The Man, The Myth, The Legend... (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
I will kick this off with some talk about Pete Thomas. The caption holds true because Thomas is actually a man. He is a myth because it has been so long since the Rams had a starting QB return. He is a legend because he is awesome, I see him gunning down some all time CSU records. If he just throws for his 2662 yards as he did as a freshman he would break the all time CSU passing mark by 3000 yards. He should pass coach Fairchild for 10th all time somewhere around the 4-5th game this year. According to CSURams.com he should be 5th all time for a single season for passing yards. The Rams are in good hands with Thomas.
The Rams come into 2011 with their first returning starting quarterback since my first year at CSU. I graduated almost a year ago. The Rams had Caleb Hanie returning in 2007, Billy Farris in 2008, Grant Stucker in 2009, and Pete Thomas in 2010 as a true freshman.
Let's look and see if Thomas is in good hands with his supporting cast.
Receiver has been a tough go for the Rams. They have gotten inconsistent play from their bigger receivers and have been forced to use non-typical body types at the position. Nothing wrong with small guys, but a 6-3 target is better then a 5-10 target any day. Matt Yemm is the returning small receiver along with tall guys TJ Borcky, Marquise Law, and Byron Steele. All have been plagued by inconsistency and less then favorable reviews by the coaching staff. That applies to the receivers as a whole. I have been calling for Steele to become the number 1 target for years now, so might as well keep on that path. He seems to have the package to be dominate, he just needs to put it together. Thomas will help them all look good. The speed and height of the guys Fairchild is recruiting it looks like Thomas will have an easier time setting those records.
The running back crew has been forgettable since Gartrell Johnson left for the NFL after the 2009 season. Leonard Mason had some good games but needed a tandem back. The O-line wasn't helping them out much but let's leave that for the next paragraph. This year seniors Derek Good and Raymond Carter will get the bulk of the carries with Chris Nwoke the sophomore getting some too. Nwoke has the talent but needs to show he has picked up the pace of the college game and the offensive scheme. Carter needs to hit holes, his hesitation killed his reputation last year. Carter was an excellent pass catcher though and helped Thomas out a lot. Good has been good, his return game helped a lot and earned him some carries late last year. The Rams will be missing Tony Drake till he gets his academics fixed up and Kapri Bibbs won't join the Rams till he can get his AA at a JuCo. Overall this group should be equal to a bit improved over last year, though losing Mason could hurt more then some think.
Pete Thomas Fact: Thomas was 2nd only to Dalton in completion percentage at 64.7%. 5* BYU freshman Jake Heaps was at 57%.
The O-line looks like it is piecing its self back together after starting all over last year. The Rams found a gem at center in Weston Richburg who will only get better during his sophomore season. Jake Gdowski and Paul Madsen return as seniors also. This line was patched together and never quite found their teamwork, this year I think it will be a much improved line for the fact that they have played together and the freshman center is now a sophomore. They will make the backs look better and that will make Pete Thomas look all that more legendary.
Pete Thomas Fact: Is tied with Mychal Sisson for my man crush on a Ram of any sport.
All in all the Rams should look better on offense for the fact of a returning QB, a very good one at that. The line play should be more consistent. This should help the not ideal running back corps. The receivers should have a better opportunity if the running game works out. Pete Thomas will keep being Pete Thomas.
*Pete Thomas future fact: Thomas will one up the Bradlee Van Pelt head spike touchdown by somehow doing a double head spike as he runs and throws for a touchdown simultaneously during a Rocky Mountain Showdown game.
* Future fact may not come true.