Fairchild: Rams addressed every need on roster with 2009 class
Feb. 4, 2009
"Unlike last year, we are here with a full year. Last year were trying to hire a staff and finish out a class in four weeks. This year we had a full year run at it. We were able to evaluate throughout the whole year, able to get on some guys early and make some runs at guys. We didn't get them all by any means, but certainly went after the top-notch guys and our class will show the work that we did.
"We tried to address every need, from a position standpoint, across the board. The only position we did not sign a player was at kicker, and I felt that singing Ben DeLine last year puts us in good shape in that spot. We did a punter, we did every position across the board. We tried to come in big at the offensive line spot. We've got five names there, and that being that a year from now we will get a big hit there from graduation. When you look at some of these development spots, like the line on both sides, you try to see it a few years down the line because they are not quick-fix areas. We only signed one wide receiver, but a lot of our skill guys in this class played on both sides of the ball and we'll determine, when they get here, what their future holds. We only addressed one linebacker in this class and I'll be truthful that is a concern, but I will say this we are not done yet and we will continue though the spring. Not only to get a jump on next year, but also filling out this class.
"We try always, like I said last year, to recruit the state of Colorado first. If we could sign our entire class from state of Colorado we would, but we have to, like some other universities in similar population areas, be prepared to go far and wide to recruit whoever, whenever to fill out our class. I was impressed with our staff's ability to go into the state of Texas. We were able to sign six kids out of the state of Texas and five from the state of Florida.
"I think that the success that we had late in the year and the bowl game, and then the Mountain West season certainly helped us. Looking at Utah, TCU and BYU, having three in top 25, us beating Fresno State in the bowl game, I think those things opened guys' eyes. I don't think that the Mountain West Conference takes a backseat to anybody, and I think that was a positive for our recruiting.
"It is like all aspects of program, when it is all said and done, we will step back and take a look at it, and try to improve it and tweak it where it is necessary.
"I want to leave you with this, before we start talking about these guys, there is not a whole lot of high school all-star teams that can beat college football teams. This is a sport where recruiting is very highly publicized, and we are going to take it very seriously and work as hard as anybody at it, but that is only part of the name of game. When they get here, we have to make these guys much better football players over a four and five year period, and I am confident in our staff's ability to do that, and I don't want to lose sight of that it part of the name of the game in this business."
Excerpts from Statements on Individual Players
On OL Justin Becker: "Having him as a freshman in this class was an outstanding call by our line coaches...He is going to be a 300-pound guy who is going to be in spring football and then he will be a freshman with five years to play next August. I am very confident in the direction he is going."
On OL Jared Biard: "What impressed me about him is that he is a Cole Pemberton-looking guy, right now. He is going to be a monster size-wise...He was very, very highly recruited. He was a wrestler, and you don't go wrong with wrestlers as offensive linemen very often."
On TE Joe Brown: "A very athletic tight end. As you guys know we like to play with an on-line tight end and move a tight end, and bounce him back in the backfield and ask him to go down and catch the football. That is what this kid will do. I see him easily being a 250-pound, movement tight end, who could probably play linebacker. You don't see too many 6-3, 220-pound point guards, but he is an athletic kid."
On DT Te'Jay Brown: "Third-team all-state in the state of Florida, and that truly is saying something. He was ranked the seventh-best player out of Tampa and 25th-best defensive tackle in the nation...He is an inside player, but he is a guy that is extremely quick. We are very pleased to have Te'Jay Brown coming in to help us at the defensive line spot."
On QB Jon Eastman: "What I liked about him was that he has played a lot of games, he is quick with the ball. You can see him stay in the pocket and make some plays...We will have another competitive battle for QB in the spring and we think that will bring out the best in Jon and the rest of the young guys we have on the roster."
On OL Jordan Gragert: "He is already 6-4, 270. He is enrolled right now. He is an athletic guy from a smaller school...We are going to have a wave of guys coming through that we feel like we have been able to grayshirt, get a little bit bigger. They aren't your normal high school football player."
On ATH/RB Lou Greenwood: "This guy is a flat player. Was recruited nationally and had a good visit and he will help us at the running back spot...The thing about Lou is just his movements. I know our secondary coaches are enamored with this guy; our receiver coaches are enamored with this guy. You can just tell he has 'athlete' written all over him. You aren't the 10th-ranked back in Texas without having a little juice to ya'."
