When former Del Valle High School football standout Steven Montez officially signed with the University of Colorado during his senior season, fans of the young man knew it was only just a matter of time for the 6’4″ 2nd Team Texas All-State team quarterback to make his presence known in Rocky Mountains.
In front of an energetic crowd of 5,100, the Buffaloes held their spring football game on Saturday April 9. Steven Montez and the Buffs were led out by “Ralphie” at Folsom Field.
The former Conquistador took the field dressed in Colorado’s all white uniform, along with the rest of the first team. CU has revamped their offense to more of an up-tempo strategy this spring, due to an injury of starter Sefo Liufau.
Montez, a red-shirt freshman, was able to share the reps along with Junior Jordan Gehrke with the first group for the 13 spring practices.
In Saturday’s scrimmage, the Buffaloes offense seemed a little bit jittery for the first few possessions. Some dropped passes and some false starts stalled the early drives for the Buffs. Montez and the Buff’s offense started to find their rhythm in the 4th series with some quick completions to Wideouts Devin Ross and Shay Fields. Showing his versatility, Montez made some plays with his legs by breaking free from defenders and scrambling for positive yardage. The drive was capped off with a 16 yard rushing touchdown from Michael Adkins.
During the team’s two-minute-series, Buffs QB coach Brian Lindgren said, ” I think the guys saw him (Montez) make some plays, and just the way he carries himself on the field…” Lindgren went on to say “We (the coaching staff) have been really impressed with Steven’s development through the spring and being able to make bunch of plays.”
Montez feels his confidence growing and knows what that means for his teammates. “I think everyone has a little more confidence in me, and they believe that I can do the job…when I get to that point – and I’m ready in the fall – if I get a chance to compete, I’ll compete for that starting job. I hope I just have a chance to prove that I have what it takes to lead this team to a lot of wins this year and the future” said Montez.
On his Spring evaluation Montez said, “Now I feel like I’ve got a really clean grasp of the playbook and the reads…I think I put down a good foundation, I just need to keep learning and carry that into the fall.”
After the scrimmage, Montez was selected “Most Improved Offensive Back”.
Head Coach Mike MacIntyre was asked about the leaps and bounds Steven Montez made during spring..
“He’s got a lot of confidence…in himself and in the team too, that’s a big part of being quarterback. You can see he’s athletic, can throw and he has a big arm”. Of Steven being named the starter on opening day, MacIntyre says, “I don’t know if he is quite ready for that yet. But I think athletically, his ability, and all that he does, he is going to be a really good player here for us for a really long time.”
There was a lot of support for Montez at Folsom field; after the scrimmage fans, were able to head to the field and take pictures with their favorite players and Steven’s line was by far the busiest. Taking pictures and signing autographs for the Colorado fans both young and old alike; all with with huge smiles on their face as he signs their CU memorabilia.
After the session, Steven shared his thoughts about playing for Colorado, “I feel a very good vibe here in Boulder, and I heard from people here around campus, that they are looking forward to seeing me play , they have faith and confidence in me, that’s all I need.”
Of course, fans will have to wait until August to see if Steven can make the jump to the number one spot, but there is one thing that is certain, a foundation is being built.
His growth into a college quarterback is moving at a rapid rate, earning the confidence in fellow teammates and coaching staff, showing them of what a kind of leader he is and can be.
It’s only year one in Boulder and there is buzz, which is great for the program that is coming off a rough 2015 campaign. Colorado is looking to get back to competing for Pac-12 Championships and National Championships. Confidence is contagious and when everyone starts playing with it, it can lead to great things. We will just have to wait and see, and we know the future is bright.
Montez is becoming a fan favorite amongst CU faithful, and here in El Paso he will always be one of El Paso’s favorite sons. “I have a very strong bond between me and El Paso, I just want to represent and make them proud.” Montez exclaimed, his trademark smile lighting up the field in Boulder, just like it had in the Sun City.