Jasen Oden, who wore No. 10 on Tuesday, practiced for the first time at running back
March 25, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – With temperatures in the mid-50s on Tuesday afternoon, Colorado State opened up its third Spring Football under the leadership of Head Coach Jim McElwain.
The Rams’ first practice went about two hours and McElwain said the shorter practice time was due to the high-tempo pace. The third-year coach, and several players, admitted the team was a bit rusty, but McElwain said that was expected.
“I thought the tempo and pace of practice was good,” McElwain said. “I thought one of the receivers said it best, they thought they felt rusty. That is usually how it is the first day of Spring Ball, but there is a lot of good teaching and the guys got a ton of reps.”
For a majority of the team, McElwain’s style of spring practice is not new. They were moving quickly between drills and practicing efficiently, which allowed the Rams to spend some extra time working on special teams.
“We were able to spend more time in special teams periods because they got the reps in,” McElwain said on the quick practice.
CSU will practice against on Thursday on the fields south of Moby Arena, before donning full pads on Friday, March 28th.
Spring Camp Notebook:
New O-line: During Monday’s press conference, McElwain expressed confidence in the new players that will step up and fill the holes on the offensive line left by the four graduates (Jared Biard, Jordan Gragert, Brandon Haynes and Weston Richburg).
On Tuesday, offensive line coach Derek Frazier got his first look at his new group. Redshirt freshman Jake Bennett and redshirt sophomore Fred Zerblis switched between center and right guard. Redshirt junior Mason Myers lined up at left guard and Mason Hathaway and junior college transfer Jordan Finley were at left and right tackle, respectively.
Senior Ty Sambrailo is limited throughout spring because of injury, but he is expected to protect quarterback Garrett Grayson’s blindside at left tackle.
New Roles: McElwain said after practice that he was impressed with the guys who switched to new positions. Davon Riddick, who has been at running back for two years, moved to cornerback. The Rams coaching staff were impressed by Riddick’s performance on special teams last year and want to get his athleticism on the field.
Defensive back turned running back Jasen Oden was able to flash his speed on Tuesday, his first practice lining up in the backfield. However, it wasn’t foreign to Oden, who played running back at Buffalo East (N.Y.) High School and at North Carolina Tech.
“They fit in and they didn’t look out of place. That is kind of what you’re looking for on the first day,” McElwain said.
Both players said after practice that they are still adjusting to their new positions but feel confident that after spending time watching film and working with their position coaches they’ll fit into the rotation come fall camp.
Standing Out: Redshirt freshman Trae Moxley, who came to CSU as a 270-pound tight end, has moved to offensive line this spring. McElwain told the media that Moxley is someone that stood out during Tuesday’s practice at the tackle position, and joked that he probably made a lot of line calls at Roaring Fork (Colo.) High School while playing running back and punter.
Get To Know: Throughout Spring Ball CSURams.com will feature a series of short videos that will give fans the chance to learn more about their favorite athletes.
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