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Spring Practice Notes and Quotes

April 27th – Spring Game Day!!

Spring Game – Gold 55, Black 27

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

From CUBuffs.com … Mel Tucker got what he wanted most from his first spring game as Colorado’s head football coach — effort.

No doubt, CU’s first-year head coach had a long checklist of items he hoped to see Saturday at a sun-splashed Folsom Field. But more than anything, Tucker wanted to see his Buffaloes wrap up their spring session by playing hard from start to finish.

“Obviously you want execution on both sides of the ball,” Tucker said of a game that saw the Gold tally a 55-27 win. “They are all my guys out there. (But) football’s not a game of perfect. What I really wanted to see, I wanted to see guys compete, I wanted to see guys finish, I wanted to see guys strain, I wanted to see guys execute. We got that today.”

Of course, there’s also no doubt the final tally — the most points ever scored in a true CU spring game — had Tucker, a former defensive coordinator, and his defensive assistants cringing just a bit.

Still, there were enough big plays on both sides of the ball to provide optimism all around. Perhaps most importantly, it wrapped up a spring that showed steady progress from beginning to end, a major priority for the CU coaching staff that used 15 practices to install the basics of new offensive, defensive and special teams schemes.

CU coaches divided the Buffs roster into two teams that featured the No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense on the Gold team and the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense on the Black squad.

In the end, the No. 2 offense had a field day for the Gold, racking up 536 yards en route to putting double nickels on the board (also the most points ever scored by a team in the CU spring game). The Gold’s effort included a sparkling 13-for-15, 195-yard, two-touchdown day from quarterback Sam Noyer; a 12-carry, 149-yard effort from running back Jaren Mangham, including a 65-yard touchdown run; and a seven-catch, 138-yard, two-touchdown day from Daniel Arias.

“Too many points,” said defensive coordinator Tyson Summers. “Everything we’ve done a good job with so far is having a sense of urgency and understanding that every situation we’re in is a competitive situation. That’s obviously the most competitive situation we’ve been in all spring and I expect us to go out there and be able to dominate. I really do.”

But the Gold defense also came up with four interceptions in the second half that paved the way for some Gold scores, including a Mekhi Blackmon 17-yard interception return for a touchdown off an errant Josh Goldin pass. Blackmon finished with two of the Gold’s four interceptions, with Carson Wells and Isaiah Lewis recording the others.

“We came in at halftime not real happy about the amount of points we gave up in the second quarter and we challenged them,” Summers said. “We were fortunate enough on one side to be able to get some takeaways, something we’ve tried to stress throughout the spring. It’s nice to see Mekhi come in back-to-back series and and we get three or four in a row. It kind of changes the pace of the game.”

… Some offensive highlights:

— Along with Arias’ outstanding day for the Gold, Bell hauled in six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown.

— Sophomore quarterback Tyler Lytle, also playing for the Gold, finished 7-for-10 for 119 yards and a score.

— Mangham’s 149-yard day included two long touchdown runs, one for 35 yards and another for 65, and he also had three receptions for 14 yards.

— For the Black, Stanley finished with seven catches for 98 yards and a score, Brown had five for 79 and a touchdown and K.D. Nixon had two for 66, including a 57-yard reception, the longest of the day.

Defensively, Blackmon’s interceptions no doubt helped break open a tight game (the Gold led just 21-17 at the half). Other defensive highlights:

— Gold linebacker Nate Landman finished with 13 tackles, including a sack, and fellow inside ‘backer Jonathan Van Diest had nine tackles and a sack.

— For the Black, outside linebacker Jacob Callier had six tackles, including one for loss, and a sack.

— Gold cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr. had five tackles and three pass breakups.

On special teams, Alex Kinney punted four times for a 50-yard average, with a long of 57.

Continue reading story here

Team Statistics:

Black – 77 plays for 392 yards (5.1 yards/play) – first team offense v. first team defense

— Passing – 23-for-48 for 287 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions

— Rushing – 29 carries for 105 yards, one touchdown

Gold – 58 plays for 536 yards (9.2 yards/play) – second team offense v. second team defense

— Passing – 20-for-25 for 314 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions

— Rushing – 33 carries for 222 yards, four touchdowns

Individual Statistics:

Black 

Passing:

Steven Montez – 23-for 44 for 287 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, two sacks

Josh Goldin – 0-for-3 for 0 yards, one interception (pick six)

Joe Davis – 0-for-1 for 0 yards, on interception

Rushing:

Joe Davis – 9 carries for 59 yards

Alex Fontenot – 9 carries for 34 yards

Jarek Broussard – 9 carries for 26 yards, one touchdown

Receiving:

Dimitri Stanley – 7 receptions for 98 yards, one touchdown

Tony Brown – 5 receptions for 79 yards, one touchdown

K.D. Nixon – 2 receptions for 66 yards

Jalen Harris – 2 receptions for 17 yards

Brady Russell – 2 receptions for 11 yards

Jarek Broussard – 2 receptions for 7 yards

Alex Fontenot – 2 receptions for 4 yards

Joe Davis – one reception for 5 yards

Gold 

Passing:

Sam Noyer – 13-for-15 for 195 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions

Tyler Lytle – 7-for-10 for 119 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions

Rushing: 

Jaren Mangham – 12 carries for 149 yards, three touchdowns

Deion Smith – 16 carries for 60 yards

Daniel Arias – one carry for 10 yards

Tyler Lytle – one carry for 8 yards

Receiving:

Daniel Arias – 7 receptions for 138 yards, two touchdowns

Maurice Bell – 6 receptions for 129 yards, one touchdown

Jaren Mangham – 3 receptions for 14 yards

Curtis Chiaverini – 1 reception for 18 yards

Defensive 

Black – (2nd team)

Leading tacklers (six apiece): Lucas Cooper; Uryan Hudson; Jacob Callier; Akil Jones

Gold (1st team)

Leading tacklers: Nate Landman (13); Jonathan Van Diest (9); four with five – Delrick Abrams; Isaiah Lewis; Carson Wells; Trey Udoffia

Interceptions: Mehki Blackmon (2 – including one returned for a touchdown); Isaiah Lewis; Carson Wells

Special Teams

James Stefanou – 3-for-3 on extra points; 0-for-1 on field goal attempts (62 yards)

Tyler Francis – 2-for-2 on extra points; 2-for-2 on field goal attempts (23, 39 yards)

Davis Price – 4-of-5 extra points; 5 punts for a 45.6 yard average

Evan Price – 3-of-4 extra points

Alex Kinney – 4 punts for a 50.5 yard average

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 26th

Rosters for Spring game – Montez v. Noyer/Lytle

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker announced the rosters for Saturday’s Black and Gold Spring Game, presented by UCHealth, on Friday morning. The spring game format between the two teams that were selected will be like a regular game with 15-minute quarters.

All entrances to Folsom Field will open at 11 a.m. with kickoff slated for noon. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

There are numerous events for fans surrounding the game. Throughout the day, fans can visit food trucks and beer tasting (21+) on the concourse and select their seats for season tickets.

Pregame starting at 11 a.m., Healthy Kids Day, presented by Children’s Hospital Colorado, will take place in the Indoor Practice Facility with activities and fitness stations conducted by CU student-athletes. Several current and former NFL players from CU will also be in the IPF for autographs. Additionally, the UCHealth photo booth will be on the concourse.

Postgame, fans are invited on the field for an autograph and selfie session with CU student-athletes and coaches. Fans can also participate in the UCHealth Skills Challenge, including a 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and three-cone drill. The skills challenge is for kids 8th grade and under.

The first 100 CU students in attendance will receive a Qdoba meal card and free ice cream will also be provided.

GOLD TEAM

No.NamePos.Yr.
1Jaren ManghamRBFr.
1Delrick Abrams Jr.DBSr.
4Sam NoyerQBJr.
6Curtis ChiaveriniWRSo.
6Alec PellLBFr.
7Tyler LytleQBSo.
8Trey UdoffiaDBJr.
9Aaron MaddoxDBJr.
10Jaylon JacksonWRSo.
13Maurice BellWRSo.
18Jeremiah DossDLSo.
20Deion SmithRBRFr.
20Davion TaylorLBSr.
22Daniel AriasWRSo.
23Isaiah LewisDBSo.
25Mekhi BlackmonDBJr.
26Carson WellsLBSo.
27Dylan ThomasWRRFr.
27Kevin GeorgeDBJr.
29Dustin JohnsonDBRFr.
31Jonathan Van DiestLBSo.
32Ray RobinsonLBRFr.
33Chase SandersRBJr.
34Mustafa JohnsonDLJr.
41Devin LynchLBSo.
43Evan PriceKRFr.
45James TownsendLSRFr.
49Davis PriceK/PSr.
50Va’atofu SauvaoOLJr.
52Joshua JynesOLRFr.
52Alex TchangamLBSr.
53Nate LandmanLBJr.
54Kanan RayOLRFr.
54Terrance LangDLSo.
57John DeitchmanOLRFr.
64Austin JohnsonOLFr.
65Colby PursellOLSo.
74Chance LytleOLSo.
77Hunter VaughnOLJr.
79Heston PaigeOLSo.
80Derek ColemanTEJr.
84Clayton BacaWRRFr.
85Jared PoplawskiTESo.
86C.J. SchmanskiTERFr.
87Alexander SmithWRFr.
88Darrion JonesTESr.
89Alex KinneyPSr.
91Jalen SamiDLRFr.
95Sam LoyPJr.

BLACK TEAM

No.NamePos.Yr.
2Laviska Shenault Jr.WRJr.
2Ronnie BlackmonDBJr.
3K.D. NixonWRJr.
3Derrion RakestrawDBJr.
4Dante WigleyDBSr.
5Hasaan HypoliteDBSo.
8Alex FontenotRBSo.
9Jalen HarrisTESr.
12Steven MontezQBSr.
13Uryan HudsonDBJr.
14Dimitri StanleyWRRFr.
14Chris MillerDBSo.
15Legend BrumbaughTESo.
16Blake StenstromQBRFr.
17Josh GoldinQBSr.
17K.J. TrujilloDBFr.
18Tony BrownWRSr.
21Dante SparacoDLJr.
22L.J. WallaceDBRFr.
23Jarek BroussardRBRFr.
28Joe DavisRBFr.
30Curtis AppletonDBSo.
33Joshka GustavLBFr.
35Beau BisharatTESr.
36Akil JonesLBJr.
37Lucas CooperDBSr.
38Brady RussellTESo.
39Ryan TravisDBSo.
42Nu’umotu Falo Jr.LBSr.
44Jacob CallierLBSo.
46Chase NewmanLBSo.
48James StefanouKJr.
50Jake YurachekLBRFr.
55Brett TonzOLSr.
56Tim LynottOLSr.
58Kary KutschOLJr.
59Colby KeiterLBSo.
63J.T. BaleLSSr.
70Casey RoddickOLRFr.
71Jack ShutackOLSr.
73Jacob MorettiOLSo.
76Frank FillipOLSo.
78William ShermanOLSo.
82Jake GrothWRRFr.
89Alex KinneyPSr.
92Ben MartinezDLRFr.
93Tyler FrancisKRFr.
96Melekiola FinauDLRFr.
98Nico MagriDLSo.

