CSU football players share their Thanksgiving plans, favorite dishes

Keegan Pope

For most college students, Thanksgiving is a time to go home and see family, get asked about their grades, lack of significant other and post-graduation plans. It’s also a chance to eat too much food, gorge on Thanksgiving leftovers and avoid the thoughts of going back to school for the finals three weeks before winter break.

But the CSU football team isn’t afforded those luxuries. With their regular-season finale looming on Saturday at Fresno State, CSU’s players have done anything but relax and kick their feet up. The team’s out-of-state players — at least the one’s on the travel squad — won’t be able to make it home this year. 


Head coach Mike Bobo said on Monday that the Rams’ in-state players, as well as the coaching staff, have opened their homes to the out-of-state players. I caught up with a few of the players on Tuesday to ask where they’d be going or who they would be hosting, as well as their favorite Thanksgiving dish. If you were ever wondering what Rashard Higgins’ favorite side is, read on.

Sam Carlson (Kevin Olson/Collegian)
Sam Carlson loves him some mashed potatoes. 

Senior offensive tackle Sam Carlson

Hometown: Wellington, Colorado

On who he’ll be hosting:
“There’s not as many guys as I thought. A lot of guys are going to coaches’ houses or down to Denver with some other guys, so I offered to people. Fred (Zerblis) might come over. A lot of other guys, it depends on if it’s snowing or not. But it’s kind of nice to just have time with my family. I just get to chill out, I don’t have to worry about having to host, but it’s also really nice to have some guys over. They are a long way from home, so it’s great to be able to give them a place to go. 

Favorite dish: It’s a tie between mashed potatoes and gravy and green bean casserole. Those are my two favorites. Dude, this is a tough question. You’ve got pie, all the pie. I love pumpkin pie. I could eat that for days. If I had to choose though, it’d be the potatoes or green bean casserole. 

Will he cook anything? No way. I’ll leave that to my mom, she’s a great cook. I’ll just bring myself. 

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Kiel Robinson

Hometown: San Diego, California

On where he’ll be spending Thanksgiving: Coach English’s house, actually. He’s having a few of the linebackers over so I’m going to be there. 

Kiel Robinson, right.
Kiel Robinson, right, likes all of the Thanksgiving dishes. 

On if he’ll bring anything: I don’t really know. He said his wife is cooking, but I’ll probably bring something. I’ve got to shopping for food anyways. 

Favorite dish: I just love it all, honestly. It kind of sucks that we can’t be home with our families, but it’s awesome that we have this football family. It’s Thanksgiving, and I like all the food. My grandma makes some great sweet potatoes though, so I’m going to miss those. 




Senior safety Trent Matthews

Hometown: Converse, Texas

On where he’ll be spending Thanksgiving: Man, I don’t even know. I’ll probably try to go everywhere. Whoever has turkey and ham, I’ll be there. That’s pretty much my objective for the day — to get as much food and eat the most that I can. 

CSU's Trent Matthews.
CSU safety and turkey/ham enthusiast Trent Matthews.

On whether he likes turkey or ham
I’m a turkey and ham guy. I’m a banana pudding and peach cobbler guy, too. Anybody that has that, I’m willing to go over and get some.

Favorite dish: I really don’t have a favorite, man. I just like it all. The whole shebang. I’m just excited to eat.




Junior wide receiver Rashard “Hollywood Higgins”

Hometown: Mesquite, Texas

On where he’ll be spending Thanksgiving: I plan on going to (wide receiver) Jordon Vaden’s house, he’s one of my guys so I plan on going down there and eating pretty good. 

On whether he’ll bring anything: I don’t know yet, man. I plan on bringing something but I’m not sure what that is yet. 

CSU launched HollywoodHiggins.com to promote the junior receiver's candidacy for national awards.
CSU wide receiver and dressing fan Rashard Higgins.

Favorite dish: The dressing, for sure. That with a little cranberry on the side, that’s great. That’s my favorite meal. 

On his mom’s Thanksgiving cooking: My mom makes it pretty good, every year. It kind of sucks that I haven’t been able to go home for Thanksgiving these last couple of years, but the day that I do go home for Thanksgiving, that’ll be the year I really enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading along, folks. Now go stuff your faces with some good until you fall asleep watching the Cowboys on Thanksgiving — again. 

Collegian Senior Sports Reporter and Mac & Cheese chef Keegan Pope can be reached by email at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope. But don’t try to reach him on Thanksgiving, he’ll probably be asleep because he ate too much tryptophan in his turkey.