Colorado University quarterback Steven Montez is a bit stranded on campus, but that’s not stopping him from keeping up with his workouts and making sure his arm strength stays intact for his first year in the NFL. He just needed to get a bit creative with that process.
The signal-caller was scheduled to train with his teammates in Boulder, but the coronavirus threw a major wrench in those plans.
“I came back to Boulder … to throw with my guys and to make sure I was going to be in a spot with a lot of people willing to catch routes. But after this whole corona thing, everybody got real nervous and went home. There’s really not anyone here right now.”
So how is the passer staying in shape with no receivers on the other end of his throws?
Montez turned to a man’s best friend. His dogs!
The senior has two pets, a golden retriever lab and a Shih Tzu poodle. While the poodle approaches practice like Allen Iverson, the retriever apparently has the work ethic of Jerry Rice.
“He literally cannot stop thinking about fetching the ball” Montez told Sports Illustrated. “I’ve been trying to get right with these dogs. They don’t really catch the ball too well but they definitely pick it up off the ground and run it back, so they got good hustle,” the Colorado quarterback said like a proud parent.
In a typical year, with only a month before the NFL Draft, Montez would be training with his college teammates, like receiver like Laviska Shenault Jr, who Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson recently ranked as the 39th player on his Top 100 Big Board and flying around the country for interviews with NFL teams. But COVID-19 has taken the normalcy out of every standard draft routine. He’s exercising with four-legged animals and taking meetings via Skype and FaceTime, but the coronavirus’ impact on the draft process is not slowing Montez down from achieving his goal of playing in the NFL.
“I didn’t really have a whole lot of expectations for this process. I was just trying to be a sponge, learn as much as I could, try to do the best in everything that I had the opportunity to participate in … I’m going to continue to do that for these meetings. Even though they are Skype interviews, these are still some of the biggest interviews you’re ever going to have in your whole life. I’m definitely going to be prepared and definitely going to have something interesting to talk about when they call me”
At the 2020 NFL Combine, Montez measured in at 6-foot-4, 231 pounds and ran a 4.68 40-yard-dash. He started all 12 games in each of the Buffaloes' last three seasons. In those three years, Montez threw for 8,632 yards and 54 touchdowns and ran for 950 yards and 12 scores. The 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled to start on April 23.