March 30, 2010

Spring Practice Notes - 3/31

Put on the pads, it's time to separate the men from the boys on the gridiron, and that's exactly what started to happen Tuesday afternoon on the Moby practice fields as Colorado State entered their fourth of 15 spring football practices.

It was the first day wearing full pads for the Rams, as helmets have been the extent protection the green and gold had been wearing over the weekend and it was clear which players stood out early. There's still a long way to go, but coaches were vocal Tuesday, giving both praise and criticism.


On both Thursday and Sunday, it seemed as if all quarterbacks lacked any sort of consistency outside of being inconsistent. Routes were generally under thrown unless they were a fades, and even those were mostly overthrown.

For some reason it seemed pads changed all that as the QBs found a rhythm and looked better overall on their reads. Still, the deep routes aren't clicking, or if they do, it's thanks to wide receivers making diving plays.

TJ Borcky is still seeing the majority of snaps under center and is building a good rapport with receivers and coaches alike. He's by far the most athletic quarterback on roster, but on ill-advised throw turned into a pick-six by Alex Williams had coaches visibly frustrated with Borcky.

Both Nico Ranieri and Pete Thomas are splitting time with the second team offense. Ranieri is getting a chance to use his feet and make plays on the ground, while most of Thomas's work is confined to rolling out or sitting in the pocket. Despite not being too mobile, Thomas has impressive accuracy while throwing on the run.

Wide Receivers

Still no clarity here on who the top three wide receivers are as Marquise Law, Tyson Liggett, Byron Steele, Jyrone Hickman, Vernon Scott and Matt Yemm are all seeing quality time running routes with each quarterback. Law seemed the most impressive on Tuesday, making a couple of one-handed snags.

It would appear the coaches are trying to get both Scott and Hickman more action.

Hickman is having success when the ball is within arms reach, but appears fatigued - he has to work on his stamina.

Scott is bringing a lot of balls in at first, only to be jarred out when he's hit by a safety or corner. He has 4.3 speed and originally committed to Arkansas to run track, just has to get the receiving thing down.

Running Backs

It's all about Raymond Carter. The UCLA is simply tearing it up on the field, breaking big runs and over-powering defenders. He's going to be a big force for the Rams in 2010, as should be expected.

Lou Greenwood is the other running back making the most noise, showing a fine ability to athletically break tackles and slip through gaps rather than running folks over. Both him and Carter have run plays out of the slot receiver position as well.

Chris Nwoke is visibly trying hard, and that's not to say he's trying harder to make up for a lack of talent, he's giving 200 percent and improving on how skilled he already is. The thing about Nwoke is that he loves to be physical and simply hit people - that's something you have to enjoy appreciate as a coach.

Surprisingly, seniors Leonard Mason and John Mosure seem to be seeing fewer and fewer snaps at running back, with the exception of the Wildcat formation, which is still run by Mosure.

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