After defeating the Air Force Falcons 58-13 on Saturday in their final regular season game, the Rams are now waiting to see if they will be invited to play in a bowl game after their best regular season finish in a decade.
With head coach Jim McElwain out recruiting this week, center Weston Richburg and tight end Crockett Gillmore — both seniors from Bushland, Texas — fielded questions from the press on Monday about the possibility of going to a bowl game, being invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game (Gillmore), Senior Bowl (Richburg), and how they feel about their final season in a Ram’s uniform.
Q: The two of you are sitting here together talking about going to the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game. Being from the same town, the same school and having known each other for so long, is this like a childhood dream?
Gillmore: It’s awesome that it’s happened; it’s what we’ve worked for starting at Bushland. I can remember watching (Weston) sign his letter of intent to come here and thinking I’ll be doing that next year to the same school, and at the time nobody really knew we were going to go to school together so it’s really something special. It speaks a lot of our town of Bushland and what’s been accomplished, but we’re not done.
Q: (Mountain West Commissioner) Craig Thompson said he does think it’s a possibility that one of the seven (Mountain West) teams that qualify is not going to a bowl. How much are you guys thinking about that right now? Are you anxious or worried?
Richburg: We’re expecting to be in a bowl game. We’re preparing that way — got up this morning, lifted my butt off as well as Crockett. He did the same, so we’re expecting to be in it. We’ve put in the work this year.
Q: Obviously you guys would be excited to go to any of them, but do you have a preference as to which one you go to?
Gillmore: Personally, no I don’t. We’re excited to be here. We gave ourselves an opportunity to go into the postseason — we’re just excited to play anywhere.
Richburg: After three years of not going, I don’t think I have a right to even be picky. We’re just really excited about the opportunity.
Q: How excited are you to go to these all-star games, to put yourselves up against other players at your position and see how you stack up against them?
Richburg: It’s going to be fun. I’m really excited about the opportunity. Me personally, I’ve always been the guy at the smaller school and people kind of speculate ‘Oh, he hasn’t played against anybody big.’ This will be another opportunity to go out there and showcase what we can do against guys from bigger schools and bigger conferences.
Gillmore: To go against that caliber of competition and to be incorporated in that at all, it’s just exciting. We want to go put our names out there, put Colorado State on the map and get everybody looking this way.
Q: Can you talk about what Coach McElwain has meant to you?
Richburg: He’s completely turned this program upside down. It took me a while to kind of adapt to changes and do things the way he wants them to be done, and I think that’s a big part of why things have changed this year because guys have finally come to understand what’s expected and have bought into what he wants. And that’s why you see what you see this year. I can only see it improving with him in control and with guys buying in.
Football Beat Reporter Katie O’Keefe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLOK.