the defense has to be a whole lot more consistent.

26. Stanford … It might take a little while to get the parts in place on defense, but the front three will be more than good enough to overcome the loss of all the starting linebackers. QB KJ Costello is terrific, but he needs new receivers to rise up and the running game has to be stronger.

23. Washington State … It’s a loaded team that should be every bit as good as last year’s version if Eastern Washington transfer QB Gage Gubrud can be another Gardner Minshew. The lines are great, the receivers are solid, and the defensive back seven is good enough.

18. Utah … The Pac-12 South will be better, but there’s no reason the Utes can’t keep it all going. QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss are back along with most of the top receivers. The O will start running the ball a bit more, but it’ll be adaptable. The defense has the line in place to make up for the loss of a few star linebackers.

16. Washington … There’s a whole lot of work to do to replace stars on both sides of the ball, but give Chris Petersen the benefit of the doubt at this point. Georgia transfer Jacob Eason has to be great in place of Jake Browning. If he is, the O will be strong, and the defense will eventually be good despite the loss of six of the top seven tacklers.

9. Oregon … Everything is in place for a special season, starting with the return of QB Justin Herbert, and helped by getting everyone else back on offense other than top WR Dillon Mitchell. Throw in Penn State transfer WR Juwan Johnson, and the offense is special. The defense is outstanding in the back seven, the recruiting class was amazing, and there’s no excuse not to be the lead dog in the Pac-12 pack.

—–

April 6th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Darrin Chiaverini settling back in as the wide receivers coach: “It’s a blessing that he’s back”

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s coaching staff has been through a number of changes this offseason, starting with head coach Mel Tucker and continuing through seven assistants that are new to the Buffaloes.

For junior receiver KD Nixon, however, one of the most significant changes has occurred with a familiar face.

Receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini was one of three assistants who was a part of the previous staff and retained by Tucker, but so far this offseason, it’s been a new version of Chiaverini.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing (that he’s back),” Nixon said, “but at the same time, he’s stepped his game way up. You can tell that this receivers group is trusting coach Chev way more.”

Co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach for three years under former head coach Mike MacIntyre, Chiaverini was given more responsibility a year ago when he was handed the keys to the offense as the play-caller. After Tucker was hired, Chiaverini was retained, but without the co-OC and play calling duties.

Continue reading story here

CU tight ends to become a focal point – Tucker: “We’re going to use a tight end in our offense”

From CUBuffs.com … When Mel Tucker took the reins of the Colorado Buffaloes, he vowed that the tight end would once again become an integral part of the CU offense.

Six practices into spring ball, it has become quite clear that Tucker meant what he said. Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson‘s Buffs pro-style offense utilizes one — and oftentimes two — tight ends on a regular basis, and they are far more than just extra offensive linemen. Tight ends have become regular targets for Colorado’s quarterbacks, and have made plays on a daily basis thus far this spring.

“It’s definitely been fun,” said sophomore Brady Russell, who has been getting his share of reps with the No. 1 offense. “It’s been a pretty big transition, but I think we’re all picking it up. I thought today was probably our best day as a position group. We stepped it up a little.”

Along with returnees Russell, Darrion Jones and Jared Poplawski, the Buffs bolstered their depth at the spot in the offseason with the addition of Auburn graduate transfer Jalen Harris. Also, Tucker announced Friday that senior running back Beau Bisharat has made the move to tight end.

“We’re just seeing who can help us at the position,” Tucker said. “We’re going to use a tight end in our offense. We’d like to use a couple of them in a game at one time if we can. The more the merrier.”

Continue reading story here

—–

April 4th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Wide receiver KD Nixon: “I’d like to be a complete receiver”

From the Daily Camera … This spring has been set up for KD Nixon to be a pass catching machine for the Colorado Buffaloes.

A junior receiver, Nixon has a senior, two-year starting quarterback in Steven Montez throwing to him. His good friend and CU’s top receiver, Laviska Shenault, is out this spring as he recovers from an injury, leaving Nixon as the top threat.

