And he certainly could have paved his own path. A two-sport standout in high school, Jay MacIntyre received an offer from six other colleges, including football offers from Air Force and Wyoming.
What ultimately sold MacIntyre on the Buffaloes was an evaluation he received from Colorado staff members that do not share his last name.
“I wasn't going to come here unless the other people on the staff told me I was good enough to play here. I wasn't going to come and just be a guy taking up a scholarship,” MacIntyre said. “So they watched my film as a staff, without my dad, and decided they wanted to offer me a scholarship here. When I got the green light from them, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me to come here.
“I always dreamed of playing for my dad because growing up I was around practices on the sidelines and I looked up to his players. I wanted to be one of those guys. I wanted to help contribute to wins. Just seeing teams go from the bottom to the top with my dad, it was a great experience. To be part of what he is doing here now at Colorado was something I couldn't turn down.”
MacIntyre knew his first camp with the Buffaloes was important, though, in order for him to gain acceptance from his new teammates. Despite being a converted quarterback with no experience playing receiver, MacIntyre showed excellent hands from day one. And he displayed a good work ethic by regularly staying after practice to get in extra work.
“I definitely needed to show I belonged, that I wasn't just here because of my dad. I think I did that,” MacIntyre said. “Outside of the team, a lot of times people do give me the coach's son comment, but around the team it is not ever talked about. This will be my third year on the team and I am kind of my own person now.”
MacIntyre got his feet wet by seeing some action in 12 games as a redshirt freshman last fall. His best game came against Nicholls early in the season when he had a 38-yard touchdown catch and a 31-yard punt return.
Outside of the Nicholls game, MacIntyre only had five catches, so he remained hungry entering this past off-season. He sat down with the staff and reviewed all of his reps during the 2015 season in an attempt to get better.
“I didn't really know the game speed of the Pac-12 until I was thrown in there. Having that experience helped me learn what I needed to improve on,” he said.
MacIntyre made a good impression on his new position coach Darrin Chiaverini this spring, and he entered preseason camp listed second on the depth chart at slot receiver behind junior Devin Ross. The Buffs rotate receivers often and run some four receiver sets, with two slot receivers on the field at the same time, so MacIntyre should see plenty of action this fall.
“Devin and I feed off of each other, try to push each other. It definitely makes us better,” MacIntyre said. “I think I am a better all-around player now, and a smarter player, than I was when last season ended.”
MacIntyre also entered preseason practices listed atop the depth chart at punt returner. During his senior season at Monarch High School, MacIntyre returned three of the eight punts he fielded for a touchdown.
“We have a couple other guys out here returning punts. They haven't told us who exactly is going to start at punt returner but hopefully I'll be the guy come the games,” he said. “If they do call my number and I am out there, I'll be sure to have some fun back there; hopefully have some good return yards.”
Like his father, and his departed grandfather George MacIntyre, Jay wants to be a football coach when his playing days conclude. That is another reason why he wanted to play for his dad at Colorado.
“It has been a good learning experience for me to see how my dad leads the team and carries himself as a coach,” the younger MacIntyre said. “I have always looked up to my dad so to come out here and spend a little more time with him has been great. I am around him every day now compared to growing up when I didn't see him as much, especially when he was coaching in the NFL and it was all work.”
As he gets ready to begin his redshirt sophomore campaign, Macintyre's upcoming goals are simple: “Hopefully we can get some big wins for the coach this year. And hopefully through the next few years I can keep making a name for myself, and not just be viewed as the coach's son.”