Today is Mike Bobo's first shot at Mountain West media days. There are still a lot of questions on what the team will look like week one against Savannah State, and the team's depth chart does not provide many answers. With two-a-days still to come, there is a lot of room for movement in this depth chart; and with JUCO players and promising freshmen coming in, it would not be surprising to see at least one new name after camp.
|Sammie Long IV
*No defined starter
The biggest question going into the season is who will replace CSU's all-time passing leader Garrett Grayson. The race has come down to RS Sophomore Nick Stevens and RS Freshman Coleman Key heading into training camp. During Spring ball, Key wowed with his arm strength, but Stevens showed more composure with the offense and better decision making. Stevens outperformed Key in the Spring Game, while getting most of the reps with the 1's, but Bobo is not ready to name a starter yet.
Bobo says he would prefer to have starter named midway through camp, but would be willing to extend that deadline to make the right decision.
Bobo curiously put the tight end starter as either Nolan Peralta OR Steven Walker instead of announcing an outright starter. Walker started nearly every game last season after replacing Kivon Cartwright who suffered a debilitating ankle injury in the season opener. In his place, Walker earned first-team Mountain West honors with 279 yards and four touchdowns. He was also selected to the preseason all-Mountain West team.
Another player to consider is Vanderbilt transfer Mitch Parsons. The former 4-star recruit was granted immediate eligibility this season and, combined with the possible return of Cartwright, could make for an extremely deep tight end rotation.
By far the most important position group going into this season will be the offensive line. NFL draftee Ty Sambrailo is gone, and with a new quarterback and running back in the backfield, the line is going to need to be stout to help carry this offense. Fortunately for the Rams, there are three players returning who started last year, including the center.
|Pierre Copeland III
With the switch to 4-3 scheme, there is question about who will be the fourth defensive lineman. SteveO Michel gets the nod for now as he is the most comfortable playing with his hand in the dirt. Michel often played as a Buck linebacker in former coach Jim McElwain's defense, occasionally taking snaps as a defensive end. Justin Hansen brings good size as a replacement for LaRyan King at DT.
Colorado State loses 23% of its tackles from last season with the graduation of Max Morgan and Aaron Davis. The linebacking corps will benefit from a move to the 4-3, but will need to replace their presence in the middle of the field. Cory James brings the most returning tackles for a linebacker with 51, but is now listed as a middle linebacker instead of outside. James is one of the most potent pass rushers in the conference, so it will be interesting to see where the coaching staff plays him to maximize his impact.
The other starters as of now, Kevin Davis and Kiel Robinson, had 22 and 7 tackles, respectively, in 2014.
Not a lot of surprise here. At kicker, the Rams will have to replace three-year starter Jared Roberts with walk-on Wyatt Bryan. Bryan was 1-2 in the Spring Game, with both attempts at around 40 yards.