Hanie shows continued improvement
Nick Oppenneer is in his second year on the Rams staff, his first as defensive graduate assistant. He spent the 2010 season as a technical intern, working with the Rams' defensive coaches.
A two-year starter that started all 25 CSU games from 2008-09 at cornerback, Oppenneer had four interceptions as a senior, most by a CSU player since Ben Stratton's four in 2003. He also became one of just two Rams (Stratton) to reach four in the past decade. Oppenneer's 97-yard TD return at New Mexico was the longest by an MW player in 2009.
A former walk-on, he made his mark on special teams in 2007 and earned a scholarship following 2008 spring practice. Teammates voted him as one of five permanent team captains in `09, one of two on defense. A former prep QB, he also supplied CSU's all-important placeholding duties on special teams.
After playing as a true freshman at the University of Mary (Division II) in North Dakota, the alma mater of CSU men's basketball coach Tim Miles, Oppenneer sat out 2006 after transferring to CSU in the spring of his freshman year.
A team captain and all-state quarterback and defensive back at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., he lettered three years in football and contributed to a pair of league titles and the 2002 state championship. He also lettered three years in track, was named CHS athlete of the year, and earned academic all-state recognition.
Born in Englewood, Colo., Oppenneer, 25, has an economics degree from CSU and is pursuing a master's degree.