On OL Brandon Haynes: "There was a tremendous amount of interest after he committed to us...This guy has the explosiveness with the shot/disc (background) and track. He reminds me of Shelley (Smith) in our offensive line right now, just very athletic, very quick-twitch guy. A knee-bender and is going to be a real good inside guy for us down the road."
On DE C.J. James: "He is here now, not grayshirting. If there was a guy in this class, defensively that may have a chance to contribute right away, he would have a real shot of it...Tremendous athlete, you can see the pass-rushing skills, and he is already big enough to play."
On P Pete Kontodiakos: "Pete comes with more accolades than anybody I can remember since I have been at Colorado State. He is just a tremendous talent that had all sorts of SEC recruiting activity...We were very fortunate that Pete decided to commit to Colorado State, and we anticipate him being our punter for four years."
On RB Leonard Mason: "We are going to have Leonard Mason available for us. He is rated the No. 3 junior college back in America. We didn't (have him in the original release) because we were kind of dotting some I's and crossing some T's, and I wanted to do it the right way. A lot like Gartrell (Johnson), maybe not top-end speed that everyone in the country likes, but vision, power, toughness and productivity that he does to get that type of ranking, and we are very excited to see what he can do in spring football."
On CB Immanuel Mitchell: "I coached Immanuel's dad at San Diego State, Mario Mitchell. Mario was a great player that played in the NFL...You'll see him play his senior year as a safety, which sold me on him, because you'll see him tackle, which told me he was physical...Great bloodlines, great track times, just a very impressive guy in the secondary who goes after the ball in the secondary. Just a great kid."
On TE Cameron Moss: "Cameron's dad, Martin, and I played against each other in high school...I did not think we would have a shot at Cameron Moss going into the season. He was a blocking tight end whose teams runs the ball all the time...When you watch him play basketball he is above the rim. He is a big-time athlete, so we are very fortunate. Plus, he is an over-4.0 student, and we need to get a few of those in our program as well."
On RB Chris Nwoke: "He committed to us right after he watched Gartrell (Johnson) run around in that bowl game. That kind of helped us a little bit, I think...The more we get to know him the more this kid brings those leadership skills, that work ethic, the thing that championship teams are made of, this kid has it. We are very excited to get him up here and to get to work with Chris."
On LB Mike Orakpo: "He is just all over the field. Very athletic, very rangy, has a Ricky Brewer-type body on him right now and he'll smack you. He is a very impressive guy on tape, just throwing his body around...When you find 200-pound athletes that can break down and change direction in the open field, and (make tackles) like that, they are very impressive. We think Mike has an impressive future as an outside linebacker for us."
On QB Nico Ranieri: "We had to hold some people off; BCS schools were recruiting this kid. I like that he is compact, quick with the ball he has enough arm and he has touch on the deep ball. He can make all the throws, and I like that he yells at the receivers, and I really like that, that sold me on him...He is athletic enough to make things happen and always has his eyes down the field."
On OL Weston Richburg: "He developed late, but was a tremendous talent as an offensive lineman. He was a quarterback that got injured early in his career, that grew into a 265-pound guy...When you see the effort that this kid plays with you get very excited about his ability to help us down the road here on the offensive line."
On WR Vernon Scott: "Had a track scholarship to run at Oklahoma...A very rangy type of kid. I think he has a bright future at receiver. He is a speed guy that we are looking for, just a legitimate track-time guy. Had committed to Arkansas, and it didn't work out, kind of like Joe Caprioglio last year, and we were there for him."
On CB Dru Taylor: "A very opportunistic guy. You just throw the tape on and he is just breaking up a pass, picking off a ball or making a tackle...He has that playmaking ability that you like to see on guys that play on defense, still be able to make plays with the ball in his hands. He is always finding the ball."
On S Ezra Thompson: "Already over 200 pounds. We need some size and athleticism at the safety position...You can see that he can tackle. He is very comfortable playing in the box, which you like to see out of a safety."
On DE Matt Weems: "He was just too good of a kid and played with too much effort to turn down...He might still play tight end, just an athletic, 6-4 kid."
On DL Curtis Wilson: "Just extremely strong, competitive powerlifting guy who is a good student. We think he has just tremendous upside as a defensive tackle for us...We will probably have him start at defensive end, but he is probably going to play inside."
Did CSU aim for a higher caliber of Colorado players compared to past seasons, perhaps leading to a lack of Colorado players:
On the lack of linebackers:
On the impact of the new facilities: