CSURAMS.COM Spring Notebook: Watson, linebackers bring experience to defense - Colorado State University Official Athletic Site Colorado State University Official Athletic Site - Football
Spring Notebook: Watson, linebackers bring experience to defense

April 13, 2017

by Grant Larson
Athletics Communications

FORT COLLINS, Colo.-- The Colorado State Rams were back on the practice fields Thursday afternoon for the 11th session of spring ball. Head Coach Mike Bobo was pleased with the way his Rams team came out and approached the entire practice after expressing disappointment with what he saw on Tuesday.

"Today we had Competition Thursday and I thought the guys competed," Bobo said following practice. "There were times where the offense had their way, but the last drill we had I told them, `No matter what's happened the last 59 minutes, 20 seconds, you have 40 seconds to win the ballgame' and they found a way to get a stop. The only way we can become more consistent is to every day face the issue."

Despite graduating first-team All-Mountain West linebacker Kevin Davis, the position is still expected to be an area of strength for the Rams, given the experience they bring back in starters Evan Colorito, Tre Thomas and Josh Watson.

"We are a little bit thin up front, but we have experience at linebacker," Bobo said. "Good leaders are able to elevate the players around them. I expect Josh (Watson) to be a more consistent player on our defense. He's in better shape, he's really pushed himself to improve. I think he has better instincts this year, which will help with consistency."



Thursday's practice also marked the second straight that Anthony Hawkins and Justin Sweet took reps at cornerback, and despite still learning the position, Bobo noticed their speed in the defensive backfield.

"I do see we have more speed on the field," he said. "We're more athletic. If we're faster you eliminate mistakes and have the chance to limit explosive plays."

The Rams will be back in action on Saturday morning for practice No. 12. Follow @CSUFootball on Twitter and check CSURams.com for exclusive coverage and content.

#NextLevelRams on campus
A pair of #NextLevelRams who reside in the Denver area were in attendance for Thursday's practice in Joel Dreessen and Erik Pears. Dreesen and Pears played eight and nine seasons in the NFL, respectively, following prolific careers at Colorado State.

Turf installation begins at on-campus stadium
The playing surface at Colorado State University's new on-campus stadium began to be installed today, initiating a process that is expected to be complete in less than one month. The design for the new Sonny Lubick Field was unveiled Monday, and crews began the process of laying down the first pieces of the Shaw Sports Turf material around mid-day Thursday.

Substantial completion of the $220 million stadium is scheduled for June 9, 2017. The football program will begin to move into its new offices, locker room, weight room and training room in mid-June. Grand opening for the 41,000-capacity stadium is set for the Rams' season opener Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, vs. Oregon State.

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