Midway through the fourth quarter at Folsom Field last September, Colorado receiver Jay MacIntyre made a nice catch to secure a touchdown and help the Buffaloes finish off a victory against Northern Colorado.

It's been a long time since he felt as good as he did that day, however.

"I haven't run a route with no pain since the UNC game," said MacIntyre, who is still recovering from a left foot injury he suffered that day. "It will get there. It's the best it's been since then."

A Lisfranc injury led to a fracture of his fifth metatarsal bone. Told that he probably couldn't do more damage by playing, MacIntyre missed just one game and played through the pain during the final eight weeks. When the injury didn't heal as hoped early in the offseason, he opted for surgery.

"The last couple of months have been the recovery process and now we're kind of ramping it up into doing more on the field," he said. "Hopefully by pretty soon I won't even think about it."

While this hasn't been the full-go offseason that he's used to, MacIntyre is perhaps more determined than ever to put together a sensational season.

Now a senior, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound slot receiver is CU's most experienced weapon on offense. He enters his final season with 66 catches for 870 yards and four touchdowns, giving him a chance at the 100-catch mark that only 17 Buffs have hit.

"Sometimes I look back at it and I'm happy with the way I've gotten through a lot of different things and been able to create my own image here," he said. "At the same time, I still have a lot I want to do here. You're never really satisfied."


MacIntyre's unfinished business is all about wins, not personal numbers.

"You want to just keep working and working and you want the team to win that bowl game and different things," he said. "That's what I came here to do. I want to have a good 10-win season like we had (in 2016) and finish it off strong."

MacIntyre came to CU following its eighth consecutive losing season, going 4-8 in 2013. He believed a turnaround was coming, however, in large part because he believed in his father, Mike, who was one year into his job as the Buffs' head coach.

Colorado senior receiver Jay MacIntyre has 21 career punt returns for 189 yards.
Colorado senior receiver Jay MacIntyre has 21 career punt returns for 189 yards. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

He had to battle through some outside pressure, however. Memories of the disappointing Hawkins era - Dan as head coach and son Cody as quarterback - were still too vivid for some fans at the time, and they didn't like another father/son pairing in Boulder.

"The Cody situation, I heard a lot about it when I first decided to come here and before that," Jay said. "That's just something I didn't even look at it. This is what I want to do, this is what I chose and I said, 'I'm going to build my own legacy here and try to change the way people look at the coaches' son.'"

Cody Hawkins, who ranks second in CU history in passing yards, contacted Jay when he signed his letter of intent.

"He actually wrote me a letter when I first signed here saying how he would go do it again," Jay said. "It was really cool to have that support with him."

Jay has done quite well and proven to be more than just the coaches' son.

Of his 66 career catches, 38 have resulted in first downs or touchdowns, including 19 of his 28 catches last season. He also has 21 career punt returns for 189 yards.

"I think Jay's had an excellent career and he'll have a great senior year," his father said. "He's so dependable and he's really quick and athletic, more than people thought."

Jay is dependable off the field, too, and last month was one of five CU athletes to receive the Ceal Barry Leadership Award. He's hoping his leadership can help the Buffs improve upon last year's 5-7 finish.

"Everyone just has to buy in," he said. "That was the case with the team in 2016. I think we have good leaders and we have good players, but now we just have to find our identity and buy into our identity."

Personally, Jay's main priority is getting healthy, but he's confident he'll be ready to go this fall, as he puts a cap on his college career.

"It's been a good four years," he said. "It's been tough in a lot of ways, but it's also helped me grow to be the person I am today. This fifth year, it's exciting to see all the work I put in and everything that's going on with the team and the relationships I've built with the team.

"Having a great year is what I expect and it should be a lot of fun."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33