Naturally, a recent conversation with the 5-foot-8, 185-pound speedster figured to focus on the big plays he’s making with the ball. Yet, in more than eight minutes of talking, the charismatic Nixon never once mentioned a pass he’s caught during the spring.

Instead, he wanted to talk about blocking.

“We love blocking,” Nixon said, flashing a smile that’s well known in Boulder by now. “The receivers last year, we didn’t like blocking. We were just like, ‘Give me the ball.’ Now, you really fall in love with it and see that it’s a process.”

Continue reading story here

CU using GPS to monitor players’ activity in practice

From CUBuffs.com … The Buffs this spring have begun utilizing a GPS system for players that will help monitor players’ activity in practice, including top speed, total distance traveled, acceleration and player “load” (energy expended).

The system, which uses a wearable device for athletes, will help CU’s staff enable players to work smarter, more efficiently and more safely, said Director of Operations Bryan McGinnis.

“With the data it generates, it allows us to monitor what players do in an entire practice,” McGinnis said. “They can work more efficiently, it will help prevent injuries because we will know what their load limit is, and they can train smarter. Overall, it gives us another tool in getting peak performance from players.”

The system, which was first used by rugby and soccer teams (CU’s soccer team utilizes a similar setup), is now being used by more and more football programs.

The system can help prevent injuries — particularly soft-tissue injuries such as hamstring and muscle pulls — by helping know when players hit peak load. It is particularly effective in that regard for defensive backs and wide receivers, who sprint full speed down the field on a regular basis.

Because the units can also record top speeds, they can produce friendly competition among the players.

Wednesday was the first time players — 44 in all — wore the units.

“I felt like they played fast,” Tucker said after practice. “We’ll see what the units say. We’ll get the report this afternoon.”

The Buffs will continue to gather data this spring and then be able to utilize the results next fall when they open camp.

Read full practice report here

—–

April 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Former four-star offensive lineman Kanan Ray back on the field for the first time in two years

Related … “Ray ‘Blessed’ To Be Back” … from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … At the time that he played in the U.S. Army All-American game on Jan. 7, 2017, Kanan Ray’s football career appeared to be taking off.

More than two years later, that is still the last time Ray played in a football game, but he looks to his future with optimism as he goes through spring practices with the Colorado Buffaloes.

“It’s been quite a ride these past couple of years,” he said Wednesday after the Buffs’ fifth practice of spring. “I didn’t think it was going to take this long but it’s been 26 months since I’ve been healthy. It’s been a ride, but I’m thankful for it. I think it built me as a man and as a person. I’m blessed just to be healthy now.”

Ray, now 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, was a four-star recruit coming out of Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, Calif., and he signed a letter of intent with UCLA.

Shortly after his senior year, though, he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, which had bothered him the previous two years. He also had knee cap issues but didn’t think much of it.

“Then, right after I got shoulder surgery, I started running again and realized how bad (the knee cap) was,” he said. “They told me it was going to be a year-and-a-half plus recovery.”

Continue reading story here

Position battles …

From CUBuffs.com … Junior college transfer Jeremiah Doss is getting some reps at defensive end with the No. 1 defense. … Carson WellsNu’umotu Falo and Alex Tchangam continue to get work at outside linebacker, a position that has expanded in duties in the new defense. … Redshirt freshman running backs Deion Smith and Jarek Broussard were getting some snaps with the No. 1 offense Wednesday. It’s a position that is still clearly wide open. True freshmen Jaren Mangham and Joe Davis have also had some good moments early. … Wide receivers K.D. NixonDimitri Stanley and Tony Brown all had nice catches on throws from Montez, and Maurice Bell hauled in some long balls. … Junior defensive back Mekhi Blackmon got some time with the No. 1 defense.

—–

April 2nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Outside linebacker coach Brian Michalowski (and #YearOfTheSack) making an early impression

From the Daily Camera … Every time Colorado sophomore Carson Wells sits down in a meeting with his fellow outside linebackers and new position coach Brian Michalowski, he knows what’s coming.

“Every meeting starts with a Power Point and that’s the first slide,” Wells said, referring to the Michalowski-led slogan, #YearOfTheSack. “He came up with that. It’s funny.”

