During the second half of last season, Donovan Lee was an unused weapon in Colorado's offense.

With the plethora of weapons the Buffaloes have again, he might have a tough time getting the ball this year, too.

The 2018 season could be a different story, however.

CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said Wednesday that Lee could use his redshirt year this season, giving him a chance to make a bigger impact next year.

"Donovan and I have talked hard about that, because we lose so many running backs (to graduation after this season)," MacIntyre said. "He's been real receptive to it and he understands it. He also understands things happen and he's ready to go."

Lee is one of three senior running backs on the roster, along with starter Phillip Lindsay and backup Michael Adkins II. Of the three, only Lee has a redshirt year available.

If junior Kyle Evans — who returned this week after dislocating his hip in March — can prove he's healthy, that would increase the chances of Lee redshirting.

If needed, however, Lee is prepared.

"If we get injuries, he's ready to roll and play because he can do so many things for us, and special teams," MacIntyre said. "We're working him everywhere, just seeing what's going to happen."

During his career, Lee has rushed for 422 yards and three touchdowns and caught 46 passes for 244 yards and another touchdown. He also led the Buffs in kickoff returns in 2015 (22 returns for 540 yards).


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After a productive 2015, when he had 954 all-purpose yards, Lee touched the ball just three times (no rushing attempts) for eight total yards in CU's final nine games of last year.

Lee then fractured his fibula on March 15, but he's come back with a solid camp thus far.

"Donovan is a steady guy that understands the offense," co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. "He'll make plays out of the backfield, he's a good inside zone runner, he has good vision. I like what I've seen."

If Lee does redshirt, the Buffs could have Lee, Evans, Bisharat and true freshman Alex Fontenot next year, in addition to players the Buffs could add in the 2018 recruiting class.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.