Feb 242004
Authors: Justin Goldman

The Colorado Venom of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL)

has finalized its roster by adding two former CSU football


Nicholas Bennett, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive lineman most

recently played for the Northern Colorado Wolfpack, a

semi-professional team in the Colorado Football Conference. He

started three games, blocked two field goals and tallied three

sacks and seven tackles in a single game.

Because of his recent play, the Wolfpack coaching staff informed

the Venom front office about the skilled lineman, which turned into

a tryout invitation from head coach Ron Mondt.

Bennett played with the Rams from 1999-2002 as an

offensive/defensive lineman and was part of the Liberty Bowl teams

from 2000-2002.

“My experience at CSU was some of the best moments of my life so

far,” Bennett said. “Even though I didn’t get much playing time, I

still enjoyed every game and used it to my advantage.”

Bennett is probably not remembered by many for his play with

CSU, but he hopes to create an exciting atmosphere for CSU students

wanting to see indoor football during the summer. He talked about

the differences between indoor football and college ball saying,

“Indoor football is a much faster game because of the shorter

field, whereas college (football) is more of a team game.

“College focuses more on the team aspect, but indoor football is

like, you see a lot more individual play. Indoor is still a lot

about team effort for sure, but the skilled players have a bigger


Bennett also expressed his appreciation for the Venom coaching

staff and his recent contract agreement.

“I haven’t had a chance to sit and really talk with him yet,”

Bennett said. “But he is a very trustworthy man and he has been

working hard with everyone on the team.”

Bennett said he has been preparing himself for the March 13

season opener by lifting weights somewhere between 90 to 120

minutes a day.

Preparations have also been increasing and ongoing for Mondt as

two Fort Collins High School football coaches were added to the

coaching staff. Eric Rice and Jason McCleary signed contracts just

one day following open tryouts two weeks ago.

“They would have been signed the same day (of tryouts), but they

didn’t realize we were already expecting them to sign with us,”

said Barry Rubenstein, director of communications for the


Mike Walker, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound wide receiver most recently

played with the CFC Champion Denver Titans, which is owned by

Bronco Hall of Famer John Elway. Walker played one season for the

Rams as a walk-on wide receiver but ended up with a starting

position on special teams. He graduated in 2003 with a journalism

degree in public relations. A native of Colorado, Walker attended

Standley Lake High School in Westminster.

The Venom start their first season on the road against the Utah

Warriors and will hold their first home game at the Budweiser

Events Center on April 3 against the Lincoln Capitols. Colorado is

the fourth team in the South Pacific Division in the Pacific


For more information on the Venom, the NIFL and for a complete

season schedule, visit www.nationalindoorfootballleague.net.

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