With the first pick in the 2011 Green and Gold Game Player Draft, Green selects junior quarterback M.J. McPeek.
McPeek was the first player off the board Wednesday night in a player run draft used to pick the two sides set to scrimmage Saturday during CSU footballâ€™s annual spring game at Hughes Stadium.
Three captains for each team went round by round picking teammates from each position group in hopes of besting the other side in a friendly intra-squad competition for the fans.
â€œI think itâ€™s a reward for a good spring,â€ CSU coach Steve Fairchild said. â€œThe kids like the draft, they like to divide up and play like that. If we ended right now Iâ€™d say this (spring) is the most productive weâ€™ve been.â€
The game provides both coaches and players the opportunity to have some fun following weeks of grueling 7 a.m. practices.
Thatâ€™s not to say there isnâ€™t some sense of seriousness to the game.
â€œItâ€™s important because it will show us as a base where we stand,â€ said junior wide receiver Lou Greenwood. â€œWeâ€™re not going to go out there and do everything we know we can, but when we leave the field Saturday weâ€™ll know approximately where weâ€™re at as a football team.â€
Greenwood spent last off season moving from running back to wide receiver but enters this spring game as a featured target of the offense.
â€œItâ€™s fun. Practice is like a playground,â€ Greenwood said. â€œI feel like I grew into the role, so now I have to play like it.â€
Scrimmages throughout the spring have been up and down for the offense at times. Sometimes it looks crisp and efficient, but at others the defense appears to be more dominant, causing turnovers and disrupting the offenseâ€™s timing.
Sophomore quarterback Pete Thomas believes it will be difficult to take much from Saturdayâ€™s spring game because itâ€™s not first team offense versus first team defense.
â€œItâ€™s a little different with us because we drafted teams, so itâ€™s not first string,â€ Thomas said. Itâ€™s more about beating the other team and talking trash.â€
Fairchild knows the way the teams were put together wonâ€™t produce a perfect practice but expects both sides of the ball to play a low mistake game.
â€œ(I want) clean, things we can avoid like lining up wrong,â€ Fairchild said. â€œAs little of that has we can have, the better off weâ€™ll be.â€
Thomas has direct stakes in the outcome of the Green and Gold game as one of the captains put in charge of selecting the Gold teamâ€™s roster. Thomas was the only underclassman named a captain for either side.
â€œThe quarterback has to be a leader, and Iâ€™ve definitely tried to step up my leadership this off season
and I feel like I have,â€ Thomas said.
The Green and Gold game is free, and begins at 11 a.m.
Assistant Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._