Walking off the practice field on Thursday, Devin Ross couldn’t hide his fatigue.
Three weeks into Colorado’s fall football camp, the legs of the junior receiver aren’t as fresh as they once were.
“They’re pretty tired, I can’t lie, but I’ll get in the cold tub and later on, too, and I’ll be back for tomorrow,” he said.
Ross certainly isn’t the only player feeling camp fatigue at this point, but with the Sept. 2 season opener quickly approaching and tough competition for playing time at receiver, he knows there’s no time to rest.
“I don’t want to rest at all,” Ross said. “I want to go undefeated this season. We have to do whatever it takes.”
Since last season, Ross has done everything in his power to make this season a better one for himself and the Buffaloes.
Although he caught 25 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns last season, he also had untimely dropped passes.
Then, he was the talk of spring drills as he caught nearly everything thrown his way. So far this fall, Ross has continued to perform well.
“He’s had a good fall,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “He’s made plays and done some good things. Looks like he feels more comfortable.”
Ross is projected to start as the slot receiver, but can also line up outside. Regardless of where he lines up, Ross is eying a bigger role on the offense and has made it his mission to prove to coaches and teammates that he can be reliable.
“I just wanted to show the coaches that I can be consistent and that just comes from keeping going,” he said. “I just have to keep striving and keep doing what I did in the spring, and keep moving on from there and just do even better. That’s what I want to do and I just want to be the best for my team.”
CU features a talented receiving corps that includes Ross, fellow juniors Bryce Bobo, Kabion Ento, Shay Fields and Juwann Winfree, senior Jaleel Awini and sophomore Jay MacIntyre. That group has the most experienced quarterback in the Pac-12 — senior Sefo Liufau — throwing to them.
With a variety of weapons on offense, the Buffs could be an explosive team, particularly in the passing game.
New receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini has also implemented some concepts of the air raid offense, which was used at his last stop at Texas Tech. That offense has produced big time passing and receiving numbers and gets players like Ross excited.
“I’m excited because lots in this offense have had big seasons, and I’m the next one up in this offense, so I’m just excited to see what I can do and where my numbers end up,” he said.
More than anything, though, Ross wants to see how many wins the Buffs can pile up this season. That, perhaps more than anything, keeps him motivated as he goes through the grind of preseason camp.
“Camp is a little harder (than spring ball), so I’m getting more tired every day, but that’s part of the process,” Ross said. “I’m happy about my performance so far.”
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.