After coming to Colorado as a junior college transfer in 2019, Jamar Montgomery had visions of significantly impacting the Buffaloes’ defense.
In three seasons as a Buffalo, he hasn’t done that yet. The sixth-year senior outside linebacker is relishing one last opportunity, however.
“My expectations have definitely let me down, to a point where I feel like I should be doing this but I’m obviously not doing that,” Montgomery said after practice Wednesday. “But I’m at a point where the timing is perfect, where I feel like I’m where I need to be at, so I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Montgomery played two seasons at Independence (Kan.) Community College before transferring to CU. In three years with the Buffs, he’s appeared in 18 games as a reserve, recording 13 tackles, and two tackles for loss. His lone sack came in 2019.
Last year, Montgomery got his most extensive playing time at CU, with 138 snaps and seven tackles.
He’s now competing with several others for playing time but believes his years of experience are paying off.
“I’m more experienced and seeing what I need to do and where to be at,” he said. “I’m at the point where the opportunity is there; all I’ve got to do is take it.”
Montgomery also has a fresh perspective, accepting his past and embracing the opportunity in front of him.
“I’m facing the man in the mirror and I understand what I need to do and where I need to be,” he said. “It’s starting to come clear and it’s starting to make sense. Like I said, the opportunity is in front of me, and I’m just taking it a day at a time, making sure I take advantage of it.”
Leading the D
Another sixth-year senior, safety Isaiah Lewis, is healthy and stepping up as a leader for the Buffs.
The only returning starter in the secondary, Lewis missed spring practices after offseason surgery, but is healthy and making a difference during preseason camp.
“Now that he’s back up to speed and he’s on the field, it gives our defense a comfortable peace of knowing that there’s experience back there,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “He helps out the safeties that are still kind of learning the trade back there. He’s been a really good leader from that standpoint, but we’re also asking for him to elevate his game, too.”
Lewis led the Buffs with 79 tackles last season and also intercepted two passes, but didn’t have any pass breakups. He had 27 tackles and eight pass breakups during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
“He’s made a couple of nice plays (in camp),” Dorrell said. “He had an interception (Monday), so he’s doing some really good things, too.”
Junior guard Casey Roddick has transformed his body since last season and teammates are taking notice. Several Buffs have mentioned Roddick as a player that has improved since last year.
“I’ve seen that guy in the summer putting in the work, getting right, being the most conditioned he can be,” running back Jayle Stacks said. “He’s gonna be a good player. I’ve already seen it before, but just what he was doing in the offseason is gonna lead him to do great things.”
Stacks was the latest of several Buffs to mention linebacker Quinn Perry as a player who has improved, as well. “He does his job,” Stacks said. “He’s doing what he can do to get runners on the ground. That’s all you can ask for.” … The Buffs, who held their first 12 practices of camp in the morning, practiced in the afternoon on Wednesday and will do so again on Thursday. Without school this week, those were the last two days to adjust the schedule before returning to mornings on Friday. … CU will host its annual Boulder Chamber Kickoff Luncheon on Friday at the indoor practice facility. For more information, visit cubuffs.com/events.