RJ Sneed hasn’t been in Boulder very long, but it hasn’t taken much time for Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis to develop a good rapport with his newest weapon.
During the spring showcase on Saturday at Folsom Field, Lewis connected with Sneed four times for 29 yards. Two of those receptions went for first downs, including a 14-yarder on a second-and-12 play.
“Oh yeah, it’s really fun throwing to RJ, watching RJ catch the ball,” Lewis said. “As soon as he got here, we had a connection. I don’t know why. Maybe because we’re both from Texas, but it’s really fun playing with RJ. He knows a lot about the game and stuff, so I like throwing him the ball.”
During an open scrimmage on April 9, Sneed played sparingly, but Lewis found him for a 19-yard reception on a third-and-9 play.
CU lost five receivers to the transfer portal after last season, including starters Brenden Rice and Dimitri Stanley. The addition of Sneed is expected to be a boost for the offense.
A graduate transfer, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Sneed caught 133 passes for 1,564 yards and eight touchdowns at Baylor. He led the Bears in receiving in 2020.
Although CU lost its top edge rusher, Carson Wells, to graduation, the Buffs believe they have much more depth at that spot this year.
“I very much like the depth there,” head coach Karl Dorrell said. “I think it’s important to have that depth on the edges because I felt like we didn’t have that a year ago.”
In addition to Wells, the Buffs had Guy Thomas play very well for seven games before an injury last year. A few other young players flashed a bit, but there wasn’t a great deal of depth.
This year, Thomas is back and senior Jamar Montgomery has stepped up his game. Sophomore Alvin Williams and redshirt freshmen Devin Grant and Zion Magalei also played well this spring. Transfer Chance Main has provided a boost, and the Buffs should get sophomore Joshka Gustav back from an injury in the summer.
“I’m saying more names than I was saying a year ago,” Dorrell said. “So, we do have a lot of depth that I think are pretty close in talent.”
Montgomery is entering his fourth season with CU and said, “It’s the best depth we’ve had since my first year in 2019 when I got here. Everyone’s versatile, doing their thing, doing what they do. Everyone has their attributes or what they’re good with so it’s turned out pretty good.”
Lewis is the incumbent starter at quarterback, while junior JT Shrout is expected to battle him for the starting job when he’s fully healthy this summer.
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford is working on developing the depth at the position, too.
“The big area that we need to keep growing on is that next quarterback up and it’s stiff competition right now,” Sanford last week. “Every day it’s kind of a new person.”
Sanford said true sophomore Drew Carter, redshirt freshman Maddox Kopp and walk-on sophomore James Mott are competing for that spot.
“The QB room is deep now,” receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig said. “We’ve got guys that can really sling it.”
Kopp, a transfer from Houston, completed 4-of-7 passes for 24 yards, a touchdown and an interception during Saturday’s spring showcase. Carter was 0-for-2 and Mott 0-for-3. Kopp ran more plays (13) than Carter and Mott combined (11).
Coaches have been impressed with true freshmen tackle Travis Gray, an early enrollee from Cherokee Trail High School. “He’s learning the game at this level,” Dorrell said. “He’s doing some really good things; trying to figure out his own personal game with his skill set and what he needs to maximize it.” … Lewis said the Buffs enjoyed getting in front of some fans on Saturday and having a chance to run behind Ralphie VI. “It was fun to come out here with the guys and experience that,” Lewis said. “Some of the guys had never seen Ralphie and they’re like ‘What is that?’ I’m like, ‘It’s Ralphie. That’s our buffalo!’” … Defensive lineman Jeremiah Doss has medically retired. A former junior college transfer, Doss missed the 2021 season with an injury. He played 98 snaps in his three seasons with the Buffs.