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Colorado Buffaloes most important players: #5 Travon McMillian

The transfer running back is key for offensive balance.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes will never have another Phillip Lindsay. It’s rare to find a player with his burst, toughness and versatility; it’s even harder to find someone with his passion, leadership and attitude. Travon McMillian won’t replace Lindsay, but he will do what he can to provide balance to a pass-happy offense.

McMillian is a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech. In his freshman season with the Hokies, he put up 1,043 yards and 7 touchdowns, good enough to be named ACC All-Freshman running back. McMillian had some success in his sophomore and junior years, but he struggled with new coach Justin Fuente and was passed over on the depth chart. It was a bad situation for McMillian, so he graduated in 2018 and transferred to Colorado with one year to play.

McMillian is a power back in the mold of the early 2000s bruisers that Colorado football was built around. He’s not going to bust open 70-yard runs like Lindsay, but he is always moving forwards, always getting yards. If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a reliable option to bring a physical presence to this up-tempo offense. If the Buffs’ passing game is used early and often to wear out opposing defenses, McMillian could also be used as a sledgehammer to close out games late.

McMillian’s arrival is a blessing for Colorado. Part of why Lindsay had to 30+ carries every game was because the Buffs didn’t have anyone good enough to relieve him. Beau Bisharat was a big-time recruit, but he lacks burst and is better suited for linebacker. Kyle Evans is fine, but he should be limited to a backup role. Alex Fontenot is going to be really good, but he needs another year of development. If the Buffs were planning on having any semblance of a successful running game, McMillian was essential for them to have. It helps that he’s a perfect compliment for the rest of the offense.