After two days of practicing in shorts, the Colorado State Rams took the field in full pads for the first time this spring on Saturday.
“In general, it was pretty good,” Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo said following Saturday’s practice. “I thought that as practice got going the energy got picked up a little bit.; but overall, it was a good first day.”
Football starts when the pads come on. Saturday gave Bobo and his team an early taste of what’s to come, as they make their way through spring practice and work towards the fall.
The product isn’t polished this early, but that’s expected. Spring football is more about knocking off some of the rust from the season before and laying the groundwork for the upcoming season.
“It’s pretty much refreshing from our meetings throughout January and February and up to spring ball,” Bobo said. “We basically went over the whole offense and met about it and showed film. Now we review that in those meetings and now they get to go out and they get to run the play.”
Along with shaking off some of the rust that has accumulated since the Rams last played in December, spring practice also allows them the opportunity to get a head start on specific aspects of their game prior to when things get rolling in the fall.
On Saturday, Bobo made it clear that he wants his team to improve through the air.
“We’ve got to be more efficient in the passing game,” Bobo said. “That was one of our objectives this spring offensively. We were pretty good at the deep ball last year, that was one thing we wanted to improve on, and we were good at the screens but our intermediate passing game we were not at the level we need to be to be a championship football team.”
Along with some of the questions in the intermediate passing game, another question the Rams are inching towards finding an answer to this spring is who will fill the third running back spot behind junior Izzy Matthews and senior Dalyn Dawkins while sophomore Marvin Kinsey Jr. continues to rehab from the torn ACL he suffered in December. The spot will likely go to either Darius May or Rashaad Boddie, both redshirt freshmen.
“We’ve gotta find us a No. 3 running back,” Bobo said. “We hope Marvin (Kinsey Jr.) is back at the beginning of the season but you never know. Truth be told it’ll probably be somewhere as we get going throughout the season when he’s ready to go and then, is he in football shape, all those questions.
“Everyone one of those guys in that room feels and practices like they should be the starter and that’s what they’re working for,” Running backs coach Bryan Applewhite said. “Those two freshman that are practicing, Darius (May) and Rashaad Boddie are getting a lot better because of the competition in that room.”
Despite the search for that third running back, Applewhite agreed with Izzy Matthew’s thought that the running backs are due for a special year.
“He knows every rep in practice means something to us and we are direct reflections of the quality of work that we put in,” Applewhite said. “It’s just a special feeling because it’s their third year in the system, they know the expectation, and they’re starting to hold everyone else to that expectation.”
The Rams will be back in full pads for their fourth practice of the spring on Tuesday afternoon.