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Colorado lineman announces Piesman Trophy candidacy with gritty fumble recovery TD

This is how you impress the voters, folks.

Colorado center Alex Kelley snaps the ball. He doesn’t score the ball.

But when Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau lunged toward the end zone and fumbled in the first quarter of their game against Colorado State on Thursday, Kelley sprang into action. Check out the urgency the senior, No. 74, shows in getting after the pigskin.

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Kelly doesn’t merely throw himself into a human meat grinder to get the ball. He does it so quickly that he stops the ball from rolling out of Colorado State’s end zone and renders his recovery a touchdown for the Buffs. That’s crucial.

Look how quickly Kelley comes into the frame. He’s just pouncing.

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This makes Kelley an early contender for the Piesman Trophy, our annual award that recognizes linemen doing things with the ball in their hands. Kelley wasn’t on the preseason watch list, but this vaults him sturdily into play as the year gets going.

Here’s video of the entire play: