On just his sixth carry of the game, CSU senior running back Derek Good reached the end zone of Hughes Stadium for the first time on a seven-yard run.
He finished the Green and Gold spring game with 75 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
The stadium wasnâ€™t full and the game didnâ€™t count for a thing, but for Good, the play meant something more.
It showed he could play running back at a Division-I school. A guy that came from obscurity was suddenly in the spotlight.
Good came to the Rams from nearby Berthoud High School as an unheralded walk-on. He asked to play special teams where he proved to be a hard worker with unquestionable effort.
That fire and determination resulted in a scholarship being awarded to Good.
â€œI love this game so much,â€ Good said. â€œIâ€™m going out there trying to prove a point, prove that I need to be out on that field playing.â€
Good made a name for himself last season as a kick returner averaging 25.8 yards per kickoff, seventh all-time at CSU, and set a Mountain West Conference record with 263 return yards in a single game against the Air Force Academy.
This spring, a new opportunity came for Good as the third-string running back who has caught the attention of the coaches time and again.
â€œThe thing I like about Derek is his mentality,â€ said running backs and special teams coach Larry Lewis. â€œHeâ€™s tough. I think he brings some physicalness as a runner, and gives you everything heâ€™s got.â€
Good says his mentality is born from the nature of being a walk-on who was often overlooked.
â€œYou come in here and youâ€™re at the bottom of the (depth) chart right away,â€ Good said. â€œFinally I get on a scholarship and itâ€™s a different story. Theyâ€™re finally giving me the opportunity to play and make something happen.â€
For the starters who are assured playing time, the spring game is an exhibition for the fans, but for those like Good it can separate them from the pack.
â€œYou donâ€™t have the opportunity to mess up on one play and hope you get another,â€ Good said. â€œThereâ€™s something about it that makes you feel you need to go 10 times harder than everyone else just so you can get noticed.â€
At a position frequented with injuries, Goodâ€™s chances to see snaps in the backfield are high.
â€œI think all three backs are going to see playing time,â€ Lewis said. â€œI mean youâ€™re going through a 12-game seasonâ€¦one guy to make it through that anymore, just canâ€™t do it. He continues to earn his reps and heâ€™s continuing to earn more and more.â€
For Good, his lone touchdown was anything but meaningless.
â€œThereâ€™s not a better feeling than getting in that end zone and getting six points up there,â€ Good said. â€œItâ€™s a great feeling, absolutely.â€
Assistant Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.