CSU football holding meeting for walk-ons to fill remaining roster spots

CSU holds a long history of success stories that all share a common theme—they started as walk-ons.

Ram greats such as the late Keli McGregor and Steve Bartalo came to Fort Collins to play football, but had to earn their way on the team. Bartalo believed he could play quarterback for the Rams before getting moved to fullback, where he had one of the most distinguished careers in CSU history.

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On Wednesday morning, new coach Jim McElwain is extending the opportunity for a new generation of walk-ons to form their own success stories. The coaches will hold a meeting in the McGraw Athletic Center auditorium at 7 a.m. for any eligible CSU student looking to play college football.

Director of Football Operations Tom Ehlers said the team has four to five roster spots available that need to be filled this fall.

“There’s a good opportunity for a guy to think, ‘hey, maybe I should do it,” Ehlers said. “We realize maybe they haven’t trained like ours guys did all summer, but we’re not out there to embarrass anyone or anything. We’re going to work them in quickly, but we’re not going to kill them.”

Anyone interested in attending the meeting is encouraged to bring a DVD or YouTube link with their film from high school or other college teams, although it is not a requirement, Ehlers said.

McElwain, who has stressed the importance of depth on both the offensive and defensive lines, tight end and fullback, said the invitation for potential walk-ons is open to “all comers.”

Size, however, is ideal simply because of the difficulty of finding the right body type, but those looking to try for skill positions will get a fair look Ehlers said.

“Once we decide we’re going to give them (the opportunity to play), they’re a part of our family,” Ehlers said. “We think they’re important. We want them to be welcome and that’s a privilege we give to them. We have spots, we have needs and if we can find guys that address them, they’ll get a spot and they can say they were on the CSU football team for the rest of their lives.”

Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.