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How Can Colorado Quarterback Shedeur Sanders Improve For the 2025 NFL Draft?
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Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders stands out as a prime prospect for the 2025 NFL Draft, and it’s no surprise he's the current favorite...

Graser: It’s time to believe in Rams football

Quarterback+Jackson+Brousseau+passes+to+a+wide+receiver+in+the+first+quarter+of+the+Colorado+State+University+football+Green+vs.+Gold+game+at+Canvas+Stadium+April+20.
Collegian | Simon Tolzmann
Quarterback Jackson Brousseau passes to a wide receiver in the first quarter of the Colorado State University football Green vs. Gold game at Canvas Stadium April 20.

Editor’s Note: All opinion content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

It’s been an interesting few years to be a Colorado State fan. There hasn’t been much to get excited about, especially when it comes to football season.

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However, do Rams fans finally have something to look forward to? I would say yes.

CSU has finally reached a spot where they can play at a good level. This might seem odd to say considering the Rams are coming off a 5-7 season, just missing out on a bowl appearance after a loss to Hawaii.

CSU has taken steps to improve since last season by recruiting well and keeping the team mostly intact from last season. CSU added two great wide receivers in the 2024 recruiting class; Jordan Ross joins the Rams as the second best recruit for CSU of all time, according to 247 Sports

Alongside Ross, Landon Bell will join the Rams after flipping his commitment from Arizona to CSU. Bell is ranked as the 10th best recruit of all time for the Rams, according to 247 Sports. I don’t believe either Ross or Bell will start for the Rams this season; I do believe they will make an impact as rotation players and help shake up the offense on pass plays.

Most of the offensive line is returning, and most of the defense is back from last year. Key asset Tory Horton will be returning for his final year of eligibility alongside quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi, who got the starting spot in week two against Colorado and hasn’t looked back since.  

Horton will be looking to go for another 1,000 receiving yards for the third year in a row. I believe Horton will have an unforgettable season at CSU. He might even break the school record for the receiving yards in a career, only needing 1,382 yards.

Fowler-Nicolosi is looking to improve on his great season in 2023, when he had 3,460 passing yards, tying for 16th in the NCAA for most passing yards in the 2023 season. This statistic placed him above quarterbacks like Shedeur Sanders and J.J. McCarthy. Fowler-Nicolosi will need to work on his turnover issues, but with this being his second season, I don’t think that will be hard for him to overcome.

With the offense looking good, what does the defense have to show? Well, newcomer Isaiah Essissima, a transfer from Nevada, looks to be a good fit for the Rams after his debut at the spring game, getting an interception and a handful of pass deflections.

I’m wary of the defense’s capabilities going into this season. The Rams had issues defending the long ball last season, and I’m not sure they have made the adjustments to fix that. Several of the losses from last season came in the final minutes of the game, leading to 30-40-yard bombs down the field the Rams couldn’t stop.

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CSU will, for the first time in program history, play seven home games. This creates a great advantage for the Rams, especially when playing against rivals like CU and Wyoming. CSU has the second best recruiting class in the Mountain West behind Boise State but has the third worst transfer class in the Mountain West as of right now, just above Wyoming and Air Force.

The team has some holes to fill. Justus Ross-Simmons and Louis Brown IV both left in the transfer portal. I expected Ross-Simmons and Brown to have good seasons and be able to take some pressure off Horton, but with the announcement of their transfers, this could create some problems for the Rams. The losses of both Ross-Simmons and Brown will be disappointing for CSU but overall will not take away from the integrity of the wide-receiving class.

I have high hopes for CSU in 2024 and I believe that they are likely to go 7-5. The Rams will beat a rival, and I think it will be Wyoming when they come to Fort Collins. Out of the two rivalry games between CU and Wyoming, I believe that CSU is more likely to pull out a win over the Cowboys in the Border War game. 

Colorado State will make their first bowl game since 2017. I believe this is because I feel like Norvell and the rest of the coaching staff have taken the steps to correct the course of the program. This is the best opportunity that the Rams have had in a long time to have a winning season, and I’m sure the players want to win as much as the fans do. 

Reach Alex Graser at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter at @AlexGraser5354

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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