Sep 012011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

Every season in any sport begins in a similar fashion with various positions up for grabs until the first play of the regular season.

It could be due to seniors from the year before leaving, a player standing out in practice or because there is new talent around after recruiting a new freshmen class.

That story is no different with the 2011 Rams football team. There have been impressive freshmen, and time will tell how deep this group of young men will be.

There have been position changes, like the Gillmore brothers, Austin and Crockett.

A year after each brother lined up on defense, both are now starters on the Rams’ offense.

Crockett will be the starting tight end and lining up in the backfield, while Austin will be in the fullback position.

Austin Gillmore will be blocking for the most contested position throughout camp­­­­ ––running back.
Senior Raymond Carter is listed as the starter on the official depth chart released last Saturday.

However, Derek Good has looked good all fall and Chris Nwoke returns after getting quite a bit of action last season.

“We (the running backs) look at it like we all have something to offer,” Good said. “We all have a different type of running style and we all are unique in a certain way and we all try to help each other.”

Good understands each running back will bring a different skill set and the one who plays the best on that day will be getting the most touches. Something his head coach also believes to be true.

“Who cares who starts at running back, three are going to play,” Fairchild said. “Whoever gets hot is going to be the guy who plays a lot.”

The running game is one of the biggest areas CSU must improve on if they want to have a winning season. The Rams ranked 103rd in the NCAA last season in rush yards per game averaging a measly 113 yards per contest.

Another position that has been up for grabs in fall camp is free safety. With Elijah Blu-Smith moving from strong safety to cornerback, and Ivory Herd moving from free safety to strong safety, there is an opening in the first team defense.

So far that spot will be occupied by redshirt freshman Austin Gray. Gray beat out Ezra Thompson, who saw a lot of playing time last year, but has since been suspended for the first three games of this season.

“That position (free safety) has been kind of up for grabs this fall,” said Gray, who came to CSU as a wide receiver. “Nothing is set in stone and we have a couple freshmen who are working hard and practicing well.”

There has also been the need for guys to step in and fill the shoes of seniors who had successful seasons one year ago. Take John Froland for instance, who will be lining up in the defensive tackle spot that all-conference performer Guy Miller occupied last season.

Fairchild knows that no one on the defensive line has been a standout performer so far. In order to be successful, he says, they must play with purpose every down.

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

 Posted by at 3:53 pm

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