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April 25th

Tight end Jalen Harris: “I can catch the ball and I have good hands”

From CUBuffs.com … To put it in simple terms, Jalen Harris came to Colorado to become a true tight end.

Harris, a graduate transfer from Auburn, is enrolled at CU, has been practicing with the Buffs throughout spring ball and will play his final year of college ball next fall in a Colorado uniform. If all goes well — if spring ball is any indication — he will see plenty of playing time in 2019 and the ball will come his way on a relatively regular basis.

That will be something new for Harris.

In three years at Auburn, he recorded just four receptions for 33 yards, with two of those going for touchdowns. But he was seldom in the role of a passing game target. Virtually all of his playing time came as an H-back, lining up in the backfield directly behind the tackle, where he served mainly as a blocking back for the run game.

With the Buffs, he is now playing all three tight ends spots — lined up next to the tackle, in the backfield, and occasionally out wide in the slot. It means more opportunity in the passing game while still developing his blocking skills — both of which he hopes will translate into a chance to play at the next level.

“That was my whole reason for transferring,” Harris said. “I knew my ability. I know I can catch the ball and I have good hands. It’s just a matter of repetition now and practicing and getting that timing down with Steven (Montez).”

Continue reading story here

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April 24th 

Practice #14 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED (pads)

Mel Tucker: “I expect to see great focus (at the Spring Game). We’re going out there to work”

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Mel Tucker doesn’t want to see anything fancy in Saturday’s spring game finale at Folsom Field.

Rather, Tucker wants to see what he has seen for most of the spring — the Buffs going to work and getting better. It was a message he delivered to his players after Wednesday’s practice, and one he reiterated to the media in his post-practice briefing.

“I told them we’ve got the spring game coming up but really, it’s just practice 15,” Tucker said. “It’s not going to be anything different. We’re going out there and we’re going to work to get better. It’s going to be all meat and potatoes and no French pastry.”

That has actually been the theme for the entirety of Tucker’s first spring in Boulder. The Buffs’ approach has been a workmanlike effort every day as they installed new schemes on both sides of the ball under the new coaching staff, as well as absorbed the foundation of a new Colorado culture.

The result, Tucker said, has been a spring in which the Buffs made consistent progress on a daily basis.

“We have, other than that one Monday when we took a step back coming off the weekend, which was unacceptable,” Tucker said. “Other than that, I felt like we’ve made steady progress in terms of sense of urgency and how we practice, the physicality, the fundamentals, along with the scheme and execution. We’ve gotten better pretty much every day.”

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Wednesday)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

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April 23rd

Chris Kapilovic: “They may not be the most talented, they may not be the biggest — but if we’re consistent, we’ll have a chance”

From CUBuffs.com … More than anything, Colorado offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic wants to see consistency from his group.

As spring ball has progressed, Kapilovic has started to see signs of that consistency developing. But, he said, the Buffs’ men in the trenches still have plenty of work to do as they wrap up spring ball with two more workouts this week, then head into a key summer training session before fall camp.

“So far, we’ve had some really good moments,” Kapilovic said. “We’ve had some good plays and some good periods — but then we’ll take a step back. Part of that is youth, part of that is learning a new system, part of it is me shuffling guys around, and part of it is those guys having to understand that they have to play every play like it’s fourth down and the game’s on the line.”

When it comes to the first three, there is no “fast forward” button for Kapilovic and his players. Young players become experienced over time, they will become more and more comfortable with the new system as they get more repetitions and study time, and the coaching staff at some point will begin to develop a regular rotation.

But the fourth area — playing every play as if the game were on the line — is an approach Kapilovic is trying to get his players to adopt immediately.

“The thing is, you never know which play in a game is going to affect that game,” he said. “There’s always about four or five plays in a game that will ultimately have a big impact on the outcome, but we don’t know which one it’s going to be. So we have to play every one like it’s the one that decides the game.”

Continue reading story here

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Darian Hagan on running backs: “They love to compete, they love what they’re doing”

From the Daily Camera … Colorado running backs coach Darian Hagan is working with a group this spring that has almost no game experience.

It’s a talented group, but he reminds them all the time that outsiders aren’t expecting much from them.

“I use it all the time, because I don’t want those guys to walk around and get a big head because they’re having success during spring ball,” Hagan said. “That stuff has to carry over to the season and carry over through the years. Until they understand that and they don’t go out with a big head and think they’ve arrived, I’m going to constantly use it and constantly keep them in their place.”

Sophomore Alex Fontenot (11 carries for 43 yards) and walk-on junior Chase Sanders (four carries for nine yards) are the only tailbacks on the roster that have carried the ball in a game. Hagan, however, has confidence in the group to get the job done next season.

“They’re going to be fine,” he said. “They love to compete, they love what they’re doing. They’ll be just fine.”

Continue reading story here

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April 22nd

Practice No. 13 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED (pads)

Buffs don’t suffer the same drop off which occurred last Monday

From CUBuffs.com …  There were no Monday morning blues for the Colorado Buffaloes this time around.

Unlike a week ago, when the Buffs returned to work after a weekend off and produced a less-than-stellar practice effort, CU players hit the field Monday morning and delivered a solid workout.

“We got better today,” CU head coach Mel Tucker said.

That, of course, is the goal every day. Tucker and his staff have stressed steady improvement, and for the most part, the Buffs have followed that trend this spring.

But that process and progress hasn’t occurred overnight. Instead, it has required the steady installation of a new culture emphasizing the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity available to improve.

It has been a process of evolution.

“The players are finally starting to understand the value of a practice,” Tucker said. “What really goes into a practice and how hard you have to play every snap, how important it is, the sense of urgency that you need on every single play, every drill, the intensity that we need to have. I felt that today, from start to finish, coming off the weekend, which was much better than last Monday.”

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Monday)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

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April 21st 

Tight ends coach Al Pupunu: “I’m liking the group. We just have to continue to get better”

From the Daily Camera … When hired this offseason to coach the Colorado tight ends, Al Pupunu knew it was going to be a process to get his group ready.

With a week to go in spring practices, Pupunu is encouraged by the progress of a position group that isn’t used to being much of a weapon in the Buffaloes’ offense.

“Slowly we’re making improvements,” Pupunu said. “It’s taking some time, but that’s one thing that’s nice about spring ball is we’re continuing to get better. We’ve still got a long ways to go, but we have to continue to improve on it.”

Tight ends have caught a total of 17 passes in the last three years at CU, but that will change under new head coach Mel Tucker and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. Pupunu, 49, is also a big believer in the tight end being a weapon, as he had a record-breaking career at Weber State before playing nine seasons in the NFL.

Right now, Pupunu and the Buffs have a group that’s got plenty of room to gro

Continue reading story here

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April 20th

Video from the second spring scrimmage

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April 19th

Second scrimmage productive – “Really good competition today”

Related: “CU Buffs take step forward in second spring scrimmage” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … After starting the week on a down note, the Colorado Buffaloes finished strong on Friday, knocking out a scrimmage that included big plays on both sides of the ball and the intensity that head coach Mel Tucker considers to be non-negotiable.

“Really good competition today,” Tucker said after the practice at Folsom Field, CU’s 12th of the spring. “More physical, more intensity, really good back and forth with the offense and the defense. Good execution on special teams. I thought we put some money in the bank today.”

What is evident is that the Buffs are beginning to feel more comfortable in their new schemes on both sides of the ball. As they continue to learn the nuances of their assignments, they react more instinctively — and thus have the opportunity to make plays.

“I see guys playing faster and that’s because they know more of what to do and how to do it,” Tucker said. “There’s more communication on both sides of the ball. That’s a good thing. Guys tend to communicate more because they have more awareness of what’s going on. I think we’ve gotten better.”

Continue reading story here

Video: Mel Tucker post-scrimmage press conference – “I thought we put some money in the bank today”

CU conducted its second scrimmage of the spring Friday … link to stats sheet

From Brian Howell at the Daily Camera …

• Five different players (Alex Fontenot, Jaren Mangham, Daniel Arias, Deion Smith and Montez) scored on rushing touchdowns.

• Freshman Joe Davis led the team with 29 rushing yards on eight carries.

• Senior Tony Brown caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.

• Linebacker Akil Jones led the team with seven tackles and a sack.

• Freshman linebacker Alec Pell had two sacks.

• Nose tackle Jalen Sami had six tackles.

• Junior linebacker Nate Landman added four tackles and a sack.

• James Stefanou hit a 50-yard field goal and went 3-for-3 on extra points.

• Alex Kinney averaged 49 yards on six punts, with a long of 55 yards.

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April 18th

Freshman Deion Smith learning to be a physical back despite his size

From the Daily Camera … Hired as the head football coach at Colorado in December, Mel Tucker has repeatedly talked about his desire to stock the roster with big, physical running backs.

That raised the eyebrows of freshman Deion Smith, who came to CU last fall with 171 pounds on his 6-foot frame and a game that was more finesse than power.

“At first I was kind of worried because I’m like, ‘OK coach wants bigger backs,'” Smith said this week. “But, if I combo that up with my speed and physicality, I feel like it’ll equal out.”

Part of a talented, but inexperienced, backfield, Smith is now tipping the scale at 193 pounds and making progress in his quest to become the type of tailback CU wants.

“Pass protection was the hardest thing to pick up on, but other than that, I feel like I’m having a pretty good spring,” he said. “I still have a lot of stuff I need to do, a lot of stuff I need to show.”

Continue reading story here

“Elder statesman” Alex Fontenot making his case for starting running back

From CUBuffs.com … Just a couple of weeks ago, Colorado running backs coach Darian Hagan said of sophomore Alex Fontenot, “He has home-run ability. If he can stick his foot in the ground, he’s gone.”

Fontenot has shown that knack this spring, including a long touchdown run in Wednesday’s full-speed team drills. Fontenot went to his left, turned the corner, avoided one tackle, then went the distance, showing the game-breaking speed his coaches hope to see more of.

“Once I see the hole, I hit it and I have a chance to be gone,” Fontenot said.

Even though he is only a sophomore, Fontenot is the “elder statesman” of CU’s running backs corps. With the move of Beau Bisharat to tight end, he is the only scholarship running back on the roster to have a carry in a college game. But even his experience is limited, as he last season had just 11 carries for 43 yards (including a 15-yard touchdown run).

It means the competition at the position is wide open. Also pressing for playing time are redshirt freshmen Deion Smith and Jarek Broussard and true freshmen Jaren Mangham and Joe Davis. All are getting their opportunities this spring to show their stuff — and all have had their moments.

“You can tell everybody wants the number one spot,” Fontenot said with a grin. “Competition is huge. We’re all friends, we all want everybody to do well. When somebody makes a big run, we’re all happy for them. When someone makes a mistake, you critique them and help them learn what they could do better. We all help each other and pull for each other, but we all want that spot.”

Continue reading story here

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April 17th

Practice #11 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Wednesday) – “You can’t play fast if you don’t know what you’re doing”

From CUBuffs.com … Consider it a case of message delivered, message received.

