Colorado State football represented at all-star events




Jan. 16, 2014

Bushland, Texas native Crockett Gillmore saved his best for last at Colorado State. The 6-foot-6 tight end hauled in 47 receptions for 577 receiving yards, the third-most yards in a single season by a Rams tight end. Gillmore’s 47 receptions represent the most by a CSU tight end since 1984 when Keli McGregor had 47 catches.

Gillmore’s performance during his senior campaign earned him invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine in February and the East-West Shrine Game, which kicks off on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT. Fans can catch all the action on the NFL Network. Gillmore, a member of the East Team, is joined by Rams linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who is playing for the West.

Also Saturday, CSU tackle Jared Biard will be playing in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif, which is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. MT on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.

CSURams.com caught up with Gillmore as he prepares in St. Petersburg, Fla. for Saturday’s all-star game.

CSURams: Talk about what you have done while in Florida?

Gillmore: “I have met with 20-some scouts from a bunch of different teams. At night I talk with them and try to get to know them. I usually go to bed between 10-10:30 p.m. and I’m up at 7 a.m. to get ready for practice. We go to meetings, relax, eat dinner and spend more time with scouts. Tonight (Thursday), we have a function where we’ll meet all the East-West donors and tomorrow we have a big dinner with both teams at Tropicana Field.”

CSURams: What is it like playing football inside of a baseball stadium?

Gillmore: “It is different. There is tons of room on the sideline, so you aren’t cramped together. Yesterday, I stood at home plate and took a panoramic picture of the stadium.”

CSURams: How has practice been?

Gillmore: “Practices have been going really well. I’ve picked up the offense. The terminology is a little different but I’ve been working with Coach (Ron) Middleton, who worked with (CSU tight ends) Coach (Art) Valero at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so there are a lot of similarities.”

CSURams: How would you grade your performance in practice?

Gillmore: “It has been good. As I said, I picked up the offense really fast, that’s the biggest thing. Once you do that you can just go play and I’ve been able to just go play. They have lined me up at fullback and tight end which has been an easy adjustment because I lined up all over the field at Colorado State.”

CSURams: What have you done away from the field in Florida?

Gillmore: “My parents came down last night and we went and had a milkshake. It is all business.”

CSURams: What are a couple of the biggest things you’ve learned this week?

Gillmore: “I’ve learned that the biggest difference is the mindset between the players and how you attack everything. There are guys here that are here for themselves and don’t care about anything else. To make it you can’t have that kind of attitude.”

CSU: How did Coach McElwain and the CSU coaching staff prepare you for this event?

Gillmore: “All the coaches, Valero, (strength coach Mike) Kent and everyone, were really big in helping me get here. Everyone talked about the mindset of how to practice. When we run up and down the field here these guys are tired. I’m in better shape. In terms of weight, I’m heavier than some guys and smaller than some but I’m in better shape physically. Coach Kent in the weight room helped and the way we ran our offense helped. We were very efficient.”

CSURams: What has been the best part of the East-West Shrine Game?

Gillmore: “Just being able to come down here and be around these high-caliber guys. Playing on the East Team, I’m with a bunch of guys I haven’t gotten to be around. I’m also interacting with guys from Utah State and San Jose State. It has been fun.”

CSURams: One word to describe how you feeling heading into Saturday’s game.

Gillmore: “Relaxed. I feel prepared.”

CSURams: Have you been able to spend time with Shaquil Barrett?

Gillmore: “He just walked by me on his way to lunch. So I’ll go join him. When I’m at fullback on Saturday I’ll go against him and that is something I’ve done 3,000 times in practice at Colorado State.”

Shaquil Barrett

Shaquil Barrett transferred to Colorado State in 2010 after Nebraska-Omaha disbanded its football program and upon arriving in Fort Collins he made an instant impact. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound linebacker racked up 246 tackles, including 32.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks, in three seasons. His senior season was his most dominant, as Barrett recorded 20.5 tackles for loss, a school and Mountain West record, and 12 sacks.

In final play for the Rams might have been his most impressive. Trailing to Washington State by eight points and under two minutes left in the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Barrett stripped a Cougar running back and grabbed the loose ball out of the air. This set up the game-tying touchdown and from there, the Rams went on to win.

CSURams.com caught up with Barrett on Friday as he prepares for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game.

CSURams: Talk about what you have done while in Florida?

Barrett: “We have done a lot of football but off the field, we went to Shriner’s hospital and visited with kids for a bit. We took them on the basketball court and shoot hoops with them and picked them up so they could dunk. I’ve also met with financial advisors and spoken with a lot of scouts.”

CSURams: What is it like playing football inside of a baseball stadium?

Barrett: “We just got inside the stadium and it’s big. It will be a new experience but at the same time, it is still a regulation football field. The stadium is real big though.”

CSURams: What will it be like going up against Crockett on Saturday?

Barrett: “Hopefully we won’t get in that situation (laughs). I’m used to it because we did it in practice a lot but we didn’t do it live, so that’ll be different.”

CSURams: How has practice been?

Barrett: “It’s getting better as week progresses. It was a little rough at first but as the days went on everyone got better.”

Who have you been spending time working out with and really getting to know?

Barrett: “I’ve been spending time with some D-linemen and outside backers, mostly just defensive guys.”

CSURams: How would you grade your performance in practice?

Barrett: “Probably like a B or B+. It was a rough first couple days but I’ve improved and ready for Saturday.

CSURams: What have you done away from the field in Florida?

Barrett: “I’ve just been hanging out in the hotel. My wife and kids were able to come down, so we’ve just been hanging at the hotel with the kids.”

CSURams: What are a couple of the biggest things you’ve learned this week?

Barrett: “Football wise I learned that people watch you all the time so make sure you do your best and always give 100-percent. In general, I learned that you have to give everything you have and take full advantage of every opportunity.”

CSU: How did Coach McElwain and the CSU coaching staff prepare you for this event?

Barrett: “They did a great job. I’m playing a slightly different position now but I’ve been able to quickly pick up on it because of the coaches at CSU. The tempo is the same in practice so they did good with that.”

CSURams: What has been the best part of the East-West Shrine Game?

Barrett: “Just getting another opportunity to play college football again and playing against high-quality competition.

 CSURams: One word to describe how you feeling heading into Saturday’s game.

Barrett: “Confident.”

**CSURams.com hopes to have a Q&A Jared Biard posted shortly.


 

 

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