Jan 262005
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Haggans. Porter. Pauly.

They are all names of some of biggest defensive enforcers in recent CSU football history.

And, perhaps, the names Abata, Pottorff and Radford will find places beside them.

With National Letter of Intent Day coming up quickly, the CSU football team's recruiting class is beginning to take shape.

In total, 16 players were offered scholarships by CSU this year, a smaller number than in the past. On Feb. 2, 15 new players will sign on as Rams. One has already signed.

Rams head coach Sonny Lubick said during the past season CSU was targeting offensive linemen and defensive specialists.

While not filled with skill-position players, there are some critical needs that the CSU staff has addressed with new recruits.

One player who may have an immediate impact is junior college transfer linebacker Jon Radford. Radford, who transferred from Oklahoma A&M, will have two years of eligibility left for CSU.

Last season he earned second-team All-American honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association. He is enrolled in classes at CSU and will participate in spring practices.

There is also a solid core of incoming freshmen who have given CSU verbal commitments.

One such player is Jacob Pottorff, a linebacker coming from Greeley West High School. The 2004 Denver Post first team all-state selection committed to CSU last summer.

"I liked the coaches a lot and I've always been a fan (of CSU)," Pottorff said. "It just kind of fit me."

Pottorff said he's excited about playing for CSU and competing with a talented group of linebackers.

"I'm pretty excited to start there," Pottorff said. "I don't know about my chances, but we'll find out."

Pottorff will be joined by Brian Abata, a Thomas Jefferson High (Denver) graduate, who will probably play on the defensive line.

"On defense, he was unblockable," said Dan Turnbull, Abata's coach at Thomas Jefferson. "On offense, the only reason our trap play worked was because of him."

Turnbull said that Abata had "quick feet" and would be an asset to the CSU football team.

Abata said his decision to come to CSU over schools such as UCLA and Northwestern was easy.

"I didn't have too much to worry about," Abata said. "(Lubick) is a real good guy."

Abata doesn't think he'll challenge for a starting role as a freshman next year but said he wants to as a sophomore.

"I know it's going to be hard at first," Abata said. "But I'll work at it."

One thing each player stressed was his respect for Lubick and his coaching staff.

"He's a classy guy," Pottorff said. "He has a lot of respect from pretty much everybody."

Abata had similar things to say.

"He was great," Abata said of his meeting with Lubick. "He's a great guy and a good football coach. The whole staff has been great."

Pottorff said his future position coach and defensive coordinator, Steve Stanard, also impressed him.

"He knows a lot about football," Pottorff said.

The Rams also landed 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound defensive lineman Bryan Tarkington, a tackle from Moorpark College in California. Tarkington was named to the first team all-Northern Division team in the Western States Conference following his sophomore season.

Linebacker Chris Davis, who redshirted this year for the Rams, also played at Moorpark and hosted Tarkington on his official visit this year.

Notes: The annual Green-Gold scrimmage will not be held at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium this season because of construction. The game will most likely be held at the CSU practice fields south of Moby Gym, or at French Field – the high school football fields for Fort Collins. Construction crews are in the process of building a new press box/Rams Horn Club level seating and replacing the old natural grass playing surface with an artificial one…There has been no wide receivers coach named. The position was vacated when Matt Lubick, the son of head coach Sonny Lubick, took a similar position on the new staff of Ole Miss…Two other players will make their debuts with the Rams this spring: running back Alex Square from Poudre High (Fort Collins) and wide receiver Dion Morton from John w. North High (Riverside, Calif.). Morton is the twin brother of CSU receiver Damon Morton. Both players deferred enrollment until spring 2005 to not count their scholarships against the 2004 season…

2005 CSU VERBAL COMMITMENTS

Name Pos. Ht/Wt Hometown

Brian Abata OL 6-3/240 Denver, Colo.

Durrell Chamorro K 5-10/170 Chino, Calif.

Micah Crews DB 6-0/185 Greenwood Village, Colo.

Klint Kubiak DB 6-0/175 Denver, Colo.

Wade Landers DE 6-6/265 Durango, Colo.

Adrian Martinez OL 6-4/290 San Clemente, Calf.

Shawn McGoveran DE 6-3/260 Arvada, Colo.

James Morehead OL 6-6/290 Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Nnamdi Ohaeri RB 5-10/200 San Bernadino, Calif.^

Sedric Patterson LB 6-1/222 Broken Arrow, Okla.*

Cole Pemberton OL 6-8/310 Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Jacob Pottorff LB 6-4/235 Greeley, Colo.

Shelly Smith OL 6-4/280 Avondale, Ariz.

Grant Stucker QB 6-2/185 Parker, Colo.

Bryan Tarkinton DT 6-5/275 Los Angeles, Calif.

Junior college transfer (2 yrs. eligibility)

^Transfer from UCLA

*soft verbal

Already signed letter of intent

Jon Radford LB 6-1/230 Miami, Okla.

Junior college transfer (2 yrs. eligibility)

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