After a Monday practice that did not meet the standards of head coach Mel Tucker, the Colorado Buffaloes returned to the field Wednesday and put forth an effort more to Tucker’s liking. The Buffs hit the field in full pads for practice, which included some full-speed, “to the ground” work in team drills in CU’s Indoor Practice Facility.

“Much better focus today,” Tucker said. “More intensity, harder hitting, better tempo. I just know we had an overall better practice. … They were able to sustain. It was very competitive all the way to the end of practice.”

Since his arrival, Tucker has made it clear he will address issues immediately in practice. Players earn praise after good plays, but there is no such thing as waiting until film sessions to correct mistakes.

“You have to confront and demand,” Tucker said. “You can’t sit back and hope that it gets better. We had to make some changes. We changed the format of the practice. We got into some of the team periods — live team periods — earlier in the practice, like right away. On days like this we’d normally thud and stay off the ground. About half of our periods today were live to the ground. I felt like we needed to make some changes to get back on track so we did that.”

Tucker and his staff have been intent upon changing the culture of the program since their arrival. That reaches far beyond the installation of new offensive and defensive schemes. It also means making sure players understand what is expected of them, whether it be in practice or in the meeting rooms.

“We’re learning how to practice,” Tucker said. “We’re learning the value of a practice, how important it is. How important every rep is, how important every meeting is. We’re learning that. That’s a culture change, quite frankly. Everything we ask (players) to do is important. If it wasn’t important, we wouldn’t ask. That’s practice, meetings. We want our practices to be game-like. You can’t do that unless you play fast, you play hard, you play physical, like the games are going to be. When we don’t practice like that, then we’re basically wasting time.”

Read full story here

Link of Mel Tucker’s Wednesday post-practice talk with media, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

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April 16th

Spring Game details 

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • Healthy Kids Day (for kids 8th grade and under) presented by Children’s Hospital Colorado (Indoor Practice Facility)
    • Skills and fitness stations run by CU student-athletes
    • Activities and games from Children’s Hospital Colorado
    • Inflatable games provided by Rocky Mountain Day Camp
  • Football Alumni Autograph Session (Indoor Practice Facility)

12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

  • Spring Game (Folsom Field)
    • Full scrimmage between teams

2 p.m.

  • Selfie session with football student-athletes and coaches (Folsom Field)

Kicker James Stefanou wants to pull double duty this fall

From the Daily Camera … For much of the past two seasons, the Buffs have had the same duo handling kicking duties: James Stefanou on place kicks and Davis Price on kickoffs. Stefanou, however, would like to handle both if he can.

“That’s a thing with new coaches, everything is up for grabs,” he said. “I want to prove I can kick off, which I’m confident I can do. If I get the opportunity to do it during the season I’ll jump at it.”

Stefanou is 22-for-30 on field goals during his CU career (and 65-for-65 on extra points), while Price has handled 124 of the Buffs’ 125 kickoffs in the past two years.

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April 15th

Practice #10 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED (pads)

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Monday)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Defensive coordinator Tyson Summers: “Each day we’ve tried to ask them to be more physical”

From the Daily Camera … Given the amount of players either injured or not yet on campus, this spring might be a tough time to judge what the Colorado defense can do next season.

Buffaloes defensive coordinator Tyson Summers, holding to the words of head coach Mel Tucker, isn’t making excuses.

“We’ve got what we’ve got,” Summers said. “We’re not trading for anybody.”

Instead, Summers is focused on developing the players he has available to him this spring and laying the foundation on defense.

Four junior college transfers and a graduate transfer are expected to join the Buffs on defense this summer, while Summers is also going through spring without a few injured players. Among the injured this spring are potential starters Chris Miller (cornerback) and Aaron Maddox (safety).

Despite missing some potentially key players, Summers and the rest of the defensive staff are forging ahead.

“I think the best thing they’ve done is being able to adapt their standard,” Summers said last week. “Each day we’ve tried to ask them to be more physical. Coach Tucker has talked a lot about that, and we’ve made it a point of emphasis. They’ve really tried to do a good job of that. And, we’re really trying to erase explosive plays, and I think we’ve done a better job of that the last two days.”

Continue reading story here

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April 14th

Steven Montez pleased with running game despite lack of experience

From the Daily Camera … Colorado may not have much experience at running back, but quarterback Steven Montez is excited about the ground game being installed in the offense.

“The run game at the line of scrimmage is different from anything we’ve had before,” Montez said Friday after the Buffaloes’ first scrimmage of spring. “It gives us the opportunity to get us out of bad plays instead of just running them for the sake of running them. I think that’s good for us and I think that’s going to help us a lot, just getting us in good plays consistently.”

Montez said he and the other quarterbacks are still learning the nuances of the offense being installed by coordinator Jay Johnson, but that they are getting better at “running the show” and connecting with receivers.

“It’s really just running the show and understanding of the offense, and we’re still not there yet, but we’re getting close,” he said.

For now, though, Montez is pleased with the progress he and the Buffs are making, and he’s excited about the run game, despite the lack of experience.

Continue reading story here

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April 13th

Steven Montez on first scrimmage: “We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close”

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

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April 12th

Practice #9 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 9:00 a.m. approx. scrimmage – CLOSED pads

Jaylon Jackson star of first spring scrimmage

From the Daily Camera … Colorado’s Jaylon Jackson has always possessed play-making ability, but little opportunity in recent years to show it off.

On Friday, the sophomore receiver didn’t have a crowd watching him, but he did once again show his teammates and his new coaches that he can be dynamic. Jackson hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from Steven Montez for a late touchdown during a closed-door scrimmage in the Buffs’ indoor practice facility.

“Jaylon Jackson caught a two-minute, last minute Hail Mary to win the game,” Montez said. “That was a big play today.”

In CU’s first scrimmage of the spring — and the first under head coach Mel Tucker — there were a lot of plays and positive signs of progress.

“I was encouraged today because it was the first time that we were able to scrimmage live and I could tell that there was a little bit of anxiety and tension because it was for real,” Tucker said. “We really stepped up and competed.”

Friday was the ninth of 15 spring practices. Given that it’s spring and the Buffs are still getting acclimated to a new coaching regime “it wasn’t perfect on either side of the ball,” Tucker said.

Continue reading story here

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Outside linebackers being taught to rely on instincts 

From CUBuffs.com … (Alex) Tchangam (playing in just his fourth year of organized football) has no doubt made strides even since the beginning of spring ball. He is now reacting instinctively more and more often and making plays.

“From the beginning of spring to now, I can say my instincts have gotten a lot better, understanding the game and the offense,” he said. “I still have a lot to learn but I think I’m improving every day.”

That, outside linebacker Brian Michalowski said, is the goal of the entire OLB group that includes one regular starter from last year, Carson Wells, as well as senior Nu’umotu Falo and Jacob Callier, both of whom have plenty of experience.

“We’re getting better,” Michalowski said. “We focus on running to the football, setting edge, squeezing hips. We’re focused on pressuring the quarterback and then getting the ball back to the offense. One big thing is we pride ourselves on being relentless. That’s what Coach Tucker talks about and that’s what we try to emphasize in our position group.”

CU’s new coaching staff has been mixing and matching players with the No. 1 and No. 2 units throughout the spring on both sides of the ball. It gives coaches a look at players in different situations and against different competition.

They can then better evaluate every player.

“You want to give everyone a fair opportunity and create a competitive culture,” Michalowski said. “That’s what I want in our room — 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.”

Continue reading story here

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April 11th

Senior linebacker Nu’umotu Falo Jr. ready to contribute in new defense

From the Daily Camera … Following a suspension that took him away from football during the 2017 season, Nu’umotu Falo Jr. returned to the Colorado Buffaloes a year ago eager to prove he had matured off the field.

Falo accomplished that goal, but with one season of eligibility remaining, he’s hoping to prove himself on the field this year.

A 6-foot-2, 240-pound senior, Falo is competing for a starting role at outside linebacker this spring with the Buffaloes.

“I feel great. I’m excited to be out there,” Falo said Wednesday after the Buffs’ eighth practice of spring. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be out there. I’m loving every rep I get out there.”

Falo hasn’t had nearly as many game reps as he would have hoped during his career to this point. He played 116 defensive snaps as a true freshman in 2015 and 257 more as a sophomore in 2016. After sitting out the 2017 season, he returned last year, but played just 41 snaps on defense.

Continue reading story here

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April 10th

Practice #8 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads

Mel Tucker: “We won’t put anyone on the field that’s not going to play physical football”

From the Daily Camera … Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker has made it very clear to his players that physical football is the only option if they want to play for the Buffaloes.

“We won’t put anyone on the field that’s not going to play physical football, because you can’t play football like that,” he said. “I’ve told these guys every day, ‘If you’re physical and you’ll run and you’ll hit, you’ll probably find a way on the football field. If you don’t, no matter how talented you are, if you won’t hit, if you’re not physical, then you will not play.’ That’s just our program.

“There’s only one way to play the game of football and that’s just all-out, physical football.”

Tucker was pleased with the physicality of Wednesday’s practice — at least in the early going.

“We weren’t as physical towards the end, so we need to work on our conditioning and our mental disposition at the end of practice to strain and finish, but I thought we made progress today in terms of being physical,” he said.

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Wednesday)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Dimitri Stanley ready to step into his uncle’s famous shoes

From CUBuffs.com … After dipping his toes into the Division I football waters last season, Colorado redshirt freshman Dimitri Stanley is ready to dive in head first this year.

Stanley, a play-making wide receiver, is one of those players who benefitted from the NCAA’s new redshirt rule instituted last season. While he played in three games in 2018 (including two starts) — and caught six passes in the process — he is still a freshman under the rule that allows freshmen to play a maximum of four games and still retain redshirt status.

Now he’s lining up with the No. 1 unit this spring in offensive coordinator Jay Johnson‘s new offense alongside fellow receivers K.D. Nixon and Tony Brown. Stanley is getting the majority of his snaps from the slot position, a spot that offers him the opportunity to take advantage of his excellent speed, quickness and sure hands.

“Wherever I can help my team out is where the best fit is for me,” Stanley said. “I think I can play inside or outside. The slot right now is where I think I need to be, and where the coaches think I need to be, and where I can benefit the team the most.”

In terms of straight-line speed, Stanley’s abilities are beyond dispute. As a senior in high school, he ran on Cherry Creek’s 4×100 state champion relay team, and he finished fourth in the state meet 100 meters. He also has outstanding quickness and acceleration, giving him an edge on defensive backs coming out of his breaks on routes.

“Excellent ball skills, excellent quickness in and out of his break, really good speed,” was Buffs wide receiver coach Darrin Chiaverini‘s description. “He can be as good as he wants to be.”

Continue reading story here

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April 9th

Practice Report: Updates on position battles from Neill Woelk

From CUBuffs.com … PRACTICE REPORT: Competition at just about every position continues to be a theme of spring, as coaches are giving more players a chance to run with the No. 1 and No. 2 units.

