Aug. 22, 2010
By Zak Gilbert
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Rams finished their 2010 fall camp Sunday night at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.
On the eve of the start of fall classes, and one day after a grueling scrimmage and post-practice conditioning session, Colorado State went under the lights in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts. The Rams hit the field at 7 p.m. Sunday, avoiding the heat on what was expected to be the hottest day of the year in Colorado.
“I just wanted one practice during camp,” Head Coach Steve Fairchild said, “where we didn’t have much going on during the day, to simulate that Nevada or Idaho experience, where you’re waiting around all day and then coming out and trying to perform later in the evening.”
That Nevada game, an 8:30 p.m. MT kickoff Sept. 11 in Reno, is one of five games on the Rams’ schedule that kick off after 12 noon. CSU also plays a night contest Nov. 6 at San Diego State (8 p.m. MT), as well as 4 p.m. starts Oct. 23 at Utah and Oct. 30 vs. New Mexico. The Idaho contest, the Rams’ Orange Out Fort Collins opener Sept. 25, is a 2 p.m. start.
Another position change: Rest assured, Dominique Vinson still is a cornerback. But for one period on Sunday, the transfer from Saddleback College was a wide receiver. Standing out because his white defensive shirt clashed with green jerseys of the players around him, Vinson caught several passes in the final period.
Earlier in camp, cornerback Momo Thomas took a few reps with the wide receivers late in practice.
Field-goal challenge: Just before conditioning Sunday, coaches called out both units, offense and defense, and had them stand on opposite hash marks, forming a trench. Special teams coordinator Larry Lewis then selected captains Jake Gdowski from the offense and Guy Miller from the defense for a coin toss. Gdowski lost the toss, so Miller had his choice of kickers, Ben DeLine or Chad VanderMolen. He selected DeLine.
Kicking for the defense, with a break in Tuesday conditioning on the line at the team’s next scheduled practice, DeLine maintained perfect focus on a 37-yard attempt despite more than 50 offensive players shouting at him only a few feet away. The junior drilled the field goal, virtually right down the center.
VanderMolen then stepped to the same spot. In a contest that closely resembled a game of Horse in basketball, VanderMolen needed to convert the 37-yarder to keep his offensive unit alive. With defensive players screaming in his ear, just one day after he hit all four attempts at Saturday’s scrimmage, including a 51-yarder, the junior had plenty of distance but his kick ricocheted off the right upright. Defensive players began to swarm DeLine and celebrate their victory.
Welcome back: CSU’s athletic department held its annual Welcome Back Barbecue for its nearly 400 student-athletes Sunday before the football team’s practice. Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk addressed the group, as did softball player and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president Ivory Allen from the softball team.
On deck: The Rams have Monday off to ensure they get off on the right foot academically. They’ll be back on the field Tuesday afternoon at 3:45 to begin on-field game preparations for the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown.
With camp concluded, the team will close practice at least twice this week, and possibly three times. Saturday’s mock game will be closed, while either Wednesday or Thursday’s practice, or both, will also close. The Rams also are expected to introduce crowd noise at practice this week.
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