“I think he has just gotten more mature and realized his time is starting to run out,” MacIntyre said of Bobo.
And it has helped that Bobo has been able to avoid the training room so far this preseason. In previous camps, he was limited due to injuries.
“I had hamstring and shoulder [injuries in the past] so I always had to sit out for a while,” Bobo said. “I feel like I am making plays, making big strides.”
A common criticism of Bobo in the past was that he took practices off and was not as focused as he needed to be. He did catch a total of 47 passes as an underclassman, but his playing time and production did not match his talent.
“He has all the ability in the world and now he has that mindset that he wants to compete every day. When you have that mindset that you want to compete, good things are going to happen,” Buffs co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said.
“And I think the main thing with Bryce is, I have had to coach him a little bit different as far as just talking to him a little bit more,” he added. “I wear my heart on my sleeve and coach with passion, but sometimes with Bobo, I have to step back and kind of talk to him and say, 'Hey, look, this is what I need from you.' He has responded to that type of teaching. He has made some excellent catches this camp, catches that top-notch receivers make. We're going to need him to do that in a couple weeks and during the season.”
Shay Fields, the Buffs' top Z-receiver, was inconsistent at times during camp but Chiaverini believes he has “really turned the corner.” Chiaverini also praised the play of Devin Ross and Jay MacIntyre at slot receiver, and mentioned Kabion Ento has another receiver that figures to see plenty of playing time this fall.
“I am always saying on the sidelines, 'Let's make money!' And by that I mean, let's make plays. That's for everybody,” said Ento, who was listed as Bobo's back-up at X-receiver going into camp. “It is a competition with Bobo but if he scores a touchdown, I love to see it. And hopefully the next time it is going to come my way and I can do something. We feed off of each other.”
True freshman Tony Julmisse practiced at both receiver and defensive back throughout all of camp. MacIntyre said they will sit down as a staff before Monday's practice and determine how they will use Julmisse going forward.
“I told him that whatever happens, just give me 15 plays with that kid a game and we'll build some packages for him,” Chiaverini said when asked if he is fighting for Julmisse to be part of his receiver group this fall. “He is a talented kid, obviously. He is playing offense, defense, not many true freshmen can do that in college football. He is one kid that can do it. So whatever helps our football team win, we're going to do.”
Julmisse's high school teammate Johnny Huntley also impressed during his first camp with the Buffs, mostly from a physical standpoint. At 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, Huntley is bigger than most upperclassmen receivers at the college level. It has yet to be determined, though, if he will see action this season or use his redshirt.
“He is making progress” Chiaverini said of Huntley. “We'll see how his development comes the next couple weeks before we get to the game.”
Justin Jan, Lee Walker and Jaleel Awini are the other three scholarship receivers on the roster. Walker and Awini have been nursing injuries recently, while Jan had a quiet camp.