CSU football practice blog: Practice 20
Aug. 21, 2012
By Stuart Buchanan
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Rams' first practice of the 2012 school year had some added weight compared to previous seasons.
"Calvin Tonga was here at practice," McElwain said. "He should be in pads tomorrow, just waiting on some paperwork to clear him on some things. He is in school, so everything is good there. He is part of the roster."
McElwain said he wasn't going to rush the 6-foot-3, 330-pound lineman onto the field but he is happy to have him.
"I'm not going to hurry him in but we're glad he is there and he adds depth to that position," McElwain said.
During practice Tonga worked out on the sideline with members of the training staff. Working out in a jersey and shorts, he practiced exploding off the line and individual conditioning drills.
Tuesday's practice was similar to the previous 20 other sessions. The Rams opened up with individual position drills where Chris Nwoke was practicing full speed and Joe Hansley was able to demonstrate his speed and his reliable hands.
From there the Rams worked in skeleton drills and emphasized special teams.
McElwain spoke after practice about the progress of the wide receivers and he said early next week the coaches will have the top eight who will make-up the rotation.
The first-year head coach also praised Charles Lovett and Lee Clubb.
"I was happy to see Charles Lovett out here," McElwain said. "He's had a rib thing and he's fought through that and he wanted to practice today. So that tells me a lot about him. He could have used that as a day off but he didn't. Also Lee Clubb came out and had a really good day today."
The Rams will be back on the practice field Wednesday as they wind down fall camp and start to gear up for the season.
Fall Camp Notebook
CU preparation: McElwain said his team is still in fall camp and they won't begin preparation for the Rocky Mountain Showdown until Thursday, Aug. 23.
DL notes: With the addition of Calvin Tonga the Rams have the two biggest defensive linemen in the Mountain West. Tonga is the biggest at 330 pounds and Shaq Walker and UNLV freshman Charles Howard are 320 pounds.
The Rams are one of three MW teams that have three or more defensive linemen that weigh more than 300 pounds. The other two schools are Wyoming and Hawai'i.
Ram fans might recognize Jared Chirico. His father, Bill and uncle, Robert, played football for Colorado State. Both were four-year letter winners. Robert compiled 215 tackles and 18 sacks as a defensive end.