Beat the elite

 Uncategorized
Apr 282011
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

Think you can outrun the fastest Rams on the CSU football team?

If so, coach Steve Fairchild has a message for you: Prove it.

Friday night, the football team is hosting its fourth annual Rams Superstars Competition, and part of the festivities includes a race between three of CSU’s fastest players and a student.

The student who wins the preliminary race Friday afternoon will get a chance to take on wide receivers Tony Drake and Thomas Coffman and cornerback Bernard Blake in a 40-yard dash, all of whom have been clocked with under 4.4 second speed.

If a student can win the competition they will be awarded with a week as an honorary member of the team this fall, attending practices and team meetings and staying with the Rams at their team hotel before the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown against CU-Boulder.

On game day, the winner will stand on the Rams’ sideline in an authentic jersey after walking out onto the field for the pre-game coin toss with the CSU captains. ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson has promised to print the winner’s name in her upcoming blog should they outrun Blake, Coffman and Drake.

The athletes know the pressure is on them to avoid defeat to a non-scholarship student.

“It should be fun. (Receiver) Marquise Law was giving me grief about it,” said Coffman, who claims a 40 time of 4.36. “I need to go as fast as I can just to make sure I don’t get beat.”

In addition to the Beat the Elite competition, Friday night will see the offense and defense battle through a series of events to gain bragging rights.

The competition includes an obstacle course, tug of war, weight lifting and a running vertical test known as the Tower of Terror.

The players will be broken into divisions based on relative weight. The “skill weight” will see receivers battle defensive backs. “Middle weight” pits tight end’s against linebackers. And the “heavyweight” division sees the offensive linemen face off against defensive linemen.

The offense will be looking to keep the title after winning 16-7 a year ago.

“We’d better,” said Coffman, on whether the offense would win again.

Last year, linebacker Mike Orakpo notched an astonishing 64 inches on the running vertical test. The linemen also put on a show in the bench press competition. Graduated defensive tackle Guy Miller did 30 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press, while offensive lineman Jake Gdowski registered 32 reps.

The competition was created by Fairchild to give the community the opportunity to see the players in a fun, non-football atmosphere.

And the players are looking forward to the opportunity.

“The team is pretty excited about it,” Coffman said. “It will be nice to get involved with the student body.”

Parking and admission are free. At the conclusion of the event fans can come onto the court to meet the players.

Football Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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