FORT COLLINS, CO. — Trey McBride could have transferred from Colorado State back in August. Any number of major programs would have welcomed him in with open arms after what No. 85 put on film during his sophomore year. He chose to stay.
Now, with a chance to make the leap to the NFL and cash in on his talents, the superstar tight end is once again choosing to stay. In a surprising social media announcement Wednesday night, McBride declared to the world that he will be back for a final year with the Rams. Making things even better for Ram Nation, Trey’s older brother, Toby, also announced he will be returning in 2021 as well.
“Playing football for Colorado State has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I believe in Coach Addazio and his staff, and I also have goals that I have not accomplished here at CSU,” Trey said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“After much thought and prayer, I will be back for a final year to play with my brothers and lead this team to a championship. I am thankful to all who have supported me, and I can’t wait to see you all in the stands cheering us on in 2021 for our best season yet!”
Despite only playing in what amounts to 2 1/3 seasons worth of games, Trey has already firmly established himself as one of the best tight ends in program history. Only getting four games in obviously limited his statistical production this year but he still managed to average 82.5 yards on 5.5 receptions per game. His four touchdown receptions was also the most on the team.
With nine touchdown receptions in his career, Trey trails only Joel Dreesen (10) and Kory Sperry (20) in the history books. He was already able to surpass fellow legendary CSU tight ends, Keli McGregor (8) and Crockett Gillmore (8) in the same category this past fall.
A third consecutive all-conference selection in 2021 would tie Trey with Dreesen and McGregor for the most ever by a Rams tight end. It would also likely inch Trey above the others as the greatest player at the position in school history — though team success would still work in favor of Dreesen in that comparison.
Beyond the individual accolades, which are obviously impressive, getting a couple of special players like the McBrides back is a massive win for Steve Addazio. Not only are they two of the better players at their respective positions in the entire conference but they’re also guys that just make everyone around them better because of the leadership qualities they bring to the table.
Watching Trey block for a running back or make an important tackle on special teams, you can see that he just gets it — there are no plays off at this level. And for a program that is trying to re-establish a winning culture, having people like him to lead the way through the transition is huge — especially considering the Rams are losing their most experienced quarterback to transfer this winter (Patrick O’Brien).
Toby’s career has unfortunately been impacted by injuries but seeing the way that the defense rallied around him this year, it’s clear that he’s the heartbeat of that unit, and that many of the qualities listed above also apply to him. With Toby, Scott Patchan and Manny Jones all returning next fall, opposing offensive coordinators are going to be in for a long day when they go up against the Green & Gold.
“We are not far from where we want to be,” Toby said in his Twitter statement. “I can’t wait to reunite with you inside Canvas Stadium!”
After a frustrating 2020 season that never really allowed the Rams to get in any type of consistent rhythm, 2021 is already off to a better start with many of CSU’s most experienced stars choosing to return for one last dance in Green & Gold. Of course, Ram fans will hope that the loyalty pays off with a bowl win. It’s been a long seven years since Shaq Barrett led the Rams to victory over Washington State in Albuquerque, N.M. With both McBrides in the picture, though, I definitely like CSU’s chances of turning the corner.
Good things tend to come for those that are patient — and after years of hard work and doing the right things, the McBrides deserve an opportunity to experience a postseason victory together.
Alas, no matter what happens, at least the Ram faithful should get an opportunity to give two of the best to ever do it a proper sendoff at home next winter.