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Top CU Buffs football players of the decade - #6

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
June 5, 2015

For the next couple weeks we will be counting down the top 15 Colorado football players since the 2005-2006 season. Of course, it’s not the most fun decade to be looking at, but I think the down period created an interesting challenge when creating this list.

As it always goes with these lists, there is not an exact formula to determine the top 15, I tried to weigh a player’s success at CU over all other factors, but of course things like NFL success and fan favorite status creeped into the decision making process.

I’m sure people will disagree with placement, or certain players being left off, but that’s part of the fun of these, so as we work down the list, let me know where you disagree!

#6 – Rodney Stewart

You all know the tale of little Speedy Stewart, he come’s in to Boulder as a 5-foot-6, 170 pound, 2-star running back, behind 5-star, 6-foot-1, 205 pound, number one rated tailback in the nation, Darrell Scott, yet somehow only one of those two made this list.

How? Heart. There may have never been more “want to” in a football player at CU. When Stewart set foot on the field he simply went to work, putting in tireless effort to become a better football player. Without going too far into our friend Darrell’s career, he didn’t have that.

Speedy finished his career at Colorado with 3,598 yards on the ground, good enough for second on the school’s career rushing list, but even though he didn’t set that mark,  he did leave his mark on the record book.

Stewart set nine single season or career records at CU, including: most career rushing attempts (809), most career all-purpose plays (919), most career all-purpose yards (4,828—3,598 rushing, 969 receiving, 261 returns), most career yards gained from scrimmage (4,567), most career receptions by a running back (93), including the mark for a single season (45), and the most season (571) and career (969) receiving yards by a running back.

As a senior, Stewart was selected by his teammates as the Zack Jordan Award winner as the team’s most valuable player, as well as receiving the Buffalo heart award from the fans, and became the first player in CU history to lead the team in rushing and receptions. As a junior he was a second team All-Big 12 performer, as well as an honorable mention Sports Illustrated All-American, His 109.8 yards per game ranked third in the league and 12th in the NCAA. His sophomore year he was an honorable mention All-Big 12 performer, while leading the team in rushing yards (804), and recording the most multiple TD games by a running back since 2002. As a freshman he was selected as a first-team all-freshman Big 12 player, and led the team in rushing despite only recording 5 starts.

Stewart was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free-agent, but not 15 minutes into his rookie mini-camp, Stewart tore his ACL rendering his chances of making the team next to none.

Since seeing his NFL dreams evaporate, Stewart has written a book called “The Truth Is.” The truth is, I haven’t read it, but here’s how the book is described on Amazon:

Rodney Stewart sees his past as a football player at the University of Colorado through the eyes of five players, including himself. Along his journey, he discovers a game called The Truth Is, which allows him to build stronger relationships with his friends. In their battle through experiences, Rodney begins to understand that life is one of God’s lessons. As true love is just a few miles away, he finds himself at a wedding of a friend whom he learned to accept despite their past experiences.

I have heard it is not quite the Great American Novel, but it may be worth a read.

Not many, if any, Buffs ever made faster cuts than Speedy.

Previous players:

#7 – Mason Crosby

#8 – Nelson Spruce

#9 – Scotty McKnight

#10 – Jimmy Smith

#11 – Cody Hawkins

#12 – Hugh Charles

#13 – George Hypolite

#14 – Greg Henderson

#15 – David Bakhtiari


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