Sep 012011
Authors: Travis Todd

Preseason awards come out every season for every sport.

Some turn out to be on point and looking back on others will make people in charge sick to their stomach.

Four CSU Rams come into the 2011 campaign with the chance for national recognition.

Senior linebacker Mychal Sisson has been named to the preseason watch list for the Bronko Nagurski trophy, given annually to the top defensive player in college football. He also received preseason all-conference, first team honors from the Mountain West.

Joining Sisson on the preseason all-conference first team is offensive tackle Paul Madsen. Madsen believes it is an honor as he prepares for his final season at the collegiate level.

“It feels great, it’s nice to get some preseason recognition from the media,” Madsen said. “But I would give that up for a successful season this year.”

Madsen also went on to say that it’s a preseason estimate, which doesn’t assure him of anything.
Another CSU offensive lineman is making noise with preseason recognition as a sophomore.

Weston Richburg, coming off the 2010 season in which he received freshman All-America honors, now finds himself on an elite list. Richburg is on the preseason list for the Rimington trophy, awarded to the top center in college football each season.

“It’s pretty cool,” Richburg said. “I was aware of the award when I began playing the position and I always thought it would be cool to be recognized as one of those guys.”

Among the 42 candidates, Richburg is one of five sophomores being considered for the award.

Along with the recognition for his good play, Richburg knows that opponents will try to mix up blitzes and keep him on his heels more than ever.

“It’ll be difficult, but I think I’m more prepared this year,” Richburg said. “Last year was more about proving myself physically and this year I’ve been working to spot out pressures and blitzes, I think I’ll be better equipped to handle it this year.”

With Richburg, Sisson and Madsen all receiving preseason acknowledgment for what they do on the field, one Ram is being noticed for his involvement in the community.

That man is senior safety Ivory Herd.

“It’s crazy that what I’m doing here is being recognized at a national level,” said Herd, who spent a semester working with special needs children at Respite Care. “I’m just doing it for the kids and to be humble to my community, it’s an honor.”

Herd is nominated for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. He is one of 132 nominees who are being recognized for having a positive influence in their community.

Herd was also named to the preseason all-Mountain West second team and will be donning a new number (7) this season.

“I just try to get better everyday,” said Herd who has high hopes for himself and the defense as a whole. “Hopefully by the end of the season, I’ll be first team.”

_Football Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at _

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