Dec. 11, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Graduate student defensive end Lanston Tanyi, who transferred to Colorado State in August from Appalachian State, was chosen by vote of his teammates as the squad's most valuable player for the 2012 season. The team also voted for four student-athletes to be recognized as captains for the season, selecting junior cornerback Shaq Bell, redshirt-freshman Trent Matthews, junior center Weston Richburg and senior linebacker James Skelton.
During each game week in 2012 the CSU coaching staff, led by first-year head coach Jim McElwain, chose four game captains. Those captains changed on a game-by-game basis as players established themselves as leaders both on and off the field.
Tanyi was honored as team MVP in his first and only season as a Ram following his transfer from Appalachian State. He received his undergraduate degree in May 2012. Tanyi made 77 tackles (26 solo), most by a Rams defensive lineman since 1995 and second-most by any Mountain West defensive lineman in 2012. In addition, Tanyi's six quarterback hurries were the most by a Colorado State player since 1991. He added three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss.
Bell moved into the starting lineup early in the season and continued to get better every week. He had four takeaways (3 fumble recoveries and one interception) to go with 66 tackles, two forced fumbles, one sack and three tackles for loss. Against Utah State on Sept. 22 Bell made six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was the first Ram to have an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery in the same game since Nov. 6, 2010 (Mychal Sisson). Bell was a game captain at Air Force (9/29).
A redshirt-freshman, Matthews was an anchor on an injury-plagued defense, starting all twelve games at safety and recording the fourth-highest team total for tackles with 71 on the season (36 solo). He led the team with 10 pass breakups and 11 passes defensed and also recorded one interception against Utah State on Sept. 22. He forced one fumble and recorded one fumble as well as recording three tackles for loss during the season. Matthews was a game captain vs. Hawaii (10/27).
Richburg anchored an offensive line that saw five different starting combinations but steadily improved as the season went along. The Rams averaged 163.3 rushing yards per game over the last four contests, up from 96.2 the first six games, and reduced their sacks allowed to 1.7 over the final six games after surrendering 4.3 the first four games. Richburg was a game captain at Colorado (9/1).
Skelton, a senior and season veteran at linebacker, started eight out of ten games in his last season as a Ram before missing the last two games due to a knee injury. He recorded 32 tackles (14 solo), including 6 at home against North Dakota State on Sept. 8. His flexibility played a crucial role in his leadership throughout the season; He even recorded a 5-yard touchdown run on a direct snap out of the wildcat formation against Hawaii on Oct. 27. Skelton was a game captain at Colorado (9/1) and at Wyoming (11/3).
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