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Excitement is building around Colorado State Rams football and head coach Mike Bobo’s first season leading the team.
“I’m excited,” Bobo said following practice Monday. “It’s basically full go. If you thud right, you can get a lot of things done. We’ll do a little bit of tackling tomorrow, but not the whole practice.”
Pads were popping, just like they were on Sunday, as the Rams are already pumped up for the 2015 season to kick off.
Mike Bobo is very involved in practices, consistently and constantly teaching his new players by talking to them directly. He’s worked with multiple receivers and quarterbacks closely. His hands-on approach is working and should speed up the Rams’ learning curve when it comes to Bobo’s new offense.
He’s also instrumental in teaching his players how football relates to life.
“I’m a firm believer you’ve got to compete in life, not just in football, but in life,” Bobo explained. “Nobody’s going to give you anything, you’ve got to go to work every day, you’ve got to earn a living. Same thing in football, we’ve got to learn to compete for the whole practice.”
“Some of the extra curricular we’ve got to cut out,” Bobo said of his players getting physical after the whistle. “But that’s going to happen when you get amped. We’ve done a good job of keeping the extra curricular to two people. And not letting every body join in. And the other half is we’re a team.”
The Rams’ wide receiver depth is clear. “Humble” Higgins is clearly the best receiver – and best player – on the team, but he’s surrounded by a corps of talented and athletic players. There’s Joe Hansley, Elroy Masters – who’s impressed in camp so far – Deionte Gaines and the new fan favorite Cole Anderson. Look for No. 87 this fall as an impressive newcomer.
Here’s a gif of Elroy Masters working for a deep ball and reeling it in:
And Deionte Gaines laying out for a pass:
Colorado State is deep at multiple positions, including running back. Dalyn Dawkins is impressive when it comes to speed and quickness, which is needed at his slight 5-foot-9 and 175-pound frame. Senior Jasen Oden, at 5-foot-11 and 218 pounds, is the bruiser back who can pound it between the tackles for short, much-needed gains. Of course, Treyous Jarrells has to receive some carries this season after rushing for 437 yards and six touchdowns last year. He is likely the Rams most versatile back, able to go inside or outside the tackles, unafraid of contact and also incredibly nimble.
Nick Stevens continues to lead the quarterback battle and he’s doing all the necessary things well. He gets the team in and out of the huddle quickly, makes calls at the line, understands the playbook and how to progress through reads while throwing an accurate ball, as Bobo has explained Sunday.
“Nick’s done a nice job with the offense, getting us in and out of plays, tempo, completing balls,” coach Bobo said. “Today was probably not as good as he was the first two days. Usually we don’t throw the ball as well when we put on shoulder pads for the first time as a quarterback. But, he’s doing a nice job.
He will likely be the team’s starter, though Coleman Key has given Stevens a run for his money. He’s tall, athletic and mobile but has been less accurate than Stevens at times. Also impressive has been freshman J.C. Robles, as CSU grows multiple quarterbacks at the same time. Robles is still getting a grasp of college ball but looks like he belongs.
Also, the Rams’ defense is coming together quickly and their senior leadership is helping that cohesiveness. Trent Matthews continues to be the unit’s main leader, with Cory James moving over to middle linebacker and Kevin Pierre-Louis in the defensive backfield as key young men. CSU is deep at defensive back and their success will come down to their ability to rush the passer and stop the run up front once again.