• Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Tony Brown rubs the head of Drew Wilson during the CU Spring football festivities on March 17. Brown caught 27 passes for 378 yards and a score in two seasons at Texas Tech.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Tony Brown, center, doing drills during CU practice last Thursday. A transfer from Texas Tech, Brown is ready to make an impact with the Buffs after sitting out last season.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    A redshirt freshman walk-on from Fossil Ridge High School, Brady Russell is working his way into earning playing time this season for the Buffs.



Tony Brown wanted more of an opportunity to make plays on the football field.

To do that, he had to first make a sacrifice.

One year after transferring from Texas Tech and sitting out a year, Brown is on the verge of making his debut with the Colorado Buffaloes.

“I’ve waited a whole year,” the 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior receiver said. “I’ve been playing since I was young and I love the game with a passion, so for me to sit out a year, it did hurt a little bit, but it gave me time to work on my craft.”

In two years at Texas Tech, Brown caught 27 passes for 378 yards and a touchdown. He played immediately as a true freshman and flashed his potential. He felt his role was diminishing with the Red Raiders, however, and found a new home in Boulder.

Coming out of La Mirada (Calif.) High School, where he was coached by former Buffs’ quarterback Mike Moschetti, Brown was recruited by CU and took an official visit to the campus.

Rather than choose his coaches’ alma mater, Brown followed another former Buff, Darrin Chiaverini, who was Texas Tech’s receivers coach at the time.

Transferring to CU has allowed Brown to be reunited with Chiaverini, now going into this third season at the Buffs’ co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach.

“I feel comfortable with him, he feels comfortable with me,” Brown said. “We’ve been working on that connection.

“I wanted a better chance to make plays. Especially with coach Chev leaving (Tech), I didn’t really get to see the field that much. I feel a lot better here.”

Due to the NCAA’s transfer rules that require players to sit out a year, Brown spent the 2017 season redshirting and waiting for his opportunity.

Now, he’s fighting for his shot in a group that includes talented seniors Juwann Winfree, Kabion Ento and Jay MacIntyre and sophomores Laviska Shenault and KD Nixon.

“We have a lot of deep threats and we have a lot of good players,” Brown said. “We’re out there making plays. It’s what we’re supposed to do as receivers.”

The Buffs believe Brown can be one of their top receivers, as he’s displayed reliable hands, the ability to play outside or in the slot, and a strong knowledge of the offense.

“I’m excited he’s here and he’ll make a lot of plays for us,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said.

Brown sure hopes that’s the case, and after not playing in a game last year, he’s itching for the Aug. 31 opener against Colorado State.

“Football is around the corner, so I’m really excited,” he said.

Russell making mark

CU still has a couple open scholarships and could use them to reward a walk-on or two. Coach MacIntyre hasn’t revealed his plans for those spots, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see tight end Brady Russell earn one of them.

A redshirt freshman walk-on from Fossil Ridge High School and the nephew of former CU great Matt Russell, he continues to impress his coaches in practice and put himself in position to play this fall.

“Brady is a young man who has done really well for us,” MacIntyre said. “He helps us on special teams, at tight end and is also working on long snapping to be a backup long snapper. There’s a lot of different things Brady can do.

“I’ve been very proud of Brady and he’ll travel and help us this year.”

Russell, who played defensive end and tight end at Fossil Ridge, was his team’s MVP his final two years. His only scholarship offer came from Northern Colorado, however.

Instead, Russell chose to walk-on at CU and as a true freshman, he was awarded the team’s offensive scout team player of the year award. Now, he’s pushing for playing time at tight end and, perhaps, to earn a scholarship.

“He’s a guy that definitely is moving his way up to be able to hopefully earn something,” MacIntyre said.


The Buffs used their situational period of Monday’s practice to work on Hail Mary passes and those types of plays. With only 25 practice days this year, as opposed to 29 in the past, MacIntyre said the Buffs are having to cram more of those situational plays into practices this year. … CU will go with full pads for the first time on Tuesday. MacIntyre said that during live scrimmage situations, there are some veterans that won’t get as many reps. That’ll take some of the physical toll off those veterans, but he also said, “We need to get those younger guys some more reps to be ready.”

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