One of those spots is outside linebacker, where Nu’umotu Falo and Alex Tchangam have been making a solid early impression. Both are getting repetitions with the No. 1 defense, along with returning starter Carson Wells. Also in the mix has been returnee Jacob Callier, who just recently got clearance for full go after some injury rehab. Coaches like Tchangam’s pass rush abilities while Falo lends a physical presence off the edge against the pass and the run. …

At running back, the competition is wide open. On Monday, redshirt freshmen Deion Smith and Jarek Broussard received some reps with the No. 1 offense, along with sophomore Alex Fontenot. Tucker said he isn’t worried about the lack of experience at the position.

“We’ll get them ready,” Tucker said. “As long as they can go out there and get their reps they can continue to improve. We’re going to coach them up. We have a high standard. Keep getting better every day. They’re young but they’re talented. That’s a good thing.” …

Quarterbacks Sam Noyer and Tyler Lytle shared snaps with the No. 2s on Monday. … Safety Hasaan Hypolite, while not cleared yet for full participation, continues to get some work in whenever possible with the No. 1 defense. … Redshirt freshman receiver Dimitri Stanleycontinues to show some big-play capability. Stanley has been working with the No. 1 offense (along with K.D. Nixon and Tony Brown), and Monday came up with a nice diving one-handed grab in the end zone. Brown, meanwhile, is also showing up on a regular basis while Nixon continues to be a long-ball threat, and had a nice catch of a deep ball in the end zone Monday against double coverage. …

Safety Isaiah Lewis had a leaping interception Monday against the No. 1 offense. … Getting some work with the No. 1 offensive line Monday were junior Kary Kutsch (right guard), redshirt freshman Casey Roddick (left guard) and senior Jack Shutack (right tackle). … Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Van Diest got some time inside with the No. 1 defense. … Defensive back Ronnie Blackmon had a nice interception against the No. 2 offense.

Read full story here

April 8th

Practice # 7 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED (pads)

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Monday)

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation (windy day – poor quality):

Offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic: “I’m hoping I can change the depth chart daily, weekly so there’s some real competition”

From the Daily Camera … After seven years in the same location and 11 years with the same boss, Chris Kapilovic has stepped out of his comfort zone this year.

Colorado’s new offensive line coach has been enjoying the change of scenery so far.

“It’s been good,” said Kapilovic, who was hired by first-year CU head coach Mel Tucker in December. “I love being on the field and I love this group. I was talking the other day about how hungry these guys are to not only just learn and be coached, but they really want to be good and they want to win.”

Kapilovic is used to winning. Working under head coach Larry Fedora for four years at Southern Mississippi (2008-11) and seven years at North Carolina (2012-18), Kapilovic helped his teams to bowls in eight of the last 11 years.

UNC fired Fedora after last season, leaving Kapilovic seeking another opportunity. He found not only an opportunity, but a new challenge, in Boulder, where he’s working with Tucker for the first time and reunited with offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. From 1999-2000, Johnson was an assistant coach at Kansas, while Kapilovic was a graduate assistant for the Jayhawks.

Continue reading story here

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April 6th

Nate Landman ready to be the leader of the defense

From the Daily Camera … Over the course of the last two years, Nate Landman has progressed from a youngster with potential to a star on the Colorado defense.

Along the way, he had the luxury of learning from veterans Rick Gamboa and Drew Lewis. With that duo now graduated, Landman has suddenly become the veteran leader of the Buffaloes at inside linebacker.

“I take it and I love it,” he said of embracing a leadership role. “I love being a leader on the team, being a communicator, helping people line up and knowing where to go, because it actually helps me play faster knowing what everyone else is doing.

“Being a junior and having those two years under my belt has definitely helped me immensely and I’m able to play faster and smarter out there and not only know what I’m doing but what everybody else is doing.”

Continue reading story here

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April 5th

Practice # 6 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice  CLOSED (pads)

Beau Bisharat moved from running back to tight end

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Friday) – from YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com

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

From YouTube, courtesy of Brian Howell:

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April 4th

Defense learning a 3-4 defense … which is really not a 3-4 defense

From CUBuffs.com … Technically, Colorado is still playing a 3-4 defense under new head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers.

But in reality there are more differences than similarities to the 3-4 scheme the Buffs played the last couple of years. CU’s linemen and outside linebackers are running a variety of three- and four-man fronts, edge rushers are mixing up their approaches, and the defense is making calls at the line of scrimmage based on the offensive formation.

It has not been an easy transition, but five practices into spring ball, Summers said CU’s defenders have done a good job in absorbing the new system.

“The thing I’m most proud of them is how well they’ve adapted,” Summers said earlier this week. “Our defense does have some similarities from a base 3-4 standpoint, but other than that, there’s a lot of changes. The best thing they’ve been able to do to this point is adapt to what we’re asking them to do.”

One major emphasis, particularly across the front seven, has been improving the pass rush. While Colorado finished with 29 sacks last season — tied for fourth in the Pac-12 — it’s a number CU’s new coaching staff would like to improve.

Thus, they are presenting a variety of looks and responsibilities, especially up front.

“It’s a lot of adjustments,” said defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson, who led Colorado last year with 8.5 sacks while also adding nine more tackles for loss. “It’s adjusting and being ready to adjust to what the offense comes out in. We have a lot of new calls. We’re not just going to play what we called. We’re going to adjust to what the offense gives us.”

Continue reading story here

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April 3rd

Practice # 5 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads

Mel Tucker post-practice talk with media (Wednesday) … “I’m starting to get to know some of the personalities on the team”

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation:

Highlights from Monday’s Practice No. 4

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April 2nd

Former wide receiver Derrion Rakestraw competing for starting safety position

From CUBuffs.com … Football instincts — the ability to read, react and make a play in a split second — are once again firing on all cylinders for Colorado junior Derrion Rakestraw.

Rakestraw, who came to Colorado as a wide receiver in 2016, is lining up at safety with the No. 1 defense alongside redshirt sophomore Isaiah Lewis this spring. It is his second spring at the position after making the switch in the fall of 2017, and while he did see action in seven games (262 snaps) last year in the secondary, he is just now feeling fully at home on the defensive side of the ball.

“I feel like I’m really comfortable with it now,” Rakestraw said after Monday’s practice, Colorado’s fourth of the spring. “I was getting comfortable last season and thought I made some plays, but this spring I feel like I’m there. It’s good to come out here and know what to do. It’s not as much thinking, it’s more just playing football.”

Rakestraw did make some plays for the Buffs last year, first getting time in a reserve role, then starting two games near the end of the season. He recorded his first career interception in his first career start at Arizona (one of only four interceptions by Buffs defensive backs last year), and finished the year with 19 tackles, a pair of pass breakups, four third-down stops, three quarterback pressures and one tackle for loss.

Now, he is vying for a starting spot at a position that is wide open as both of CU’s regular starters at safety last year, Nick Fisher and Evan Worthington, are gone. Rakestraw started spring ball with the No. 1 defense, and has done nothing to let the spot slip out of his hands.

Continue reading story here

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April 1st

Practice # 4 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice; CLOSED … shorts/helmets

Buffs have good first day back: “They know what the standard is” 

From CUBuffs.com … Very quietly, Monday might have been one of the first big tests of the spring for Mel Tucker‘s Colorado Buffaloes.

In Tucker’s eyes, his players passed.

The Buffs returned to work Monday after a week off for spring break and for the most part, Tucker liked what he saw. Instead of taking a step back after a week off following their first week of spring practice, the Buffs picked up where they left off — an important step for Tucker and his staff as they work toward building a new level of accountability.

“I thought the players did a good job today,” Tucker said. “They know what the standard is, what the expectation is for how we want to practice, how we need to work and they came out here and did that today.”

While spring break usually means getting out of town and enjoying a vacation, a number of CU players instead chose to remain in Boulder and work out on their own. Meanwhile, those who did leave still apparently found time to get some regular workouts in.

Thus, they did not take a step back after their nine-week “fourth quarter” offseason conditioning program and first week of spring practice.

“It was great to see,” Tucker said. “Obviously you have to do something over break to be ready for practice Monday and I thought we picked up where we left off.”

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker: “We’re laying the foundations for offense, defense, and special teams”

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

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March 29th

OL Will Sherman has put on 25 pounds this off-season

From the Daily Camera … Watching sophomore William Sherman breathing heavy during a recent practice, Colorado offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic had to let him hear about it.

“We were joking because he got a little winded a few times in practice and I told him, ‘It’s going to be a little different going for four quarters when you’re 308 pounds than when you were 280-something.’ He’s getting used to that, but I like him a lot.”

There’s a lot to like about the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Sherman, who has transformed his body since arriving at CU and, despite his relative youth, is now among the most experienced — and talented — players in the trenches for the Buffaloes.

Since head coach Mel Tucker took over the CU program in December, he has made it clear he wants the Buffs to be bigger and stronger, especially up front. Perhaps nobody has taken that to heart like Sherman, who has spent a lot of time with strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson and associate athletic director for performance nutrition Laura Anderson.

Continue reading story here

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March 28th

CB Delrick Abrams on second season: “I got bigger and stronger, so I feel a lot better that I can hold up this season”

From the Daily Camera … As a junior college transfer a year ago, Delrick Abrams Jr., knew that his time with the Colorado football team would be relatively short.

Abrams didn’t expect his two-year run with the Buffaloes to be filled with so much change, but like his teammates, he is embracing it and eager to prove himself all over again.

Last season, the former Independence (Kan.) Community College star had a solid campaign for the Buffaloes, and he comes into his senior year ready to compete for a starting job at cornerback once again.

“I’ve seen a lot more people are trying to compete this year than last year,” he said last week after the Buffs’ third practice of spring. “D-line, offensive line are competing way better; the receivers, DBs — everybody is trying to compete for a job. It’s a lot better.”

Abrams played in 10 games, with eight starts, and finished with 44 tackles and a team-high eight pass breakups last season. As a unit, the cornerbacks struggled, but Abrams was arguably the most consistent player in the group.

Continue reading story here

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March 27th

Running backs preview: Battle likely to last well into Fall Camp

Related … “Spring Practices … First Look: Running Backs

From CUBuffs.com … Experience will not be a commodity in large supply in the Colorado backfield next fall — at least not at running back.

If the Buffs are to continue their recent tradition of 1,000-yard backs, the question of who will fill those shoes is a big one. Only one running back on the current roster — senior Beau Bisharat — has more than 100 career rushing yards to his credit. The rest of the roster consists of talented but untested backs.

What we do know, however, is that there will be an increased emphasis on running the ball under new head coach Mel Tucker and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson. Since the day he arrived, Tucker has stressed that he wants a more balanced attack (similar to teams he was part of at Georgia and Alabama) with more than one back getting a slice of the pie.

That definitely hasn’t been the case at Colorado over the last few years. While the Buffs had had three straight 1,000-yard rushers for only the second time in program history (Phillip Lindsay in 2016 and 2017, Travon McMillian in 2018), those years were also one-man shows.

Tucker, though, has stressed that he not only wants to run the ball with consistency, he wants to have a fresh set of legs in the backfield on a regular basis. It’s what he saw at Georgia — the Bulldogs had back-to-back years with two 1,000-yard rushers — and there’s no doubt he would like a similar system in Boulder.

