Caleb Hanie has played quarterback at CSU for three full seasons, but it is the upcoming year that will be most important to him.
Hanie, who is heading into his senior year, is working hard to try lead his team back to prominence.
“It is my senior year and it is a huge year for me,” Hanie said. “We haven’t won a conference championship since I have been here, so I need to get a ring and try to aspire to move on and play at the next level.”
Rams’ Head Coach Sonny Lubick is putting the pressure on his quarterback early.
“We have set the bar on Caleb (Hanie) pretty high,” Lubick said. “There is a lot of pressure on him. This is his fourth season and he has to be money for us every play. That is hard to do.”
During Wednesday’s practice, Hanie showed off a strong arm, and his pocket presence has continued to improve throughout his career.
Hanie thinks there is a lot he can do to achieve the level of success that he wants to reach, including improving on last season where Hanie ranked third in the Mountain West Conference in passing, throwing for over 2,400 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“I need to work on my pocket presence,” said the 6-foot-2-inch Hanie. “I need to stay smart, but still make plays and play like I did my freshman, a little more abandoned.”
Lubick agreed with his quarterback.
“He needs to be steady, and not do anything extra,” said Lubick. “He could run the ball a little better when he needs to.”
Tight end Kory Sperry focused on the positives Hanie brings to the field, including his leadership.
“He is just a player,” said, Sperry, a fellow senior. “He gets the job done and doesn’t like us losing or playing bad.
“The guy is just a complete leader, especially for our offense. When I go out and drop a ball or miss a play I don’t think about coach being mad at me, I think about Caleb (Hanie) being mad.”
Lubbick sees Hanie’s toughness as the reason he is a good leader.
“The good, tough, hard things you do is what the players and coaches see,” the 15-year coach said. “The players know he is a tough, hard guy and they respect him.”
Sperry has great optimism for the upcoming season, and Hanie is a big part of it.
“He is the heart and soul of this team,” Sperry said. “It is going to be a big year for him and a big year for all of our seniors. He is the perfect guy to lead our offense and everybody has faith in him.”
Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .