Buffaloes redshirt sophomore QB Steven Montez embracing lead role
BOULDER» As a substitute starter last season, Steven Montez was good enough to make Colorado football fans excited for the future.
That future is now here, and Montez is no longer a substitute.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback has entered CU’s preseason camp — which began Saturday — with the task of figuring out how to handle the starting job on a full-time basis.
“I’ve always kind of worked hard in the offseason,” Montez said Sunday. “I worked especially hard this offseason just because I have all that extra (pressure to be the starter) on me. So that was the reason I had to work extremely hard with dieting and extra running and doing all the extra stuff to slim down.
“Now that I’m there, I’m kind of approaching fall camp how I approach every fall camp.”
The approach — “Just come in and compete and try to play the best football I possibly can for my team and hopefully we can get better as a unit,” he said — may not be any different for Montez, but this is certainly a different season for the 6-foot-5, 225-pound quarterback.
For the first time since 2014, when he was a senior at Del Valle High School in El Paso, Montez is expected to be in a starting role.
Having spent the previous two seasons as an understudy to Sefo Liufau — now with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Montez’s time has arrived.
“He’s always been a quarterback growing up. His dad (Alfred) was a quarterback,” CU coach Mike MacIntyre said. “He’s really been groomed.
“He has good physical attributes, he’s very smart, has a good personality. He’s just got to be able to handle the grind every day of being prepared, being ready to play; have a bad series and go back out there and don’t flinch; having a bad game and being able to bounce back.”