As part of the 2019 season preview, we are ranking the 20 top important players to the Colorado Buffaloes. These aren’t the 20 best players. They are the 20 players with the most impact on the season, possibly because they’re a megastar who needs to stay healthy, or because they’re a breakout candidate at a critical position.
First on the countdown is Tony Brown, the senior receiver who transferred from Texas Tech. The 6’1 speedster has seen sporadic playing time in his two seasons in Lubbock and his one season in Boulder. Despite limited targets in 2018, he did have a healthy 30 catches for over 333 yards as the fifth option in a stacked receiving corps. He looked quite capable of a much larger role.
Jay MacIntyre and Juwann Winfree have graduated, so unless a young stud like Dimitri Stanley steals his job, Brown should be the third receiver after Laviska Shenault, Jr. and K.D. Nixon. The only hold-ups should be (1) Viska and Nixon are so good that Brown’s targets could be inconsistent, (2) Colorado has moved from Darrin Chiaverini’s Texas Tech-style spread to Jay Johnson’s more balanced pistol offense, and (3) Brown is a good blocker and his real value could be in the run game.
Brown has been noted for his work ethic and selflessness. He said that he focused on improving his blocking, most notably, because of how the receivers will be used in the run game. It’s selfless to care about blocking as a receiver, but he just wants to win. If his self-improvement doesn’t show up in his stats, he will have made a difference beyond the box score.