Ramming Ahead

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Aug 252011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

Five more practices and a walkthrough are all that separate the Rams from the much-anticipated season-opener versus the University of New Mexico.

Fall camp has shown the Rams have added depth this year at nearly every position, and there will be freshmen who are ready to take on bigger roles on each side of the ball.

“This is the deepest we’ve been since I have been here,” said coach Steve Fairchild. “You go into a game knowing at least 20 guys will play (on each side of the ball).”

Some freshmen who have impressed coaches to this point are wide receivers Lee Clubb and Charles Lovett, and safeties Trent Matthews and Kevin Pierre-Louis.

Clubb seems to have a couple tough catches every practice, while Matthews and Pierre-Louis contend with redshirt freshman Austin Gray, who is currently listed as the starting free safety.

Fairchild stressed the importance of having more players who have flexibility on the playing field this season. That will allow coaches to put players in different situations and mix up assignments more often.

Senior linebacker Mychal Sisson agrees with his coach, saying he believes added depth will provide another element in what hopes to be a much-improved defensive unit.

“In the past we haven’t had too many people who could come in and play with the same intensity (as a starter),” Sisson said. “Now if one of the starters go down, our back-up is going to go in and play with that same intensity or even take it up another notch.”

Sisson is the leader of the defense, having been named an all-conference selection in each of his first three seasons with the Rams.

With one more week of practices left, he believes the Rams will be ready to take the field against the Lobos Sep. 3.

“I think we’re ready,” Sisson said. “We still have some kinks to work out, but we’re going to be ready, once the time comes, to step on the field against New Mexico.”

New Mexico has yet to name a starting quarterback, making preparations for the Rams’ defense tougher than usual. However, Sisson and the rest of CSU’s defense know regardless of who starts, it’s still the same scheme.

“You’ve got to prep for either-or quarterback wise,” Sisson said. “They both played last year, so we just have to prepare for either one of them to step on the field.”

On Tuesday, for the first time this fall, freshman running back Dorian Brown practiced without wearing a red jersey, which indicates an injured player.

Brown was considered one of the state’s top recruits before tearing his ACL in a high school preseason game last year.

Football Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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