After already being a starter for three years, Joel Dreessen knows that the fourth year is the most important. There’s more pressure, more focus and greater expectations, but Dreessen is nothing but optimistic.
Dreessen, a Fort Morgan native, is looking forward to a successful season with his teammates and also expects the most out of his senior companions as well.
“We want to do something special. This senior class is small, but special,” Dreessen said.
In his junior season, Dreessen pulled in 29 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns before being sidelined with an abdominal strain. The injury, however, did not stop him from ending up third on the team in receiving and gaining second team All-Conference honors.
Dreessen brings a high level of senior leadership to the 2004 Rams squad. He has 34 career starts for CSU and before last season’s hobbling injury he had made 30 straight starts. Dreessen has the game experience to be able to help the underclassmen understand just how tough it will be on the field.
“Coach (Sonny) Lubick always says this is the seniors’ team,” Dreessen said when asked about his leadership role this season. “I think I am the best when I am in the leadership role.”
Dreessen plays the H-back position, one with a large significance on the field. The halfback replaces the fullback in single-back sets and the offense revolves around the motion of that player.
Dreessen also gets time at the tight end position, where he has to fight to get open and give the quarterback options in addition to the wide receivers. In addition, he is also responsible for making blocks as a back and tight end.
Last year in the regular-season finale against the UNLV, Dreessen had one of his best games as a Ram. He pulled down seven catches for 39 yards, including the game-winning touchdown pass with 57 seconds remaining.
CSU will be looking for more of the same from Dreessen this year, as the team’s campaign begins with three huge non-conference games, two of which are against top-25 teams. The Rams travel to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to take on the top-ranked Southern California Trojans, followed by the No. 23 Minnesota Gophers coming to Fort Collins.
In Dreessen’s final Rocky Mountain Showdown, the Rams will have to travel to Boulder at Folsom Field to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. It will be a hostile environment, but Sept. 4 is a date that has been circled on the Rams’ calendar as a day of hopeful vindication after a 42-35 loss to the Buffaloes last season.
Dreessen is relieved to have completed the two-a-day practice schedule of last week, but he had very strong motivation for working through it.
“I’m so excited, two-a-days, you’re hot and you’re tired, and you just sit in your dorm room and daydream about making big plays against the Buffaloes,” Dreessen said.