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Most Important Buffaloes: #18 Alex Fontenot

Fontenot might win the job to start at running back.

NCAA Football: New Hampshire at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

#18 on our list of most important players in the 2019 season is a young stud who will be tasked with a heavy workload and high expectations. That would be sophomore running back Alex Fontenot, who is expected to win the starting job, although freshman Jared Mangham is challenging him.

Whomever starts between Fontenot and Mangham, they will have to step up. The Colorado Buffaloes have had 1,000-yard rushers in each of the last three season — Phillip Lindsay in 2016 and 2017, and Travon McMillian in 2018 — and their offense will be more run-heavy than before.

The Buffs may have one of the best receivers in the nation and a talented supporting cast, but offensive coordinator Jay Johnson wants to run the ball. CU’s offensive line should be better — it can’t get worse, tbh — so the Buffs have a chance to balance their passing game with an efficient rushing attack.

Someone has to win the starting job, but the problem is that no one has any major college football experience. If that someone is Fontenot, he will have to learn on the fly. He’s plenty talented, as he was highly touted out of high school, has good size and speed, and seems to be the smooth runner Johnson prefers in an offense.

He claims his vision sets him apart from the competition because not everyone sees the field well. That should help immensely, especially in an offensive system built for patient runners. Fontenot’s personal goal is to reach 1,000 yards, which would signify durability and productivity.

Whether or not he can get those 1,000 yards, him stepping up to produce from the get-go would answer one of the team’s biggest questions.

Most Important Buffaloes:

20. Tony Brown

19. Jalen Harris

18. Alex Fontenot