There is always a little bit of sunshine that pokes through even the cloudiest of days.
For the CSU Rams, the clouds are a tough loss to conference rival Brigham Young. Luckily for the green and gold they found some sunshine in the form of receiver Tyson Liggett.
Liggett, a walk on from Limon, Colorado had by far the best game of his college career in the Rams 42-23 loss to BYU Saturday, posting 11 catches for 156 yards and his first ever touchdown reception.
Liggett, sitting in his first ever post game press conference after Saturday’s game, explained that it didn’t feel too bad to finally get a chance with the Rams.
“It felt pretty good,” the junior said simply. “Obviously it doesn’t feel as good because we didn’t get the win, but it’s nice to come out and help the team.”
Liggett entered the game came after normal starting receiver Rashaun Greer struggled early, turning two sure catches into BYU interceptions by unintentionally dropping the ball into the defenders waiting arms. CSU head coach Steve Fairchild benched Greer and with backup TJ Borcky unavailable with an ankle injury, called upon the 5-foot nine-inch, 184-pound Liggett to step up.
Following the game, Fairchild explained that he knew former high school quarterback was ready to play if the Rams needed him.
“Tyson Liggett, in his corner, came out,” the second year CSU headman said. “A lot of that stuff he doesn’t get the reps for in practice and he played pretty well. He’s a tough kid and a competitive kid who played the way we all thought he could play.”
Starting quarterback Grant Stucker agreed with his coach, adding that he has been looking for Liggett to get a chance for a while.
“I’m very happy for Tyson (Liggett) that he was able to get his opportunity, get his chance, because we have really been wanting to get him in a game,” the senior said. “He works really hard at practice and he’s been a guy who’s been really consistent for us. I’m happy that he got his opportunity.”
Liggett came to the Rams as a walk on during the Sonny Lubick era. The shaggy haired blonde was a quarterback in high school, but was deemed to small to play the same position in college and was moved to receiver.
When Fairchild took over the program last season, he kept Liggett on the roster as a non scholarship player.
Liggett, who had never played receiver before coming to CSU, said he was confident he could play but just needed a chance to prove it when Fairchild came to town.
“I always knew I could play, that was no question for me,” he said. “The new coaches came in and I got another shot. That was a big turning point for my career.”
Stucker, who credited the entire CSU receiving core as being talented, explained just what makes Liggett a dangerous player.
“He’s got sure hands and runs great routes,” the first year starter said. “He might not be the fastest guy, but he’s also really allusive. He’ll be able to separate and that’s the most important thing when running routes. He’ll get open for you.”
Now, after putting up a career game, Liggett appears to have earned another golden opportunity. Following weeks of hard work at practice and being one of the last players off the field day in and day out, Fairchild announced that Liggett is the Rams current starting slot receiver.
Liggett smiled at the announcement and explained that it just proves his beliefs right.
“Hard work pays off,” he said. “That’s my philosophy and that’s what I go by. It helped me today (Saturday).”
Assistant sports editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org