Originally hired as a quality control coach, Michalowski, 29, is diving into his new job with both feet and eager to help his position group thrive in the CU defense.

“It’s kind of fun to try to create an identity with these guys,” Michalowski said of the social media hashtag he came up with for his group. “That’s the trait we need to have, because it’s expected that we have to stop the run, we have to make tackles and we have to run to the ball and make plays, but rushing the quarterback, that’s what they get paid millions to do in the NFL. It’s teaching these guys techniques and making them believe. I think belief is the first thing to do to create a winning culture, just get buy-in. I try to create some excitement.”

Continue reading story here

Related … from CUBuffs.com … Outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski is making a good impression on his players and Tucker in his first role as a full-time assistant at the Division I level.

Michalowski arrived in Boulder as a defensive quality control assistant from Georgia, but after interviewing for the outside linebackers spot, earned the job.

Previously, he served as a graduate assistant or quality control assistant at Arizona State, Wyoming, Memphis and Georgia (where he met Tucker), as well as serving as the defensive coordinator for a year at Garden City Community College.

“He’s very detailed, he’s very energetic, he has great relationships with his players,” Tucker said. “Very organized in his teaching. He’s super smart, he’s a really intelligent guy. He’s a young guy that’s hungry that cares about kids that loves football.”

Continue reading story here

Offensive line shuffle – Tim Lynott to replace Colby Pursell at center?

From CUBuffs.com … The No. 1 offensive line had some new faces in new places Monday morning as coaches try a variety of combinations up front.

Monday’s lineup included senior Tim Lynott Jr. at center and sophomore Colby Pursell at guard, while redshirt freshman Kanan Ray stepped in at right tackle. On the left side, sophomore William Sherman remained at tackle and junior Kary Kutsch was at guard.

Lynott, a starter since his redshirt freshman year, has 33 career starts under his belt, including four at center in 2017. He has also played the position in a relief role in some games, and has regularly worked at the position in practice. It is also a position at which some scouts think he might be best suited for at the next level.

Pursell, meanwhile, has played only center, starting there all 12 games last season (the only lineman to start every game last year for Colorado). But he is also someone whose versatility could allow him to play guard.

“We switched it up a little bit to see how it was, see what we could do with that and what’s best for our O-line and best combination we can get,” Lynott said.

Ray, meanwhile, appears to be taking advantage of finally getting the go-ahead for full-speed workouts after a long rehabilitation and recovery period from a knee injury and surgery. He had a solid nine-week conditioning program, has added some weight and muscle to his frame, and could no doubt challenge for playing time next fall.

Related … “Healthy Tim Lynott Jr. a leader for CU Buffs offensive line” 

From the Daily Camera … It doesn’t seem too long ago that Tim Lynott Jr., was a promising, young player who could be the anchor of the Colorado offensive line for years to come.

Now, he’s a fifth-year senior preparing for his final go-round with the Buffaloes.

“It’s different,” Lynott said Monday after the Buffs’ fourth practice of spring. “It’s kind of weird to me that I’m the older guy. It’s taking on a new role, basically, and I still feel like I’m one of those sophomores or juniors. It’s a different role and I actually like it.”

The lone healthy senior on the offensive line (fellow senior Brett Tonz is limited this spring because of an offseason injury), Lynott is the most experienced player up front and one that new line coach Chris Kapilovic is relying on this spring.

“Tim Lynott has shown that he’s a veteran, which has been good,” Kapilovic said.

Continue reading story here

—–

93 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Spring Practices”

  1. Not worried about Winfree. I just hope Flacco comes through.
    Also betting on Ento to stick with the Packers

  2. Why exactly is a university’s board of regents politically affiliated? Now, instead of a real examination of the man’s skills and ability to do the job, we get a pure partisan vote. Use your brains regents!

    1. Everything is partisan, why would you expect the Regents to be any different? All elections have consequences. Maybe the next elections will put in a Dem majority, and we know that they will be just as partisan as the GOP. I hope he’s an effective President that recognizes the value of athletics to a university’s success. Unfortunately, this search only serves to highlight the dysfunction that defines the CU Board of Regents. From the ignorance those that voted against HCMT’s contract to this obviously contentious hiring. CU can’t seem to avoid shooting itself in the foot! How many days to the RM Showdown kickoff?

