Defensive backs making an early impression for CSU football
After coming out of the gate with an excellent team practice on Friday, Colorado State football managed work work around a difficult weather situation on Saturday, and once again came out with a ton of energy for a productive second day of fall camp.
Practice was initially delayed close to 30 minutes for a weather delay and once practice started, the team only got in the first six periods before having to move to the indoor practice facility on the other side of campus due to lightning in the area.
Despite having the rhythm of a typical practice interrupted twice by the weather, CSU head coach Mike Bobo explained that he has been thrilled with the effort that his players have given in the early stages of fall camp. He even had to tell the players to watch their aggression and to be careful not to risk an injury before the team even puts on pads.
"I had to calm them down a little bit today," Bobo said. "There was a lot of aggression, a lot of competition. We just want to be careful and be safe... I'd rather be going that way than have to push them to go harder."
One of the bright spots for CSU football through the first two days of camp has been the secondary, which top to bottom has looked the best unit on the defense. Jordan Fogal and V.J. Banks are providing a veteran presence and a healthy Jamal Hicks looks like he will be able to come in and contribute at a high level again.
"I feel 100 percent. I just saw the doctor and he says that I am good to go," Hicks said.
Along with the veteran presence of Banks, Fogal and Hicks, young defensive backs like Rashad Ajayi, Malcom McGee and Tywan Francis have really made an impression on the coaches and the older teammates.
"I like what I have seen from our DB's," Bobo said.
The secondary has been a defensive weakness for CSU for a few seasons, especially when it comes to giving up the big play. One of the goals for the 2017 season was to limit these explosive plays downfield, but after giving up touchdowns of 68, 76 and 90 yards in a 3-point loss to Marshall in the New Mexico Bowl, Bobo admitted that the team did not accomplish its goal last season.
"You want to have more big plays than they do," Bobo said. "Those game-changing plays - and you've got to have more than the other team does.... We were not good enough at that last year. Just look at the last game we played. Three or four touchdowns of 75 yards. It is hard to win that way."
The goal in 2018 will be to make offenses drive all the way down the field and earn a touchdown. If the defense can consistently do this and limit the explosive plays given up, Bobo believes his team will be in a much better position to win ball games this season.
"We have to get the guys on the ground and make them snap the ball again," Bobo said.
CSU will look to keep the momentum rolling Sunday afternoon, when the team wears shells for the first time this season. The Rams will wear shells from Sunday through Tuesday, before busting out full pads for the first time on Thursday evening.
PHOTO: Justin Michael | Rams Report