Conner Smith completes a pass on the first day of fall camp.
Aug. 6, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State’s returning football players were greeted by Head Coach Jim McElwain as they took to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon for the opening day of fall camp.
Veterans and newcomers were split into two groups, with the veterans taking the field from 4-6 p.m. and the newcomers on the field from 6-8, in order to better acclimate the young guys.
“I’m excited about this group,” McElwain said of his newcomers. “I’m excited to see how they handle the pressure of practices. This is first time that we as a coaching staff have really been able to work with them.”
As excited as McElwain was about seeing his new players in action for the first time, he also was pleased with how his returning players performed on their first day back.
“I can tell we had a great summer,” McElwain said. “I credit that to our strength and conditioning staff and what they were able to accomplish. Really the leadership as well; I think there definitely were some guys that must have stepped up over the summer.”
McElwain used the evening practice to go through expectations, drills and the pace of practice for the newcomers. On Wednesday, all players will practice together.
Fall Camp Notebook:
New-look Rams: McElwain came away from the first practice of fall camp extremely impressed with how his team was looking after a summer of strength and conditioning.
“I think number one, the biggest change is how our bodies look,” McElwain said. “We look a little leaner, but at the same time we have added size. Number two, them understanding and getting through this practice the way they did. I think that’s a credit for how hard they worked this offseason as a team.”
Pace of practice important: Repeatedly McElwain has stressed the importance of the pace that the Rams are practicing at. After the first day of camp, he could not have been happier with how his team attacked the practice.
“There was a lot of recall, and we took a ton of reps,” McElwain said. “We were able to finish 23 minutes early based on the rep count that we needed to get in, which tells me that the pace that we were playing at was really good.”
Wednesday Schedule: Colorado State will hold its annual Media Day on Wednesday morning, with McElwain, co-defensive coordinators Marty English and Al Simmons and offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin addressing the media in a press conference setting, followed by 10 players.
Media Day will be followed by a mid-day weightlifting session, meetings and practice at 3:45 p.m. It will be the Rams’ first with the full squad together on the field at the same time.
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