Aug 172010
 
Authors: Joel Hafnor

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.

“I’ve got to start working even harder now,” said Thomas. “I have to perform, that’s the bottom line.”

Today’s announcement validates Thomas’ 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 team’s spring practices, a move that helped him familiarize himself with the speed and style of the college game.

Prior to today’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.

“All summer long and all spring he’s been great,” Fairchild said. “He’s a big, strong kid that can make a lot of throws.”

Fairchild, along with other members of the coaching staff, met with the Rams quarterbacks before today’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.

“You need to give him a lot of reps,” Fairchild said. “He still hasn’t played a down of college football, I’m sure there’s going to be some ups and downs.”

Despite losing his bid for starting spot, Ranieri remains focused on being ready for any opportunity.

“I can’t dwell on this. I’ve just got to keep playing my game,” Ranieri said. “When my number is called, I’ll be ready.”

Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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