Given the opportunity to teach kids about the nuances of playing quarterback, Steven Montez couldn’t say no.
This weekend, Montez is one of about two dozen college quarterbacks mentoring young passers at Steve Clarkson’s 13th Annual Quarterback Retreat in Coronado, Calif.
“I’ve never been a counselor for anything,” said Montez, a redshirt sophomore who is projected to take over as Colorado’s starting quarterback this year. “This is my first deal like this and it’s real cool. They bring you out here and you’re just coaching kids and you’re telling them what you know and what the experience is like.
“It’s awesome, because you come here and some of the kids recognize you and they know your name. It’s nice to be a role model, especially when you can come and give back to them and teach them and give them tips of the trade and what you do.”
The camp, which started Saturday and concludes Sunday at Coronado High School, includes players in grades 3-12, which gives Montez the opportunity to teach in a variety of ways. He’s also enjoying being a part of an event that includes several of college football’s elite passers, including reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Georgia’s Jacob Eason.
“It’s a great experience for me,” Montez said. “It’s nice to see what the competition is looking like for quarterback around the nation.”
Of course, Montez’s main concern is quarterbacking the Buffaloes (10-4, 8-1 Pac-12 last year), the reigning Pac-12 South division champions.
After his weekend in California, Montez will return to his home in El Paso, Texas, and then make the 10-hour drive to Boulder on Thursday, ending a short two-week break.
“It’s a little sooner than we need to get back, but I wanted to get back and get acclimated to the altitude and hopefully get some running in and get my lungs back,” he said.
Projected to take over the starting role after four-year starter Sefo Liufau graduated, Montez said he’s eager to get back with his team.
“To be honest with you, I love seeing my family and all of that, but (the two-week break) is enough time for me, because I’m ready to get back and get the season rolling,” he said. “I’m very excited. It’s going to be hopefully a big season for both Colorado and also myself.”
Montez said he feels great physically and has kept his arm sharp this offseason.
When he and his teammates return to Boulder, they’ll resume the player-led practice that began this spring. It’s the next step in what he hopes is another successful season for the Buffs.
“I’m ready to just keep trying to be a leader, keep things running smooth and hopefully get better myself and just help the team out with whatever they need me to do,” he said.
Being around some of the nation’s best quarterbacks this weekend has only solidified Montez’s confidence. While players like Jackson and Rosen are more accomplished at this point in their college careers, Montez said he has felt right at home with them.
“I kind of always felt like I’ve belonged,” he said. “Everyone is just having fun and teaching and we’re all just playing football. It’s a really cool experience and a cool thing to be a part of.”