2016 Top Returning Buffs Countdown: No. 16 to 13

Phillip Lindsay comes in as a highest ranked running back on our countdown, and this group includes the Buffaloes' starting Jack linebacker.

No. 16

Senior Offensive Lineman Alex Kelley

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 18 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 15 | Fans: No. 18

Now six years removed from high school, as he grayshirted, Kelley has seen action in all 37 of the Buffs' games the last three seasons. Somewhat surprisingly, Jonathan Huckins was listed as a co-starter with Kelley at offensive center following spring ball. It would still be a surprising development if Kelley did not earn the starting role again during camp. While his play in 2015 left some room for improvement, Kelley was not the weakest link on the offensive line. He graded out at over 80 percent in 12 games as a junior.

No. 15

Senior Defensive Lineman Samson Kafovalu

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 15 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 19 | Fans: No. 8

While Kafovalu is technically still suspended from the team, Mike MacIntyre recently said he's been doing everything necessary to get back in the good graces of the program. This was not Kafovalu's first off-the-field incident, though, so he will be on a short leash this fall as he concludes his college career. Kafovalu has seen defensive action in 30 games at CU, including eight starts. That experience, as well as flashes of all-conference potential, makes Kafovalu the strongest candidate to start opposite Jordan Carrell at defensive tackle, with Josh Tupou manning the nose tackle role.

No. 14

Junior Running Back Phillip Lindsay

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 13 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 16 | Fans: No. 13

Despite still being a sophomore, Lindsay emerged as the team's most vocal leader last season. He has naturally moved into a captain role this off-season and he tops the depth chart at running back going into camp. In 2014, Lindsay broke the school freshman mark for most all-purpose yards, and last season he led the squad with 653 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Despite his physical, hard-nosed running style, Lindsay has proven to be the Buffs' most dependable back. The only thing he seems to lack is elite top-end speed, which all-conference backs typically possess.

No. 13

Senior Inside Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode

Voting Breakdown: Adam Munsterteiger: No. 17 | Tyler Ziskin: No. 10 | Fans: No. 12

Olugbode made gradual improvement during his first three years on campus, and now the Buffaloes hope he can put it all together as a senior. Still a slight inside linebacker at 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, Olugbode mans the Jack position in Colorado's defensive scheme. He missed two games due to a leg injury last season but still manged to finish tied for third on the team in tackles. Olugbode enters his senior year with 169 tackles, which ranks him 101st all-time at Colorado.


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