SAN ANTONIO – Colorado receiver La’Vontae Shenault has been suspended for a violation of athletic department policy and will not play in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Tuesday against Texas.
Shenault was in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday to watch his brother – former CU and current Jacksonville Jaguars star Laviska Shenault – play against the Chicago Bears.
“He was suspended for a violation of our department policy; not just football, but just athletics in general,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said Monday. “When you’re ineligible for that suspension, you’re not allowed to come to the bowl.”
Dorrell said Shenault was with the team through last Wednesday. CU traveled to San Antonio on Saturday.
Despite playing in only four games for the Buffs (4-1), Shenault leads the team with 17 receptions and he’s second with 193 receiving yards.
A redshirt freshman, Shenault missed the season opener against UCLA as he served a one-game suspension after being arrested by Fort Collins police early on the morning of July 5 on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a license violation and driving without headlights at night. Shenault has a disposition hearing scheduled for that case on Jan. 13.
According to court records, Shenault failed to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday for a careless driving case in Douglas County. He is scheduled to appear in court for that case on Jan. 20.
Healthy to play
CU will be missing a few players with COVID-19 issues on Tuesday, but Dorrell said the team is on track to play.
“We had a few positives in the program but not enough to warrant us not playing the game,” he said. “We’re still on schedule to play. We’ve been in relatively good health since we’ve been here.”
It’s unclear which players are out, although Star backer Chris Miller posted on social media about dealing with COVID-19 symptoms. Miller, from Denton, Tex., started the season opener, but has played in just one game since because of a shoulder injury.
Dorrell said, “We did lose some depth in certain areas, but everybody’s dealt with that over the course of the season and it’s kind of one of those things that we continue to battle until the season is over.”
Although CU has had three games canceled this season because of COVID-19 issues on other teams, the Buffs have been healthy to this point. Dorrell is hopeful they can get through one more day.
“We’re healthy enough to play, at least after this morning’s test results and we’ll be ready to roll tomorrow night,” Dorrell said. “We have one more test tomorrow and that will give us the final go for the game, so we’re hopeful and we feel like we’re in pretty good health.”
CU had hoped to get tight end Brady Russell back for Tuesday’s game, but the junior will be unable to play.
Russell suffered a lower leg injury on CU’s fifth offensive play of the second game, Nov. 14 at Stanford and hasn’t played since.
“He was trying like crazy to get back healthy and doing everything he can,” Dorrell said. “He’s running; he’s progressing well, but not well enough. He’s not full speed, so I’m not going to put him at risk to be in a game, just to throw them out there. He is disappointed as you can imagine, but it’s the best thing for him moving forward.”
Russell, who caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the opener, made the trip to San Antonio.
Debut for Lewis?
Senior Sam Noyer is expected to start at quarterback, as he has all year, but true freshman backup Brendon Lewis could see some playing time, too.
Lewis, from Melissa, Texas, was third string during the regular season, but moved to the No. 2 spot when junior Tyler Lytle entered the transfer portal after a Dec. 12 loss to Utah. Lewis has yet to play this season.
“We’re excited about Brendon,” Dorrell said. “I’d like to get him a chance to get into the game, and probably get a series or so in the first half. I think he’s earned that. He’s worked really hard these last couple of weeks and he has a pretty good feel of our game plan, so it would be good to try to get him some experience, get him at least a series in the game, so that he can feel the speed of it and all that stuff and take that and register that for going into next year.”
Dorrell said the Buffs had two good practices in San Antonio, as well as some fun, including a team trip to Topgolf on Sunday. “The city of San Antonio was great for us,” he said. “I think our players have had a good experience these last couple days.” … Each CU player received six tickets for the game for family and friends.