As the CSU football team announced the addition of 19 new players, it also announced that one was departing.
Senior-to-be running back Uldis Jaunarajs will no longer be a member of the football team, said head coach Sonny Lubick. Doctors told Jaunarajs, who suffered multiple concussions last season, that he could risk further injury if he played.
"Uldis really came into his own last year," said running backs coach Mick Delaney. "His loss is going to be felt."
Jaunarajs was expected to be the number two back on the depth chart this spring, behind senior-to-be Jimmy Green.
However, the Rams picked up a commitment from Nnamdi Ohaeri, a transfer from UCLA. Ohaeri played cornerback for the Bruins, but left because he wanted to play running back. All the coaches interviewed were excited about Ohaeri playing in the backfield this fall.
"This is a guy who can make a difference," Lubick said. "He's fast, he's got good speed. I believe he'll be able to jump right into the mix and contribute immediately."
Offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt said he told Ohaeri he would not start immediately but would get the chance to compete when he arrived this fall.
Delaney also was excited.
"He's a tremendously gifted athlete," Delaney said. "He's quick, and will lower his shoulder."
Delaney said that with the addition of Ohaeri, the Rams would have the option of using both running backs with speed and power. He hinted that during the winter the offense might look at using two-back sets, utilizing both the speed and the power the Rams have.
Along with Green and Ohaeri, who will have two years of eligibility left when he comes to CSU next year, running backs Kyle Bell, Gartrell Johnson III and Tramell McGill will all compete for playing time.