CSU football took a glance at its future stars this week in practice.
Utilizing the bye week, the Rams participated in live scrimmages, giving the younger players, including those redshirted this season, the opportunity to campaign for playing time next fall.
Redshirt freshman Chris Gipson remembers being given the opportunity to play in live scrimmages in practice last season after playing on the scout team.
“Gartrell (Johnson), (Kory) Sperry, everybody was cheering you on. It got me motivated to play,” the linebacker said.
Now, on the other side of the spectrum, after starting this year at linebacker, Gispon enjoys cheering on the younger players.
“There’s a lot of potential next year,” he said.
Senior wide receiver Dion Morton enjoyed letting the younger players take some live reps.
“It’s always a lot of fun, and I’m not the one out there getting hit,” Morton said.
Players ran and lifted weights Monday and Tuesday and will have the weekend off.
Head coach Steve Fairchild said the team will begin planning for New Mexico when it returns to the practice field on Monday. He said this week was a good opportunity to cut back the work a little and take a look at the younger players.
Although CSU (3-7, 0-6 MWC) is assured of its fifth losing record in six seasons, Fairchild maintains that the team is headed in the right direction for long-term success.
“We’re doing the right thing. I knew coming in that this was going to take some time,” Fairchild said. “I believe we’ve got some good, young kids.”
One such player is freshman running back Chris Nwoke, from Highlands Ranch. The former ThunderRidge High School star was redshirted this year but figures to be in the Rams’ plans at running back this spring and next fall.
Nwoke shed tacklers and broke away for a few big runs in practice Thursday.
“Chris Nwoke was really impressive. He just finishes runs,” Fairchild said.
And now the team hopes to finish the season on a strong note. CSU plays at New Mexico (0-9, 0-5) on Nov. 21 and closes out the season at home Nov. 27 against Border War rival Wyoming (4-5, 2-3).
“We’re trying to salvage something out of this season,” linebacker Mychal Sisson said. “We need to come out and get these last two wins and break that losing streak we’ve had and have something positive to look forward to next season.”
Football Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.