For a few days last weekend, Josh Chandler-Semedo got to hold his daughter, see her smile and take his mind off of football.
After a rough start on the field, Colorado (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12) players needed last week’s bye and Chandler-Semedo took full advantage of the opportunity to take a few days off.
“I was blessed enough to go back home (to Ohio) and see my daughter, see my family, so it was good to kind of relieve different things,” the senior linebacker said. “Of course me being an older guy, I’ve got different sets of values and stuff. I’ve been done with school (other than some graduate courses); it’s just football and family for me at that point. Being able to see my why was great for me to get a reflection because I’m far away from home. I don’t get to see them a lot.”
Chandler-Semedo transferred to CU from West Virginia in May, but became a father a few weeks before that. His daughter, Maria, is now seven months old and last week was the first time he had seen her in a while.
“It amazes me to this day that I’m a dad,” he said with a big smile. “It’s a hard and an easy pill to swallow because at the same time you’re living for yourself but you also gotta live for somebody else. It was always bigger than me but now it’s completely bigger than me.”
Although he’s not able to see his daughter every day, Chandler-Semedo is enjoying the process all new parents go through in watching their children develop.
“She’s got control of her neck now, she’s eating solid food, she’s got teeth,” he said. “Last time I saw her she was just sitting there, couldn’t move her neck, you’ve got to hold her, position her in a different way. She’s definitely starting to develop a personality, become her and it’s cool to be able to see that. She’s starting to remember me, see me, get smiles and stuff like that so it’s cool.”
Chandler-Semedo goes into this week ranking third on the team in tackles (35), while leading the Buffs in sacks (two) and tackles for loss (six).
Bringing the heat
Former CU standout Matt McChesney visited practice Tuesday and gave a passionate speech to the players before their 9-on-7 period.
A former defensive lineman at CU and offensive lineman in the NFL, McChesney currently runs a gym, SixZero Strength, in which he trains high school, college and pro players (including several current Buffs).
“Matt’s just a guy that has incredible passion and he was a perfect guy to bring in with regards to the day, the theme of the day,” interim head coach Mike Sanford said. “Today’s a physical day and Matt embodied what a Buff is (when he played). He’s lived the trenches. He’s made his entire livelihood as an entrepreneur in the trenches. And he’s got incredible passion for not only this program, but for offensive and defensive line play.
“I wanted him to have that opportunity to just express his desire for this program, his belief in this program and the men that we have in the trenches. He did a fantastic job, got the juices flowing, and I think the players were excited to hear from a Buff that truly loves this place.”
Sanford and the Buffs’ assistants hit the recruiting trail last week for a few days. With the program in the midst of change after firing head coach Karl Dorrell on Oct. 2, the coaches wanted to make sure to visit the players that are interested in being Buffs in the future.
“The No. 1 thing that we talk to each one of those players about is that Colorado is committed to you,” Sanford said. “The University of Colorado is in it for you. We’ve had great cooperation with (athletic director) Rick George with regards to recruiting and conversations with recruits.
“We just want to reiterate to them that there’s seven games left of football this year, that there is obviously zero quit in any one of us as coaches. That’s reflected in the type of relationships we have with them in recruiting. We’re operating business as usual. If you’re committed to Colorado, Colorado is committed to you. Let’s just keep putting our head down and moving forward towards the goal, which is to win football games and ultimately get you to sign that dotted line here at Colorado.”
Sanford said there are six coaches on Cal’s staff, including head coach Justin Wilcox, that he has either played with, coached or were coached by his father, Mike Sanford Sr. “There’s a lot of familiarity for me personally,” he said. “It’s gonna be fun to have a chance to say hello to some of those guys.” … Running back Alex Fontenot, who has missed the past three games with a chest injury, has not returned to practice, but Sanford said he is “trending in a good direction.”