Travis Hunter and other CU Buffs honored in final Pac-12 awards

Dec 5, 2023, 2:24 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2023, 7:23 am

Travis Hunter and some of his Colorado Buffaloes teammates are being recognized for their standout play by the Pac-12 as the conference shared their individual award winners on Tuesday.

Hunter became the first Buffs player since now Atlanta Falcons linebacker Nate Landman to land on the first or second team. Hunter was picked to both, getting the nod as a first-team defensive back, while also making the second-team for all-purpose play. Landman was second team in 2021, and first team in 2020.

The two-way standout helped the Buffs to a 4-8 record in Deion Sanders first year leading CU. Hunter missed some of the team’s biggest games thanks to a dirty hit in the Rocky Moutain Showdown. Still, the first two-way star at Colorado in years had a great year, catching 57 passes for 721 yards and five touchdowns on offense while making 30 tackles and snagging three picks on defense. Hunter will be an early favorite for the 2024 Heisman Trophy, which will be in the cards if his goals are met.

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders, Jr., his brother defensive back Shilo Sanders and punter Mark Vassett, Jr. were also Buffs players picked to the Pac-12’s honorable mention list. The younger Sanders, playing behind center for CU, likely would have made the first or second team in any year but this one where two Heisman finalists in Bo Nix, Sr. and Michael Penix Jr. got the conference’s honors.

Sanders finished the year banged up after being sacked more than anyone in the country and is expected to be healthy come spring ball. He led the team to a hot 3-0 start with record-setting performances. His last quarter of play in 2023 saw Shedeur break the school’s record for passing yards in a season, which is now 3,230. The record was held by Sefo Liufau’s at 3,200. Sanders also finished just shy of Liufau’s mark of most passing touchdowns in a Buffaloes season, set at 28, also in 2014. Sanders had 26 TD tosses in 2023, which is good for second in program history. Liufau’s senior year earned him an honorable mention by the Pac-12.

Freshman running back Dylan Edwards got an honorable mention among first-year players.

The group getting honored will hope to capture Big 12 awards next season as the Buffaloes are one 10 programs leaving the Pac-12 for a new pasture. Colorado will rejoin the Big 12 this summer.


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