Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Asked to name a few teammates that have impressed them in the early going of fall camp, Colorado quarterbacks Tyler Lytle and Sam Noyer didn’t hesitate.
“Since he came off his injury, I think Jay has been doing really well,” Lytle said of senior slot receiver Jay MacIntyre.
Noyer nodded his head in agreement.
“He looks really explosive and he’s really consistent,” Noyer said. “We have consistency all around the board, but Jay is one of those guys where you know he’s going to come down with it and he’s going to give you everything he’s got every play.”
Healthy and perhaps more determined than ever as he heads into his senior season with the Buffaloes, MacIntyre is off to a great start in fall camp.
Although he missed just one game in 2017, MacIntyre played most of the year with a foot injury that ultimately required off season surgery. He came into camp ready to go.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Coming out here right away, I felt a lot more explosive than I was last year playing on a broken foot. I have to keep doing the rehab so I can be that explosive Jay that I am.
“We’ll just see how everything plays out. I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I’ll just continue to work hard and continue to get this foot right.”
The hard work has certainly paid off for MacIntyre, who comes into the season as the Buffs’ most experienced receiver — as well as one of the most respected members of the team. He was voted one of seven team captains this summer.
“I’m extremely proud of all the guys that have been named captains,” CU head coach , and Jay’s father, Mike MacIntyre said. “With Jay, I never pushed him to be a captain. His mom did a great job raising him.”
Surely mom and dad share some of the credit, but Jay’s certainly made them proud with what he’s done so far at CU.
“If you watch the games or watch practice, he’s one of the guys that’s always in there working hard, making plays, and he’s always pushing and fighting,” coach MacIntyre said. “I think he gained their respect last year playing the whole season on a broken foot. They knew he was hurt and that he was still going to play. I think that made a huge impression.”
Now healthy, Jay is hoping to make an even bigger impression.
He comes into this season with 66 catches for 870 yards and four touchdowns in his career and looks as good as ever.
“That’s really fun,” he said of playing well early in camp. “It’s awesome because it’s so frustrating playing on a hurt foot. You can’t really get in and out of your breaks like you want and beat people deep. I could do it, but it was painful.”
There’s also a chance Jay will return punts. He had 17 returns for 152 yards in 2016, but did not fill that role last year. Cornerback Ronnie Blackmon was the primary punt return last year and could be again, but Jay is definitely an option.
“We’ll probably use Ronnie at first and then we have Jay and we’re looking at a couple freshmen that catch them really well,” coach MacIntyre said. “With Jay taking on a little bit bigger role on offense, we’ll see how that works. There are situations where you could see both of them in the game, because Ronnie is going to be playing more of a role on defense. We’re going to have to have two or three guys to be able to do it.”
Whether he returns punts or not, Jay is sure to be a big part of the offense, and early signs in camp suggest he could be fun to watch.
After dealing for months with a painful foot injury, however, Jay said he’s just ready to contribute.
“To be able to be out here at all and be full speed is just a blessing in itself,” he said.