“How many big backs can we put on the field, can we rotate in, can we be fresh and come at them in waves in the backfield?” Tucker asked in December. “That’s what we’re looking for. We want guys that can run, yards after contact, yards after catch, dependable in pass protection.”

SPRING STORYLINES: The man in the spotlight here might be running backs coach Darian Hagan, who has coached the last three 1,000-yard rushers. This year, however, might be his biggest challenge yet as the Buffs increase the emphasis on the run game.

Hagan has a talented if inexperienced group to work with. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Bisharat is the biggest and most powerful of the bunch, while Fontenot has good speed and acceleration. It will be interesting to see what both can do with some consistent work, and early in spring ball, both have been getting their share of reps with the No. 1 offense.

But they will no doubt be pushed by the youngsters who have been awaiting their chance. Smith and Broussard have both shown flashes in the three spring practices, and Davis and Mangham have also already been impressive.

With 11 more practices to go before the spring game, it will be fun to see how the reps are divided and who gets the work. It is no doubt an important development time for the backs, but it’s also a competition that will almost certainly continue into fall camp.

Continue reading story here

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March 26th

Defensive backfield preview – Plenty of experience at cornerback; plenty of candidates at safety

Related … “Spring Practices – First Look: Defensive Backs” …

From CUBuffs.com … While new Colorado head coach Mel Tucker is keeping a close eye on every position on the field in spring ball, he can’t help but cast an extra glance on occasion toward his secondary.

It’s no wonder. Tucker played defensive back at Wisconsin and has since spent much of his career coaching the secondary (along with coordinator duties) at both the college and pro levels.

That experience will be key to the Buffs development in the secondary this spring. Colorado lost both of its starting safeties from last year, Evan Worthington and Nick Fisher, to graduation. That, along with some questions (and injuries) at cornerback will make the final four weeks of spring ball crucial for Tucker and defensive back coaches Tyson Summers (also the defensive coordinator) and Travares Tillman.

SPRING STORYLINES: Lots of stuff going on here as the Buffs look at a variety of combinations in their new defensive setup under Summers.

For starters, the Buffs need to find some reliable, every-down corners. Abrams, who played well at times last year before being sidelined late in the season with an injury, is getting a good look with the No. 1 defense, as is Wigley, who had eight starts last year (and the only interception by a cornerback). Their development, along with that of Mekhi Blackmon and Ronnie Blackmon, will be crucial, especially with Miller out.

At safety, Lewis and Rakestraw are getting time with the No. 1 defense. The Buffs are giving Udoffia a look at safety and the hybrid safety/linebacker spot (behind Davion Taylor), with Wallace also getting a long look at safety with the No. 2s in early practices.

Continue reading story here

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March 25th

Offensive lineman Will Sherman: “If we’re going to win big games — USC, Washington, Utah — I’m going to need to get bigger”

From CUBuffs.com … Early last season, Colorado tackle William Sherman came to a realization: he needed to put on some weight if he was going to be an effective part of Colorado’s offensive line.

Listed at 290 pounds when the season began, Sherman’s weight was actually closer to the 280 range. But as the season wore on, he was actually able to add a little weight — and when it concluded, he got serious about putting on some extra bulk.

Now, thanks to a change in his diet, an assist from CU graduate assistant Jack Harris, and CU’s strength and conditioning program, he’s hovering around the 310 mark. The additional muscle hasn’t hurt his athleticism and quickness, and as he enters his sophomore year, he is in position to become a quality Pac-12 tackle.

“Nebraska you kind of saw it a little bit, and USC,” Sherman said of the moments when he knew he had to get bigger. “I just talked to Drew (Wilson, CU strength coach). If we’re going to win big games — USC, Washington, Utah — I’m going to need to get bigger.”

Wilson and his staff did their part, helping Sherman add muscle and bulk during CU’s nine-week strength program.

Continue reading story here

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March 24th

Nate Landman assimilates quickly into the role of leader of the defense

From CUBuffs.com … It didn’t take Colorado junior linebacker Nate Landman long to step into the role of defensive team leader.

One practice, to be exact.

Landman, Colorado’s leading tackler a year ago (123) despite playing only the sixth-most snaps on defense (619), has quickly assumed the role filled by Rick Gamboa over the last couple of seasons. Landman lines up in the middle, makes defensive calls, and is clearly helping the rest of the defense make the transition to Colorado’s new scheme under new head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers.

Landman’s rapid adjustment has been a pleasing sign for Tucker.

“I really like the way he runs the defense,” Tucker said earlier this week. “He makes the calls, gets guys lined up and that allows everyone around him to play faster.”

Friday morning, Landman and his teammates put on pads for the first time this spring, their third of 15 spring sessions. While the Buffs didn’t tackle — it was a “thud” workout — full pads nevertheless offered the opportunity some serious contact. For someone who has earned a reputation as a player who seeks the ball and arrives in a bad mood, it brought a smile to Landman’s face.

“That’s the best feeling, especially being a defensive guy,” he said. “You could tell today, the D-line and linebackers, we love hitting and the first day was great. It’s always fun to hit people.”

Continue reading story here

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March 23rd

Tucker satisfied with backfield’s first week: “It’s very competitive in our backfield right now” 

From the Daily Camera …One of the most intriguing position battles this offseason will take place at running back. There’s very little experience at the position, and only one upperclassman: senior Beau Bisharat. Throughout Friday’s practice, Bisharat ran well, while sophomore Alex Fontenot and freshmen Jarek Broussard, Deion Smith, Joe Davis and Jaren Mangham all displayed some explosiveness.

“It’s very competitive in our backfield right now,” Tucker sad. “We have more than one guy that can get the job done, in my eyes, and we want to play multiple backs. We’ve got some young guys that are going to push some of the older guys. It’s a solid group and I look forward to them getting better together.”

Montez, who has started the past two seasons, continues to practice well and showed good poise as he led the team to a field goal during a two-minute drill.

Following practice, Tucker walked by Montez and said to the senior, “I was proud of you today.”

“I told him today, the quarterback has to be your No. 1 competitor, first and foremost, and I believe that he is that,” Tucker said. “He’s highly competitive; he has command of the huddle, command of the offense. He has the ‘it’ factor — some things you just really can’t put a number on, but his presence and his confidence, he has tremendous playing experience. Those are the things you look for in a quarterback and he has all of the tools.”

Continue reading story here

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March 22nd 

Practice # 3 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice; Annual Coaches Clinic – OPEN (Media Only) – pads-NT

Tucker pleased with Buffs first practice in pads: “They’ve come a long way in a short period of time”

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Davion Taylor poised to become CU’s defensive “star” back

From CUBuffs.com … When Colorado head coach Mel Tucker served as defensive coordinator at Georgia, the Bulldogs had a “star” back on their defensive depth chart.

The star back is basically a nickel back who also holds linebacker responsibilities, a hybrid position that required the speed and cover skills of a defensive back and the physical nature of a linebacker.

While the position hasn’t been given a name yet in Boulder as Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers build the Buffs’ defense, there is already little doubt as to who has a good chance of filling that role: CU senior Davion Taylor.

Taylor, of course, played a similar position last year at Colorado, the “Buff” back devised by former defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. Such positions are becoming more and more popular in college football, as teams find players who can drop into pass coverage when necessary and still make plays against the run game.

Taylor performed those duties at a high level last year, his first in Colorado after transferring in from Coahoma Community College. Taylor stepped into a starting role almost immediately, and finished with 75 tackles, including a team-high 62 unassisted; one sack and a team-high 11 additional tackles for loss; 11 third-down stops; two pass breakups; and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown.

Continue reading story here

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March 21st 

Off day

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March 20th

Wednesday: Practice # 2 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED – shorts/helmets

Coach Tucker post-practice talk with media (Wednesday)

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

Defensive end Mustafa Johnson: “It’s really not a complex defense”

From the Daily Camera … Given how quickly he seemed to make the transition from junior college to Division I football a year ago, Colorado’s Mustafa Johnson figures to get a hang of the Buffaloes’ new defense at some point.

Right now, however, the junior defensive lineman admits it’s a bit like trying to learn a new language.

“A lot of new terminology, but a lot of the same stuff,” Johnson said after the Buffs’ first practice of spring on Monday. “It’s hard to forget the old stuff and remember the new terminology and know what it is.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit with the plays but I know a lot of other guys are picking it up real fast. I’m a little bit of a slower learner, so I’m kind of working my way through it and coming in whenever I can find time during the school day to get extra work. I’m trying to get it down.”

Johnson was the Buffs’ top defensive lineman last year, and one of the most dominant in the Pac-12, with 73 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also led the team with 16 quarterback pressures.

Under the direction of a new coaching staff — including head coach Mel Tucker and defensive coordinator Tyson Summers — the Buffs will have a different approach on defense, though, and Johnson it’s just a matter of getting used to the changes.

“A lot of adjustments (at the line),” he said. “It’s really not a complex defense. It’s just more adjusting and being ready to adjust to what the offense comes out in. We have a lot of new calls and things like that, where we’re not just going to play what we call; we’re going to adjust to what the offense gives us and we’re going to play off of them.”

Continue reading story here

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March 19th

No practiceWednesday: Practice # 2 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED – shorts/helmets

Steven Montez – 12-15 as a starter – still has a great deal to prove

From the Daily Camera … Following the 2018 season, Colorado quarterback Steven Montez wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do for 2019.

Return to CU for his senior year, or make a run at the NFL?

Ultimately, Montez decided he had more to accomplish with the Buffaloes, and on Monday he kicked off his final spring in Boulder.

“I just thought about it and talked to my family and talked to the people that are closest to me and the people that care most about me and just asked their opinion on it,” Montez said. “Then I just thought about what we’ve accomplished here, and how these last couple of seasons we got left with a bad taste in our mouth and just not being OK with that.

“I knew I had to come back for my last year and see it through and finish it out with the guys that I came in here with.”

Montez has started all 24 games over the past two seasons — the third-longest starting streak of any QB in CU history — and he ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in passing yards (fourth with 6,841), touchdown passes (third with 46) and other categories.

He’s also just 12-15 in his career as a starter and has yet to lead the Buffs to a bowl game.

Continue reading story here

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March 18th

Practice # 1 – 7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:30-11:00 a.m. practice – CLOSED – shorts/helmets

Video – CU’s first spring practice:

Buffs learning to be “relentless” – “”Hurry, hurry, move, move. We don’t walk anywhere”

From CUBuffs.com … “Relentless” is more than just a fun Twitter hashtag.

New Colorado football coach Mel Tucker made that abundantly clear Monday morning, when the Buffs hit the practice fields for their spring ball opener.

“Hurry, hurry, move, move. We don’t walk anywhere!” was the recurring message from the entire CU staff throughout Monday’s workout, a two-hour practice in brisk Colorado spring weather.

“Sense of urgency, be efficient, be effective,” Tucker said of his practice philosophy after Monday’s workout concluded. “We don’t want to waste time and we want to get our work done and move on to the next deal.”

Monday morning’s temperatures were in the low 30s when the Buffs hit the field — and Tucker half-joked that he would have liked slightly more inclement conditions for his team’s first spring workout.

