It wasn't long after the Colorado football team won the Pac-12 South division title in 2016 that Blake Stenstrom decided he wanted to be a part of the program.

Not even a disappointing 2017 season by the Buffaloes could temper Stenstrom's excitement, and the wait is nearly over for the former Valor Christian High School quarterback, who will join the team next week.

"I'm really fired up," Stenstrom said recently before heading to Kenya for a mission trip. "I've been itching to get up there ever since I committed (on Dec. 17, 2016). It feels like it's all culminating to this point and I'm really excited to get up there, even just to start the freshman orientation, working out and taking classes. And, throwing, too."

The son of former NFL quarterback Steve Stenstrom, who set several passing records at Stanford in the early 1990s, the younger Stenstrom threw for 1,494 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career at Valor and he is eager to see how he stacks up at the college level.

Junior Steven Montez is the returning starter for the Buffs, while sophomore Sam Noyer and redshirt freshman Tyler Lytle will also be competing for playing time with Stenstrom.

"I've been up there in spring ball this past spring a couple times and I definitely think I can play with these guys," he said. "I'm excited to stand next to them, become friends with them but also compete with them.


"I think the quarterback room up there right now is great and I'm really excited to be a part of that, along with coach (Kurt) Roper. I have a lot of respect for him. I'm really excited to get mentored and taught by him."

Roper was not a part of the CU program when Stenstrom committed, or when he signed his letter of intent in December, but that relationship is off to a good start in the five months since Roper was hired.

"It's been awesome, really," Stenstrom said. "I've really enjoyed getting to know him as a person and as a coach. I think he's very well versed scheme-wise, but also teaching the guys the right mechanics about how to get it done on the field. I've enjoyed watching him coach the other guys. He's the type of coach I like to have."

Prior to Roper coming to CU in January, Stenstrom didn't know him, but knew Roper's brother, Zac, who is the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Duke.

"I went to a Duke camp when I was getting recruited ... and I met his brother there so I knew of him," Stenstrom said. "I was very excited (when he was hired). It's really an ideal situation that I didn't even know would happen when I committed and signed."

Stenstrom had the opportunity to watch a handful of CU's spring practices and said that was beneficial to see Roper work with the other quarterbacks and get a jump on learning the offense, particularly the signals and formations, which he believes are the toughest aspects for any quarterback to learn.

Going into the summer, Stenstrom said, "I feel pretty good (in CU's offense). It's a very quarterback friendly offense that CU runs and I'm excited to be up there."

Stenstrom also feels prepared because of his father, who has mentored him for years.

"He's been amazing helping me get ready," Stenstrom said. "He's been my quarterback coach my whole life and this spring we've had our plan and we've been working hard just getting ready to get up there.

"He's an amazing person to go to if I've ever had questions."

The elder Stenstrom has also mentored his family on how to give back to others. When Blake was just 7 years old, the family spent two months in South Africa and Tanzania doing mission work.

Blake also went on a mission trip to Kenya two years ago and is spending the first two weeks of this month there. He said his group will be doing flood relief, as well as putting on a vacation Bible school.

"It's indescribable," he said. "I'm really blessed to be able to go on trips like this.

"I've been able to do that and get a perspective for how people live around the world. I think it's one of the greatest things to get perspective on my life in America and how great it is and how much I can be grateful for."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or