Campus Scoop with Mike Yam at Colorado
Wrapping up our tour of the mountain region, Mike Yam checked in with us after his day at Colorado to give some impressions of the team, new facilities and fellow analyst Jeremy Bloom's return to campus.
On facilities at Colorado…
"I was looking forward to checking out the facilities on the campus after speaking with Mike MacIntyre at Media Days. I already knew about the $156 million that was being used to upgrade the facilities. Coach MacIntyre had told me in Burbank that I was going to be blown away, and he was absolutely right. I did my own walking tour where I found Coach MacIntyre’s office and decided to put my feet up on the desk to take in his view (which was absolutely stunning).
Ok, so I really didn’t put my feet up in his office. I just took a look inside. The door was open, and the view was phenomenal!
The locker rooms are as good as anyone else’s locker rooms in the Conference. The training facility is also very impressive, and that doesn’t include the unfinished practice field that will be completed at some point over the next few months. Two years ago when we first started doing our training camp tour, it was abundantly clear that Colorado and arguably UCLA were at the bottom of the Conference in terms of facilities, which was disappointing for me considering what a great area Boulder is. I think moving forward, Coach Macintyre has an absolutely golden chip when it comes to recruiting."
Observations on the team…
"I think the one thing that stood out with the players on the field is just the sheer size of the guys. Two years ago when we were in Boulder, you could see they were towards the bottom of the Conference and were going to have some problems competing. Defensively, or even offensively, when guys put their heads down and were trying to make a hit, a lot of times they were being pushed back. I think this year, they’re going to be the ones exerting more force.
I turned to Curtis Conway when we were watching the scrimmage and said, ‘Is it just me, or does their offensive line look even bigger?’ He turned back to me and said, ‘It’s absolutely night and day compared to what we saw two years ago.'
The other thing that stood out for me was the leadership and maturity. Sefo Liufau when i talked to him last year as a true sophomore, he’s probably one of the most mature kids in the Conference. His ability now to be a leader on this football team is clear. Kenneth Olugbode is clearly vocal on the football field. You can see the leadership that’s there. To give you some perspective on how young this team was even last year, 57% of their defensive snaps were from either true or redshirt freshmen, or sophomores. As this team continues to get older and develop in terms of their size and skill on the football field."
On Jeremy Bloom's return to campus...
"I knew when we were going to Boulder that Jeremy Bloom was going to be a popular guy. I was not only right, but I think I underestimated what his popularity actually is here. He was signing autographs with the kids, taking pictures and a horde of media who wanted to talk to him. He was definitely holding court for about 10 different reporters, which was kind of cool to see. You could just tell that there’s so much pride when he’s on the campus for his time here, but he’s excited for the new facilities. I think for me, just seeing how happy Jeremy was to be back on the CU campus was a cool experience.'
Next stop: Palo Alto, Calif. to watch the Stanford Cardinal. To catch up on all of Yam’s posts, check out the Pac-12 Networks Insider Blog.