The Pete Thomas era is officially underway.
Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild announced Tuesday afternoon that the 6-foot-5 true freshman will be the starter for the upcoming 2010 season, which begins Sept. 4 against CU-Boulder.
Now that the job formally belongs to him, Thomas is intent on using the next eighteen days to get the Rams in position to win.
â€œIâ€™ve got to start working even harder now,â€ said Thomas. â€œI have to perform, thatâ€™s the bottom line.â€
Todayâ€™s announcement validates Thomasâ€™ decision to attend CSU, which came after he opted out of an earlier commitment to Arizona State last winter. The California-native enrolled a semester early in order to be a part of the teamâ€™s spring practices, a move that helped him familiarize himself with the speed and style of the college game.
Prior to todayâ€™s announcement, Thomas and redshirt freshman Nico Ranieri had been in contention for the starting position throughout training camp. Fairchild explained that Thomas earned the job thanks to his consistency.
â€œAll summer long and all spring heâ€™s been great,â€ Fairchild said. â€œHeâ€™s a big, strong kid that can make a lot of throws.â€
Fairchild, along with other members of the coaching staff, met with the Rams quarterbacks before todayâ€™s practice to inform them of the decision. This move comes in direct contrast to the quarterback competition a year ago, which featured five contenders and was not decided until a week before the season began.
Fairchild cited the ability to get Thomas more reps during practice as his main motive for making an earlier decision this year.
â€œYou need to give him a lot of reps,â€ Fairchild said. â€œHe still hasnâ€™t played a down of college football, Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s going to be some ups and downs.â€
Despite losing his bid for starting spot, Ranieri remains focused on being ready for any opportunity.
â€œI canâ€™t dwell on this. Iâ€™ve just got to keep playing my game,â€ Ranieri said. â€œWhen my number is called, Iâ€™ll be ready.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.