Oct 282004
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Somehow, Kory Sperry didn’t envision his first collegiate

touchdown coming quite like this.

The Rams trailed the Wyoming Cowboys 7-3 in the second quarter,

but with the ball at the Wyoming 10-yard-line, CSU running back

Uldis Jaunarajs took a handoff from quarterback Caleb Hanie and

made his way towards the goal line.

Less than a yard from giving CSU its first lead in the ball

game, the football popped out of Jaunarajs’s hands and squirted

towards the back of the end zone.

As it bounced, a young tight end jumped on it, just beating out

the scrambling Wyoming defense.

Sperry had just scored his first collegiate touchdown.

“That’s not how I had expected it,” Sperry, a freshman from

Pueblo. “But I’ll take it as it comes.”

The true freshman tight end led all Rams receivers in CSU’s 30-7

win against Wyoming this past weekend. Sperry caught four passes

for 71 yards, averaging over 17 yards per catch. Officially,

Sperry’s touchdown was credited as a rushing score, even though he

never received an official rush.

“It would have been nice to catch a touchdown,” Sperry said,

laughing.

Sperry, whose redshirt was pulled off after injuries hit the CSU

tight-end position hard this season, has made an immediate impact.

In the two games he has played this season, Sperry has had seven

catches for 107 yards.

“We were hoping we didn’t have to play him this year,” said

offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt. “We knew he was going to

be good.”

Before the Rams lost starter Matt Bartz for the season to a torn

knee ligament on Sept. 11, Sperry was listed as fourth on the depth

chart. However, Sperry has moved up to second behind senior Joel

Dreessen.

Dreessen sees a lot of talent in Sperry, even if he is still

undersized for a tight end.

“He’s ten times the athlete I was my freshman year,” Dreessen

said.

“But I’m still faster than he is.”

Playing with Dreeseen has helped Sperry adjust to the college

game.

“Being able to play with Joel has been really helpful,” Sperry

said. “He especially has helped a lot.”

Hammerschmidt says that the coaches are pushing Sperry pretty

hard.

“He’ll come out of the huddle and pause for a moment, start

going one way then go the other,” Hammerschmidt said. “That’s when

you know you’re asking a little too much of him.”

Both Dreessen and Hammerschmidt say that if Sperry can add some

size to his body, he’ll become a good tight end. Sperry started the

season at 205 pounds, but now is up to 218.

Regardless, Hammerschmidt says comparing Sperry to Dreessen is

deserved.

“They’re both (Sperry and Dreessen) hard on themselves,”

Hammerschmidt said. “I like that about them.”

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