While some are planning ways to escaping the July heat, the CSU Football team can be found hard at work, already preparing for the fall.
With training camp looming just over a month away, the Rams are deep into summer workouts and trying to ensure a repeat of last season’s disappointing 3-9 record doesn’t happen.
Dion Morton, a junior sociology major, said he is really pleased with the amount of players participating in the summer practices.
“It seems like we have more people out here than the past few summers,” the wide receiver said. “The coaches are kind of pushing us to just get out here and play.”
Linebacker Ricky Brewer said he is impressed with how many players are showing up.
“Attendance-wise, this is great for something that isn’t strictly mandatory,” the sophomore open option major said. “Guys are holding themselves and each other accountable.”
Summer practices begin at 7 a.m., starting with conditioning and running. From there the team moves onto 11 on 11 and seven on seven drills. Workouts typically end with weight training.
Gartrell Johnson III said the biggest draw to players is the chance at a new start. With a new head coach and a fresh season on the horizon, the senior liberal arts major can see many players are already putting forth the effort needed to produce desired results.
“We have to make a whole new name for ourselves,” Johnson, who led the Rams in rushing yards last season, said. “Everyone is working so hard and pushing themselves so we can be at the top of our game.”
A welcome surprise to this year’s summer workouts has been the large amount of incoming freshmen attending.
Brewer said that even though CSU hasn’t even reached the start of the regular season, this year’s team is one of the closest he has been a part of.
“Everybody is being really competitive, and we are building a lot of team cohesion,” he said. “It has a lot to do with our coaching, but it also has to do with the team itself. Guys don’t want to let the people around them down.”
While he is working in 90-plus degree heat, Morton said it helps to focus on how the work put in now will pay off when it matters most.
“I’m hoping it will pay off big and I think it will,” he said. “The sooner we get started, the sooner we’ll be ready for the first game.”
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.