In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Nate Landman announced his decision to return to Colorado for the 2021 college football season.
Landman suffered a ruptured achilles tendon against Utah and his absence was immediately felt in that game, which was the Buffaloes’ first loss of the season. At inside linebacker, Landman was a huge part of the CU defense and a leader for the team as a whole on and off the field. His hard-nosed play and leadership got Landman on the All Pac-12 First Team defense.
The senior from Danville, California, led the Buffaloes in tackles this shortened Pac-12 season with 53 total tackles. Landman was second on the defensive unit with 4 sacks as well. With a full season and no injury, Landman would without a doubt have been in the discussion for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate linebacker. This season, the award went to Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Colorado finished the regular season 4-1 (3-1 Pac-12) and earned a bid to the Alamo Bowl against Texas. Unfortunately the Longhorn offense was too much for the Buffs to slow down without Landman and a couple other players who had opted out. Texas won 55-23, but Colorado had a strong season and laid a foundation to build on for the next few years at least.
Colorado had their first winning season and bowl appearance since 2016 (another Alamo Bowl bid), as well as some Pac-12 season awards, while the future looks bright in Boulder.
Jarek Broussard was awarded Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, the first ever POY on either side of the ball for a Colorado player. Broussard’s performance this season proves him worthy of the award after he became the first FBS player since Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson in 2004 to rush for over 100 yards in each of his first 4 career games. Broussard finished the season with 895 yards rushing, 65 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns, and a long run for the year of 75 yards.
After dealing with injuries in his first two years at CU, the sophomore from Dallas bounced back to shoulder the load for the Buffs’ running game. The strength of the ground attack helped Sam Noyer in his first year as the Colorado starting quarterback. Broussard was also First Team All Pac-12. Noyer and OL Will Sherman Jr. earned All Pac-12 Second Team honors.
The awards didn’t end with Broussard though, as Karl Dorrell won Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first season as the Colorado head coach. Dorrell also won the award when he coached UCLA in 2005.