Austin Ray: I went out there on my official visit and it was the first time I'd been out there. I thought the campus was really nice and it was real easy to get around. I like the game-day atmosphere that they had. I felt like all the coaches, I had a connection with them and they were fired up to get the program turned around. They all have a lot of experience, and it was nice to see a former tight end as the head coach. You don't see that very often. I like it a lot. I feel it's a great opportunity, especially with getting some early playing time as a true freshman.
Scout: Do the coaches believe you can come in and compete for a starting job right away?
Ray: Yeah, their two tight ends are graduating this year. As far as the tight end position there, it's wide open. They want me to come in and help step up and see if I can fulfill that role for next year.
Scout: CU is recruiting a lot of top tight ends. Do you like the fact that CU is loading up on tight ends?
Ray: It's definitely nice, because they run a lot of two tight end (sets). Having a lot of tight ends can help because it creates mismatches for the defensive backs and corners. It's beneficial to the offense and helps get it going.
Scout: Do you get the sense Colorado will utilize the tight end more than other schools?
Ray: Yeah. When I went on my visit there, they showed some game films and even from watching the game, it's obvious that they definitely run some two tight-end sets and they use their tight ends a lot.
Scout: How much did head coach Jon Embree's background as a NFL tight end and tight ends coach play into your decision?
Ray: It's definitely huge. He has a great resume, as for a tight end. I thought it was great to see a guy that's experienced that I'll get to play under.
Scout: Obviously CU is struggling this year, but what do you like about Colorado's future?
Ray: When I was there, I got to visit with some of the underclassmen and all of them that I talked to seem really fired up and really excited about turning the program around and being a part of something special. Also, I felt the coaches felt the same way. They were up because they saw a very bright future. Also the fact that they have 15 freshmen playing this year, that just shows that they're young and they can only go up from here.
Scout: You've met a lot of top recruits. What is the perception of Colorado right now?
Ray: I kind of see it as they're in a rebuilding process. They just got a new coaching staff last year; this is their first year. They're trying to build a program. I see it as one that is growing and it's just going to get better from here.
Scout: Does it help that since they have a new coach, chances are he'll be around a while?
Ray: Yeah, knowing that he'll be around a while, it's nice to know and feel that security.
Scout: The Pac-12 is so different from what you've grown up with in Columbia, Mo. Talk about the opportunity of playing in the Pac-12.
Ray: It's a great conference. Each week, you never have an easy game. It's nice to go out there and compete against great competition.