Welcome to football season, Rams fans.
OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. More like, welcome to spring football practice, Rams fans.
On Monday afternoon, Mike Bobo talked to the media at length about his excitement surrounding spring football, about teaching the young men he leads to meet their expectations by pushing themselves through the “fourth quarter” offseason program and on a consistent basis.
Then, members of the media were taken on a tour, accompanied by Colorado State Athletic Director Joe Parker. Bobo even made a guest appearance and spoke about the new on-campus stadium from the terrace outside his new office.
— Rich Kurtzman (@RichKurtzman) March 20, 2017
More on the stadium tour in another post. Now, back to Bobo’s press conference.
Going into the offseason many question marks arose for the Rams due to injuries sustained last year. Namely, Rams fans want to know how Collin Hill and Marvin Kinsey are doing and if either, or both, of them will be able to play in 2017 after each tearing an ACL.
“Starting with Collin Hill, I think he’s five and a half months out, maybe a little bit longer, little bit less,” Bobo said of when his injury occurred in October 2016. “He’s been cleared to do our individual, he’ll throw one-on-one and he’ll do our 7-on-7 pass skeleton stuff. Won’t be out there with any kind of bodies flying around, but he’ll be able to take the drops in a controlled environment. So, I’m excited about that. He threw a couple times in the week before spring break when our kids did some involuntary throwing. Said he was a little bit rusty but I’m excited to get him back out there.
“He’ll take all the mental reps in team. He’ll probably be our signal guy, be involved,” Bobo finished on Hill.
Last year, when Nick Stevens struggled to start the season against Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, he was benched in favor of graduate transfer Faton Bauta. Then, Bauta was benched in the second game of the year and Hill entered, as Bobo pulled the redshirt off his back. Hill performed admirably for a first-year guy, helping his team to wins in three of the five games he participated in before tearing his knee ligament late in the comeback victory over Utah State.
That’s when it became Stevens’ team for the duration of the season, and the Rams went 4-2 to finish 7-5 overall.
Some were hoping Hill could again put pressure on Stevens and challenge him for the starting quarterback spot, but it looks like Colorado State is taking the sophomore’s injury slowly and cautiously. Which is smart considering Stevens rallied his Rams teammates last year as he played phenomenally down the stretch, earning an honorable mention from the Mountain West.
Onto Kinsey, who rushed with a stellar 5.9 yard per carry average for 546 yards and seven scores; he’s even behind Hill in terms of being ready for football.
“Marvin will be a non-practice guy,” Bobo explained of the freshman running back sensation who also tore his ACL. “He’ll be involved in meetings. You’ll see him with Terry (Fair) and his staff on the side. Big stretch for him right now to continue to work and continue to build strength in that knee. He’s on schedule, he looks good. But he won’t participate.”
While Hill’s knee injury occurred in October, Kinsey’s didn’t happen until December, so Kinsey’s being held out of practice makes sense.
All the injury news wasn’t negative, though, as the Rams received good news on Deonte Clyburn, the hopeful leader at linebacker. Last season, Clyburn was held out of the season due to a blood clot condition, but he’s cleared to practice fully this spring.
“He got the news, such a great moment for him, just a relief and joy on his face,” Bobo said of Clyburn being medically cleared. “He’s not going to take one meeting, one drill, one scrimmage for granted. That’s what you want in your football team.
“He’s full-go,” Bobo continued. “Last year he had limitations in the fourth quarter…but right now he’s cleared to go.”
Clyburn was expected to lead the Rams young and inexperienced defense last year, but the senior couldn’t play a down while he led from the sidelines. This year, with Kevin Davis graduating, having Clyburn as the main man in the middle will help Colorado State’s defense start the season ahead of where they were last year.
Spring practices begin Tuesday for Bobo’s Rams and it all culminates on April 22 for the team’s annual Green and Gold Spring Game which takes place on campus this year, at Lagoon Field, west of the Lory Student Center.
- Adam Prentice will be limited when the Rams start practice, in a non-contact jersey, due to an ACL tear sustained last year.
- Edge rusher Anthony Smith had a second ACL tear last year after going through one in high school. “He is actually ahead of schedule, where he was on the first knee,” Bobo said and that he should be cleared to go by fall camp.
- Linebacker Evan Colorito had surgery on his labrum in his shoulder. He’s out of spring ball, a senior Bobo said the team will miss on the field but who will be involved in meetings.
- Safety Braylin Scott had surgery on his wrist and will be out of spring practice as well.
- Justin Nunez, an offensive lineman, has issues with his neck and isn’t cleared currently to practice.
- Richard King will be limited the first week of practice, Bobo said.
- Josh Lovingood has been medically disqualified.
- Demontrae Taylor is “no longer on the roster,” Bobo explained.
- Bryce Peters has graduated.
- Brett Jordon will graduate.
- Jordan Benson will transfer.
- Sammy Long will graduate and look to be a graduate transfer.