“I was hoping for a little snow today, we didn’t get that,” he said. “It was a little chilly when we first started out but the kids embraced it. We have to be a weatherproof football team.”

The Buffs have plenty of work to do in their 15 spring workouts, beginning with the basic installation of their new offenses and defenses. Both involve different schemes and approaches, as well as new terminology. The Buffs have been working on the installations in the classroom and in walkthroughs; Monday finally offered the players and coaches a chance to get a test drive on the field.

Continue reading story here

Video: Mel Tucker’s first spring practice recap – “There right where they would be at this point. We can build on that”

From YouTube, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

With Laviska Shenault out, spring a chance for young receivers to make a statement

From the Daily Camera … Although the Colorado football team won’t have star Laviska Shenault at full strength during spring football, the next few weeks will be crucial for the development of the Buffaloes at receiver.

Shenault, who caught 86 passes for 1,011 yards last season, is recovering from offseason toe and shoulder surgery. The Buffs will also be without redshirt freshman Dylan Thomas (knee) when spring practices start on Monday, but receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini is eager to see his young, talented players emerge this spring.

“It really gives a guy like (sophomore) Daniel Arias a chance to show that he can be a guy and be consistent,” Chiaverini said. “Ability-wise, he’s as good as anyone I’ve had. His speed down the field, his body type and the way he’s built, I’m interested to see him take the next step.”

Continue reading story here

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March 17th

A list of players to keep an eye on this spring

From Brian Howell at the Daily Camera

A few players to keep an eye on during Colorado’s spring practices:

Offense

RB Beau Bisharat, Sr.: He’s got the most experience at running back, but can the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder find his way atop the depth chart?

TE Darrion Jones, Sr.: A JUCO transfer last year, he’s got exceptional size (6-6, 255) and ability. Can he put it together and be a weapon for the offense?

RB Jaren Mangham, True-Fr.: One of the most intriguing freshman backs CU has had in a while, the 6-2, 215-pounder fits the mold of what coach Mel Tucker likes in a runner.

OL Va’atofu Sauvao, Jr.: A newcomer from the JUCO ranks, he’s aiming for a starting spot. If he has a great spring, it could impact the entire group up front.

WR Dimitri Stanley, Fr.: He showed his talent in a couple games last year and has had a great offseason. He’s a potential star at slot receiver.

Defense

OLB Nu’umotu Falo, Sr.: Returned last year after sitting out 2017 with a suspension and never could get into the regular rotation. Does he finally take the leap forward as a senior?

S Derrion Rakestraw, Jr.:Graduation and injuries have impacted the Buffs at safety. Rakestraw struggled in his new role last year, but has the raw ability to make a dramatic improvement and earn a starting job.

DL Jalen Sami, Fr.: At 6-6, 320, he’s a beast up front. One former CU coach believes Sami could be better than Javier Edwards – who graduated after last season – was in 2018.

CB Trey Udoffia, Jr.: In and out of the lineup for the past two years, Udoffia has yet to find consistency. If he can, the Buffs could be solid at corner.

ILB Jonathan Van Diest, So.: The former Cherry Creek High School star has been waiting for his opportunity for a while. A starting job is there for the taking.

Read full article here (a good read) …

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March 16th

Spring Practices “Phase 2” for Mel Tucker’s grand design

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs have some kinks to work out before hitting the field in the fall, and on Monday they’ll get rolling with the start of spring practices. During the course of 15 practices between now and the April 27 spring game, Tucker is hoping to lay the foundation not only with the players, but as a coaching staff – which is working together for the first time.

“This is a process; (spring) is really just Phase 2 of what we have to do,” Tucker said. “Phase 1 was the nine weeks of strength and conditioning; Phase 2 will be spring ball and Phase 3 will be our summer program, which will be very tough.

“We need to make sure that when we come out of the spring game, we know at every position what every guy is capable of doing and what every guy has to do to get better so we can have a really good summer.”

Continue reading story here

S&C Coach Drew Lewis on Mel Tucker: “I told the (players) I’ve prayed for a coach like Tucker”

From the Daily Camera …Like just about everyone else on the Colorado football staff last season, Drew Wilson had moments of uncertainty about his future after head coach Mike MacIntyre was fired in November.

A vote of confidence from athletic director Rick George, however, was backed up by an instant connection with new head coach Mel Tucker, who was hired in December, and it has led to a new level of intensity this offseason in the weight room.

“I told the (players) I’ve prayed for a coach like Tucker and they kind of laughed,” Wilson, going into his fourth season as CU’s director of football strength and conditioning, said in a recent conversation with BuffZone.com. “Some of the things he says, you appreciate that as a strength coach.

“Two minds have collided and it’s just refreshing that we speak the same language, even though we’ve never worked together before.”

That language — which includes the words tough, strong, physical and the team’s new mantra, relentless — has translated into an offseason that Wilson and Tucker hope has the Buffs in position for a great spring. CU opens spring practice on Monday after nine weeks of work in the weight room. It’s the longest stretch of uninterrupted strength and conditioning for CU in years.

Continue reading story here

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March 12th

Pre-Spring practices injury report

From CUBuffs.com

OLB Jacob Callier … shoulder … suffered the injury against CSU (Aug. 31), had surgery (Oct. 9); red-shirted … LIMITED (at start)
DB Lucas Cooper … shoulder … had offseason surgery to repair chronic injury … LIMITED
DB Hasaan Hypolite … shoulder … had offseason surgery to repair chronic injury … LIMITED (at start)
OL Chance Lytle … hand … suffered a shoulder labrum tear in practice (Nov. 6) … LIMITED
S Aaron Maddox … shoulder/foot … had a pair of offseason surgeries to repair a labrum tear and a chronic injury … OUT
CB Chris Miller … shoulder … suffered a labrum tear in workouts (Feb. 7) … OUT
OL Jake Moretti … leg … had surgery to repair a chronic injury (Jan. 4) … OUT
TB Chase Sanders … shoulder … had surgery to repair a torn labrum (Oct. 16) … LIMITED
WR Laviska Shenault … foot … injured against USC (Oct. 13); missed next three games but still had surgery (Nov. 29) … LIMITED
QB Blake Stenstrom … foot … had surgery to repair a chronic injury … OUT
WR Dylan Thomas … knee … suffered a torn meniscus in practice; had surgery Oct. 2 … OUT
DB Kyle Trujillo … shoulder … had offseason surgery to repair chronic injury … LIMITED (at start)
OL Brett Tonz … shoulder … had surgery to repair a torn labrum (Dec. 21) … LIMITED

Notable Jake Moretti … Last fall, his first time on the field since 2015, Moretti played in seven games, starting two. Even in those games, however, Moretti was unable to finish. For the season, Moretti was only on the field of play for 65 snaps, and now Moretti will miss another spring … Chris Miller … During a recent workout, Miller’s right shoulder dislocated, and will be out for spring ball. “I don’t really see it at as a setback,” Miller said. “I just see it as something to give me more adversity to make me better for the future. I’ll be out for spring ball, but I’ll be ready for Day 1 of fall camp” … Blake Stenstrom … Not that the red-shirt freshman was likely to supplant senior Steven Montez as the starting quarterback, but the battle for the starting position in 2020 begins this spring, and Stenstrom will not be in the mix … Aaron Maddox … With both of last year’s starting safeties graduating, Aaron Maddox is being counted upon to be a significant piece of the replacement puzzle this fall. His absence will be noticed …

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March 11th 

None of the Spring Practices will be open to the public … but there will be an actual Spring Game

From CUBuffs.com

Spring practice schedule … No practices open to the public (one practice open to the media on March 22nd) … but the Spring Game will actually be a Spring game …

Coach Tucker is planning to bring back the annual spring game, which would be the first to end spring drills since 2015; the last three years have been a short scrimmage that lasted roughly an hour after 45-50 minutes of drills. Events that day will begin with a Football Alumni Autograph Session and Healthy Kids Day on Folsom Field beginning at 11 a.m. The spring game will commence shortly after Noon (televised live by the Pac-12 Network), and at the conclusion around 2 p.m., there will be a “Selfie Session” with the football players and coaches. Admission is free.

MARCH 18— Practice # 1 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:30-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED shorts/helmets
MARCH 20— Practice # 2 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED shorts/helmets
MARCH 22— Practice # 3 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice; Annual Coaches Clinic) OPEN (Media Only) pads-NT
————————————SPRING BREAK (March 22-31)————————————
APRIL 1— Practice # 4 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED shorts/helmets
APRIL 3— Practice # 5 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads
APRIL 5— Practice # 6 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED (pads)
APRIL 8— Practice # 7 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED (pads)
APRIL 10— Practice # 8 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads
APRIL 12— Practice # 9 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 9:00 a.m. approx. scrimmage) CLOSED pads
APRIL 15— Practice #10 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED (pads)
APRIL 17— Practice #11 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED helmets/shoulder pads
APRIL 19— Practice #12 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:50 a.m. approx. scrimmage) CLOSED pads
APRIL 22— Practice #13 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED (pads)
APRIL 24— Practice #14 (7:00 a.m. meetings, 8:10-11:00 a.m. practice) CLOSED (pads)
APRIL 27— SPRING GAME (Practice #15; 12:00 p.m. / Pac 12 Network, KOA-Radio) OPEN pads

Mel Tucker pre-spring practice press conference: “I can’t wait for spring ball to start” 

Watch press conference video here

… Full press conference quotes below … 

From CUBuffs.com … When Colorado football head coach Mel Tucker opens his first spring practice with the Buffaloes, installing new offensive and defensive schemes will no doubt be high on his “to-do” list.

But equally important for CU’s new coach and his staff will be establishing a culture within the team, something Tucker stressed in a Monday press conference.

“How we practice, how we prepare, how we work,” Tucker said. “Although we have to get our schemes installed on both sides of the ball, I want to make sure that we’re putting our guys in position every day where they can be evaluated and we can find out who can play.”

Tucker called the process “huge,” especially for a team in its first year under a new coach.

“The two main factors in success are environment and expectations, and a lot of that is culture,” Tucker said. “How we go about our business on a day-to-day basis, what are these standards, and what are our goals? How do we work with each other, how do we compete? How do we handle a loss and a win in a drill? Those are things that we have to establish in the spring and then going into the summer we’ll build on that and take it into the fall camp and then eventually into the season. Culture is huge.”

The Buffs are wrapping up a nine-week strength and conditioning program this week and will open spring practice next Monday. They will be on the field three days, then take a week off for spring break before returning for the final 12 practices in April. The spring game — something Tucker said he wants to be as game-like as possible — is set for April 27 at Folsom Field.

The first practice is something Tucker has been looking forward to for months.

“I love to coach and I finally get  a chance to get my hands on these guys, roll up my sleeves, and see what they can do,” he said. “I get to coach, teach, motivate, and develop. That’s what it’s all about. I can’t wait for spring ball to start.”

CU’s lengthy strength and conditioning session has been valuable for a variety of reasons. Tucker said he pushed spring ball back as far as possible in order to get the Buffs as much time as possible in the weight room and in conditioning, as well as give the CU staff time to meet with players and begin the install of the new offense, defense and special teams schemes.

