Colorado State enters the 2010 season with a multitude of weapons at the wide receiver position, though there is little in the way of experience among the group.
From the size and strength of Byron Steele, Marquise Law and T.J. Borcky, the route running and sure-handedness of Tyson Liggett and Matt Yemm, to the game-breaking ability of Lou Greenwood, the Rams will be able to challenge opposing secondaries in a variety of ways.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a lot of guys that do different things for us,â€ said coach Steve Fairchild.
The Rams struggled with their aerial attack a year ago, finishing seventh out of nine Mountain West Conference teams with just 207 passing yards a game. In total, the Rams scored 17 times through the air, three of which were thrown by running backs or wide receivers.
Still, with a stable of talented young receivers, it would appear the Rams will have every opportunity to improve on last yearâ€™s output.
â€œOur wide receivers seem to be playing ahead of their maturity right now,â€ Fairchild said. â€œWe arenâ€™t going to scare you with speed all the time, weâ€™ve just got to tailor things to what our guys do well.â€
The Ramsâ€™ wide outs will feature a converted quarterback (Borcky), a converted running back (Greenwood) and a converted defensive back (Steele).
Borcky, who was in the discussion for the starting quarterback position throughout spring practice, was recruited out of Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Fla., as a quarterback. Now that true freshman Pete Thomas is officially named to the starting signal calling position, Borcky can focus on his final two years with the program as a wide out.
Greenwood played his freshman year with the team out of the backfield, where he tallied 247 yards and two touchdowns a season ago. This year, the Rams will use him in a variety of fashions, but Greenwood will see most of his time at receiver.
Steele, a red shirt sophomore from Arlington, Texas, played only one season in high school, predominantly as a defensive back. Upon arriving at CSU, he was asked to switch to the offensive side of the ball, a transition he feels is complete.
â€œAfter I got here, they changed me strictly to receiver,â€ Steele said. â€œIâ€™ve been trying to learn the position ever since, I am starting to come into my own.â€
Altogether, the 2010 Rams receivers accounted for just 43 catches last season, and with a quarterback that has never taken a collegiate snap, some type of learning curve is to be expected.
Regardless of the teamâ€™s inexperience, wide receivers coach Dan Hammerschmidt doesnâ€™t foresee the Ramsâ€™ passing game being conservative this season.
â€œWe are going to go with a similar offense as weâ€™ve had in the past,â€ Hammerschmidt said. â€œSame pro-style offense, we donâ€™t plan on changing any of that.â€
CSU will soon be able to take its first shot at improving the passing attack, as a date with rival CU-Boulder at Invesco Field looms just 10 days away.
Assistant Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.