Colorado has added some experience to its backfield.
On Wednesday, former Kentucky running back Kavosiey Smoke announced that he will transfer to CU to play his sixth and final season of college football. The 5-foot-9, 209-pound Smoke rushed for 1,583 yards and 12 touchdowns during his time at Kentucky.
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With the graduation of Alex Fontenot, Smoke becomes the most experienced running back on the Buffs’ roster.
A three-star recruit coming out of Wetumpka (Ala.) High School in 2018, Smoke played in 46 games, including five starts at Kentucky. He started the first four games this past season, finishing the year with 277 yards and a touchdown on 59 carries.
Smoke’s had the seventh-best yards-per-carry average (5.42) in Kentucky history. His best season came in 2019 when he rushed for 616 yards and six touchdowns.
Deion Smith, who led CU with 393 rushing yards this past season, is slated to return for his sixth season, as well. Smith has 653 yards and four touchdowns during his career.
Sophomore Anthony Hankerson (274 yards, team-best three TDs last season), junior Jayle Stacks (114 yards, 1 TD) and freshman Victor Venn, who redshirted, are also slated to return for the Buffs.
CU is also adding true freshman Dylan Edwards, a four-star recruit, to the running back room.
No Week 0 game
Colorado won’t be starting its 2023 football season early. This week, CU head coach Deion Sanders sparked rumors of the Buffs looking to play conference rival Arizona State in a Week 0 matchup in August.
CU won’t be playing that week, however, according to a source. Brandon Marcello of 247Sports.com first reported that plans for a CU-ASU game in Week 0 were halted after the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee denied a waiver request from the Pac-12 to play a game that week.
Sanders was on the set of ESPN’s pregame show before Monday’s national title game between TCU and Georgia. CU has been scheduled to open next season on Sept. 2 at TCU, but when asked about that, Sanders said on air, “That may change.” He later said, “Arizona State may happen.”
The NCAA Division I Council unanimously voted Wednesday to update guidelines in the waiver process for undergraduate student-athletes looking to transfer for a second time. Two years ago, the NCAA voted to allow student-athletes to transfer one time as undergraduates without having to sit out a year of competition. Many student-athletes have transferred a second time, however, and received a waiver to play right away.
The Council stated that athletics reasons, such as a lack of playing time, shouldn’t allow for a waiver.
Now, to receiver a waiver, a student-athlete must have documentation to support they are transferring because of an injury, illness or mental health condition; or have “exigent circumstances” unrelated to athletics participation – such as sexual assault or abuse – that necessitate a transfer.
Around 2,000 football players from the FBS have put their names into the transfer portal this winter, some of them transferring a second time and seeking a waiver.
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