Colorado State Football: Five Things To Watch During Fall Camp
The CSU Rams get ready for a weird 2020 football season
Can the Rams learn quickly?
With an investigation into the athletic department still underway, the CSU Rams get ready for what will sure to be a weird 2020 football season. Mike Bobo was fired after the 2019 season and Steve Addazio was brought in to replace him. Addazio is looking to bring that blue collar work ethic back to the Rams.
Let’s take a look at five things for Rams fans to watch during fall camp.
1. Who replaces Warren Jackson
This Rams offense was something fans were looking forward to this season. The triple threat of Jackson, Trey McBride, and Dante Wright was going to give defenses coordinators fits. Then COVID hit and Warren Jackson declared for the NFL draft.
With Jackson now gone, the top candidates to replace him include Auburn transfer Nate Craig-Myers and junior E.J. Scott. Other candidates include sophomore Ty McCullouch and 6’5″ redshirt freshman Jeremiah Pruitte. The Rams will miss the impact and size Jackson brought to the field, but should have the players to replace him.
2. The offensive line
The Rams offensive line has struggled ever since Mike Bobo was hired. Whether it was because of injuries or other departures the o-line unit could never really get going together. It also seemed to be not that big of a priority to the previous coach staff recruiting wise.
Now, with the Addazio hire, the o-line seems to be more of priority. Addazio is a hard-nosed, run first type of guy so naturally the offensive line will be the most important part of the offense. Three Boston College transfers followed Addazio to Fort Collins and seem to be making their mark. If the line can get up to speed, this offense should be one of the best in the conference.
3. The defense
Along with offensive line struggles, the Rams defense has struggled mightily. There were signs of improvement last year, with the Rams passing defense being ranked top 10 in the country. But that comes with the caveat that teams could run at will on the Rams.
Chuck Heater was brought in as Defensive Coordinator and looks to make the Rams one of the top defenses in the conference. Heater has talent to work with it’s just a matter of putting it together. Manny Jones, Dequan Jackson, and Logan Stewart are just some of the many pieces to watch on this defense.
4. The Fox Position
One unique thing about a Chuck Heater defense is the Fox position. Heater has used the position going back to his days with at Florida. It’s a hybrid role in the defense. The fox position splits time between edge rusher and coverage linebacker.
Right now the players filling that spot are Troy Golden, Brandon Hickerson-Rooks, and Cian Quiroga. Golden and Quiroga made reserve appearances last season, while Henderson-Rooks is a Juco recruit. These players will need to be ready for whatever situations are thrown at them.
5. Can the team get up to speed?
We all know that changing coaching systems requires an adjustment period. If the Rams want to compete this year, they’ll need to get through that period quickly. The three BC transfers should help the offensive line get up to speed quickly, but what about the skill positions. Can Patrick O’Brien, Marcus McElroy, Trey McBride, and others all get on the same page in a new system quickly?
The same questions can be applied to the defense. Can the guys get use to Chuck Heater’s defense? How big of an adjustment period will we see? Who steps up if someone goes down? These questions will need to be answered if the Rams want to succeed.