The Pac-12 Networks camera was rolling and a member of the crew draped a Colorado Buffaloes flag over the back of Steven Montez.

"We've got a Batman mask, too," another crew member said.

"Oh, yeah, I'll use that," Montez said.

Colorado's junior quarterback donned the mask, used the flag as a cape and had a little fun during Pac-12 media day last week in Hollywood, Calif.

The fun-loving and charismatic Montez was a natural at the annual media event, even if he wasn't the brightest star there. He was one of five quarterbacks in attendance, and was certainly overshadowed by Heisman Trophy candidate Khalil Tate of Arizona, Washington's Jake Browning and even Oregon's Justin Herbert.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez poses as Batman during Pac-12 media day in Hollywood, Calif. last week.
Colorado quarterback Steven Montez poses as Batman during Pac-12 media day in Hollywood, Calif. last week. (Brian Howell /

For now, Montez is flying under the radar, but the potential to join the others is there.

"All of those quarterbacks that you mentioned in our league are excellent," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said at media day. "I feel like he's capable of being that same type of guy.

"There are great quarterbacks in this league, and great quarterbacks every year. Last year, there were a few other names, right? So, I definitely feel like Steven has the ability to do it, and hopefully he will.

"When he does, it all goes back to us winning enough games to get his notoriety, and when we do that, he'll get his time in the sun, so to speak."


CU players reported for fall camp Wednesday, with the first practice slated for Thursday morning. In just four weeks, on Aug. 31, the Buffs will open their season against Colorado State at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

For CU to beat the Rams and get on a winning track that'll lead them to the postseason, they might need Montez to play at an elite level. He's aware of that and is eager to take on the challenge.

"I only feel as much pressure as I put on myself," he said. "At the end of the day, we're here to play a game, we're here to play football and win games. I know what's expected of me, so there's really not that much pressure."

One of the expectations others have placed on him is to be a leader, and it was viewed by some as a red flag that he wasn't named one of seven team captains last month. Montez, however, said he took it in stride when he wasn't elected captain by his teammates.

"I completely trust every one of the captains that we voted for as a team," he said. "They're going to be great captains for us. Every single one of those guys I trust and I'm going to depend on when we start playing games."

Captain or not, Montez said he will try to step up and be more of a leader than he's been in the past.

"I feel like there's been a lot of leaders and a lot of playmakers on this team that haven't been captains," he said. "I think leadership just comes with being a quarterback. I think it just comes with the position. I lead through my own personality, through my own traits."

Montez has often been one to do things his way, but this offseason he's shown the ability to adapt and do things another way. New quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper has impressed upon Montez the importance of film study and knowing what the defense is doing.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez high fives the fans after the Buffs’ loss to USC on Nov. 11.
Colorado quarterback Steven Montez high fives the fans after the Buffs' loss to USC on Nov. 11. (Andy Cross / The Denver Post)

"He's gone from algebra to calculus in understanding how to prepare for a game, his film study and all the things he's doing," MacIntyre said. "He's been around the office all summer, watching tape, working on it, studying it."

Montez said he's watching film more than ever before. Sometimes he watches film alone. Sometimes he'll work with walk-on quarterback Josh Goldin. And, many times, Montez will be studying film at night and give Roper a call.

"I'm talking to coach Roper about questions I have, just clarifying things, so we're on the same page when fall camp starts," Montez said. "I was doing a little bit of (film study) last year and I just wasn't doing enough of it. I wanted to be more aware of what I was going to see."

As a first-year starter in 2017, Montez threw for 2,975 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions, along with 338 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He had great games and a couple of clunkers, but MacIntyre said Montez played "definitely well enough for us to be better than 5-7."

Montez is determined to play even better and, with 15 career starts under his belt and a strong offseason, believes he will.

"I know more about defenses than I did a year ago, so I think the progressions will probably look a lot smoother and then my decision making will probably be better, as well," he said.

If Montez is better, he just might be considered among the Pac-12's elite quarterbacks.

"I think he'll have a special year," MacIntyre said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or