This time last year, Jarek Broussard was rehabilitating his second torn ACL in two years. Now he’s been named the Mayo Clinic’s Comeback Player of the Year.
Broussard was not even listed on the Colorado Buffaloes’ preseason depth chart, but an injury to incumbent running back Alex Fontenot opened a competition for the starting job. The redshirt sophomore won the competition, ran away with the vast majority of the team’s carries, and wound up winning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
The native of Dallas, Texas ran all over UCLA, carried Colorado to close wins over Stanford and UCLA, then ran for 301 yards against Arizona. He slowed down somewhat in losses to Utah and Texas, but he still had 162 yards and 2 touchdowns in those games.
Broussard finished the season with 895 yards in six games, the third highest per game average in the nation (149.2). The fact that he averaged 5.7 yards with such a heavy workload (26 carries per game) is even more impressive. His 5 touchdowns was just gravy on top of his incredible big play ability.
As pointed out by the CU athletic department, Broussard is the first Buff to win a national award since Mark Marsical won the Ray Guy Award in 2002. Broussard is also the first Buff to win his conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award since Chris Brown that same year.