Time was running out on Chance Main’s dream of playing college football in a Power 5 conference.
Then he called his good friend Jamar Montgomery, an outside linebacker at Colorado.
“I said, ‘Jamar throw myself in front of these coaches out there,’” said Main, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound edge defender. “‘Just make them watch (the film).’ He did and sure enough (CU defensive coordinator Chris) Wilson calls me.”
On Friday, Main’s dream became reality as he officially announced that he will play for the Buffs in his final year of eligibility. Main has already signed a financial aid agreement and spent Friday driving to Boulder so he can start classes on Monday.
Main was one of two players added to CU’s 2022 recruiting class on Friday. Jason Oliver, a cornerback from Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif., announced his decision to come to CU. Like Main, he had previously signed and he will start classes Monday as an early enrollee.
A 2018 graduate of Cherryvale (Kan.) High School, Main played the 2018 season at Independence (Kan.) Community College. He then transferred to Incarnate Word, an FCS school in San Antonio, where he played the 2019 season and the delayed 2020 season last spring.
Now, he gets a chance to play his final season with the Buffaloes.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said of his Power 5 opportunity. “A lot went into it and a long road and it’s something I always wanted to do and always dreamed of doing. I knew I could. I knew I had the size and the strength and everything to play at that Power 5 level.”
Main began his college journey at Independence, which was featured in season four of “Last Chance U” on Netflix. Main was one of the featured players that season.
“That was a very interesting experience,” he said. “Probably not your average junior college experience, but it was still a great experience.”
In 2019, Main played in 10 games at IUW, with 28 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and five pass breakups. The 2020 season was postponed due to COVID-19 and Main played in five games during the shortened 2021 spring season. He was named a team captain and had 22 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.
During the spring season, Main suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder and had to get surgery. He had already decided to leave IUW but said his injury limited his transfer opportunities.
Main recently went on an official visit to Florida State, but after the Seminoles signed a different player, Main jumped at the chance to play at CU.
“I got a lot of FCS schools hitting me up, smaller Division Is, but I knew that’s not what I wanted to do,” he said. “I jumped in the portal to try to go P5 and that’s where I was going to put all my energy and effort.”
Since graduating from IUW last spring, Main said he’s been working for his father, rehabbing his shoulder and staying ready for an opportunity. Last month, he set a personal record on the bench press at 410 pounds, but he’s ready to get to CU and get back in football shape.
“I’m real excited that this all worked out and I was able to pick this up (from CU),” he said. “That way I can get in there and get back in shape and start running around a little bit.”
Main is particularly excited because he and his family spent a lot of time in Colorado during his childhood, as the mountains were often a vacation destination.
“It’s kind of a second home to me, so I feel pretty comfortable coming over here,” he said.
After a college journey that has already been memorable, Main said he’s learned to take nothing for granted. He cherishes the relationships he’s built with Montgomery and many others and the work ethic he developed at Indy and IUW. Now he’s ready to test himself at CU.
“As of right now, this is my last year so I’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose from it,” he said. “I’m going to give it all I’ve got, for damn sure.”
Oliver, meanwhile, joins a crowded group of young cornerbacks. The 6-foot, 170-pounder is the fourth prep cornerback in CU’s 2022 class, joining Simeon Harris, Keyshon Mills and Josh Wiggins. Oliver will join Wiggins as an early enrollee.
Oliver is a three-star prospect who had 10 scholarship offers, including from Boise State, California, Colorado State, Oregon State and Utah.
CU lost both starting cornerbacks – Mekhi Blackmon and Christian Gonzalez – to the transfer portal this offseason. The Buffs signed three corners in 2021.