“(Strength coach) Drew (Wilson) has done a great job with the strength and conditioning,” Tucker said. “When the coaches came off the road from recruiting, the coaches got involved also. The team has really shaped up. They look like they are in really good condition. I think we will be able to have a very efficient and effective spring ball so I’m very excited about that.”

Continue reading story here

Full March 11th press conference quotes 

Opening Comments
“We are right at the end of our fourth quarter strength and conditioning program which is a nine-week program. I think in the past, the team has worked out for maybe four or five weeks and then started spring ball. One of the first things I wanted to do when I got here was to push spring ball back as far as possible to give us enough time to get these guys in shape. We have done that. Drew Wilson) has done a great job with the strength and conditioning. When the coaches came off the road from recruiting, the coaches got involved also. The team has really shaped up. They look like they are in really good condition. I think we will be able to have a very efficient and effective spring ball, so I am very excited about that. We are still going to practice in the morning in spring ball and also in the fall. I am really excited to get started. I love to coach, and I finally get a chance to get my hands on these guys, roll up my sleeves and see what they can do. I get to coach, teach, motivate, and develop. That’s what it’s all about.I can’t wait for spring ball to start.”

On QB Steven Montez
“I feel like you have to recruit all of your players on a daily basis. That is my philosophy. I did meet with Steven. We had a great  conversation. I told him that I thought he had a chance to be a really great player and that I want to be a part of his career. I told him I wanted him to be here and he said that’s what he wanted to do as well. It has worked out well so far.”

On What He’s Seen From The Team During Strength & Conditioning Sessions
“I really like the way they finish. That’s as the biggest thing that I wanted, was to make sure was that every drill had was a defined start and every drill had a finish. I wanted to make sure the guys were straining to finish the drills and they have done that each and every day. They have pushed each other to do that. They have gotten better every week. I actually see a transformation in their bodies because of what we have done in the weight room and what we have done in our running program. I think they have responded well. The guys are always enthusiastic – ready to go. We work out in the morning. We start at 7 a.m. Everyone is there early and ready
to work. That is really all you can ask. These guys will do pretty much anything you ask them to. They are really eager. They are pleasers and they are hungry.”

On What His Goals Are For Spring Practice
“On both sides of the ball and on special teams, we want to get our core schemes installed. That’s going to allow us to do what we want to do scheme-wise in the fall. We have to get those things installed. Then every player going into spring ball is going to be at a certain point, and I want each and every player to come out of spring ball better than when they came in. That’s development, that’s improvement, that’s learning the schemes, things like that. We have to learn how to practice. Our tempo is going to be fast. Our goal is to always have the practices be harder than the games and in order to do that, you have to learn how to practice. It’s not natural to practice at game speed every single rep, but that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll probably have to build up to that, but at the end of spring ball, I want to make sure everyone knows how to work, how to practice. I want to know who can play. If you try to do too much scheme wise, especially the first year with a new staff, you’ll come out of spring talking about what guys can’t do and what they don’t know, instead of saying, ‘this is what they know and this what they can do.’ That’s what I want to make sure is that we know what type of team we have coming out of spring ball.”

On Being Visible At Various Events Around Campus
“I enjoy athletics. I enjoy young people. I just really think it’s important for me to get to know as many people as I can, to be approachable and be accessible. That is what I’m here for. Obviously, I’m here to win football games, but I really believe I am here to serve the state of Colorado, this university and community in any way I can. I am going to be anywhere I can be. I am enthusiastic about it. I think it is a blessing and a privilege to be able to participate at this university.”

On First Spring As A Head Coach
“I’ve been so through many springs in college and pro ball. I know that this first spring I want to establish the culture on the field. How we practice, how we prepare, how we work. Although we have to get our schemes installed on both sides of the ball and I want to make sure that we’re putting our guys in position every day where they can be evaluated, and we can find out who can play. This is really important because this is really phase two of what we have to do. Phase one was nine weeks of strengthening and conditioning, and then phase three will be our summer program. We need to make sure that when we come out of the spring game that we know, at every position, what every guy is capable of doing and what we every guy has to do to get better so we can have a really good summer.”

On How Hands-On He Will Be As A Head Coach
“I’ll be hands on. I’m very enthusiastic in practice, I like to make sure that I set the tempo for the coaches and the players, so I’ll do that. But I also have to make sure that the practices run smoothly, so practice organization is a big part of what I have to do. I have to make sure that the coaches can coach and that we’re efficient and effective. Obviously, I’m going to get in the middle of it a little bit and that’s what I enjoy doing. I want to make sure that the players feel me on the field.”

On Process Of Building Camaraderie Among New Staff
“Communication, communication, communication – that’s what it’s all about. When you’re getting to know someone, you have to talk. We meet and take every opportunity to find out more about coaches. I have an opendoor policy, so any of my players or coaches can come into my office at any time and talk about whatever. I think that’s a big part of it, you just have to take every day and take the opportunity to build a relationship and build trust. We’re going to spend a lot of time together and we have to work together and work as a team. The closer your assistant coaches are and the more cohesive your staff is, that’s going to carry over to your team, and
that starts with me. I’m really excited about the staff that we have right now, great group of guys, hard workers, great teachers, and I just can’t wait to get everybody out on the field for spring ball.”

On Establishing A Culture
“It’s huge. I think the two main factors in success are environment and expectations. A lot of that is culture. How we go about our business on a day to day basis? What are these standards? What are our goals? How do we work with each other? How do we compete? How do we handle a loss and a win in a drill? Those are things that we have to establish in the spring and then going into the summer we’ll build on that and take it into the fall camp and then eventually into the season. Culture is huge.”

On Evaluating Last Season’s Tape Versus Giving Everyone Fresh Start
“I did a little bit of both. I went back and I’ve watched some games but I get more out of watching the workouts, how those guys compete in the drills and how those guys lift. I get a lot more out of that. Then I’m going to get a chance to see them play for 15 practices in spring ball. So I did do some research on some of the games they played, but I want these guys to have a clean slate. I want them to have a fresh start. The past, we’re going to let it go. We’re starting out clean.”

On Offensive Line And Addition Of William Peagler As Offensive Quality Control Assistant
“I know Peags (William Peagler), he’s a great coach, attention to detail, he’s a loyal guy. He can really help us out on offense in a lot of ways. To have a strong offensive line is critical. To be able to run the ball and establish dominance in the trenches and also be able to protect our quarterback is huge. Same thing on defense, we want to be stout on the defensive line. We have to be able to stop the run and dominate the trenches on defense and then be able to get after the passer. I like to be able to get pressure with four guys. We’ll work on that this spring.”

On Leadership Emerging Through Offseason Workouts
“Overall, I’ve really been impressed with the way that they have been receptive to coaching, and aggressive coaching. Any time that we ask them to do something, they do it. It’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ group of guys which is a credit to their character. Our coaches have really worked hard to push the players every day to get better. It seems like the more you push them, the more they embrace it. I think that they welcome the challenge that we’re presenting to them as a team. When we call them up at the end of practice, at the end of the session and I ask them to take a knee, I see a lot of heads nodding as I’m talking to them, not a lot of blank stares. I think that shows
an element of buy-in. Obviously, we haven’t had any real adversity yet, but I think this is a special group. I really like this team. There’s something about this group of guys that I think is special, and we’re going to work really hard and maximize our full potential.”

On Maximizing Time He’s Allowed To Spend With Team Prior To Spring Ball
“We have to use every minute we can because we’re allowed to meet with our players, so we have a series of meetings, we have walk-throughs with them because we have to install our schemes on both sides of the ball. We have to be very organized because you don’t have a lot of time, by rule. I think our coaches and coordinators have done a really good job organizing the offseason program, in terms of scheme, evaluations, development and teaching. Then [Director of Strength & Conditioning] Drew Wilson and his staff in the weight room, have done a fantastic job. They’ve taken it up a few notches. I’ve met with each and every player, including the walk-ons,
for at least five or 10 minutes in my office, and they’re all really excited about how we’re working in the offseason program and what they’re learning scheme-wise from our coaches in the meetings. I think it’s been a productive winter. Now we need to take the next step, we got to get out on the grass and play football.”

On Adversity In Spring Building Leaders
“Leaders are going to naturally emerge and we’ll see who those guys are. I think you also have to grow leaders, you have to put people in position to lead and teach them how to lead. Initially it’s going to be the coaches. The coaches are going to lead and then eventually the goal would be to have the players be the primary leaders. When you have a team where the leadership is strong on the player side of it that means you’ve got a really good football team. That’s one of the things we want to do is, grow leaders, see which leaders emerge and take that into the summer.”

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42 Replies to “Spring Practice Notes”

  1. Spring has sprung…………..there is gonna be another blizzard starting with rain tonight then snow Monday Tuesday……………and probably forever……………….Dam that Gore………….We only got 11 .5 years left until the planet is dead.

    I am sure Stu put this somewhere and I probably missed it but here is the post spring stuff from the ID. Post spring depth chart is on page 14 of 48 sheesh.

    https://cubuffs.com/documents/2019/4/27//2019_CU_FOOTBALL_Post_Spring_Information_.pdf

    This can replace the reading room material you already use. Well maybe not all of it. I didn’t go…..as I said. I didn’t even dvr it. My interest is low……………… My dumb arse neighbor went and dvr’d it and knowing I didn’t go invited me over this late afternoon so he could tell me all about it, watch his goofy DVR and drink his beer. I may go…………..for reason #3.

    Okay go Buffs. Off to the links again.

    “Too hot…………..Too hot……………….Too hot baby……………………………..AZ in the morning thinking about going outside.

  2. It’s time Noyer or Lytle get a legitimate look. The fact is Montez is so inconsistent it disrupts the entire game plan . If all positions are open it’s time to prove it.

  3. looks to me like mostly the No. 1 O (black)against the No. 1 D (gold). The DL is supposed to help on both sides….they better …the black is really thin there and the gold has the LBs. Probably best this way as we will be able to see which side of the ball is dominant…..if one is…..and which one is going to need some more work.

  4. As long as there is no serious regression from other positions I am hoping the O line will be improved enough to help get that 6th win. I don’t see that as being easy this year. We wont be playing the 2 worst teams in the conference. I know, I know, I have to watch what I say about Lingering’s overwhelming offensive machine at OR St. That loss last year still makes me wanna puke. Thats when MM completely lost the team and now he is a D coordinator in the SEC which also makes me wanna puke. Football coaches who earn one part success can seem to ride that through several parts of failure. With that tsunami of money being thrown at them you would think there would be more competition for the jobs.

    1. Well I’ll be checking out the defensive stats for the vaunted Mickey defense . They got a couple of patsys but they do play
      Memphis
      Arkansas
      California
      Vanderbilt
      Alabama
      Missouri
      A & M
      LSU
      Mississippi State

      So there ya go.

      The 6th win never happened, because Mickey didn’t take over leadership after the half.
      Wasn’t the players fault. The HC was not the leader. Not bashing………….Just Facts. Yup then he lost the team and the AD. Middling Mickey.

      Hornschwagaled some to this day.

      Go Buffs

      Go Oline

      Gotta finally win the line game

      Buffs

      But most importantly………………………….GO BIG TIGHT ENDS.

