Mar 252009
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

The CSU football team took in Tuesday afternoon’s wacky weather as if it were any other day, completing its second of fifteen spring practices. There was plenty of wind, snow flurries and sunshine during the two-and-a-half hour practice, but that odd combination can only help the Rams prepare for next fall.

And while the weather was not consistent, the Rams’ progress was.

“Things are smoother than yesterday, but we still have a long ways to go to get back to where we were at the end of the season last year,” head coach Steve Fairchild said. “Our intensity and effort is there, but we have a long ways to go still to become a good football team.”

Keeping with the trend of consistency, CSU returns its entire starting wide receiver corps from a season ago including a few newer faces fans might not be as familiar with. Next season’s roster will be highlighted by recognized names like seniors Dion Morton, Rashaun Greer and Ryan Gardner.

This experience is something Morton is looking forward to.

“It’s definitely a great deal, whenever you have a group coming back and knows what they’re doing. It’s kinda like you don’t have to focus as much,” Morton said, who led the Rams with 10 touchdown receptions in 2008. “You get to work on the little details and go over the whole playbook and work on route running, so it’s nice.”

But while it is important that the veteran crew work improving the small details of their game, their experience is something that helps lead others on the team to a possible marquee status of their own.

Such is the case for Jyrone Hickman, who missed last season with a torn ACL. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Hickman’s size and speed has him in position to be a key target in 2009 for whomever wins the quarterback battle.

“My knee is doing good, I’m just trying to make it through the spring to come out healthy, but it feels good,” Hickman said. “The experience is good. I just look up to the guys who played last year like Dion and those guys and I just learn from them, just try to get in a rhythm.”

Football beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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