    1. I’ve read both positive and negative comments with regard to how Kennedy treats athletics.
      All we know for certain is that he is off to a shaky start with a 5-4 vote …

    1. VK, the BZ must have missed by a month as it only lasted for one day, May 1st, I think they probably meant to fool us all on April 1st.

      1. Notice that the comments returned with the reboot of the page to a different format, they probably forgot to turn it off until after someone saw the comments appearing. Funny thing is I was going to comment and I noticed that and decided to wait, and now the comments are gone.

  3. That article about Ryan Miller’s concussion was hard to read…what will be harder to read might be the article tomorrow, which this piece promised would be about the regents and their newfound opposition to football.

    1. Allow me to summarize the second New York Times article: “WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN”.

      Would have preferred that it didn’t focus on CU, especially since CU is one of the best in the country when it comes to actually caring about concussions.

      The only interesting part was the line Brian Cabral had about how he taught tackling technique that would be considered dangerous today….except that the article then implicitly says “lol no tackling is safe anyways so let’s ignore that comment and focus on how football is bad”.

  4. I have met Larry Zimmer only a couple of times and have had very little conversation with him. I do, however wish I could be in Boulder for the “Evening With Larry Zimmer.” I think that maybe his first or second year broadcasting CU games (and we didn’t get a lot of TV then) was when CU ended up as No. 3 in the country with only Okla. and Neb. in front of us. What a great year of football for the Big 8.

    Two games that I remember listening to him were when CU went down to Baton Rouge, beat LSU and later that early season beat Ohio St. in Columbus. What great memories of CU football, and Larry was the guy that described it for us.

    1. Dont forget the Bluebonnet bowl where the Buffs, along with my favorite Buff RB, Charlie Davis, beat Riley Odoms and the University of Houston. I think the he OU/corn game was billed as one of those “games of the century.” (zzzzz)

      1. EP, Wasn’t that the game where “The Bad Dude” JS ran the ball almost down near our end zone for a first down and we then went on to win the game? Were you in the stadium when Charlie Davis rushed for all those yards against, I think against Okie St.? If you were you are also getting pretty old? Better cut back on the Bass Ale.

  5. We finally got a little news on the O line. Sounds like they will be improved…how much remains to be seen. Sadly Moretti wasnt mentioned. I wonder just how serious his injuries were.

    1. Deja vu Baby…. guess they will keep this under cover until we play CSU…. OR are they going to keep the TE under cover and save that scheme for the bowl game…. like MM did ?

      C’mon…. the more Coach Speak that gets (got) reported in April proves they really don’t know anything. Will believe it when I see it.

  6. Hoo ha
    Stu is trolling me again with these premature predictions. Maybe I’m jealous cause I aint gettin paid for tossing out lazy material bent on selling to the biggest fan bases. Does anyone really think these guys do anything in depth for over 100 teams? Witness what they say about CU; “…..and the D should be a big positive with its secondary.” Maybe they know something about our inexperienced safeties we dont?
    I really cant argue with the ranking numbers because I do even less research than these guys but in the end if you want to know something about UCLA or ASU go read the local beat writers including even Wilner….just dont expect Wilner to say anything substantial from beyond the East Cal border.

  7. This gps thing is curious. I dont know much about the technology but how does it transmit physiological information? I was always under the impression it was about location and movement from a location. Can someone tell me how a gps monitor can tell if a player has hit “peak load?” or is just dogging it?

    1. It’s just a device that is similar to the Fitbit watch applications that can measure heart rate, distance traveled, sleep and other info. Just more high tech. A few special forces units started using it in some of their training a while back.

  8. Anybody else notice that all three kids from Michigan have ‘Ham’ n their name? Good thing it wasnt Turkey! I guess BEEF wouldve been nice though. ; )

  9. Davi Plati: He is one of the best S.I.D.s in the country and one of the best persons that I have ever met. I used to write the sports articles covering Colorado football for the Alumni Association for the NY, NJ and CT area.
    He is a kind capable and wonderful human being. I recall on one occasion,
    I had ordered and paid for tickets for a football game but when I arrived in Boulder to pick up the tickets, the office had no record of my ticket purchase.
    Dave told me that if I wasn’t able to get the tickets issue resolved, I should come up to the booth to watch the game. I resolved the ticket issue but that
    generosity that he showed was very impressive.

