Staying in good shape over the holidays is tough for most, but for Cade Apsay it's particularly difficult.
The Colorado quarterback is spending the holidays at home in California, and that means a lot of good food cooked up by the Filipino side of his family.
"We like to make a lot of food," Apsay said. "We like to make a huge feast."
Despite the feasts in front of him during the holidays, Apsay remains focused on the opportunity ahead of him.
With three-year starter Sefo Liufau expected to miss several more months with a foot injury, Colorado's quarterback competition will be wide open this spring. For Apsay, a redshirt sophomore-to-be, it's really the first time since he's been in Boulder that the job has been this open.
"The spot is kind of up right now with Sefo's injury," Apsay said. "The competition will be good."
Apsay is expected to be joined in that competition by senior Jordan Gehrke and redshirt freshman Steven Montez. Quarterback-turned-linebacker Jaleel Awini was shifted to an emergency quarterback role the last two weeks of the season, but there has been no word on whether he'll be in the mix at quarterback or if he'll return to defense.
Despite the fact that he's only 19 years old, Apsay will be CU's most experienced Division I quarterback this spring.
Liufau, who will be a senior in the fall, suffered a Lisfranc fracture to his left foot during the first half of the Buffs' 27-24 loss to Southern California on Nov. 13. Apsay took over and started the last two games.
Fully recovered from the concussion he suffered in the finale at Utah, Apsay has taken time to review his first opportunity to play. He said he was pleased with how he kept his composure on the field, but, "My first thought is I have to get better."
Apsay completed 64.1 percent of his passes (59 of 92) for 582 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. He was sacked 14 times, or once every 6.6 throws.
"As much as it is on the line getting the blocks, it is also on me just as much," he said. "I talked to (offensive coordinator Brian) Lindgren about the speed aspect and he said to specifically work on my breakout speed to try to get out of the pocket faster or react a little bit quicker to blitzes."
In fact, Apsay said one of his primary goals for next year is to add weight and speed. He played this past season with about 190 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame, but Lindgren and head coach Mike MacIntyre want Apsay at around 205-210, he said.
As he works on improving his size and speed, Apsay is eager for spring ball (which will begin in early February) to see if the experience he gained this past season will pay off.
"Moving forward it'll be good because I have an idea of what the speed is like and what it really is like playing on the field," he said. "I know what I need to be prepared for and it'll help with my preparation."
Apsay said playing was an eye-opening experience, but he came away feeling comfortable about his ability to play at this level.
Now he's looking to up his game, with a new twist thrown in. CU hired Darrin Chiaverini to work with Lindgren as co-offensive coordinators.
"It'll be cool to see what changes and what doesn't change when the new coach comes in," Apsay said.
Regardless of the changes, Apsay is hoping to do his part to help the Buffs improve on offense after ranking 11th in the Pac-12 and 97th nationally in scoring.
"We have a lot of weapons coming back, so I'm excited to see how far we can take it," he said.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.