Feb 012006
Authors: Mike Donovan

Sonny Lubick gave a press conference Wednesday at the McGraw Center Auditorium to announce the official signing of the 23 football players who will make up the 2006 recruiting class.

There were no major surprises in the class since all of the signed players had given a verbal commitment at least a week prior to the conference. Lubick was glad to see this day finally come, having started recruiting this class over a year ago.

"It's an exciting day and the culmination of a lot of hard work," Lubick said.

As with previous classes, CSU was able to find players from all over the country including Florida, Alaska and Texas. However, the key every year is finding in-state talent, according to Lubick. Six Colorado recruits signed with the Rams this year.

"Our first priority is the state of Colorado," Lubick said. "There are about 25 players a year from Colorado that are Division-1 players."

The team tried to balance between the number of offensive and defensive players and the number of linemen and skill players. This year's recruiting class includes 12 players listed as offensive players and 11 on the defensive side of the ball. Lubick says however, that some players could see time on the other side of the ball.

"It's always nice to have flexibility with players." Lubick said. "Players want to be on the field regardless of position."

According to Lubick, this class of recruits could start contributing as early as next year. One player expected to come in and play right away is El Camino Junior College transfer Marvin Arnold. The Rams have recruited Arnold since he was in high school.

"We felt that he looked pretty good on film," Lubick said. "(Assistant coach) Jesse Williams staked his job on him, so you know he is confident in Arnold's ability."

The Rams added two quarterbacks, Sean McDougal and Nick Neuenfeldt, however, one of them may be moved to another position. The 6'4'' Neuenfeldt, could end up playing linebacker.

McDougal is the brother of former Ram running back Kevin McDougal and former Ram kicker Matt McDougal. Lubick stated that McDougal was the quarterback that they always wanted and was glad his family had good CSU connections.

"I'm glad the two other men enjoyed their CSU experience," he said. "Usually the younger brother ends up being the best of them all."

Athletic Director Mark Driscoll, who started at quarterback for the Rams in the '70s, says a lot has changed in the 35 years since he arrived as a freshman in Fort Collins. The biggest change is that colleges can now only have 85 players on scholarship.

"There are a lot of rules now, as opposed to when I was recruited when there were no rules," Driscoll said after the press conference. "When I came in here my first year, there were 98 freshmen and 10 of us made the team."

Lubick also mentioned a position change within the current crop of players. Running back Nnamdi Ohaeri, who transferred from UCLA this year to get time as a running back, will answer his original calling as a cornerback, a position he knows well from his experience with the Bruins.

While Lubick said he would like to take a break from recruiting, he will not have the chance. The first staff meeting to discuss the recruiting class of 2007 was Tuesday.

Mike Donavon can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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