The Colorado State Rams officially opened fall camp Thursday morning as the horn sounded on the 2016 season at 7a.m. at the CSU practice facility.
Even with the early morning start time, coach Mike Bobo was quick to bring his own intensity to the field. He made it clear early on in practice what he expected from his players, and he was often animated when he did so.
“You have got to set the standard day one of doing things the right way,” Bobo said. “You can’t let things go unnoticed. We have to be attentive to every detail. I think everybody knows what I expect from a coaching standpoint. I think my intensity was the same and I think the coaches understand what kind of pace I want to practice at.”
Intensity was not just coming from Bobo, but the players were fired up for the first day back on the field.
“We were ready. I was surprised. I thought people would be tired,” defensive lineman Jakob buys said. “But today was a good day. People were excited to get out there, people were ready to get out there. Everybody was like let’s go work.”
Tempo was something Bobo emphasized on day one, stating that it is the first step in their preparation for the upcoming season. From the outset, day one was about setting that standard and his team’s standard for the rest of camp and the upcoming season.
“We want to do it fast, we want to practice extremely fast,” Bobo said. “We want to create a crisis and put ourselves in the fourth quarter everyday so we can make Saturdays easy.”
Besides the energy at the first practice Bobo was also quick to point out the fact that nobody got hurt and everyone showed up on time for the early morning practice.
The first day of college practice was an eye-opening experience for new players in the program. Bobo noted that the freshmen struggled to keep up with the veterans and appeared lost at times, but that there is plenty of room for correction.
“That was the main emphasis, that there is a lot of mistakes and that is part of it,” Bobo said. “It’s gonna happen when you go through camp and you are learning.”
The new players will have to be brought up fast as there are plenty of positions on the field where competition is open, and newcomers have a chance to make an immediate impact.
“We have to figure out who gives us the best chance to win and be consistent offensively and defensively,” Bobo said. “There is going to be freshman who don’t understand what to do, but if they have play-making ability, as a coach you might scale back a little bit of what they do so that they can get on the field.”
Linebacker Kevin Davis and defensive lineman Buys, as well as offensive lineman Jake Bennett were singled out by Bobo for their leadership on the day. Yet the coach stressed caution when talking about leadership and intensity on day one. When everything opens up and the team can get on the field, everybody is fired up and it’s easy to be a leader. Come next week, the coach will have a better feel of the team.
“(When) it’s day six, it’s day seven, that is when it’s in your hands,” Bobo said. “What kind of team are we gonna have, how are we going to react as a team. How are we going to hold each other accountable when things get a little bit tougher.”
“Right now everybody feels good,” Bobo said. “Nobody has got hit in the mouth you know. Everyone thinks they are a five star.”
Things are only going to get tougher for the team as camp continues, but for now the coach and his players are happy with the intensity being brought to the field.
“Overall I think it was great energy, everyone was ready to go,” safety Jake Schlager said. “Then again it is just the first day of practice so we will see if that energy comes back around for that first day of pads, and I know it will.”
Camp quick hits
- Linebacker Deonte Clyburn did not participate as he continues to sit out with an undisclosed injury.
- Would be redshirt sophomore tight end Mitch Parsons is no longer with the team.
- Defensive line signee and top recruit Christian Colon spent the day in a walking boot. Bobo said he had a stress fracture in his right foot and would hopefully be back within the next few weeks.
- Incoming freshman defensive back Chris Gaston and JUCO transfer tight end Darneail Jenkins were not with the team today. Jenkins will not be with the team this season, while Gaston is finishing up some things academically and will hopefully join the team for the fall according to Bobo.
- Sophomore safety Braylin Scott wore a cast on his right wrist. Will be limited in practice once the pads come on.
Collegian sports reporter Eric Wolf can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @Eric_Wolf5