Colorado has fallen on tough times recently, going from an NCAA powerhouse to a team that barely aspired to mediocrity throughout the 21st century. Last season, the Buffaloes won just four games, but showed signs of life over the second half of the year behind new head coach Mike MacIntyre and a couple rising stars — quarterback Sefo Liufau on offense, and linebacker Addison Gillam on defense.
Forrest West of Campus Sports recently interviewed Liufau, a freshman starter who took over for incumbent Connor Wood midseason and gave the offense a shot in the arm. Despite his inexperience, Liufau showed great potential, completing 59.4% of his passes for 1779 yards and 12 TDS, with eight interceptions in eight games (seven starts). While he’s never going to match the likes of Marcus Mariota as a runner, he showed good mobility in the pocket and the ability to keep plays alive. Spring camp reports were very positive as Liufau showed improved accuracy while making the right reads, and displaying a better pocket presence. He could be poised for a big year.
He recently took the time to talk to us and give some nice inside information on life as a member of the Buffaloes. Read on for more:
Campus Sports – Congrats on your first year at Colorado, you put up solid numbers and earned freshman All-American honors. Tell us a little bit about this experience.
Sefo – Coming in game seven or so, it was definitely a big game; you just come in and you try to do your best with the playbook and try to take it game by game. Coming in as a freshman it’s a process mentally and you try and tune out negative factors. You try to do your best and thankfully I’ve had great teammates around me.
Campus Sports – Have the fans been receiving you [well]?
Sefo – I get a bunch of support from the fans, from the media, and the crowd. It’s good for the team and not just for me, knowing that the fans are there for us and always being supportive.
Campus Sports – How did schools in your native Washington ever let you get away?
Sefo – I don’t really know. CU was the first and only school to offer me. I went on an official [visit] and I loved it here and knew this was the place for me.
Campus Sports – You have a football pedigree, tell us about that, and who do you think is the best athlete in the family?
Sefo – That’s tough, I’m going to just have to go with my dad. He played a bunch of sports in high school. He played football to basketball to baseball. I’ve seen some of his basketball skills while playing pick up (laughs), but there are a lot of good athletes in my family, but my dad still takes the cake.
Campus Sports – Do you get a lot of hype from the Samoan community? I am sure they are very proud of your accomplishments.
Sefo – Yea, I think I would call it more kind of a quiet type of hype. I get a lot of support back home and here. I get lots of texts from family members. Much more of a quiet type of hype, but definitely a hype.
Campus Sports – What are your expectations for this year’s team?
Sefo – I just expect us to go out there and give it our all and win it every week. I think we will be able to compete with everyone, [it] doesn’t matter who’s on our schedule. I’m not just expecting to go to a bowl game, but I’m expecting to go 1-0 each week and focus on the team and take it game by game.
Campus Sports – How will you have to step up to make it to [BCS Playoffs] instead of just a regular bowl game? What are you guys going to have to do to turn that hope/goal into more of a reality?
Sefo – Honestly, every aspect of our game on all cylinders. There were times when the defense would be playing really well and the offense wasn’t matching the defenses and vice-versa, when the offense was playing well the defense wasn’t matching the O’s play. And that comes down to consistency and practice, and being able to mentally and physically focus during the week with changes happening on the daily.
Campus Sports- Who do you think will step up in place of (wide receiver) Paul Richardson this year?
Sefo – It’s going to be everyone; it’s not going to be one person. Paul is a special receiver and you see that with him getting drafted high [by] the Seahawks. You can’t just put that on one guy’s shoulders, it’s going to take a group effort from our younger and older receivers everyone is going to chip in and help with that.
Campus Sports – Favorite thing to do in Boulder or Colorado?
Sefo – I’d say [go] to the recreation center and play soccer and hang out with friends for fun. Since we’re in football so much, that I hangout and relax around the house with teammates and friends.
Campus Sports – How hard is it to stay focused and stick to playing football in a party environment (consistently a top-five party school)? How are you able to keep distractions to the side and stay focused on bringing Colorado football back to its former glory?
Sefo – It’s not that hard; you tell the guys our goal as a team and you put a high standard on that. Keep guys on the right path. I’m not one to party even after games, I go home and play my X-Box. I have my mind straight and the guys do too. Guys are staying out of trouble, coach [MacIntyre] isn’t getting calls at 2 am, so we’ve been handling it the right way as a group.
Campus Sports – Where is the best place to eat in Boulder?
Sefo – I would definitely say any visitor needs to go down to Pearl Street. There are a bunch of great places to eat out there.
Stay up to date on Sefo’s personal happenings by following his Instagram account – @sefo_liufau