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Colorado Buffaloes Spring Football 2018: Offensive players to watch

The Buffaloes offense should take an important step forward.

NCAA Football: California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffs are losing some brand names on both sides of the ball next year. However, while CU retains its QB in Steven Montez, almost all other offensive production is leaving. Bryce Bobo, Devin Ross, and Shay Fields have all left Boulder and started preparing for the draft. But that’s not all. The coaches have the unenviable task of trying to replace Phillip Lindsay. The all-timer is busy working the hell out of the players that somehow got invited to the combine instead of him.

So that puts CU in a weird spot entering spring ball. They have a lot of talent and production leaving, but their minutes and touches are almost already spoken for. Let’s take a look at who can separate.

Tony Brown

Last spring, practices made a star out of Kabion Ento. Almost every practice report or highlight video featured Ento making big time plays. So much so, in fact, that the coaches decided to redshirt Kabion in order to guarantee he got more time on the field. Well, it hasn’t gotten much clearer. Ento looks to take one starting spot, Juwann Winfree is penciled in on the other, and that still leaves a bevy of talented options. One of them being Tony Brown. Tony was a priority recruit for CU three years ago, but he eschewed Boulder for Texas Tech and its then receivers coach, Darrin Chiaverini. It’s funny how these things work out. With Brown in Boulder for the fall last year, he preserved a year of eligibility while getting settled. He is already familiar with Coach Chiv, and he’s extremely talented. Brown would fit well as a large slot option at just under six feet, and his speed would be a nice contrast to Winfree’s bulk and Ento’s length. Of all the options for CU (Shenault, Nixon, MacIntyre, Jaylon Jackson, Darrion Jones, and that’s just for spring ball), we have seen the least of Brown. Watch for his name in spring ball.

Alex Fontenot

This is more personal than the other names on this list. Yes, I know that the Buffs struck gold bringing in Travon McMillian from Virginia Tech as a grad transfer RB. Yes, I know that this means we will see less of Fontenot during the season. But that does not dampen my curiosity. Fontenot is arguably the most athletic RB recruit in Coach MacIntyre’s time at Boulder, and he’s definitely the biggest after Beau Bisharat. Coach MacIntyre just confirmed he’s over 200 pounds, and at 5’11, that’s a load. He has the speed to take the edge, but his best attribute has always been his incredible balance. It’s hard to topple him with just one defender. I’d love to see him make a case for himself this spring before McMillian gets to CU in June. Alex has a ton of potential, and it would be awesome to see him flash some of that so Buff fans know they’re in good hands in 2019 and beyond.

Aaron Haigler

2017 wasn’t Aaron’s year. After a stellar redshirt freshman season at right tackle, he struggled with the switch to guard (to be fair, I struggled with it too) and is now facing his fourth year in the program. Klayton Adams has mentioned multiple times that he’s planning to have open competition for all five spots on the line, so let’s assume that everyone has a clean slate. I would love to see Aaron seize that tackle spot again. The interior of the line has depth and talent at all three spots, but the tackle positions are nebulous at best, perilous at worst. If Haigler can solidify the right side during spring, it makes the coaches’ job a lot easier. He has the potential, he’s done it before, now do it again.