There are no sure things in the game of football, but the CSU Rams receiving corps is as close as the green and gold will get this spring.
With Dion Morton and Rashaun Greer returning for their senior seasons and a host of younger players maturing quickly, the Rams feel confident that the wide receivers will be a strength of the team. Greer and Morton started every game for CSU last season, compiling a combined 1,973 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns.
Head coach Steve Fairchild said he hopes the receiving corps can become what Gartrell Johnson was for the Rams in 2008, a rock to build upon.
“We’re far from being where we need to be at that position, but they could take some pressure off the quarterbacks and running backs situation for a while as we develop there,” the San Diego native said. “Gartrell (Johnson) helped a lot of guys last year just the way he played so I’m hoping our receivers will pull a Gartrell and help everyone else.”
Greer, a reigning second team all conference selection, is confident in his unit’s ability to lead the team, especially offensively. The soon-to be senior explained that the last season’s accomplishments are having a noticeable effect on this Spring.
“This year coach Fairchild is going to hold the receivers to a higher standard than he did last year since he’s seen everything we can do,” Greer said. “It’s a good feeling being held to that higher standard.”
Along with Morton and Greer, the Rams have a stable of young receivers drawing praise from coaches, including former quarterback TJ Borcky, a sophomore, as well as redshirt freshmen Marquise Law and Byron Steele.
Fairchild said that he has high expectations for all three players’ futures at CSU.
“If those guys will just keep working, they could be something special,” the former Rams quarterback said. “In a short period of time you’re going to see them lining up for us. But again they aren’t there yet. We have the potential to be very good, but we’re not there yet.”
Offensive coordinator and receivers coach Greg Peterson agreed and added that he feels safe at the receiver position for years to come.
“It bodes well for our next season as well as our future having these young guys,” he said. “We went from a position of concern to having a chance to be really good.”
Jon Eastman, who is currently competing for the starting quarterback spot with Grant Stucker, explained that having such a solid corps of receivers has made becoming a Ram easier. Eastman transferred to CSU this spring from Snow Junior College in Utah.
“They are a little faster and the size is a little bigger,” the junior said comparing current Rams to his former teammates. “It’s great to be able to throw to these guys and I’m excited about the talent on the receiving corps. It’s just really good to be throwing to them.”
Peterson’s hopes for his receivers have grown over the spring, especially this past week. The second year coach explained what his they are doing and have to do to live up to their potential.
“Number one, we are playing fast and that’s critical,” Peterson said. “Number two we have to be playmakers. That means every ball that’s in the air we have to believe is ours and go get it. If we can play fast and make plays we’ll have a chance to have some success throwing the football.”
Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.