Rams wrap up second day in Las Vegas

Chris Nwoke

Chris Nwoke

July 24, 2012

By Stuart Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Colorado State's representatives at the Mountain West Football Media Days have had some time to meet players and coaches from the other nine MW institutions but Tuesday was all work and no play. 

On Monday junior running back Chris Nwoke and junior linebacker Shaquil Barrett found time to play a video game or two with other players but Tuesday their attention turned to the media. 

For nine hours Nwoke, Barrett and Head Coach Jim McElwain were interviewed and interviewed. They met with NBC Sports Network, CBSSports Network, TheMWC.com, print media, television media, the list goes on. The media corps included more than 100 televsion, radio, print and digital media organizations from markets across the Mountain West geographic footprint. 

In total, McElwain had 19 separate interviews, while Nwoke and Barrett each did 16. They did an outstanding job representing CSU and giving 100 percent to each interview. 

TheMWC.com hosted a live chat with the student-athletes, just one of the many opportunities fans had to interact digitally during media day. Nwoke and Barrett fielded questions about the game they're both most looking forward to during the 2012 campaign, as well as how they're adjusting to the new coaching staff. 

From there the student-athletes took to the radio waves and spoke to 102.3 ESPN. Nwoke addressed everything from his former high school, ThunderRidge in Highlands Ranch, Colo., to CSU, and even Penn State. 

The CSU ambassadors rounded out the interview portion of Tuesday with a podium session in front of print and television media. McElwain and his all-conference players took questions for 30 minutes. McElwain joked with the media, offered witty comebacks and gave brutally honest answers. 

Wednesday will only be a half day of interviews for the Rams before they return home to Fort Collins and turn their attention on the Rocky Mountain Showdown, which is only 37 days away. 

Montana natives: McElwain and UNLV Head Coach Bobby Hauck, both natives of Montana, talked about how they spent a portion of their recent time off at their respective lake homes not far from one another on Flathead Lake. Each of their fathers were long-time high school coaches in Montana. 

Las Vegas or Hoover: On Tuesday afternoon, while on 102.3 ESPN, McElwain talked about how his friends on the Alabama coaching staff were at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. and how grateful he was to be in Las Vegas. While laughing McElwain said, "we're in Vegas, this is heaven!"

All-MW honors: On Tuesday morning the Mountain West announced 2012 all-conference honors and four Rams received the nod. Nwoke and Barrett along with offensive lineman Weston Richburg and punter Pete Kontodiakos were among the honorees. 

The four Rams named to the all-conference squad is tied for the second most representatives from one team only behind Boise State, who had five. San Diego State and Nevada also had four players earn preseason all-MW honors. 

Ask the Rams: Fans were asked to submit questions to arguably CSU's offensive and defensive leaders, Nwoke and Barrett, on Tuesday afternoon. You can read how they feel about an on-campus stadium, and expectations for the upcoming season. Read here

Transcript from live chat on TheMWC.com: 

Q: What game are you most looking forward to and why?

A: Chris - since I'm from Colorado, definitely the CU game. It is very important because it sets the foundation for the season and gives us identity in the things that we can accomplish the rest of the season.

Shaquil - Boise State, definitely ... it will be my first time getting to play on the blue turf and we have to get rid of the bad taste in our month from last year.

Q: Chris. With the size of the incoming offensive lineman freshman this year. Do you think that will boost the running game.

A: Chris - what it's going to do is establish some great competition during fall camp and unleash some higher levels of play from guys, both returners and newcomers, therefore making us a stronger unit as a line.

Q: How are you adjusting to Coach McElwain's style on offense and defense?

A: Shaquil - Coach Mac has brought a higher energy to practice and it gets us competing. He lets the defensive staff do their thing with us, so when he works with us we know it's important and we have to have 100% focus.

Chris - as an offense, it is the same base of schemes/style, so we are adapting well because the change is not drastic. Also, he's bring us more passion and holding us to a higher standard to make us better each and every day ... Leave nothing on the field! 

Q: For Chris, we know you can't do during a game without a penalty, but do you have a celebration dance that you break out at practice?

A: Chris - not quite a dance, but we jump bump and group hug as a unit because I don't get in the end zone without them!

Q: Coach Mac was a QB in high school. Does he work strictly with the QB'S or will he work with the entire offense duing practice and call the plays during scrimmages and/or games?

A: Chris - Coach Mac is very involved in the offense, but we work a lot with Coach Baldwin, our new OC, and new QB coach, Billy Napier. We'll see who does the play calling in the Fall. 

Q: Q for Shaquil - Are you ready for the Border War?

A: Shaquil - I'm ready!! They beat us last year and we need to redeem ourselves, have bragging rights for the next year. Game's in Laramie, so we want a fun ride back down 287!

Q: How do guys feel about both the individual and overall pre-season predictions for the Rams?

A: Chris - I think the work we put in the off-season will show this Fall. We really came together and with that mind-set, success follows!

Chris - It is an honor and a privilege for the four of us to be named to the preseason team. We have to be the leaders on the team to help the others grow and become even better, as we also grow and become better.

Shaquil - Our previous performance earns us the No. 8 rank, but our practices over the spring and summer will pay off in the Fall. Hopefully taking us to the post-season.



 

 

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