Four words outside of “We Coming” engulfed social media on Saturday during Colorado’s shakeup of college football’s Week 1 slate: “Travis Hunter is Him!”
The former five-star prospect delivered two rare 100s marks, which could pass as a “two 100s” type day for him: 144 total snaps (per Pro Football Focus) and 119 receiving yards. The playmaker once compared to Charles Woodson delivered the type of two-way dominance the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner once delivered.
Amid the success, however, one question arose: How much is too much playing time for Hunter?
Did Travis Hunter Look Gassed?
If Hunter secretly came equipped with a turbo engine, he may used every bit of his premium unleaded fuel down in Fort Worth. Yet, for most of the afternoon, underneath triple-digit on the thermometer, it looked like the Horned Frogs were the ones gassed with trying to slow down Hunter.
Inside routes? Hunter still broke from his releases and had plenty of separation. Man coverage even with safety help? Hunter accelerated past that. And on the other side…Hunter reacting to a wide-open wideout? Hunter still wasn’t fooled.
Hunter, though, at times looked to be trying to catch his breath.
While he was playing for a Buffaloes offense that tried to wear down TCU with a rapid-fire tempo without a huddle, Hunter found himself trying to slow down the Horned Frogs’ no-huddle approach with their Air Raid/RPO scheme. There were even moments where Hunter had a clear shot at other picks.
Feels like Travis Hunter has had at least three would-be interceptions in this one. Just constantly around the ball.
— Ian Cummings (@IC_Draft) September 2, 2023
But turns out, that Hunter has played in way more snaps previously than he did against TCU.
“In high school, I think I played 120,” he revealed to reporters after the win.
He continued after the game as well, stating he wasn’t tired at all.
“I went out there and helped the defense get a takeaway. I helped the offense get down the field too. We all came together.”
Can Hunter Carry This Pace On?
With more than 100 snaps, there’s the early concern for Colorado wearing down Hunter as the season goes on. And they’ll need Hunter, especially for two late September tests on the horizon: No. 15 Oregon on the road and No. 6 USC in Boulder.
So, how can CU keep this turbocharged engine from running out of gas?
The best-case scenario is limiting him offensively. Colorado proved its offense is more than Hunter at the receiving corps. Along with Hunter, four different receivers surpassed 100 yards. CU helped prove that Jimmy Horn, Xavier Weaver and Dylan Edwards are 100-yard threats as all of them surpassed more than 116 yards receiving.
The Buffs would also, at some point, likely love to establish the run with Edwards and Sy’veon Wilkerson — especially after averaging just 1.6 yards per carry as a team.
Establishing the run becomes a perfect time for CU to reestablish Hunter’s breathing.
Dez Bryant Believes Hunter’s Future is on Defense
With Colorado taking social media by the horns on Saturday, many were quick to chime in. That included former perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant.
Becoming an instant fan of the Buffaloes’ newest dynamic playmaker, Bryant stated that he believes there should be a cap on how much Hunter is used.
“Travis Hunter got the talent to play both sides of the ball, but you have to manage how to use him in certain situations,” Bryant said on X.
And how would Bryant utilize the two-way threat?
“I’ll make him a full-time DB,” Bryant said. “Build situational packages on offense based off down and distance from the end zone.”
This points to using him more as a red-zone threat.
But Bryant himself joined in on saying four words that became popular among many social media accounts:
“Travis Hunter is Him,” he posted.
After that Week 1 performance, it’s hard to argue that Travis Hunter isn’t him.