April 18, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Former Rams football standout Bryan Save has fond memories of his college experience.
"Colorado State was the best time I've ever had in my life," Save said from Philadelphia, where he plays defensive line for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.
Save, pronounced SAH-vay, lettered at CSU from 2001-03. During his career, he played in 40 games and recorded 103 tackles, seven sacks, three fumble recoveries, four pass breakups and scored one fumble-return touchdown. Save also earned all-Mountain West Conference accolades in 2003 as a 12-game starter who led the team with seven sacks.
"I just want to thank my coaches at Colorado State," Save said. "They made it really fun for me."
After graduation in 2004 with a construction management degree, Save planned on becoming a football graduate assistant in order to achieve his goal of one day becoming a full-time football coach. He had dreams of playing in the NFL and when that opportunity presented itself, Save took full advantage.
In 2004, Save signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. Later that year, he signed with the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.
"The NFL process can be depressing at times," Save said. "You never know if your job is secure."
In 2005, Save signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was allocated to NFL Europe and played for the Cologne Centurions in Germany.
Save was a regular starter on the 2005 Centurions defense, recording 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. In 2006, he returned for a second season in NFL Europe. That year, he tied for fifth in the league with 4.5 sacks and had 35 tackles in just nine games.
"Europe reminded me of college again," Save said. "It was one of the best times of my life."
After the 2006 NFL Europe season, Save returned to the states where he signed with the Denver Broncos but was later waived by the team. Returning to a normal life and obtaining a job in Los Angeles, Save thought he was finished with football. However, the Arena Football League soon contacted him and after a bit of convincing, he signed with the Soul.
"It was the best decision I could have made," Save said. "This is a great organization to play for."
In 2007, Save started on the defensive line in all 16 games and two postseason contests for the Soul. He recorded 20 tackles, four tackles for losses, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Save was also named to the AFL's all-rookie team after he led all rookies in tackles for losses and was second among rookies in sacks.
This season with the Soul, Save has been named defensive player of the game once and has recorded 21 total tackles and four sacks.
While fulfilling his goals and dreams, Save encourages others to do the same. During the offseason, he returns to Los Angeles where he works as an engineer. He urges current student-athletes aspiring to compete professionally to get a degree and have a career backup plan.
"At the end of the day, I have the choice to use my degree or play football," he said. "I have the best of both worlds."
Fans can catch No. 98, Bryan Save, and the Philadelphia Soul on Monday in a battle against the Columbus Destroyers, and April 28 vs. the Dallas Desperados. Both games air at 6 p.m. MDT on ESPN2.