For the first time in 16 years, the Colorado State football program will be sending two players to the “Pro Bowl of collegiate football” to showcase their skills to multiple NFL scouts.
“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to come down here and put out what I’ve got,” senior tight end Crockett Gillmore said. “It’s a bit different of an atmosphere, but we all know that we’re down here for a reason.”
Gillmore received a last-minute invitation to the game after Fresno State tight end Marcel Jensen suffered an abdominal strain, forcing him to sit out of the game.
“The Fresno State tight end got injured and I was ready to jump on the opportunity. Sometimes things work like that but I was willing to switch gears and make it happen,” Gillmore said.
Gillmore will be joining fellow CSU center Weston Richburg in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday. The two will be lining up on opposite sidelines for the first time in more than eight years. The Bushland, Texas friends have spent the little free time they have eating lunch together and talking in each other’s rooms.
“We’ve seen each other here and then, but it’s hard,” Richburg said. “We get together when we can but we know that we’re both down here to take care of business.”
That business? Getting to the next level.
Both Gillmore and Richburg are fully aware that many representatives of the NFL will be on hand to scout out the next batch of stardom.
“We know exactly what we’re doing here and it’s strictly business at the end of the day,” Gillmore said.
Richburg received his invite to the Senior Bowl back in December and figured that he would be flying solo in term of CSU athletes. When he first got the news from his stepmother that Gillmore would be accompanying him, he was more than excited.
“I’m happy that he’s here, I thought he belonged here all along,” Richburg said. “I’m glad he finally got the shot to come down here because he’s a good player and gets to show what he has against competition like this.”
The duo look at it as more than the end of an era. To them, this is simply the start. Richburg and Gillmore have known that success has been planted in each other’s roots since day one. When they reflect back on the days of being 18 years old, they seem like merely the beginning.
“I always knew that Weston was a great athlete. We played together and he was one of those guys that you looked at and wanted to strive to be,” Gillmore said. “Having him here helps me realize that this is more than just the small school trying to make a shot, we’ve come from a pretty great background at Colorado State and intend on making that name for ourselves here.”
The Senior Bowl will kick off its 64th annual meeting on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.
“We’ll go out there and do what we have to do, just like we always have,” Richburg said. “Making big moves is part of the routine for me and (Crockett), just as it’s always been.”
Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @QSickafoose.