  10. Man oh man if only the graduate transfers can be 3……………….Jaunta’vius Johnson…………please oh please………………..Please have the family be okay…………….and please let him remake the move that he made prior to the accident……………This would be the finish to this class

    The first HCMT staffs class.

    Decided the area that required improvement (and there are several) first because it’s FOOFBALL,
    were both lines. We will see but the start of the change is obvious. Big Buffs.

    Uh Oh Buffalo…………….Big ones too

    Note: So 247 still has Jaunta’vius Johnson on their site as a grad transfer commit to CU….so there ya go……………it must be happening

  11. Nate Landman will benefit the most from the coaching change?
    That makes no sense at all. I lose more respect for sports journalists almost every day.
    Nate Landman is already pretty damn good. If course he could get better…but more better than someone else on the team who already isnt that good? I am hoping it will be the D backs or the lines where we dont know how good we are there yet. We have no Awuzies, Olivers, or Thompsons right now….and one returning starter on the D line. If someone else, hopefully more than one doesnt make a big leap forward the Buffs are probably in for another long season. If I was Mel I might take that column as an insult even of it was from another lazy journalist.

  12. From the chat with the Buffzone guy…………That 92 includes Frank Fillip and Lyle Tuiloma, two guys that I don’t believe have been working out with the Buffs and don’t plan to be back. But, since they are still enrolled in school, CU won’t take take them off the roster and continues to say they are still with the team. Everything I’ve heard is that they are aren’t doing anything with the team. So, if you take them away, they’re at 90. I don’t know who else wouldn’t be back, but CU is always around 90 at this time of year and they always wind up with 82-85. There will be guys who leave or get suspended, or maybe a grayshirt or two.

    Well there ya go. And welcome to the OT transfer………….Filip is undersized.

    Lyle not doing his fifth year either…………Dang I really like that guy.

    Buffs

    1. Well the new tackle makes it 91. Wonder if that includes the DT whose family was hurt in a car accident?
      Hope he makes it back this summer

      That would be nice.

      Buffs.

      Note: Still a Lotta skinny scholarship meat on the oline and dline that…………….well need to take the next step………………..

  13. Yup always said he was gonna go into coaching. Hope he saw and learned a lot about the Business he just entered. Watching his pop he certainly saw a lot of what to do as well as what not to do.

    Go lil mac.

    Note: Still haven’t heard a peep from the “less than six year wonder” since that last press conference. And I must say, lil mac chosing not to attend the awards dinner with his teammates strikes me as a similar action. Oh well…………..take the money and run away………..

  14. Sounds like we need to send political contributions to the opponents of Kroll, Linda Shoemaker and Lesley Smith the next time they are up for reelection. They need to go.

    1. Now that’s funny right there! Let’s give the staff and position guys a chance. No need to beat a dead horse; they’ve been ground up and packaged elsewhere.
      An OC needs to have confidence in the guy’s ability to get open, catch, and get upfield. This may be the first real TE coach, who knows the position, CU has had in a long time.

      1. I believe that to be true but Bernardi over the course of his career had Tight End coaching responsibility 25 years. So who knows what.

        Buffs.

        Note: ep knows but he ain’t playing and of course AZ knows and he ain’t saying.

        Just how I see it.

        1. What can I say, VK puts me on the spot. I ain’t talking as long as the flavor lasts, mainly because I don’t want to seem too stupid in my reply.

          Go Buffs, Use the Tight Ends. At my age it ain’t so tight, just saying.

  15. Good morning.

    Ran a few errands for Irv now and then. Nice.

