After a disappointing four years, the 21 seniors on the CSU football team can at least leave the college game with a good taste in their mouths after re-capturing the Bronze Boot from the Wyoming Cowboys 36-28 on Friday afternoon.
The Rams (3-9, 2-6) finished in seventh place in the Mountain West as they leapfrogged UNLV to stay out of the conference cellar. Senior wide receiver Johnny Walker was full of joy and proud to be a Ram after the final game.
“It’s just a feeling of happiness and joy,” Walker said. “We’ve stuck together and worked through the tough times and it shows the kind of character and heart that this team has.”
Walker finished his final game with five catches for 56 yards. He had a significant role all four years and finished with 2,223 receiving yards and 172 catches, both which rank in the top five in the all-time CSU record books.
“I just hear myself after today’s game like ‘wow how did it all go so fast?” Walker said. “I have no more college two-a-days, no more college practice, and no more games. It seems sort of surreal.”
Senior quarterback Caleb Hanie also finished his college career with a solid game. Hanie went 16-22 and had two touchdowns on 245 yards passing. Like Walker, Hanie was extremely pleased to finish taking back the Boot.
“It feels great just having the Boot back and starting the year off well for next year’s team. It’s one of my best wins since I’ve been here,” he said.
Hanie finished his senior season with 2,445 passing yards, a 64.2 completion percentage and 18 touchdowns. He said that he was still satisfied with his decision to come to CSU.
“I put everything I had into this program every year,” Hanie said. “I wouldn’t go back and change anything that I did personally.”
Senior wide receiver Damon Morton was also content with his experience at CSU.
“I don’t care about the record or whatever records we’ve had the last four years,” Morton said. “I got to do something nobody else got to do, and that’s play college football, so I’ll take it.”
Morton and Walker both plan to make a run at the National Football League.
“That’s my main goal,” Walker said. “As of tomorrow, I’m definitely going to start working out and staying in shape for the combine. I’m definitely going to give it a shot at the next level. We’ll see how that works out.”
Sports reporter Brandon Owens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org