Colorado vs. Utah

When: 11:30 a.m., Saturday

Where: Folsom Field

TV/radio: Pac-12 Network / 850 AM, 94.1 FM

From 2014-17, Travon McMillian went through the grind of the college football season with his teammates at Virginia Tech.

A native of Woodbridge, Va., McMillian was one of the top players on offense for the Hokies the past few years, and figured his senior day would be celebrated at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg next week.

Life's path, however, has led him to Boulder this fall, and on Saturday he will be one of 20 seniors on the Colorado football team playing their final game at Folsom Field as the Buffs (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) take on No. 21 Utah (7-3, 5-3).

"It feels really weird," said McMillian, who leads the Buffs with 910 rushing yards. "It doesn't feel like it's going to be my last go-round."

CU's senior group is unique in that seven of the 20 who will be honored did not start their college careers with the Buffaloes.

Receiver Juwann Winfree went to Maryland after high school. Following a year with the Terrapins, he played one season at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College before spending the past three years at CU.

Linebacker Drew Lewis began his career at Washington before teaming up with Winfree at Coffeyville in 2015. Like Winfree, he has spent his past three years with the Buffs.


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Defensive linemen Javier Edwards and Chris Mulumba, receiver Kabion Ento and safety Kyle Trego also started their careers in junior colleges before coming to CU.

"There's all different journeys for guys for college," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "Everybody has a different story. It's always unique as you mesh a team together and then different guys get to know each other. It makes it pretty special."

Colorado receiver Juwann Winfree played at two different schools before joining the Buffs.
Colorado receiver Juwann Winfree played at two different schools before joining the Buffs. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Although they haven't been at CU for the duration like some of their classmates, such as receiver Jay MacIntyre or linebacker Rick Gamboa, the players that transferred to CU will go into Saturday's home finale with many of the same emotions.

"Just because I didn't start my college experience here, I do consider Colorado my school," said Lewis, who has been a major contributor on defense the past two years. "With that being said, I don't know how I'm going to feel walking out there. I'm excited to have my family out there with me to take the field and do it for the last time. I know it's going to be a special moment I'm going to have to really cherish."

After making two other stops along the way, Lewis said he's pleased that CU is where he will finish his career.

"This is a great school for me and I love the fit here," he said. "I'm going to have so many memories that I'll miss with all the guys here. That's the biggest thing is it's the guys in the room that make the memories. It's going to be emotional but exciting at the same time."

No senior will have had a shorter stint at CU than McMillian, who arrived in Boulder over the summer. In just a few short months, however, he's developed a love for the school, the city and the team.

"(The seniors) have bonded really well and they've accepted me really well," McMillian said. "When I came here on my official visit, I met a few guys. They all made me feel really welcomed here and they're all loving and caring guys. We're going to be really close for the rest of our lives, I'll tell you that right now."

On paper, the odds are stacked against CU to get a win Saturday. In the last nine years, unranked CU teams have gone 0-28 against top 25 foes. The Buffs also have to find a way to stop a five-game losing a streak, and an ugly 0-8 mark over the last two years with bowl eligibility on the line.

Like the rest of the seniors, though, McMillian said he is focused on doing all he can to make his final game at Folsom Field one to remember.

"I'm going to try to capitalize on everything I can do to try to beat Utah," he said. "I'm trying to be sent out the right way and I know the rest of the seniors are as well.

"The senior group is really excited about this opportunity. It's a challenge. We know it's going to be a big challenge for us; it's not going to be easy, but we're looking forward to the challenge."

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