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Six Buffaloes named to Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12

Preseason honors abundant for 2020. Will there be a season?

Oregon State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Six Colorado Buffaloes were named to Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 team on Monday.

It’s no surprise CU senior linebacker Nate Landman led the way with first team honors. He ended his 2019 campaign on the top of Steele’s all-conference list, along with being an All-American honorable mention. Landman has 100+ tackles in the past two seasons. He needs 109 solo tackles to break Jordan Dizon’s record of 293 career tackles set in 2007.

Joining Landman was running back Alex Fontenot and tight end Brady Russell, who are both named to the third team. Buffaloes offensive lineman Will Sherman and standout defenders Mustafa Johnson and Jalen Sami on the fourth team.

Fontenot enters his second season with full-time duties out of the backfield for the Buffs. He has rushed for 917 yards and six touchdowns in 23 career games. There is a lot of competition in the running back room now that prized recruit Ashaad Clayton in Boulder, but if there’s any one player who will break out in 2020, expect the elusive running back wearing #8.

Matt Russell looks to have an even better season with Karl Dorrell coming to Boulder. The nephew of CU great Matt Russell finished with 21 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. He figures to be used even more heavily in Dorrell’s offense, whose offenses at UCLA were built around great tight ends.

Will Sherman will be the anchor of the Buffs offensive line going into next season. He’s easily the most consistent performer in the trenches, a physical tackle who will pave holes for a run-based offense in 2020.

Mustafa Johnson being named fourth-team is somewhat of a let-down for the talented defensive end. Twice named All-Pac-12, Johnson has racked up 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 20 games at CU.

On the interior of the defensive line is Jalen Sami, the massive nose tackle who had a standout freshman season. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound defensive lineman played 411 snaps with 25 tackles, including two for a loss and a sack. He gets better seemingly every day, so Buffs fans should be excited to see him this season.

The entire list for All-Conference players can be found at PhilSteele.com.