While the race for the CSU quarterback appears to be still wide open, the competition for a starting running back job is much closer to being resolved.
Although head coach Steve Fairchild has yet to officially name a starting running back, he narrowed the field down to two candidates: senior John Mosure and junior Leonard Mason.
Due to the uncertainty of who will ultimately be the Rams starting pass thrower, Fairchild and the rest of the green and gold are putting heavy hopes on the CSU ground game to begin the season, specifically Mosure and Mason.
Fairchild explained just how he reached his decision about the two tailbacks and explained they will play a role in making quarterbacks better.
“John (Mosure) and Leonard Mason have both had very good camps,” the second year coach said. “They will be our top two, and we’ll see where we go from there. The run game will obviously help our quarterback development as will receiver play.”
Mosure, a Florida native, is the most experienced of the current group of backs, playing back-up to former Rams Gartrell Johnson and Kyle Bell for the past two seasons. During that time, Mosure racked up 184 yards with two touchdowns.
Adversely, Mason is a newcomer to CSU, transferring from the College of the Desert last semester.
Mosure said that while being named the starter would be an honor, it is not the most important thing to him at the moment.
“It doesn’t mean much; it’s just a title,” he said. “This is about more than me and Leonard (Mason), this is about Colorado State football. It’s about winning the conference championship, not a running back race.”
Mason shared Mosure’s desire to win a title but said he hopes to help do it as the Rams starter. The six-footer added he believes Fairchild will ultimately figure out the right decision.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Mason said about his desire to win the starting job. “I didn’t come here to sit the bench or be behind anybody. But Fairchild will make the best decision for the team.”
Even though Fairchild will be forced to name a starter soon, he is confident that both players will see significant playing time.
“You hate to start quantifying stuff like that right now, I think it will take care of itself,” Fairchild said. “It’s safe to say we’re not going to have one guy like Gartrell (Johnson) back there the whole time.”
CU planning begins
Fairchild began implementing his game plan for the Rams’ upcoming rivalry game against CU-Boulder during Tuesday’s practice. Fairchild dedicated one period of the workout to his plan for the Buffaloes and added in film study. He said he expects to expand his game planning the rest of the week, upping preparation to two periods a practice. CSU and CU are scheduled to face off Sept. 6 at Folsom Field in Boulder.
Fresh off of surgery on his non-throwing hand, starting quarterback Jon Eastman returned to full practice duties Tuesday, but was still required to wear a red jersey.
Fairchild said the junior was able to do everything and wore the jersey only as a precaution.
“He’s just coming right out of it,” Fairchild said. “I didn’t want someone’s helmet to hit his hand. We’ll get him out of that jersey pretty quick.”
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.