The rebuilding that Steve Fairchild signed on to accomplish has gotten underway in Fort Collins in earnest. Few MWC teams lose more and more central personel this offseason than Colorado State. The Rams return multiple starters at O-line and in the secondary, but that's about it. Center Tim Walter feels better than they did a year ago, even if CSU has only two QBs with which to run drills, and is rebuilding its defense, and won't have LB Ricky Brewer in '09 to help, as well as its entire skill-set on offense. The Rams return only 2 starters in the front 7, but bring 4 back in the secondary. SMQ says .500 would be a good year in Fort Collins; the Wimple agrees.
JUCO transfer Leonard Mason (pictured) will try his hand at filling Gartrell Johnson's enormous shoes in the backfield, as will senior John Mosure and Alex Square; Mason got kicked out of one practice for failing to execute assignments, giving Derek Good and Jonathan Gaye snaps to show their stuff on. The Rams hope to get better production from Sevaro Johnson and Sam Stewart, both JUCO transfer DTs with a year in D1 now under their belts. Elija-Blu Smith, normally a CB who played at safety last season, is taking snaps at both position this spring.
Walk-on Rams getting significant looks in practice: James Skelton, RsFr linebacker; RsFr wide receiver Alex Johnson; sophomore RB Derek Good; and junior WR Tyson Liggett. Receiver is a bright spot for CSU-- the Rams return every wideout who caught a pass last season, and have moved 6'4" T.J. Borcky from quarterback to receiver, where's he's practiced with the first team. That said, the QB and WR play this spring has disappointed Coach Fairchild. Smart linebacker play may have something to do with that-- even though CSU's two best LBs from '08 do not play this season. Former DT Ty Whittier has moved to be a big DE-- he's 6'5", 270 lbs. The Rams are practicing a "wildcat" formation. Even the heavens seem arrayed against the Rams, cancelling one practice and the spring game.