Alex Fontenot caught the attention of the conference as well as the Colorado Buffaloes fanbase in his starting debut against CSU last fall, rushing for 125 yards on 19 carries.
After three more 100 yard performances on the season, and 874 total rushing yards, Fontenot’s expectations are high, being named on the watchlist for the Doak Walker award, given to the nation’s top college running back.
Fontenot’s vision and ability to follow his blockers were one of his calling cards. Fontenot could continue to bolster CU's reputation of a dangerous backfield.
Fontenot could be the third player in just the last four seasons to rush for over one thousand yards. Travon McMillan did it in 2018 and Denver Bronco fan-favorite, Philip Lindsay made it happen in 2016 and 2017.
Despite Fontenot now playing under his third football coach in the same amount of years, he credits the consistency of running backs coach Darian Hagan to helping him develop.
“Having Hagan here by my side since I got here my freshman year has really helped me develop into a better football player,” he said.
The consistency and commitment to the run game have been crucial elements of Fontenot’s early success. In his sophomore campaign, Fontenot bought into the game plan.
“I can’t do everything football-wise, I can’t take things into my own hands, I got to follow the script and that’s what really helped me to develop into a better runner,” said Fontenot.
Fontenot is the first player for the Buffaloes to be named to the watch list since Phillip Lindsay in 2016 and 2017. Chris Brown was the runner-up for the award in 2002. If the workhorse junior is to take home the hardware, he would be the first Buffs back since Rashaan Salaam to win the honor in 1994.
Despite the hype, Fontenot is unphased.
“It’s nice to know that I’m being noticed but it's not a real accomplishment until I win it,” said Fontenot.
With the upcoming football season shrouded in mystery, Fontenot is keeping a level head and staying ready for whatever scenario plays out.
“It’s really just funny seeing that oh we’re gonna have a season, we’re not gonna have a season, it’s always just back and forth. So we don’t really take anything too seriously until we actually get confirmation on things.”
Whenever the season does come, Fontenot will likely be the undisputed leader of the backfield and motivated to continue to build on last year’s success as he looks to prove himself as one of the best running backs in the nation.