“I feel like I came to CU at the perfect time,” said Lynott, a Colorado native that had other offers from UCLA, Oregon, Miami, and eight other colleges as a prep recruit. “Last year when I was redshirting, we were playing close games, instead of getting beat like 60-0 by Oregon. It showed me we were improving a lot and I could tell we were playing for each other and coming together as a team.
“I knew this year we were going to be winning a lot of games and it is just exciting to me that now we are going to the Alamo Bowl, one of the best bowls out there. It is great just to be part of this.”
A starter in all 13 games at right guard, Lynott has played 44 more offensive snaps than any other Colorado offensive lineman this season. While he did give up three sacks and six pressures, Lynott led the way with 19 touchdown blocks and he finished second with nine-and-a-half knockdown blocks.
Lynott was a co-winner of the team's Lee Willard Award, for most outstanding freshman, with quarterback Steven Montez. And USA Today named Lynott a Freshman All-American.
“I was pretty cool to come back after practice and see my name on a list with the Alabama quarterback (Jalen Hurts) and some of the Alabama offensive linemen” he said.
Mike MacIntyre believes Lynott's honor was well deserved.
“He had an excellent year,” the Buffs head coach said. “He played well and the thing with Tim is he got better and better as the season went along. He didn't hit that freshman wall.”
With Alex Kelley set to graduate, there is a chance Lynott will move in to play center going forward. He practiced at center through the majority of spring ball last year, and he spent time snapping during center/quarterback exchange periods this fall.
“We'll just see how the spring goes and how the fall falls into place but he could play either guard or center,” MacIntyre said.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Lynott will likely project as a center for the NFL. So while he has three more years of eligibility remaining at CU, a transition to the middle of the offensive line could provide him valuable experience for down the road.
“I'll play any position. I am not really sure what I am going to be doing next year. We'll just see what happens,” Lynott said. “I do have the experience practicing at center so I could definitely go back and get used to it again. I would just have to make sure I have the calls down and keep working on my snaps.”
Three of Colorado's key offensive players have been recovering from an ankle injury. MacIntyre said recently quarterback Sefo Liufau has not been limited in bowl practices, and after Wednesday's practice, he confirmed left guard Gerrad Kough has been “practicing and doing well.” Kough missed the Buffs' previous three-and-a-half games.
“If everything goes like it should, knock on wood, he'll be able to play in the bowl game, which will be good for us,” MacIntyre said of Kough.
Starting X-receiver Bryce Bobo tried to come back from his ankle injury in the Pac-12 Championship game, but he realized early on he was not going to be effective.
“I wasn't even 70 percent of my speed in that game, I couldn't run full speed,” Bobo said. “I just wasn't any value to the team so I went up to the coaches and took myself out of the game.”
Bobo has been participating in bowl practices as he continues to work his way back to 100 percent. He has also been dealing with a cold and pink eye.
“I am trying to get over everything right now,” Bobo said. “I should be good by the time we kickoff the Alamo Bowl, though. I am able to break off my left foot now and it is getting a lot better.”
After catching 23 passes as a redshirt freshman and then 24 passes as a sophomore, Bobo had a bit of a breakout season this year with 41 catches for 523 yards. He also led Colorado's receivers in knockdown blocks.
“I probably take the most pride in being the leader on the knockdown board to be honest,” Bobo said. “My game is mostly based off aggression. I like to be really aggressive and I like for that to come across, especially in the run game.”
Colorado will return its three starting receivers in 2017. The Buffs will also get back Juwann Winfree from a torn ACL and they are expected to welcome a star-studded group of freshmen receivers.
“Our offense is going to be elite next year, guaranteed,” Bobo said. “And it was good Montez got some playing time because now we know he could be the guy to take us to the next level as an offense. He has a strong arm and good pocket presence, and he's good on his feet. We know he can make things happen, so we have that confidence in him.”
Additional notes -
*** The Alamo Bowl will be a homecoming of sorts for MacIntyre, who said he knows “every square inch” of the Alamo Dome. Dallas held its preseason camp in San Antonio when MacIntyre was an assistant for the Cowboys.
“We stayed at the Marriott and I would bike to the Alamo Dome in the morning when it was still dark and I would stay there and bike back when it was dark. So I never got to see a whole lot, and it is really hot there in August,” MacIntyre recalled.
“We played a scrimmage against the Houston Texans, not a preseason game, but a scrimmage with 68,000 people in attendance. In fact, they couldn't even fit everybody in there,” he added. “Football is important in Texas, there is no doubt about it.”
*** MacIntyre reached out to the players he coached the previous three seasons at Colorado and offered to buy them tickets to next week's bowl game.
“It has to be the guys that have graduated, exhausted all of their eligibility,” MacIntyre explained. “I think quite a few of them are going to be down there. It has been pretty exciting. I told them they are all part of this. They are all part of the season we had and this bowl. Everybody is part of this legacy, they helped build it.”
MacIntyre also confirmed he has “a ton of family coming in from Nashville and different areas” for the Alamo Bowl.
*** The Buffaloes will hold meetings and conduct a practice in Boulder on Saturday morning before departing for Denver International Airport at noon. CU is expected to arrive at its team hotel in San Antonio around 5:45 pm (CST).