  5. Late Note…………
    There always is a note eh?
    Darrion Jones caught the 7th pass to tight ends.
    Tight Ends caught 7 passes. 24 passes completed.. 29% of the passes caught by tight ends. total 61 yards out of 274.

    40 passes 24 completed. Wonder how may were targeted to tight ends?
    Ya gotta like Montez 15 of 19 passes completed. 79% …
    So if you run the numbers and assume he threw all 40 passes in the scrimmage one could, and I do project his numbers would have been 32 out of 40. And game time 80 plays 40 passing…………..so there ya go.

    I’m really not into this spring stuff. Really I am not.

    Buffs

    1. Well VK then why did you post all this info if you’re not really into spring stuff and waste my time having to read it ? Just kidding. Actually I really am into spring stuff as it means another year has almost rolled around and I just get closer and closer to shooting my age.

      Won’t it be a wonderful feeling for us all when the Buffs need a real crucial 3rd down pick up and they complete a pass to one of the Tight Ends. A thrill will run up my leg or down, or whatever.

    2. AZ is right. You are right when you say golf is in season. You can play most any day after the Spring game till the footabll season starts in the fall. Obsession with golf is a mystery to me anyway. I caddied at the Broadmoor in high school. Being the rookie I got all the jerks and no tippers. Soured me on golf forever.

  6. So

    Also showing up in the passing game were CU’s tight ends, who accounted for seven catches, including a 4-for-35 day from Jalen Harris and a 2-for-19 day from Brady Russell. WHAT???

    No turnovers? Okay fine

    The offense converted just 10 of 34 third-down tries, including some scripted situations that weren’t part of long drives. Still a problem. Not good.

    Nose tackle Jalen Sami had six tackles. That is a big deal from all perspectives.

    Sacks. A lot of them. Is the D that good or is the Oline still that bad?

    We will get a look at the whole deal next Saturday. Still not sure I am going. Golf is in season.

    Go Buffs.

    Notes: NONE

    1. Give up the golf deal and go to the game, you are now too aged to improve, so give all of us your commentary on the new and improved coached up Buffs.

  7. It’s awesome to see some fire come out in HCMT. I am going out on a limb by saying that Wed’s practice will have some reminders built in to address the lackadaisical effort he saw today. FRICKIN’ AWESOME!

  8. “It gives us the opportunity to get us out of bad plays instead of just running them for the sake of running them. I think that’s good for us and I think that’s going to help us a lot, just getting us in good plays consistently.” GOOD!!! But also, if a play works-don’t run it over and over and over, as the defense usually catches on, like the last 7 games when most plays were VERY predictable. Excited to see they are changing up the playbook

    1. That was the most interesting tidbit to come out of the entire training camp, to me. Makes me wonder how much we’ll see Montez actually be allowed to audible out of bad plays on his own, rather than “look to the sidelines, and by the time sidelines changes the play the defense has changed also” kind of shit that happened last year.

  9. Jaylen Jackson eh? The WRs seem to be a gift that keeps on giving. Hopefully Mel wont want to run the ball too often.
    If nothing else, with a deep stable of speedy fresh legs, run the other team’s DBs deep on a whole lot of plays whether you are running the ball, throwing short or not….especially here at altitude.
    I would love to see the corn corners with their hands on their knees in the fourth quarter as another bomb sails over their heads for another TD….or more of what happened last year.

  10. 5 sacs today. Is that because the D is so good? or the O line still struggling ? No comments about the O line in today’s scrimmage so it might be the latter

  11. Just watched the 3 min. video with HCMT for 4/8/19. I guess I’m going to sound like some ole f_ _ t, but after spending $150M for a state of the art football facility can’t CU, the SID, and the press find a venue where these videos can be produced and aren’t subject to all the outside elements? With Mac they had them near a fence where the gas powered utility vehicles kept running in the back ground (actually I really think the drivers of those machines did that on purpose a lot). Then you get a soft spoken guy like Coach Tucker, and if he is inside you have people coming and going slamming doors etc. etc. Apr. 8th they decided to hold the presser in a wind tunnel I guess. C’mon let’s have a venue where we can hear the questions and the answers or fogetaboutit.

    1. Aspiring golfers want to know.
      My computer has pretty good amplification so I did hear Mel’s answers but it would be nice to hear the questions first as well. Hopefully you did hear that Mel wont allow any limp wrists on the field.

  12. I like Mel Tucker’s post-practice interviews. He’s got a great calm, confidence to him. Seems really comfortable and his responses are crisp and to the point. I’m not as down on MacIntyre as a lot of people on this site; I don’t think many coaches could have taken us from where we were (Hawkins/Embree) to where we got to (2016), but Mac never had a presence in front of the press. Assuming this presence translates the same way to the players that’s got to be a very good thing in the locker room and on the field!

    1. He is pretty smooth. Mickey was always answering the question before the questioner finished. The only times I ever saw him comfortable with the press was in his coach of the year road show where it was all about him.

      Anyway HCMT is not a phony.

      Go Buffs

      1. I like Tucker’s calm demeanor. I would imagine that when he raises his voice at a player over something that the player will certainly pay attention.

        Speaking of Mac never seeming to be comfortable it was really interesting to watch him when he was sitting down at a table at a press conference. The way he twitched, squirmed around and if you could see his legs under the table one of them was jerking away at about 50/mph. Probably like VK would act being grilled by the USGA about truly regarding his handicap.

        1. Well now. The “sandman” from az comes out of his “box”…………….very interesting. The windmill hole champ bless me again. I am still waiting for you be come back for a home game whereas my representatives meet you, will show you a good time and then on to the local club for a little golf lesson where we will meet up and we will watch the sandman movie and listen to sandman music. You will feel quite at home. Then the bar will open and we will drink and drink and drink and tell lies and more lies which of course result in earaches (Internal Note/questions: Are you that guy on skates who is jamming one-a-day gummies?)

          Anyway AZ hope you are well and that you have upgraded to that electronic/motorizedwalker and that the club you belong too has finally made the windmill handicap friendly. (Note of Note…………..I finally got a handicap placard so there is that.) Make sure you bring yours when you show up parking is a beetch in Beautiful Be Boulder.

          Go Buffs.

          Note: I am quite at ease in front of those deepsheet lawyers. Experience.
          Note 2: I know you won’t show az. You never have. I know of a nice little course here in Boulder where they do a windmill hole. We could uber out there, stop at the American Legion and you know party.
          Note 3: Also got a medical MJ card and I don’t mind sharing.
          Note 4: Now EP, I know you will be showing up for at least one game so let me know. We can do all the good stuff and even skip the “Home of the AZ Windmill Plaque.
          Note 5: Billy Billy Billy where our thou.
          Special note: all this hype for spring is being ignored by me.

          True Note: 8-5

  13. ouch… Bisharat at tight end. Previous home to other players who wander and QB’s who might have been better than Cody. I guess that means the freshman Mangham is the “big back” now….or maybe Davis. He weighs almost as much and its packed it into a 3 inch shorter frame

    1. Yo ep,

      They must feel pretty good about the running backs in that room. The Bis never quite made the grade there. Some say he should have played defense. But he didn’t like it. Probably could have moved to tight end a couple of years ago.
      WHATTTTTT?

      HCMT says they are gonna be using tight ends. Hey if he has that speed and he has those hands splitting out may cause some problems. I am hoping the kid is a big success. I like him.

      Go buffs

  14. Hey,

    I know it’s just the start of spring practice. And the words stated by the coaches and the players and the press are stated every year everywhere.

    So why does this feel/sound different……???………at least to me!

    Could it be that it really is different from a Mighty Buff Football perspective? SKO BUFFS

    Forgetting all the hype or at least trying too, what the hell is going on out behind those walls and fences surrounding practice. Sheesh

    The item I can’t get past is that HCMT walked in here decided the oline and dline needed to get bigger. Much bigger and much stronger. Crap those have been the biggest issues as a (w)hole for a decade plus. And look what he did in the recruiting and transfer portal. Maybe that is what’s driving my feelings right here and now. Leadership has returned. Players and coaches.

    No more of that crap of “players play games…players make plays” mouthed by the hc with the muted response from the players………..Gosh I really hated that………….took all the heat off and walked around toothless on the sidelines while the beavheads beat the crap out of his players. Okay okay it over………………….thank God

    Buffs

    Note: And as the son told HCMT………….”We can win here”

      1. You know why it feels different? Because it is different! We have actual coaches now!!! I am starting to get very excited!!! While I am not expecting or holding out for a 10+ win season this year, I am very optimistic about our future and can’t wait to see the recruiting with a full season under their belts!!! I hope its true and the kids are really buying in.

  15. If we’re going to win big games — USC, Washington, Utah — I’m going to need to get bigger.” (William Sherman)
    He is putting the team on his shoulders….love it

  16. so we heard about the praise for Landman…not unexpected. We heard about the RB stable. I realize no coach is going to say the O line sucks. Maybe something like they need a little work here and there but that O line update is the one I want to know about most.

    1. He is either soft spoken or the recording equipment sucked. He sounded a little hoarse.

      Go Buffs…………………………………Great Expectations……………….The modern era

  17. Not sure who fed Montez info that he was NFL ready last yr, but not good advice. This yr with progression, looking of DBs, not staring down the route runner, and a little added muscle, then I could see a shot at the NFL. But he really needs to look at the entire field, truly hope they working on that. Less games like Cal start

    1. hmmmmm…..just a few days ago you were going ballistic over the coaches. I didnt say anything at the time because I have my own problems with the coaches. In spite of stale offensive schemes, banal play calling and no tight ends, among other coach faux pas, Steve has put up some really decent numbers.

      1. EP I now live in washington, so losing to the Huskies in a TERRIBLE 2nd half got the best of me. I still wear my gear proud. Just frustrated, especially when out coached

      2. But Stevie needs to see the field, he has too many bad tendencies that I’m hoping the coaches work out. Rocket arm, but needs the mental help..of course with better protection

  18. “I prayed for a coach like Tucker”….

    WOW! Think that summs up the last coaching regime.

    Can’t wait to see the new and improved Buffs

  19. doing the VK note format
    Note 1: Cant wait to see what the “clean slate” brings for the coming depth chart
    Note 2: Cant wait to see how the offense develops.
    Note 3: Cant wait to see how the “hard nose” attitude affects the opponents’ morale.
    Note 4: All the above will be measured against the past regime. Can’t say the program was burned down by Mac…as it was already burned down when he got here but not much rose out of the ashes except with an improvement in the available talent….too bad he couldnt get a whole lot out of it.

  20. Whoa the cyclone bomb dropped on us. Not nice. I am hoping the MightyBuffs drop the cyclone bomb on the first home opponent.

    Spring game……………….ya okay…………..I’ll probably show up………………..Maybe not.

    Out of the unlucky 13 whom will not practice, six were to repair “Chronic Injuries” Which I find interesting for no reason at all.

    And 4 were for Labrum injuries. And out of the 13, 8 were shoulder injuries.

    Oh well that still leaves about 80 guys or so.

    Go Buffs. Cyclone Bombing

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