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Colorado Buffaloes most important players: #10 Laviska Shenault

The sophomore receiver has all the promise in the world.

NCAA Football: California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s begin this with a hot take: Laviska Shenault is the most talented player on the Colorado Buffaloes. He may not break out fully in 2018, but he’s still going to make noise in 2018.

Shenault only caught 5 passes in his freshman season, but every time he was on the field, he made something happen. Aside from his weird punt return touchdown and a jet sleep that showed his versatility, Viska flashed serious potential to be an elite deep ball threat. It’s hard to find a speedy receiver 6’1, 220-lbs.; this certain someone also knows how to use that frame and athleticism to make the most out of the mismatches he creates.

Even with those 5 catches, it was obvious can Shenault can be a game-changer sooner rather than later. The reviews from spring and summer workouts have been stellar. It seems that Shenault has improved steadily after a full year of coaching from Darrin Chiaverini and another summer of practicing against CU’s deep rotation of physical cornerbacks. Viska has been noted for his work ethic, something that was likely strengthened by being around senior captains Juwann Winfree, Jay MacIntyre and Kabion Ento.

That hard work will hopefully pay off in 2018. Shenault won’t be the primary receiver — that would be Winfree — and he may have a hard time competing with the seniors for targets, but he should still play a sizable role in the offense. If Winfree will be carving up defenders on intermediate routes, Shenault will likely compliment him as a deep ball threat extending the coverage. With his speed, size and jump ball skills, Viska could be lethal, even in a supporting role. He could be especially dangerous if Steven Montez has more time to take advantage of his cannon arm.

Shenault probably won’t be a star for the Buffs just yet — wait until 2019 — but his role on the offense could be invaluable.