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Takeaways From Buffs At Washington

Nov 20, 2022

BOULDER — In the aftermath of Colorado's 54-7 loss to Washington, there are no doubt plenty of takeaways to be dissected in a season that has produced a 1-10 record, a long list of historically bad numbers and yet another new head coach for the Buffaloes' program.

But today, we leave you with just one takeaway:

A heartfelt thanks to the Colorado seniors who have stuck it out in Boulder to the end. They will make one last appearance in a Buffs uniform next Saturday at Folsom Field in the season finale against Utah, and they deserve their moment of recognition and appreciation.

There might not be another senior class in the nation that has endured more than CU's current group.

Those who have been in Boulder for five years have played for four head coaches — five if you count an interim coach for one game at the end of the 2018 season — and even more coordinators and position coaches. They have lived through almost unimaginable change but have given their all through a string of difficult seasons. They have experienced just one winning year — the abbreviated 2020 campaign that saw CU finish 4-2 and earn an Alamo Bowl berth — yet they never checked it in and never sought the easy way out.

A handful of Buffs have been with the program since signing as freshman recruits in 2017, a group that came to Colorado on the heels of CU's 10-4 finish and Alamo Bowl berth in 2016. That group includes Maurice Bell, Alex Fontenot, Terrance Lang, Jaylon Jackson and Isaiah Lewis.

That 2017 class also included "grayshirts" Casey Roddick and Jalen Sami, two players who delayed their enrollment for a year, as well as Brady Russell, a walkon who later earned a scholarship.

Then there are the members of the 2018 recruiting class — Daniel Arias, Frank Fillip, Joshka Gustav and Deion Smith.

Some of these players still have a year of eligibility remaining, thanks to the "free" Covid season of 2020, but they are all part of the group that played for Mike MacIntyre, Mel Tucker, Karl Dorrell and Mike Sanford. 

Today, that bunch deserves a special nod of appreciation. They didn't ask for the circumstances that made their stay in Boulder one of unending change and upheaval. But despite the cloud of uncertainty, they never wavered from their commitment to the program, the school and the community.

Their contributions have been solid; their loyalty exemplary.

None of these players envisioned the difficulties they would endure when they agreed to become Buffaloes. But when they made that commitment, they honored it — even when a head coach left in the dark of night, even when other teammates decided they needed a change of scenery.

Through it all, they have held their heads high. They have shown up for work and dedicated themselves to trying to improve every day.

Certainly their legacy will not be one that is celebrated alongside great Buffs teams of the past. Their names will not be mentioned with the reverence reserved for Colorado icons from years gone by.

But they have never given up on themselves — and perhaps most importantly, have never given up on the program. They have endured the ever-increasing public criticism of their team and refused to surrender.

That is a legacy worth remembering and applauding.

Perseverance, dedication, commitment and loyalty are easily celebrated in times of success. They are far more difficult to sustain in times of difficulty.

These Buffaloes personified strength in the face of adversity.

We would be remiss if we did not mention other seniors on the roster, transfers who chose to make Colorado their final destination. The group includes R.J. Sneed II, Tommy Brown, Anthony Lyle (a walkon who just this year earned a scholarship), Robert Barnes, Quinn Perry, Josh Chandler-Semedo, Jamar Montgomery, Guy Thomas and Chance Main.

They, too, have given their best for the Buffaloes.

To all of them, we offer our sincere gratitude today. In an era of great adversity, they have worn the Colorado Black and Gold with pride, and represented the program to the best of their abilities at every opportunity.

That is a legacy of which they can be proud — and one that will be a part of any success CU enjoys in future seasons.