Local backs have big opportunity at Northern Colorado with Florida, CU on schedule

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Photo - Local products Brandon Cartagena (left) and Anthony Davis will compete for carries at Northern Colorado this year.
Local products Brandon Cartagena (left) and Anthony Davis will compete for carries at Northern Colorado this year.

Would it be so far-fetched to imagine Brandon Cartagena or Anthony Davis, career backups at the Football Championship Subdivision level, getting an NFL look a year from now?

Maybe not.

The pair of local products – Cartagena from Vista Ridge, Davis from Fountain-Fort Carson – are again competing for carries as they enter their senior year as running backs at Northern Colorado, where Californian Trae Riek figures to again emerge as the starter.

Cartagena has carried 146 times for 893 yards (a 6.1 per-carry average) and nine touchdowns. Davis’ line is 57 for 356 (6.2) and four.

This year, they’ll play on some big stages with games at Florida (Sept. 9) and Colorado (Sept. 16). So, if they can work their way into a featured role, the opportunity to make an impression will be there.

And if someone takes a closer look, they may like what they find.

Both players possess 4.4-second 40-yard-dash speed, with Cartagena – a top-three finisher in the 100 and 200 at state in high school – typically a tick faster. Both have good size for the position. Cartagena is 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Davis is 5-9, 190. Both are versatile, playing on defense and as returners since high school.

“They’re going to test well enough for someone to take a look at them,” Northern Colorado coach Earnest Collins said. “So it’s just going to be if we have enough balls to go around.”