    So this new coach, 29, well who cares. I’m all in on HCMT. So he couldn’t get the guy(s) he wanted for this job? Hey he has what 4 years plus outside linebacker coaching experience. Which is more than Adams had coaching running backs when he showed up here and became running backs coach. (And tight ends) He had zero rb coaching experience.
    Sheesh

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Now about recruiting. Hey the new coach has connections in Europe. He has coached there. He is over there teaching a class. Mein Gott what an advantage for the Mighty Buffs. HCMT said the Mighty Buff recruiting would be everywhere. Wow worldwide

  16. Sad to hear that Irv Brown has passed away, even though I only know of him from listening to Mile High Sports radio over the last six years or so. He was one of the few “doesn’t just want to talk Broncos 100% of the time” guys, and made my lunch breaks just a bit better.

    1. Very sad indeed..loved listening to Irv and Joe pre sports talk radio explosion. Todays sports talk is not good (Broncos 24/7/365) compared to the glory days of Irv and Joe. I miss their college football talk, especially Nebraska week. RIP Irv, you will be missed my many.

  17. As mentioned in a post on an earlier thread, only Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Texas have been ranked in the Top Ten to close out a season at least once during the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s. Colorado and Nebraska have earned that accomplishment during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, but are still missing for the 10’s (If CU had won just one of the final two games to close out the 2016 season, this particular streak would still be alive).

    You will notice that Colorado is the only Pac-12 team that remains a part of this very exclusive “club.” Coach Crowder and Coach Mac both deserve special commendation for establishing a legacy of sustained excellence at CU!

  18. Wow! I would have bet a shiny new nickel that USC, Notre Dame and Ohio St would have had longer stays in the polls than we did. Kudos to the original Coach Mac.

  19. gee Mr. Mandel. Thanks so much for the B rating. I am not going to argue the rating but has Mr Mandel ever been coached? Has he played ball and been under the supervision of a coach? The guy has been writing for 18 years but He doesnt seem to realize the PAC 12 has defensive and offensive lines too. Thats where any high level football program begins. Peterson showed us that on D and Shaw showed us that on O.
    So glad I didnt grow up on the East coast.
    I do plan on getting out to New Yaawk for a week one of these days to take in Marsalis at the Lincoln Center and italian food at one of those places where a mob boss was shot. Then its home as fast as possible.

    1. I don’t know ep, are you planning on eating at the Sparks Steak House where “Big Paul C” bought the farm, maybe you can have a side of spaghetti with your steak, though. You maybe need to think about the “Little Italy” area for some Sunday Gravy on Homemade Pasta.

      These sports writers seem to have missed the news that Mac II is gone, and left a team that is in much better shape talent and depth wise then when he came. We hopefully have some coaches that can coach’em up and maybe not necessarily have a year like 2016 but one that approximates it.

  20. Tis the season for early prediction lists. (sigh) So much 20 20 hindsight. I might look into getting paid for making them and telling everyone Alabama will win the NC next year.

    I wasnt surprised to see Viska high on the draft list. You know he will be double teamed a lot next year. I am praying Mel will be smart enough to use him as a decoy as much as a primary target instead of desperately overusing him like Chev/MM did last year. We do have Brown and Nixon here still. While I am still praying I noticed the new TE coach had some pretty decent receiving stats as a player. Nuff said there.
    D wins championships but you can throw that out the window if you dont score. The O line is still the critical component. Sorry to see Aaron leave. I know he was part of the deficient O line play last year but he does have another year of experience, might benefit from the new coaching and was a leader. The brain dead play calling didnt help the O line play either.

    1. ep, you cover a multitude of issues and are right on. Just about everything you questioned in your post regarding the old regime occurred to me more then once last season while watching the Buffs on TV.

      Whoever that is not with the team to start the CSU game that we were counting on will probably be missed, but the rest of the team must step forward with the new coaches. I know it is a cliche’ but “next man up is the mantra,” and I right now am enthused to see how this new staff is able to coach’em up. I don’t think they will have as much of a problem with VK’s so called “learning curve,” as the last group.

    2. Hello Boys,

      Hope all is well in the world of ep and AZ. VK is doing great. Thanks for asking.

      Perhaps you didn’t see the latest rivals (IT WAS FREE STU) Where Chev was interviewed. Very enlightening.
      Here is the first q and the a:
      What were some of the biggest things you learned about yourself as a coach in 2018?

      Chiaverini: “I think most importantly, staying true to myself as a play caller. I think when you go through the kind of year that we had — starting 5-0 and being one of the top offenses — then having some injuries and struggling down the stretch, what I learned the most was staying true to who I am and not compromising that. When I get my opportunity again, I’ll stay true to who I am.”

      Interesting he played the injury card…………..But the “true to who I am” says a lot about what happened to the O last year. (HC-DC-QBC-LC) Speculate at your own risk. But the four donkeys are gone and chev is still here.

      Anyway have a good week end. Senior bowl be having some Buffs in it.

      Go Buffs

      Note: None

  21. Recruiting is such an exact science eh? MFHCMT has quite the challenge ahead of him. Regardless, of the hype and supposed improvement made in the last 6 years, the mighty Buffs on the football field are exactly where they were six years ago. Last place in the division and at the bottom of the Pac.

    The new kid can play. Watch his video. But like the past 6 years, the last recruits are not the 5 or 4 or even high 3 stars the top programs get at the end. It is just how it is, has been and will be. Miracles do happen. The Buffs football (and basketball) need a couple right now.

    Buffs.

    1. I know. just when the d line was improving. hope we dont ave to face him a couple of years from now. There is good news though. USC offered Trujillo and that speaks very well for him. and subsequently for the buffs.

  22. That’s a bummer about Izzy. Oh well. Attrition happens. Makes it tougher when the kid is probably an NFL talent, but… next man up, I guess.

    Go Buffs

    1. For (hopefully) the last time …
      Quit posting info only found on premium sites.
      Post a link to where you found the info on a free site, and I’ll leave it up. Otherwise, it gets moved to trash.
      Got it?
      Thanks,
      S

    2. Well, if that’s true, and a quick google search points to her tweet that it is, that’s a bummer. I would like to thank one Mike MacIntyre for bringing her to Boulder, developing the summer bridge program, and building out the entire academic support program CU has in place now.

      It is critical to have at a program like CU, and most in the Pac 12, where academics do actually matter.

      Here’s to hoping Mel can find and reel in someone of equal or greater caliber to take that part of the program to the next level, too.

      Go Buffs

  23. Seen + Solder in a couple of years? Wouldn’t that be sweet. We also got the Gustav Kid who looks like a young Ahnold. A European pipleline? OK, a little premature.

  24. That letter from Bosley is great. A big “F U” to John Kroll, who seems to be an idiot when it comes to understanding the finances of the athletic department.


  25. It is such a great feeling to wake up each morning and realize the 6 disaster year regime of WacMac is over.

    Mein Gott………………..What a feeling…………..

    First when there’s nothing
    But a slow glowing dream
    That your fear seems to hide
    Deep inside your mind
    All alone I have cried
    Silent tears full of pride
    In a world made of steel
    Made of stone
    Well, I hear the music
    Close my eyes, feel the rhythm
    Wrap around
    Take a hold of my heart
    What a feeling
    Bein’s believin’
    I can have it all

    Take your passion
    And make it happen
    Pictures come alive

    I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
    I can see all obstacles in my way
    Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
    It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
    Sun-Shiny day.

    HCMT go buffs

  26. wow
    the World bowl teaser has been driving me crazy. I have googled my butt off and even went to Mexcico City newspapers to find a recap with nothing but vain attempts. Rivals must have this thing locked down entirely. Mueller has to admire them.

  27. “The cupboards are not bare here. There’s an element of toughness on our roster right now …. We’re going to be violent. I feel we already have that on our team and we’re just going to add to it” HCMT………..Snarl

    Players make plays, Players win Games WacMac…………..tears…………”your my dream”

    Buffs…………..New Sheriff right here in Boulder city.

    Note: WacMacs were not tough cause WacMac is not tough.

  28. Love the direction, maybe not the signees so far (optimistic this will improve) of Coach Tuck based on yesterday. Mac1 we had NFL talent on both lines, SlickRick could never recruit the lines (wherever he coached) we took a step back. Barnett obviously brought back the physical line play, then the dark ages….thinking this team stylistically will look similar to the B12 Champion Team.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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?

  32. “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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

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