While the majority of the sports fans on the CSU campus focusing on the Rams’ basketball team and its chances of competing for a MW championship, the football coaching staff has put together one of the best recruiting classes the Rams have had in years.
Right now, they have a chance at No. 1 in the conference, and they certainly won’t fall any further than 3," CBS-Sports Network analyst Tom Lemming said. "They’re having a really good year.
The reason for a possible higher ranking is the potential addition of four-star former Ohio State Offensive Lineman, from Windsor Colorado, which is right outside Fort Collins. O’Connor would have to sit out a year, but would still have 3 years of eligibility left. While this is not yet written in stone, there is good reason to believe that O’Connor will take one of the two scholarship positions still to be filled, as CSU is the closest university to his hometown.
McElwain and his staff filled quite a few holes by adding bigger players in just about every position. Of the 23 signees, 7 of them are three star recruits. 5 of the recruits are already on campus, in order to take part in spring practice and to have a realistic chance at starting this fall:
Austin Berk, DE: 6’5" 230Lbs (Grand Junction High School, CO)
Kapri Bibbs, RB: 5’10" 198Lbs (Snow College, Utah)
Martavius Foster, DE: 6’5" 260Lbs (East Mississippi Community College)
Terry Jackson, DL: 6’1" 260Lbs (Coffeyville Community College, Kansas)
LaRyan King, DT: 6’3" 290Lbs (San Francisco Community College, CA)
Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin had referred to increased size in the passing game, which would allow the Rams to stretch the field. By adding height and speed at the WR position, some of last years’ top receivers might be able to be moved into the slot position. The Rams added four receivers, who are 6’2" or taller"
Rashard Higgins, WR: 6’2" 177Lbs (Mesquite High School, Texas)
Sammie Long, WR: 6’4" 197Lbs (Lakes High School, Washington)
Elroy Masters, WR: 6’2" 205Lbs (Sunrise Mountain High School, Arizona)
Xavier Williams, WR: 6’4" 205Lbs (Cathedral Catholic High School, San Diego, CA)
Adding to the 4 receivers that Baldwin brought in, the Rams also got a 6’5" Tight End Trae Moxley, an early commit to McElwain’s recruiting efforts, who is a local product out of Roaring Fork High school in Carbondale, Colorado. Moxley looks to be cut from the same cloth as standout CSU TE Crocket Gilmore and could produce for the Rams fairly soon. Two other offensive players of note are RB Kapri Bibbs, who had been recruited by former head coach Steve Fairchild a few years ago and 6’4", 190Lbs Quarterback Nick Stevens from Vista Murietta High School in Murietta, CA. Another RB prospect is Cypress High School (Houston, TX) standout Bryce Peters, who comes in at 5’10" and 204Lbs.
On the defensive side, the Rams have added needed depth. Again, the Rams have been able to recruit players of some size in comparison to previous recruits:
Jake Bennett, OL: 6’3" 265Lbs (Bear Creek High School, Lakewood, CO)
Deonte Clyburn, LB: 6’1" 217Lbs (St. Xavier High School, Louisville, Ky)
Evan Colorito, LB: 6’4" 220Lbs (Beaverton High School, Oregon)
Zach Golditch, OL: 6’5" 260Lbs (Gateway High School, Aurora, CO)
Josh Lovingood, DE: 6’5" 250Lbs (Clovis North High School, Fresno, CA)
Blake Nowland, OL: 6’5" 285Lbs (Douglas High School, Castle Rock, CO)
Adrian Robinson, DE: 6’6" 240Lbs (Charlotte Christian High School, NC)
Kiel Robinson, LB: 6’2" 210Lbs (Mission Hills High School, San Marcos, CA)
Jake Schlager, S: 6’1" 195Lbs (McCook High School, NE)
Tyree Simmons, DB: 6’0" 175Lbs (Gardena High School, CA)
If the Rams can add O’Connor to this list, CSU would be the only team with a four-star recruit in the Mountain West and it seems the CU Buffs will not pursue him. That would definitely move the Rams up in the ranks. If O’Connor does join, the Rams would have only one more scholarship to grant. There are plenty of rumors going around, but with the success of Ju-Co transfer Lanston Tanyi last season, most of them predict another community college player to be added later on in the month.